The Martin Whitly manhunt is ON!
And by the end of the Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 11, we got confirmation that Vivian Capshaw is bananas.
With Martin on the loose, the drama and intensity have increased tenfold, and damn, it’s fun to witness.
The hour picked up right where Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 10 left off, and the hunt for Martin, Hector, and Friar Pete commenced in no time. Malcolm should’ve anticipated the arrival of the Marshals; after all, three violent serial killers were on the loose.
But from the second Malcolm heard that voicemail, his judgment was gone. Martin always manages to send Malcolm on a tailspin. He’s always in Malcolm’s head somehow, but the crazy part about this situation is, for once, Malcolm couldn’t hear his father.
He didn’t have Martin’s voice rattling around in his head or any inkling as to what he was supposed to look for, and the only thing scarier than Martin always on his mind was the silence that came out of Martin when he isn’t.
Malcolm can’t win for losing, and you had to sympathize with the guy for the entirety of the hour as his hand trembled under the extreme stress of everything, and he damn near fell apart.
He had the task of finding his father and wanting the man locked away as someone who works with law enforcement, but he also was a son spazzing out over his father’s whereabouts and what could happen when they found him.
Jessica may speak of the day when she gets to see Martin dead in a casket, but as much as Malcolm hates his father, he loves him, too. The more likely the outcome could’ve ended in Martin’s death, the more agitated Malcolm grew.
When the shots rang out, even though most of us probably knew Martin wouldn’t be shot or dead in the apple orchard cabin, Malcolm’s genuine fear that his father died was heartbreaking.
He became the panicked little boy who always wanted to impress his father and make him proud.
It was that conflict that fueled Malcolm for the entire hour. He was not OK, and everyone saw it. Malcolm had clouded judgment, he was too close to the case, and he couldn’t get his emotions in check at all.
Malcolm’s behavior with Ruiz went too far, considering that she allowed them to stay on the case along with her as a courtesy. Malcolm’s response after Ruiz shot Friar Pete was explosive. He couldn’t walk anything back after that.
Malcolm: Dani …
Dani: Don’t say it.
Malcolm: I’m not fine. Suprised you with that, didn’t I?
As much as the team loves Malcolm and puts up with his behavior or gives him leeway, outsiders don’t have to do that. They don’t know him, and it shouldn’t be expected of them to do the same.
JT figured he was off and too close to things. But Gil and Dani were the most worried about Malcolm for the whole ordeal. They still tried to work along with him even when they clearly had their reservations.
They bother served as gatekeepers between Malcolm and Ruiz, along with a shoulder to lean on if he needed it. It was a surprise to all, including Dani when he openly admitted to her that he wasn’t OK.
The series continues to build the slow-burn romantic tension between them nicely.
Malcolm: I’m sorry. I know being my friend can be… Actually, I don’t know what that’s like.I never had a friend like you before.
Dani: Me neither.
Malcolm: Mine was a compliment. Was yours?
Dani: Jury’s still out.
It’s moments like this when Malcolm is at his most stressed, and he reaches out to Dani like a lifeline even when instinctively he wants to keep her away to protect her, that makes the possibility of this ‘ship intriguing.
In his times of need, or to keep him grounded, or whatever else, Dani is right there. She’s always available to him, and it’s something he never had before, but then, in some ways, she hasn’t either.
Even amid all of this chaos, the moments they did share felt natural.
Malcolm thought he had everything figured out, and he could stay one step ahead of his father, but that was far from the case.
Martin sent them on a wild goose chase and even led to the death and capture of his accomplices for good measure. Malcolm is right that Martin may genuinely believe he’s a better person now, and he’s somehow unlike his co-conspirators.
But then why send Malcolm on a wild goose chase if not to screw with his son? Because did Martin really intend to go to the orchard and everything else and got thwarted by Capshaw, or did he have other plans the entire time and wanted to throw everyone off?
Now that we know Capshaw has Martin in her trunk, it’s hard to say.
It was interesting that Martin was talking to Ainsley all of this time. It makes for a nice albeit predictable reveal, so I get why they made it happen offscreen, but the series has deprived us of any meaningful or extensive Martin and Ainsley bonding outside Malcolm.
It always feels as if there is a detachment there. But now, we find out that Ainsley and Martin have spoken with each other over time ever since she started hanging out in his office.
It’s typical of Martin to get into Ainsley’s head about her being like him.
He recognized that Ainsley possibly carries some of his psychopathic traits. And he’s going off of many of the same things we’ve often mused about Ainsley ourselves.
Malcolm made a valid point about her self-reflecting. If she’s a psychopath like her father, then she wouldn’t be consumed wondering if that were true.
However, much like Martin advised her, the key is to mimic all those reactions and emotional responses that people expect and convince others that you feel something or are capable of things that you don’t and aren’t.
Ainsley: So what can I do? can I change?
Martin: Why would you? Who wants to be average?
Ainsley was missing in action for a large chunk of time, supposedly pacing her room. She showed up at Claremont, claiming she was worried about Jessica, but typically she doesn’t have that kind of regard and concern for her mother in any other situation.
Hell, even Malcolm thought she only came for a story. It seemed as though Ainsley was trying too hard to care or react appropriately to Martin’s absence, which stood out more than her usual apathy.
Despite Martin telling her things that she claimed she was worried about, she was wrapped up in Martin’s spell and continued to take and make phone calls to him and visit.
I’m still not convinced that she didn’t know about Martin’s escape plan or intended to help him. Malcolm seems to think that Ainsley passed Martin’s test, and she would’ve had access to him and the ability to join him.
He thinks that Martin believes Ainsley was the child he always wanted after the killing, but he’s selling himself short.
Martin is obsessed with Malcolm. He never would’ve left that message if that wasn’t true. He still hopes that Malcolm is in his image.
Something tells me that this will be an emotional ride for many of the Whitlys. Part of Malcolm is still clinging to everything his father said in that voicemail and what he does know of his father’s love for him.
Part of Malcolm still loves his father and doesn’t want anything bad to happen to him. He’s conflicted.
But he’s also angry and trying to figure out what’s real and what isn’t. The problem with having a father as a serial killer is he knows how manipulative his father is.
He can’t figure out if he’s getting played by his father or he’s an exception. Malcolm is still clinging to that hope that he knows his father and his capabilities well, but all of that will waver with others second-guessing him.
If Malcolm fully succumbs to everyone else’s sentiment, he may not figure out that Capshaw probably kidnapped Martin. And he’ll beat himself up about it when he learns the truth.
The hunt for Martin Whitly may become the race to save Martin Whitly. Who would’ve seen that coming?
Malcolm did a decent job calling Capshaw out when he met her and figured out she was lying. However, he underestimated how deceptive she is.
He didn’t see it coming.
She never revealed the full extent of her relationship with Martin, and she sat there bonding with Jessica in such an odd manner that it should’ve raised some suspicion.
She behaved like a woman scorned, and no one called her out on it at all. If they figured out the intimate nature of her relationship with Martin, then it would’ve put them on track to wondering if she had something to do with his escape.
Capshaw getting fired was the perfect set-up for her to disappear without raising suspicions.
We still have to figure out who she is, though. Does she have a deeper connection to Martin she didn’t share? Is she a psychopathic killer?
Is she a The Surgeon groupie? She did idolize him as a doctor. Where is she taking him, and what does she plan to do when she gets there?
Her words about believing in Karma and Martin getting what he deserves sounds like she has some plans for him.
As an aside, Jessica and Gil are too damn cute together, and you could see the worry all over him when he knew Martin was loose. He was proud of her when he found out that she did a number on her attacker.
And he was such a total dad when he was in his office, angry at himself for not doing enough for Ainsley, too. He felt like if he had stepped in as her father-figure as well, maybe Ainsley wouldn’t be lost and craving paternal affection and attention.
But that’s a hell of a lot of responsibility Gil is placing on himself for a married police officer who showed up at a scene.
He can’t shoulder that type of blame.
No matter what we did, all roads led to Martin.
It would be interesting if this leads to some more Gil and Ainsley scenes, though.
The hour didn’t mind giving us some new dynamics to play with, and Jessica and JT is an unexpected delight.
Jessica exudes grace in the face of weathering storms for years, and it was the first time JT saw beyond her facade and understood her.
She and JT are an unlikely duo, but it feels like a friendship developed there, and I like it.
She had to deal with all of these harassing phone calls, and she handled them with the grace and humor you’d expect from Jessica.
Capshaw: I feel lie I’m in hell’s waiting room.
Jessica: I’ve been there for 23 years. You get used to the heat.
It was something JT took notice of and admired since he’s still getting harassed by cops and others because of what he endured.
I loved the moments that JT and Jessica shared, and I still hate that this is the only storyline JT got, and he’s since disappeared into the background again for the most part.
Over to you, Prodigal Son Fanatics. What does Capshaw have planned for Martin? What are your theories about her?
Do you think Ainsley is deeper involved? Is Ainsley faking it as her father suggested? Hit the comments below!
You can watch Prodigal Son online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.