‘Prodigal Son’ Season 2 Episode 12 Recap: “Sun and Fun”

Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 12
Tom Payne in ‘Prodigal Son’ season 2 episode 12 (Photo by Phil Caruso © 2021 Fox Media LLC)

When we last checked in with Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen) on Fox’s Prodigal Son season two episode 11, he was trapped in Dr. Vivian Capshaw’s trunk. He’s still there as episode 12 opens, but first we touch base with Malcolm (Tom Payne) who’s busy trashing his dad’s cell out of frustration. Malcolm’s sure everyone’s talking about him being a failed criminal profiler since he can’t find his own dad. Dani (Aurora Perrineau) assures him no one cares about that but Malcolm’s pretty much inconsolable.

“I can’t live like this, knowing he’s out there somewhere. He could come for me at any time,” says Malcolm. Dani understands what really scares Malcolm is the thought of never seeing his father again.

Even in his depressed state, Malcolm begins putting the pieces together. He figures out Malcolm had another ally and puts the clues (hoarded butterscotch wrappers under Martin’s bed) together and comes up with Dr. Capshaw.

And speaking of the psycho doctor, she’s pulled over by an officer because one of her taillights is out. Vivian (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is momentarily spooked when he asks to look in her trunk. After a little flirting, she turns down his offer and gets back on the road.

Malcolm makes it into the station and declares his dad and Vivian were having sex. Gil (Lou Diamond Phillips) is skeptical but Malcolm describes visiting his dad while Martin was experiencing an erotic fantasy. (JT’s sure that’s TMI.) Malcolm explains the candy wrappers were mementos of his time with Vivian. He thinks Vivian might have been involved in breaking out his dad.

U.S. Marshal Emily Ruiz (April Hernandez-Castillo) doesn’t believe candy wrappers and erotic fantasies are proof of Vivian’s involvement. She boots Malcolm from her case and Gil backs her play. He sends Malcolm home for some much-needed rest.

Ainsley (Halston Sage) and Jessica (Bellamy Young) are sympathetic to Malcolm’s plight, but only Ainsley supports Malcolm’s wish to continue as part of the investigation. Jessica warns Malcolm he needs to stop being so consumed with trying to get inside his father’s twisted mind. She loves her kids and wants them both to let the police do the work.

Ainsley, however, wants to hear Malcolm’s assessment of the current situation. Malcolm explains why he believes Vivian’s working with Martin. Jessica’s sure if Martin worked his way into Vivian’s mind, then she’s a victim – even if she did help him escape.

Vivian’s missing but Malcolm’s certain no one’s looking for her. Jessica flip flops and wants Malcolm to find Martin so that Vivian doesn’t become The Surgeon’s 24th victim.

Vivian’s drinking and listening to classical music when Martin comes to in a wheelchair. The large estate where they’re holed up is in the middle of nowhere and they appear to be its only occupants. Martin reveals he can’t feel his legs and Vivian explains she administered a lidocaine spinal block.

Martin has a flashback to when he first breathed in the fresh air outside Claremont’s doors. He remembers running through the parking lot and then being knocked out by a shot with a needle in the neck administered by Vivian.

Vivian and Malcolm pay a surprise visit to a doctor who’s shunned them since Martin’s arrest. They need him to supply them with all the details of Dr. Capshaw’s employment history. He’s apparently very well connected and has friends on multiple hospital boards. This particular doctor also happens to be the man responsible for introducing Jessica to Martin, so he owes her one.

Vivian’s file leads Malcolm to Logan Zeiger, one of Capshaw’s final patients at St. Sebastian’s. Ainsley joins him on a visit to Logan under the pretense she’s working on a segment on Dr. Capshaw. Logan’s paralyzed from a high-level cervical spinal cord injury.

Logan reveals he’d seen dozens of doctors, but Vivian is the one who actually helped him when no other doctor would. (It seems Vivian is also the one who paralyzed him.) Logan becomes upset when Malcolm explains they believe Vivian helped Martin Whitly escape. He claims Vivian’s his hero and warns Malcolm and Ainsley to stay away from her.

As they’re leaving Malcolm says, “I don’t think Vivian is the victim here. I think our father is.”

Vivian is most definitely not the victim. She’s sure everyone believes that and isn’t happy about women being confined to their expected roles. Although in this case, gender stereotyping is working in her favor.

Vivian leaves the room to pour another drink and Martin acts as quickly as he’s physically able, slowly making his way to a nearby telephone. He calls Jessica and manages to get out that Vivian’s a monster before Vivian rips the phone from his hands. She continues the conversation with Jessica, assuring her she’ll take care of Martin. Vivian asks her to keep this call between the two of them and she’ll make sure Martin never hurts anyone again.

Ainsley walks in just as Jessica’s getting off the phone. Jessica lies and says it was a wrong number.

Vivian’s done playing nice and Martin comes to tied to a bed. She screams at him for calling Jessica, certain Jessica’s not his equal. She reminds Martin that Jessica didn’t understand why he killed but she does. Vivian claims she has a brilliant medical mind like Martin and that’s why she accepts him for what he is.

After declaring she needs to prove herself worthy, she asks Martin to choose a drug to be injected with. Martin finally seems to realize just how crazy Vivian is, and also finally pieces together that her missteps in surgery at the hospital were deliberate. She wanted to be able to save patients after nearly killing them.

Vivian injects Martin and watches as he struggles to live. The drug stops his heart but before he dies, she promises she’ll bring him back.

Meanwhile, Malcolm returns to the station and informs Gil, Dani, JT, and Ruiz that Vivian’s psychology is closer to his dad’s than anyone realized. Gil still doesn’t believe Vivian kidnapped Martin, and JT and Dani concur. Vivian’s record is clean.

Malcolm claims Vivian suffers from malignant hero syndrome and hurts patients so she can take credit for saving them. Gil thinks Malcolm’s jumping through mental hoops to land on Vivian being the aggressor.

Malcolm reveals he has the address of a storage facility rented to Vivian. Dani suggests that wouldn’t be a bad place to keep Martin – if she did kidnap him. She believes they should check it out and that either way, it will answer key questions.

Vivian brings Martin back to life but it’s a painful process. He screams and she calmly says, “Breathe, darling.” He demands to be untied and is able to knock the next drug (Fentanyl) out of her hand while he’s thrashing around. Vivian’s angry at his disobedience and warns that she’ll break him if she has to.

Malcolm and Dani investigate Vivian’s storage unit and Malcolm finds dozens of vials of various drugs. Dani says that’s not proof of anything, but Malcolm’s adamant that he’s right. He thinks they’re running out of time to save his dad and he’s sure no one cares if Martin’s killed.

Dani suggests if Martin dies, Malcolm would be free. However, Malcolm thinks it’s possible his dad makes him who he is. “Martin Whitly is a cruel and violent man. You are none of those things. Let him go, Malcolm, I’m begging you,” says Dani.

And they kiss! And not just a light peck…a passionate, fiery kiss that ends all too soon because Dani’s phone rings.

She steps out of the unit to speak with Gil as a noise gets Malcolm’s attention. He chases after whoever is making the hallway lights flip on, stopping only to answer a call from Ainsley. When the person runs by again, he doesn’t hang up and instead follows this person into the parking lot.

Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 12
Tom Payne and special guest star Catherine Zeta-Jones in ‘Prodigal Son’ season 2 episode 12 (Photo by Phil Caruso © 2021 Fox Media LLC)

Vivian is waiting by her car as he exits the building. She admits she was there to pick up more drugs from her storage unit, and Malcolm demands to know what she’s done with his father. Vivian taunts Malcolm, assuring him if he arrests her, he won’t find his father.

Malcolm volunteers to surrender to her if she’ll take him to Martin. Vivian considers his offer and then gives him two pills to knock him out.

Dani returns to the storage unit and Malcolm’s gone.

Gil checks in on Jessica and they discuss Malcolm’s take on Martin’s escape. He tells Jessica it’s okay if she hopes Martin dies and admits he wants him dead, too. If Martin died, maybe things could be different between them.

Jessica’s on the verge of telling him about the phone call but ultimately decides not to.

Ainsley finds Dani at the station and tells her Malcolm’s in trouble. Dani thought Malcolm went rogue, but Ainsley taped their call. They listen to the recording of Malcolm confronting Vivian and Vivian admitting she has Martin.

Malcolm’s taken over Martin’s place in the bed, hooked to machines and unable to move. Martin insists they can’t have a life together until she releases Malcolm. Malcolm explains he’s there because, yes, Martin’s a psychopath and a killer, but he’s also his dad.

Vivian reveals she wants what Malcolm has – all of Martin.

Martin secretly lets Malcolm know he’s got something sharp in his hand and is trying to free himself. (He’s taped into a wheelchair.) Malcolm wonders if this is Logan Zeiger’s place and Vivian confesses that Logan understands her.

Malcolm continues to try to get through to Vivian, explaining his dad is a malignant narcissist who can’t love her.

Vivian reveals she’s going to cause Malcolm to have an embolism and bringing him back will prove her skill matches Martin’s. She believes what happens today will bind them together.

Vivian’s in the process of reviving Malcolm when the doorbell rings. She spots Dani and Ainsley outside and uses her cell to fake a call to 911 claiming she’s been abducted and stabbed by The Surgeon.

While she’s gone, Martin works himself free from his bindings as Malcolm flatlines. He’s able to bring his son back as Vivian returns with news that they’ve been found. After declaring she’ll always love Martin, Vivian stabs herself in the upper chest. It’s enough to cause pain and bleeding but isn’t a fatal injury.

Vivian claims everyone will believe she’s the victim and Martin’s the aggressor. She screams as Dani knocks and announces she’s with the NYPD. Malcolm tells his dad to run, realizing Vivian’s right.

Dani and Ainsley bust into the house and rush to find Malcolm and Martin. They encounter a screaming Vivian and Ainsley remains with her as Dani continues her search. By the time she finds the room where they were kept, Martin and Malcolm are gone.

The final scene of the episode, which finds a gleeful Martin steering a boat with Malcolm asleep on a passenger seat, seems like a natural fit for the season finale. However, it’s not; there’s still one episode remaining in season two. And as we just learned on May 10th, season two’s finale will also be the series’ finale.