‘Prodigal Son’ Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: “Take Your Father to Work Day”

Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 4
Michael Sheen, guest star Christian Borle, guest star Alan Gary and Tom Payne in ‘Prodigal Son’ season 2 episode 4 (Photo by Phil Caruso © 2021 Fox Media LLC)

The mundane day-to-day activities have become a bit of a bore for Dr. Martin Whitly’s (Michael Sheen) as revealed in the opening minutes of Fox’s Prodigal Son season two episode four. Fortunately for Martin, his days are about to become much more exciting thanks to his former roomie, Jerry.

Martin doesn’t share in Jerry’s (Michael Chernus) happiness in their group therapy session as he describes what he’s going to do when he leaves Claremont the following day. Jerry’s absolutely giddy about the prospect of being set free and eating lobster, unaware how much he’s angering everyone in the group.

At the Whitly place, Malcolm (Tom Payne) is taken aback when a man named Hans points to the spot where Nicholas was murdered and seems to know something horrible happened there. Thankfully, he’s referring to the ruined priceless heirloom rug that used to cover that spot. Jessica (Bellamy Young) breaks the tension by explaining Hans is helping her find a new rug since Malcolm and Ainsley destroyed the old one.

Malcolm and Ainsley’s cover story is that they accidentally spilled wine on the rug and were forced to throw it out. Jessica admits she doesn’t completely understand that story, so Malcolm goes over it once again. As he’s lying to his mom about the bottle of wine spilling all over the rug, the true story plays out in his head.

Malcolm adds the nice little touch that Ainsley felt so horrible she nearly had a panic attack.

Over at Claremont Psychiatric Hospital, Martin’s outside getting a little exercise by shooting hoops when Jerry nosedives from the nearby roof and dies upon impact. Martin’s not in the least bit upset Jerry won’t be leaving Claremont after all – or at least he won’t be walking out on his own two feet.

Gil (Lou Diamond Phillips) arrives to investigate the death and Martin’s pleased to see him. Dr. Whitly’s really excited to be involved in the case as the main witness. Martin explains he saw Jerry fall but didn’t actually see him jump from the roof, a fact which makes him pretty worthless as a witness according to Gil.

Martin’s sure this wasn’t a suicide since Jerry was really looking forward to eating lobster once he was set free.

Edrisa’s (Keiko Agena) examination reveals three of Jerry’s fingernails were bent back. She believes a struggle occurred; he didn’t commit suicide.

Edrisa’s nearly as giddy in Martin’s presence as she is in Malcolm’s, forcing herself to rein in her fangirl tendencies as she converses with Martin about Jerry’s nails. They both believe Jerry grabbed the ledge in an attempt to hang on after being pushed.

Their bonding session’s brought to an abrupt halt when Gil reminds Edrisa that Martin killed 23 people.

Malcolm warns his sister she’s next to get interrogated by their mom over the missing rug. Ainsley (Halston Sage) has an easier time lying since she doesn’t remember anything. She wants to ask their dad what happened, but Malcolm advises her to let it go.

Ainsley confesses she’s anxious for another big story just as Malcolm receives a call from Gil. Malcolm makes a deal with his sister: he’ll tell her about whatever case Gil’s calling about if she stops asking about Nicholas’ death and promises not to see dad. She agrees and Malcolm puts the phone on speaker to hear Gil explain the death’s at Claremont and Martin’s a witness.

Martin can be heard in the background yelling, “Can’t wait to work with you, my boy!”

Ainsley’s thrilled to be heading off to Claremont with her brother, but Malcolm’s pauses to chug Alka-Seltzer first.

She’s gathering up her supplies as Jessica arrives with a swatch from the new rug. The fact it’s a similar pattern brings up the fleeting memory of blood but Ainsley manages to hold herself together.

Jessica’s spidey sense is tingling. Something’s going on with her kids.

Jerry’s body is brought to the morgue and Edrisa has found bruises to suggest he was shoved. Gil and Malcolm are stunned to hear Martin’s voice over the speakerphone, and Edrisa confesses she called him to ask about the angle Jerry landed. Martin’s sure someone who was in the group therapy session is the killer.

“Every single patient in our circle looked positively murderous about Jerry leaving,” says Martin, attempting to be as integral to solving this case as possible. Unfortunately, Malcolm thinks Martin’s on to something.

Gil and Malcolm visit Martin and he acknowledges he knows Gil’s been paying special attention to Jessica. Gil’s heard enough after just a few minutes, but Malcolm wants to hear about Martin’s assessment of the six patients’ reactions to Jerry’s happiness. Martin refuses to provide info until Gil and Malcolm allow him to be part of the team. Gil has no choice but to agree.

Martin explains three of the men had acute stress responses, including Friar Pete. Martin claims interviewing these men won’t get them anywhere and suggests instead that Malcolm attend the afternoon’s therapy session to profile the group himself.

The group therapy session begins and Martin tries to get them to accept Malcolm as one of their own. Once they figure out Malcolm’s Martin’s son, one patient decides Malcolm’s actually crazier than he is. They discuss Malcolm turning in his own dad and one patient wonders if Malcolm really hates his father. Malcolm explains he loved his dad and wanted to learn from him, but then he discovered his dad was a serial killer. “He destroyed me,” says Malcolm.

Martin claims he just wanted to share what was important with him and Malcolm begins to lose it, railing against his father who he says wanted to turn him into a monster, too. (Father and son arranged this in advance, yet it’s actually working as a therapy session for Malcolm who’s able to air his grievances.)

The patients seem to appreciate Malcolm for exposing this side of himself and without prompting begin talking about Jerry. Malcolm learns Jerry would have needed a key card to get up on the roof and he didn’t have one on him when he fell to his death. Only the gold card opens all the doors and Martin’s interest is instantly piqued. He had no idea a gold card existed and Dr. Marsh (Michael Potts), the therapist leading the session, refuses to say who has one.

Martin tries to insinuate Dr. Marsh killed Jerry and Malcolm asks to see the doctor’s key card. He displays it and it is indeed gold. One patient’s instantly upset and begins screaming, “You killed Jerry!” before punching Dr. Marsh in the face.

Moments later, Gil and Dani (Aurora Perrineau) question Dr. Marsh, revealing they’re aware he was just issued a new key card after claiming his was lost. Gil notes his old key card was used that morning, and Dr. Marsh believes it must have been stolen.

Dr. Marsh finally reluctantly admits Jerry asked him for the key card that morning, just to say goodbye to certain people. Dr. Marsh gave it to him because Jerry promised to lie and say it was solely his therapy that cured him.

Ainsley ambushes Gil and Dr. Marsh on their way out of Claremont. Gil refuses to comment on the investigation, but Malcolm goes off the record to say they don’t believe Dr. Marsh is the killer. Ainsley switches topics and confesses she’s remembered a knife and lots of blood, including some on her hands. Malcolm lies and says she tried to save Nicholas, that’s how his blood got on her hands. He promises to discuss this later in a more appropriate venue.

Malcolm discusses the case with his dad including the probability Dr. Marsh allowed Jerry to borrow his key card. As they’re talking, Malcolm points out it appears the gold key card has captured his dad’s attention. Dani’s arrival breaks up the discussion. She’s learned Jerry used the key card on the fourth-floor library – the women’s ward.

Malcolm and Dani visit the women’s ward’s library and Malcolm instantly notices scratch marks by the door – scratch marks in paint that matches what was found under Jerry’s nails. Within five minutes of saying goodbye to someone in the library, Jerry was pushed out the window. Malcolm and Dani narrow the possible killer to four women, one of whom could have been Jerry’s girlfriend. Maybe this woman was having abandonment issues.

They narrow it down further to two average-sized women, and then still further down to just one based on where both possible suspects are from. Rhonda’s from Maine and that surely sparked Jerry’s plans to eat lobster when he was set free.

Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 4
Tom Payne in the “Take Your Father to Work Day” episode (Photo by Phil Caruso © 2021 Fox Media LLC)

Meanwhile, Jessica rings up Martin and wants his opinion of Malcolm and Ainsley’s story about the ruined rug. She believes it sounds too rehearsed and then confesses the rug disappeared the same night as Nicholas. Jessica won’t say out loud what she’s thinking and Martin assures her she’s way off track.

Martin chuckles as he gives voice to Jessica’s suspicions and then quickly says his goodbye as Ainsley arrives unexpectedly.

Malcolm visits Rhonda (Sarah Hunt) to question her about Jerry. She admits she had feelings for him and blames herself for his death. She didn’t kill him, but she knew he was scared of an inmate nicknamed The Surgeon who was insisting Jerry help him escape.

Malcolm barges into Ainsley and Martin’s meeting, and Ainsley’s upset no one will tell her what happened that night with Nicholas. Malcolm blurts out that Martin killed Jerry which distracts Ainsley who instantly goes into reporter mode.

Ainsley rushes off while Malcolm confronts Martin about Jerry’s murder. Martin insists he’s innocent and points out Jerry almost hit him while falling from the window. Malcolm believes Martin may have coerced someone into physically pushing Jerry, given that he’s a psychopath. It finally dawns on Martin that Malcolm’s performance in group was actually his son telling the truth about how he feels.

They argue over Martin’s motivations and an enraged Martin stresses that if he was actually a psychopath, he would hate his son for turning him in and ruining his life. Martin transforms into Mr. Nice Guy when he adds that if he killed Jerry, Malcolm would figure that out and it would mark the end of his visits.

Malcolm wonders why Rhonda shifted the blame onto Martin. It suddenly dawns on him Martin cured Jerry and thus is the reason Jerry’s being released. Rhonda has a reason to hate Martin and a motive for killing Jerry.

Gil questions Dr. Marsh who reveals he didn’t know Rhonda and Jerry were a thing but did hear that Rhonda’s involved with Andre the guard – the same guard who answered Malcolm’s questions in the women’s wing.

Dr. Marsh warns that Rhonda is capable of explosive rage. The warning comes the same instant Rhonda’s viciously attacking Andre in her cell. She steals his keys and key card.

Martin’s no longer a suspect and instead is the next potential target of Rhonda’s rage. Martin and Malcolm wind up in an elevator together without a guard because Rhonda’s taken control of the elevator. She sends it to the basement. Malcolm calls Dani for backup as Martin observes the basement’s an excellent place for a murder.

Malcolm creeps through the basement carrying a heavy wrench and looking for Rhonda. Unfortunately, she gets the drop on Malcolm and uses a taser to incapacitate him. Martin’s in a bind…should he help his son or pick up the key card and escape? He’s already used bolt cutters on his handcuffs and stolen a jacket while Malcolm was hunting for Rhonda, and there’s an exit nearby. But Rhonda could kill his son. Decisions, decisions…

Rhonda repeatedly tases Malcolm and Martin sticks around to help. Dani arrives and they quickly work together to distract Rhonda and take her into custody.

Martin’s riding an adrenaline high after being part of the team that bags Jerry’s killer. He starts advising Rhonda of her Miranda rights, but Dani cuts him off. Malcolm places his dad back in cuffs and removes the gold key card from his dad’s clinched fist.

Later, Jessica and Malcolm sit down for dinner and Jessica confesses she thought Malcolm murdered Nicholas. She was so convinced it was true that she called Martin to discuss it. She also admits she ripped the room apart looking for any evidence. She finally found a single drop of blood on the pages of a book.

Malcolm claims he killed Nicholas, but Jessica realizes he’s lying and that Ainsley committed murder. Jessica demands to know the truth and Malcolm admits Ainsley doesn’t remember what she did. He begs his mom not to tell his sister what really happened or they could lose her.

As Jessica’s worst nightmare’s coming true, Ainsley’s busy reading Martin’s journal. She seems intrigued by her dad’s explanation that when you see your victim’s blood for the first time it’s exhilarating.

That night Jessica’s in bed when Ainsley joins her, claiming to have had a bad dream. You just know it’ll be hours before Jessica’s able to shut her eyes and sleep.