‘Prodigal Son’ Reveals If Jessica Knew Martin Was a Serial Killer (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Episode 4 of Prodigal Son, “Designer Complicity.”]
How much did Jessica (Bellamy Young) know about her husband’s murderous actions before Bright (Tom Payne) had Martin (Michael Sheen) arrested? That’s the question for Monday’s episode of Prodigal Son.
Bright remembers telling Jessica about the girl in the box, despite the insistence from everyone that that girl never existed. And while he may not be able to trust his memories — he did trigger them using chloroform — he goes looking for proof, namely, access to his mother’s video interview, to see “what she said, how she said it.”
Though Gil (Lou Diamond Phillips) refuses at first, in the end, Bright gets the files — and we find out just what Jessica knew back then.
The Whitlys Fall Down the Rabbit Hole
“If my mother knew what my father was doing, she was complicit,” Bright tells Dr. Gabrielle Le Deux (Charlayne Woodard). “My parents were the Whitlys, the perfect couple with the world on a string, my mother’s dream. What wouldn’t she do to protect that?”
And is that why Jessica went to visit Martin, despite swearing she never would? Bright presses his mother, recalling telling her about the girl in the box when she was wearing a red dress. “Your father is the serial killer, but after all these years, I’m still the monster,” she says.
Speaking of the “monster” of the family, Bright goes to the other source: Martin, despite Jessica convincing him to remove their son from his visitation list. When Bright asks Martin if Jessica knew he was a serial killer before his arrest, his father points out the conundrum: “If I say yes, you won’t believe me. If I say no, you’ll be relieved, still a part of you will remember that I’ve been accused of being a pathological liar.”
Jessica digs that red dress out of her closet, and we get a flashback of her telling Martin “it has to stop” because it would “destroy” them. “Don’t you think I would stop all this if I could?” Martin asks. “Don’t you think I want to be the perfect man, the perfect husband?” She calls him “a monster,” but he tells her no one has to know and they can still keep their life. It’s up to her. The conversation certainly sounds like Jessica knew what Martin was doing, so that can’t be what they’re talking about.
Eventually, Gil brings Bright the tape of his mother’s interview from the night of Martin’s arrest. She insisted she didn’t know, but when Gil spoke with her, she eventually tells him, “I knew.” But it’s not what Bright thought. “These last few months, I knew something was wrong,” she explained, but she thought Martin was having an affair. “I should’ve known. I let him get away with this. I enabled him.” She thought she could have saved some of his victims, but Gil assured her she was only responsible for two lives: her children’s.
When Bright goes to see her again, she admits she drank a lot prior to Martin’s arrest. “If you asked for my help, I had no idea how bad it really was,” she confesses.
Meanwhile, Ainsley (Halston Sage) thinks she’s the only one who can handle visiting Martin — both Jessica and Bright are “spiraling” because of him, but there’s no baggage there for her. And when Jessica reveals Martin’s a fan of his daughter, Ainsley calls Bright to confirm — because she can interview the Surgeon to further her career.
And in the final scene of the episode, Ainsley visits Martin in his cell. “Dr. Whitly, it’s been a long time,” she greets him. “It has,” he agrees with a big smile. “But please, call me Dad.”
The Ones Closest to You Are the Most Dangerous
Tatiana, a model and social media influencer, is found dead, posed exactly like one of clothing designer Axel X’s (Julian Elijah Martinez) campaigns. It was her big break, and they’ve been together ever since. “Some [of her fans] loved her back a little too much,” and they had to get restraining orders, Axel tells Bright and Gil.
While Axel is an obvious suspect, his alibi checks out. Furthermore, Bright agrees they’re looking for a stalker, “someone driven by a dangerous mix of infatuation and longing.” That person would show up to her memorial, and there, Bright realizes JT (Frank Harts) was more than a fan of Tatiana’s — he knew her. The detective reveals she was a USO entertainer during his time abroad. “Her smile kept me going for months,” he says.
Another suspect is a photojournalist named Roger — Tatiana had restraining orders against him — but Bright can tell he’s not their killer; he knew she’d never love him back. Still, he knows something, but when Bright tries to speak with him away from the precinct, he sees Roger get hit by a car. Bright proceeds to lie to him and tell him he’s going to die to get him to open up about what he knows: Tatiana was leaving Axel for another fashion line, and when Axel found out, he hit her.
But they’ve been looking at the case all wrong. They’re looking for Axel’s stalker, Bright realizes just in time. The person killed the ex who broke his heart and ran down the reporter who knew too much. He’s trying to please Axel. Gil’s comparison to a cat leaving dead mice on the doorstep is very appropriate. Furthermore, Axel knows who the killer is because, as Bright puts it, “family always knows.”
And he’s right, because Axel knows it’s Joey (Shawn T. Andrew), the head of his security. When Joey joins them outside one of Axel’s parties, Bright tries to stop Axel from going back inside. “Leaving me here is the same as doing it,” he warns. “You’re complicit.” Axel does walk away, but as soon as Joey confesses to the murder, the police are there to arrest him.
What are you hoping to see from Ainsley’s conversation with Martin?
Prodigal Son, Mondays, 9/8c, Fox