‘Prodigal Son’ Bosses: ‘We’re Telling the Whole Story’ About That Camping Trip

David Giesbrecht/FOX

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Episode 7 of Prodigal Son, “Q&A.”]

Ainsley (Halston Sage) got her interview with her father, the Surgeon (Michael Sheen), in Monday’s episode of Prodigal Son, but nothing went as planned.

And when another prisoner, Tevin (Matthew Maher), escaped, it was Jin (Raymond Lee) who nearly paid the price with his life. Instead, Ainsley and Bright (Tom Payne) — there to question Martin about a new serial killer that he and the NYPD discovered in a junkyard — watched as their father saved Jin’s life.

Here, showrunners Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver break down the major moments of the episode and tease what’s to come with the mysterious Paul Lazar.

As Bright should have suspected from the beginning, Martin was behind the lockdown. Was it all to play hero in front of his daughter? How much of it is about the relationship he could now build with her and how much he can use her as a reporter and someone both Bright and Jessica clearly care a lot about?

Sam Sklaver: Martin loves his daughter. He wants to spend time with her, just like he loves his son, so what better situation than when you have them both in the same room than to spend more time with them?

Chris Fedak: Martin saw all of this as quality time. Just speaking to his motive, it’s more about being together with them as opposed to trying to escape or bring any harm to his daughter. He felt like he probably was in complete control the entire time.

(Eric Liebowitz/FOX)

[He didn’t] understand that his daughter was such a great reporter and he definitely didn’t know his son would be there and that it would turn into this twisted family reunion. As we look at it, it’s more a matter of it starts with that Martin has this idea and pushed Tevin, but on the B side, he also got everything he wanted. He was in the perfect position to be the hero and in a twisted way, he was.

How much are we going to learn about Paul moving forward?

Fedak: It’ll be a very big deal as we head toward our winter finale. Paul Lazar and also his connection to Martin Whitly will become a big deal and very much a thing we’ll be exploring as we get into Episode 8 and then also heading all the way through Episode 11. It will act as not only this overarching case, but it’ll also give us a look into what happened 20 years ago.

The landline and boarded up room made that phone call at the end even creepier. What will we see between Bright and this old friend of his father’s next? What can he tell Bright about the camping trip?

Fedak: He’s going to tell him a lot, and we’re going to learn a lot. He’s not going to want to say everything at once. What Paul Lazar is going to be realizing is he knows Malcolm Bright. He knows Malcolm Whitly. He knew him back in the day. They have this connection.

Paul’s got his own psychology in regards to being a killer. He’s very different from Martin. In Episode 7, we’re still trying to piece together who he is. Episode 8 and going forward, we’re going to realize he comes from a much different psychology, and he’s trying to understand how Bright fits into his own goals and his past. It’s very much, especially in Episode 8, about them feeling each other out. There’s going to be some very big revelations in that episode, especially for what Bright remembers.


Sklaver: Bright saw a station wagon in a walking nightmare in Episode 5. Then he saw a photo he later talked to his mother about in 6. This is a camping trip that is a central part of Bright’s backstory that we’re really going to delve into and we’re not holding anything back. We’re telling the whole story, which is going to be very exciting going forward.

Bright starts having flashes when Martin begins talking him through saving Jin. How does Martin feel about Bright remembering the past?

Fedak: It’s something he is cautious about and also he wants his son to remember some of those things. He doesn’t know exactly how Bright is going to respond to those things. He doesn’t know some of the parts of the story, too. There are parts he knows he won’t tell his son. For him, it’s like you’re dealing with a powder keg. When Bright begins to remember things, it’s always, “What is it and how is his father going to look?” It’s usually not good.

Sklaver: But remember, his father is a narcissistic predatory sociopath, so Martin is like, “Yes, Bright, remember anything you want about your past. I was a great dad.” Martin always feels that way. “I took you camping. You know how many kids don’t get to go camping with their dad?” What Martin knows is he was a good dad to Bright, and he wants to continue to do that. That’s why this whole thing is happening.

How does Ainsley filming Jin’s surgery and perhaps just her interactions with her father affect their relationship?

Fedak: It’s very interesting that in that moment that Ainsley still wants to do her job, which is the right thing to do. She’s there to get this story. She has her feelings, she has her fears, she has her anxieties, but she also wants to do the thing she’s driven to do, her passion. It’s definitely something that’s going to cause tension in the future for them.

(David Giesbrecht/FOX)

Sklaver: Jin was right at the beginning of the episode, when he wondered if it was too soon to meet her parents.

Fedak: It was.

Sklaver: And it definitely was too soon to meet her father.

Keiko Agena is such a delight, especially her and Tom together. What are you enjoying about their characters’ dynamic and what’s coming up?

Fedak: First off, Keiko is such a delight to work with, and she’s so full of ideas. She’s really just a great comic actor, so we’re always charmed when we watch and see what she does with something. It’s great, and she, like the rest of the cast, has great chemistry with Tom. It’s a very fun, flirty banter and relationship. We want to have fun with it and see where it goes.

Sklaver: Since the last time we spoke to you, Fox has ordered nine more episodes.

I know, congratulations! I was so happy to read that.

Sklaver: And we were happy to hear it, too, after getting over our initial shock of having to write them, because with this added real estate, we get to really tell some Bright/Edrisa stories in the back nine that we’re very excited for because they do just have a dynamic you don’t often get to see in a procedural like this, where they’re very, very funny together and for a dark guy, it’s nice to have fun people around him. We’re just very, very excited for what we are going to be doing with them just in the future of Season 1.

(Peter Kramer/ FOX)

Prodigal Son, Mondays, 9/8c, Fox