‘Prodigal Son’ Reveals Eve’s Connection to the Girl in the Box (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Episode 17 of Prodigal Son, “Stranger Beside You.”]
Prodigal Son gives us the answer we’ve been dying for all season — who was the girl in the box? — in Monday’s episode. But can Malcolm (Tom Payne) and Eve’s (Molly Griggs) relationship survive her secrets and the truth?
We know after the end of “The Job” that Eve has a connection to the girl in the box, but as “Stranger Beside You” begins, all Malcolm knows is that he’s having doubts about his girlfriend. Sure, things seem to be going great; she’s been shackling him to his bed every night for two weeks. But he’s certain she’s hiding something. After all, his dream, she made him muffins and said they were blueberry only for them to turn out to be cherry.
“My subconscious was telling me something’s wrong,” he explains to Ainsley (Halston Sage). But her behavior’s a bit suspicious in the real world, too. She has a locked briefcase, plus “she came back after I nearly killed her,” during a night terror, he admits. His sister agrees to look into her, if only to see who’s the better Whitly investigator. (Malcolm tries to enlist Dani to run a background check, but she refuses. And JT advises him that he doesn’t want a relationship built on secrets.)
Ainsley drops by to see her mother just as Eve presents a possible candidate for the girl in the box to Jessica (Bellamy Young): Sophie Sanders. She ran away from a group home in South Carolina in 1994, and her mother’s initials are AMS (the initials on the bracelet). Ainsley notes that Eve was in South Carolina before her adoption in 1995, and once Eve realizes she looked her up, she makes her exit.
And when Malcolm returns home in the middle of the case, he finds his mother and sister waiting to fill him in on Ainsley’s investigation into Eve. They think she infiltrated their family to get information on the Surgeon and his victims because she grew up in the same orphanage as the runaway she was presenting to Jessica as the girl in the box. Eve confirms that she knows the girl: she’s her sister. But while she came over to explain, she doesn’t think it’ll matter what she says, and she leaves.
However, she shows up at Malcolm’s at the end of the episode to leave a note (and her keys), and he gets answers. She didn’t want to hurt him or Jessica; once she got close to his mother, she realized how little the other woman knew. Sophie was 16 when she ran away, Eve shares, while she was young when their mother died and had a better chance of getting adopted. Sophie sent her postcards from New York, but they stopped a few weeks before the Surgeon’s arrest. Eve thought if he had 23 victims, there may have been more.
Once Malcolm realizes Eve has a photo of Sophie in her locked briefcase, he insists she show it to him so he can confirm (or deny) her suspicion. But Eve is afraid that her worst fear is true, meaning her sister is really gone. And she also knows what his repressed memories and nightmares do to him. She has real feelings for him, and she knows a relationship can’t survive a search like this. Stopping is the only way for them to move on.
“Life doesn’t work like that. We can’t keep secrets in locked bags or girls in basements and not expect them to come back to haunt us. We’re living proof of that,” Malcolm tells her. “I need to remember, and you deserve the truth. It’s the only way.”
Eve shows him the photo of Sophie, and he remembers the girl in the back of the station wagon. “I’m sorry,” he tells Eve. “Your sister’s dead.”
And with that, we have that answer. But what does it mean for Malcolm and Eve’s relationship? Are they over for good? (After all, Prodigal Son has teased a Malcolm and Dani romance in the past.) Or is this just going to be another bump in the road, one that they do get past like they did his night terrors? We’ll have to wait and see.
In happier news, Malcolm deduces that JT and his wife are having a baby by his sympathetic pregnancy. “The thing’s the size of a peanut, and you’re already profiling it,” JT remarks before admitting he’s worried about being a father — and the baby turning out like Malcolm.
“First of all, don’t become a serial killer,” Malcolm advises. “But most importantly, listen to your own advice. Be honest. That’s always the best way.”
How will getting this major answer about the girl in the box affect Malcolm — and what will happen when he talks to Martin (Michael Sheen) about it? We can’t wait to find out.
Prodigal Son, Mondays, 9/8c, Fox