‘Prodigal Son’ Bosses Preview Profiler vs. Profiler & Martin Meeting His Match
Prodigal Son brings in two all-stars in its March 2 return: new series regular Catherine Zeta-Jones as Claremont Psychiatric’s Dr. Vivian Capshaw, bossing Martin (Michael Sheen) around, and recurring guest star Alan Cumming as Europol agent Simon Hoxley, a.k.a. “The MindSleuth.”
When better for two new people to enter the Whitly family’s lives than after Ainsley (Halston Sage) has seemingly followed in her father Martin’s footsteps again? Simon’s investigating her first murder — her brother Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) disposed of Nicholas Endicott’s (Dermot Mulroney) body — and she just blacked out and came to covered in blood.
Showrunners Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver tell TV Insider about these new foils and more.
What’s unique about Martin’s interactions with Dr. Capshaw?
Chris Fedak: We’ve had Martin in Claremont for two years now and we wanted to see more of that world. So often there’s always a great power difference with the characters — Martin’s usually the smartest guy in the room. We really wanted to paint a different picture here. Now that he’s actually done a couple good deeds — helped solve a murder in Episode 4, was helpful with COVID, cured Jerry accidentally using electroshock — we have an opportunity for him to get a new responsibility: work in the infirmary, [not as] a doctor, [but] cleaning bed pans.
Vivian Capshaw, the doctor in charge, is smart and charming. She’s Martin’s match in a way and really not going to put up with any of his bulls**t. Also we’re so excited to have essentially the most Welsh thing you can imagine on TV with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Sheen acting together.
Sam Sklaver: Catherine exceeded every expectation. The two of them in scenes together is electric.
What can we expect from “The MindSleuth” going up against Malcolm?
Fedak: Sparks are going to fly. We’ve always wanted to have a profiler versus profiler story. Now that Bright has taken part in a murder coverup, along with solving murders every week, he’s the perfect target for someone like Simon Hoxley, Europol’s greatest profiler. Alan is delicious. He just eats up the screen. Simon is a lot of fun and very funny.
The entire family must be worried about having him around.
Fedak: That’s the thing, too. Bright’s much more of the traditional profiler we’re used to today, whereas Simon does a couple moves that are closer to a Columbo-type of investigator. He has to move in, chat, then he begins to figure out what he’s figuring out, pulling information out of our family members. When you have a cast like we have — Bellamy Young [who plays Jessica Whitly], Tom Payne, and Michael Sheen — for someone like Alan to have a scene with each of them where he’s doing his MindSleuth thing is so much fun.
It’s the worst time for Ainsley to be blacking out.
Sklaver: It is. The family all have to get on the same page quickly after being on different pages because Simon Hoxley will figure it out in a second. He’s definitely keeping everyone on their toes.
Martin and [medical examiner] Dr. Edrisa Tanaka [Keiko Agena] are phone friends now, right?
Fedak: We love this idea. They have a connection. Much like Bright, they’re both obsessed with the medical and forensics. They have a lot to talk about. We are planning in future episodes to have more scenes with them together.
Sklaver: Once we saw them together in Episode 4, we realized it was as amazing as we had hoped for. I don’t know what the shipper word for Edrisa and Martin is — Martrisa maybe? Is that terrible?
Sklaver: There will be more of Martrisa in the future.
Fedak: No. It sounds like a made-up country in some TV show or movie.
[Lieutenant] Gil [Arroyo] [Lou Diamond Phillips] will be in the background, right? His reactions to them were so funny.
Sklaver: Lou killed us. That guy rolls his eyes at an Academy Award-winning level and we just wanted more of it.
Fedak: Lou directed Episode 7, and he did such an amazing job.
When will Ainsley and Edrisa have scenes together?
Sklaver: That’s a problem with an ensemble cast as amazing as ours, where we just want to put everyone together, and we are trying our hardest. Ainsley does come into our precinct. That’s something we gotta get back to the writers’ room.
Prodigal Son, Tuesdays, 9/8c, Fox