Why We Need ‘Prodigal Son’ to Be Saved: 8 Unresolved Threads

Prodigal Son Series Finale Martin Malcolm Michael Sheen Tom Payne
FOX

If you thought the Prodigal Son cancellation hurt when it was first announced, watching the way the series finale ended probably made it much, much worse.

The good news is that creators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver are hoping that this was just the thriller’s farewell on Fox. “As Monty Python said, we’re not dead yet. Chris and I love this show. the cast loves this show, and our fans love this show,” Skalver told TV Insider.

'Prodigal Son' Bosses Break Down the Series Finale Ending & Tease What Could Be NextSee Also

'Prodigal Son' Bosses Break Down the Series Finale Ending & Tease What Could Be Next

Is there hope for a Season 3? Showrunners Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver aren't giving up yet.

“Just because our journey at Fox has ended doesn’t mean that anyone else wants our journey to end, so we’re going to keep fighting as hard as we can to find a place to keep telling the story because as epic is our finale was and as happy as we are with how we ended the series’ run at Fox, we know we have a lot more amazing stories to tell and we’re hoping to find a place to tell him,” he continued. “Don’t give up yet.”

After all, the series ended with profiler Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) stabbing his father, serial killer Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen) — in self-defense — just before Detective Dani Powell (Aurora Perrineau) walked up and saw what happened. What’s next after that are just a few loose threads we really hope to see explored in a Season 3 somewhere. Scroll down for a few more.

Prodigal Son Series Finale Martin Stabbed Alive Dead
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Is Martin alive?

Fedak would only give “a half answer,” that “our plan was to have Michael Sheen be a part of Season 3.” However, there have already been flashbacks to Malcolm and his sister Ainsley’s (Halston Sage) childhood before his arrest and he did pop up in Malcolm’s head a couple of times as well. There are quite a few ways the series could go whether he’s alive or dead.

Prodigal Son Malcolm Stabs Martin Series Finale
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What consequences might Malcolm face for stabbing his father?

Whether Martin lives or dies, there has to be fallout (even though Martin was going to kill Malcolm, who acted in self-defense). After Season 1 ended with Ainsley killing Nicholas Endicott (Dermot Mulroney), Malcolm covered it up. That can’t happen here, not with Dani already on scene, and Detective JT Tarmel (Frank Harts) nearby with other law enforcement officers. “You couldn’t hide those events,” Fedak confirmed.

Might Malcolm be taken into custody? Might he be unable to (briefly) continue to work with the NYPD team? Might things really go sideways and Malcolm ends up in a cell at Claremont for any amount of time? Oh, the possibilities of that one…

Tom Payne Malcolm Bright Prodigal Son Series Finale
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How might Malcolm handle stabbing his father?

Malcolm was pretty much in shock at the end of the finale, so there was no time to see how he’s going to handle what he had to do. Pretty much the only thing we can say with certainty is that his hand tremor would probably very much continue to be present and possibly get worse.

Brightwell Kiss Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 12 Dani Malcolm
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What might the future hold for Malcolm and Dani?

The two shared a kiss at the worst time ever — as Malcolm was spiraling and trying to track down his missing father. They never got that chance to talk about it; the next time they saw each other was when Dani stumbled upon the aftermath of him stabbing his father. How she reacts would likely determine what could be next for them.

“Season 2 really teed up the notion of making that relationship a very core dynamic to Season 3, that can there be a relationship between these two kind of ‘messed up’ individuals,” Fedak said. “We wanted to explore that because we all hope for them to find something in each other.”

Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 11 Jessica Gil
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Can Jessica and Gil finally make a relationship work?

Jessica and Lieutenant Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips) — who was the one to arrest Martin back in 1998 — have been doing this will-they-won’t-they dance (and actually danced in Season 2!) for quite a while. But in the finale, it looked like Jessica was ready to let go of the past in a way she hadn’t before (including not relying on pills and booze anymore) and look to the future, one that includes Gil. “Jessica looking at Gill and seeing a future, that’s great and awesome and we would want to see that in Season 3,” Fedak said.

Catherine Zeta Jones Vivian Capshaw Prodigal Son Series Finale
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How much of a threat is Vivian Capshaw still?

While Dr. Vivian Capshaw (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who kidnapped Martin, was in custody in the finale, we don’t think that means the threat is completely over. After all, she was able to fool everyone into thinking she was the victim and she was still alive. Something tells us that if the series continues and Claremont is part of its future, she could very well find herself there, as an inmate instead of its doctor.

Prodigal Son Whitlys Season 2 Ainsley Jessica Malcolm
Phil Caruso/FOX

How might the Whitlys handle whatever Martin's fate is?

Jessica might have been willing to leave Martin in Vivian’s custody when she realized the other woman had him, but how would she truly deal with it if he does die, especially when it would be at her son’s hand? And how would Ainsley, who’s been wrestling with the darkness inside of her, the Martin side of her, cope? Would the family once again be in the news, this time for what Malcolm did (whether Martin lives or dies), and have to relive that part of their lives?

Halston Sage Prodigal Son Season 2 Ainsley Whitly
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How does Ainsley handle the darkness inside of her?

At the end of Season 1, Ainsley shocked her brother by brutally stabbing Endicott right in Jessica’s living room. She then forgot what she did, and Malcolm covered up the crime. The truth eventually came out … and she tricked him into thinking she’d killed again. And then she hid calls and visits with her father while he was in Claremont.

“She knows that there may be elements of psychopathy in her personality, but there’s plenty of elements of psychopathy in lots of people out there in the world that don’t kill people,” Fedak said. “That’s teeing up a lot of things that we would have wanted to explore going forward: Who is that person? And what does she do next?”

Simply put, we wouldn’t be surprised if Ainsley were to kill again but we also wouldn’t be surprised if Endicott ended up her only victim. Anything seems to be possible with the Whitlys, especially Ainsley.