[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the season finale of Prodigal Son, “Like Father…” Read at your own risk!]
Surprise! It turns out that the cryptic title for Prodigal Son‘s season finale, “Like Father…” had a very different meaning than we originally expected! The ending to that phrase starter was actually “Like Daughter” instead because, in the end, it was Ainsley (Halston Sage) who wound up wielding the weapon to become a killer.
Yes, Monday night’s episode ended on a very shocking note as Ainsley knifed Nicholas Endicott (Dermot Mulroney) in the neck to end the threat he posed to her and Malcolm (Tom Payne), as Jessica (Bellamy Young) rushed Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips) to the hospital after he was stabbed by Nicholas’ hitman. Martin (Michael Sheen) might’ve always thought it was Malcolm who was just like him, but as he got the news of Ainsley’s fatal decision, his eyes lit up, and his signature phrase changed from “My Boy!” to “My Girl!” We’ve long suspected that Ainsley might be capable of more than she got credit for, but this was still a game-changing moment.
Monday’s finale also saw the conclusion of the “Girl in the Box” saga, as Malcolm finally came face to face with Sophie Sanders (Anna Eilinsfeld) after confirming that she was the one who killed Eddie as vengeance for Eve’s murder. Instead of apprehending her for the murder, Malcolm decided to let her go free after apologizing for not doing so all those years before. Meanwhile, Martin may or may not have a target on his back after causing a full-on riot in prison and who knows if he’ll ever make it back into his cozy cell without Nicholas alive to pull some strings for him.
TV Guide caught up with Prodigal Son co-creators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver to talk about the most jaw-dropping developments of the finale, their hopes for Season 2, and some of the storylines that had to be left out of the final episodes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.
Dermot Mulroney Teases That His Prodigal Son Character Has ‘Control’ Over Other Killers We’ve Seen
Speaking of going forward with it, it’s not hard to imagine with Jessica’s gaggle of lawyers and what the police already knew about Nicholas, that Ainsley might be able to get out of legal trouble for this, but is it possible that Malcolm is going to turn on her in any way?
Fedak: There’s always fun tension when you’re wondering is your sister dangerous, that’s a fun tension to play, and it’s something we’ve played with Malcolm, too, is how dangerous is he? So, those kind of [questions like] “How well do you know the people closest to you?” are themes that inhabit the show as well as the fact that, like, “What did the police find later on?” Those are all themes that we have twists and turns for you [ahead].
When I spoke to Dermot Mulroney regarding his first episode, I think he didn’t know how the final three episodes were going to shake out, and he mentioned that his character might be connected to serial killers we’ve seen in the past. Was that something that had to be scrapped due to the coronavirus shutdown?
Fedak: There were a number of things that we had to scrap due to the coronavirus. There were a couple of things that we had played out in regards to the Nicholas-dad relationship — less so about other serial killers — but then again, in knowing dad in the past, there’s John Watkins. So, there’s a bit of things that happened in the past, but it’s not like a serial killer convention that took place years ago that everybody went to. The thing with Dermot is that when we cast him, we were really excited because, not only do we have someone who could play a villain — which we knew would be delicious and fun — but we have somebody who could also play the romantic comedy elements of it. And so we had hoped to have Nicholas be our fun romantic comedy component for those two episodes that we had to scrap. So, that was an avenue that we were going to have fun going down and exploring — because, when you have someone as fun as Bellamy, you really want to pair her up with someone that can deal with walking into this crazy world and then you realize they’re a monster. Those are things that we had to leave.
You mentioned that some other things were dropped. Is there anything else specific? Are you saving it for next season?
Fedak: We wanted to explore Ainsley and her investigative skills … and then we had two standalone episodes that we really want to do next season, so those we are going to keep under wraps so nobody knows our secrets.
Sklaver: Sadly, we will not be able to play Dermot as a romantic lead. [Laughs] Which is unfortunate, but that’s a little fun behind-the-scenes [tidbit]. At the end of Episode 18 that aired, the “Scheherazade” episode, we were supposed to end that episode on a very hopeful note with Jessica and Nicholas. Then, we realized we were going to have to go directly into “The Professionals” episode that we already shot, we realized, oh no, everyone in our world knows that Nicholas is the bad guy because of the Episode 19 we were unable to shoot. So, we needed to grab one little piece of Sophie Sanders saying “Nicholas Endicott is a monster,” and that was something that wasn’t planned to be at the end of Episode 18. But when we started figuring out how we were going to fit all of these pieces together, this was the story that we really had to speed up, and sadly, we won’t be able to tell that. Not to say, we can’t see Jessica having romantic fun, but it won’t be with Dermot Mulroney.
Aurora Perrineau) and J.T. (Frank Harts) still be able to work with Bright?
Fedak: They’ve formed a relationship now where they do feel a real trust for Malcolm. And also, we love Gil, so we can’t wait to see that story build out over next season and see his story play out as well.
As a bonus, check out the above webisode to see what a typical day in the life of Martin Whitly looks like — at least, before the prison went haywire.