Did Prodigal Son's Malcolm Make The Right Choice After The Big Death?

prodigal son season 2 premiere malcolm bright fox
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoilers ahead for the Season 2 premiere of Prodigal Son, called "It's All in the Execution."

Prodigal Son has finally returned to Fox with the Season 2 premiere, and it was such a loaded episode that the guillotine and sex dungeon construction aren't even the wildest parts of the hour. The episode revealed the aftermath of Ainsley brutally killing Nicholas Endicott from the Season 1 finale, and the twist wasn't the Ainsley is seemingly following in her father's footsteps. No, the one who seems to be taking after Martin more and more is Malcolm, who went to pretty elaborate lengths to conceal what happened.

For one thing, he took advantage of Ainsley's near catatonia to convince her that he had been the one to murder Endicott, and she was sufficiently out of it to believe him. Then, he enlisted his father's help via cell phone in disposing of the body, which wasn't quite as simple as dumping him in a river. No, Malcolm chopped up Endicott's body to dispose of the bits and pieces, covering up his sister's crimes pretty thoroughly. He did it to protect his sister, but was it the right decision?

Co-showrunner Chris Fedak weighed in on Malcolm's decision to take the credit for killing Endicott to Ainsley, telling TV Insider:

Oh, he'll definitely come to regret it. However, I will make the argument that he did the right thing. Ainsley just killed a very powerful man in cold blood and there was a very good chance she'd be going to jail for quite some time, and maybe not even survive. From Bright's perspective, he was like, 'I have to use all my skills as a profiler to protect my sister.' From Bright's perspective, there's a degree of relief in Ainsley's trauma, that her brain is essentially covering up the crime, protecting her from this crazy act she did. Ainsley's protected in a way, and at the beginning of the season it's almost like she's OK. But as you know from watching the show, things don't usually turn out OK. The fact Bright is gaslighting his sister is not a good look for our hero, but it does make sense.

What are siblings for if not to step in and take responsibility for the occasional crime committed in what more or less amounts to a fugue state? In all seriousness, Malcolm arguably made the pragmatic decision in telling Ainsley that he was the one to kill Endicott, since he was the one between the two of them who might have been able to literally and figuratively clean up the mess of the murder.

Covering for Ainsley and dismembering a corpse may not have gotten the seal of approval from most of the other Prodigal Son characters if they were in on the secret, but the co-showrunner raises the argument that Malcolm might have done the right thing. Gaslighting Ainsley isn't the best thing Malcolm has ever done, however, and it already feels like Malcolm is spinning too many plates to keep up for too long. Considering this was only the season premiere, I'm not surprised that Malcolm will come to regret his decision, whether it was right or wrong.

One of the biggest problems Malcolm may face isn't actually with the law, but with his father. Martin knowing major secrets is very dangerous, and the last thing Malcolm needs is to feel a bond or new obligation to his dad. There's also the point that the game is still afoot when it comes to what happened to Nicholas Endicott. Prodigal Son co-showrunner Sam Sklaver cautioned that Malcolm and Ainsley aren't out of the woods yet:

I want to be clear though that they have not gotten away with the murder of Nicholas Endicott. They are getting away with the murder of Nicholas Endicott. That's a very different thing. The fear of being caught and the obstacles that are going to present themselves are real and we'll see them throughout the season. There's going to be a lot of looking over their shoulders for a lot of our cast for good reasons.

Well, it wouldn't be Prodigal Son if Malcolm wasn't dealing with family drama far more deadly and complicated than what most people have ever had to deal with! Another problem might be that Ainsley isn't quite as blank about the night of the murder as Malcolm might like. If she remembers that she was the one who killed Endicott and she tells the wrong person, everything could fall apart.

Find out what happens next for the Whitly family with new episodes of Prodigal Son on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. If you're in the market for some additional viewing options, you can find plenty of others on our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).