Does Prodigal Son's Season 2 Finale Work As A Series Finale After Unexpected Cancellation?

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

Spoilers ahead for the series finale of Prodigal Son on Fox, called "The Last Weekend."

Fox delivered some bad news for the fans (and stars) of Prodigal Son with the reveal that the Season 2 finale would serve as the series finale. The cancellation came after Prodigal Son had already finished filming on the deadly second season, so there was no time or opportunity for the show to film new material to change the ending. What had been planned as the end of Season 2 would have to serve as the end of the series. So, did it work?

In the series finale, Martin Whitly kidnapped his son and took him to Vermont to try and catch the serial killer known as "The Woodsman," aiming to prove that he's changed even as both he and Malcolm became wanted men. Martin dyed his hair blond (although not quite as blond as when Michael Sheen played Aziraphale for Amazon's Good Omens) and did an entertainingly and chillingly great job at fitting in with the locals.

Together, father and son did catch The Woodsman, and Malcolm talked his dad into causing harm to the killer so that they could find his kidnapped victim before it was too late. Martin held out hope that catching The Woodsman meant that Malcolm wouldn't turn him back in to the authorities, arguing that he'd changed, but Malcolm argued back that that's not how psychopathy works.

Martin went ahead and proved his son correct by pulling a knife, fully intending to kill Malcolm after ranting that he was trying to be a good father. It was a mistake, as Malcolm turned the tables and ultimately stabbed his dad. Although Malcolm survived while Martin seemed pretty definitively dead by the time Dani arrived on the scene, Martin got the last laugh with his gleeful (if pained) last words:

I was right. We are the same.

The finale ended with Martin dead at Malcolm's hand, which definitely qualifies as a cliffhanger that will never be resolved unless another network or streaming platform steps up to save Prodigal Son from the Fox cancellation. Plus, some of the various subplots of the series finale weren't really resolved, although Bellamy Young's Jessica Whitly did come out on top of a confrontation with Catherine Zeta-Jones' Vivian Capshaw, thanks to her tolerance of alcohol mixed with pills.

There are a lot of dangling plot threads, so does that mean "The Last Weekend" fails as a series finale? For me, I'm actually pretty happy with the Season 2 finale doubling as a series finale. Malcolm killing Martin is a cliffhanger, but also one that doesn't leave any specific plot unresolved. The future could hold anything for Malcolm, and that's not a bad way to end a series.

Plus, I don't really relish the thought of Prodigal Son without Martin Whitly, so his death really makes this feel like a fitting series finale. Sure, there are some questions that will never be answered, and we'll never see the aftermath of Malcolm killing his dad and facing Martin's dying taunt that they're "the same." But if I didn't know about the unplanned cancellation, I would have bought this as a series finale. Maybe not the most satisfying series finale in the history of series finales, but one that at least tied off some loose ends.

Do you think that Prodigal Son's Season 2 finale works as the series finale? Be sure to weigh in our poll below! For some viewing options now that Prodigal Son has come to an end, swing by our 2021 summer TV premiere schedule. Television's finale season is still ongoing, and more cancellations are undoubtedly on the way.

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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).