TV Review for Regular People: The Prodigal Son
Did I mention my Mondays were crowded? Apparently, the networks decided to cram all the new shows into one night. It’s lucky for me I have a DVR that can record up to 4 shows at a time or you’d be missing out on some of these.
But of all the Monday night shows, the only one I really want to keep in the rotation is “Prodigal Son.” It’s a mashup of “Criminal Minds” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Tom Payne, who some of you might recognize from “The Walking Dead,” stars as Malcolm Bright, FBI profiler and son of a serial killer. In the first few minutes we see his father (played by Michael Sheen, who is apparently channeling Jack Nicholson from “The Shining” and Charles Manson simultaneously) arrested for murder, then we flash forward to the adult Malcolm catching another serial killer, punching out a sheriff and getting fired by the FBI. Clearly, the guy has issues. And that makes for an interesting character. He returns home to NY and his approached by an old friend who hires him to work with the NYPD. When Lou Diamond Phillips first appears as Gil Arroyo, I found myself wondering “Wait, who is THIS GUY, and what’s his relationship to Malcolm?” But without explanation they team up to hunt down another serial killer, who we quickly learn is a copycat of Malcom’s dad.
Which sets us up for the main plot device: Malcolm has to visit his father in prison in order to get the information he needs to catch the killer, and he has to promise to keep coming back. So, that’s our show, folks. Haven’t we seen this before? Yeah, but it’s still good.
My only complaint is that they just dumped out too much in one pilot episode. I would have preferred if they had spaced out the copycat crimes throughout the season and used more flashbacks to reveal Malcolm’s past instead of rushing to put it all out there at once. And – SPOILER ALERT – we find out at the end that young Malcolm is the one who turned his father in all those years ago, and that Arroyo was they cop who arrested him. Pretty cool twist.
I’m giving this one 3 1/2 stars. Profilers have been hot for years, but this one has that added “son of a killer” angle added to it. And it can take the place of Criminal Minds, which is bowing out later this year. I would recommend that CBS move this to Wednesday after CM is gone. It deserves a less crowded field to compete against.