It’s time to quarantine with a serial killer and his functionally dysfunctional family. The season finale of Prodigal Son (9PM ET tonight, Hulu tomorrow) is finally here. There’s sex, betrayal, and a Girl-In-The-Box who’s very much alive. I got a chance to Zoom with Halston Sage, who’s excited for tonight’s show and has high hopes for a season two.
A standard season for a broadcast network is 22 episodes, but tonight is only episode 20. Something far more sinister than even her on-screen serial killer dad, Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen) could ever do. She says the reason for the early end is the same reason kids are running amok and you haven’t been able to hug your favorite aunt for a month: Coronavirus. “It did it did. We were supposed to shoot 22 episodes so we’re two episodes away from actually completing our season.” But tonight’s episode was always supposed to be the season ender. “We were able to end it the way that they always wanted to.”
That’s because they work ahead, and out of order. “We were very lucky because we actually shot the entire season of Prodigal Son out of order to accommodate different actors’ schedules. So we shot the last two episodes in February so the last two episodes we owed weren’t the finales. So it kind of gave us a leg up on being able to really tell the story that the writers and producers had always intended from the start. Which we’re very grateful for.”
Losers In Love
Dr. Whitly may have removed the hearts of his victims back in the day, but his family keep getting their hearts broken. “I think a lot of the finale is actually spent trying to warn Jessica about Endicott. It’s a lot of Gil and Ainsley trying to open her eyes to see who he truly is.” Nicholas Endicott (Dermot Mulroney) was Dr. Whitly’s enabler way back when and is now moving in on Jessica (Bellamy Young), who’s slowly realizing her socialite hookup is just the latest psychopath to enter her life.
Meanwhile, Malcom (Tom Payne) continues to be a romantic masochist. His girlfriend was using him to learn about her missing and presumed dead sister. He took her back. She broke it off and turned up murdered. Happens to all of us eventually.
Now he’s looking for the sister to piece together his past and his father’s actions.
As for Halston’s Ainsley, a reporter, she hasn’t had much romantically. I mean, sure, she dated her photographer until he was stabbed (this is why you shouldn’t date coworkers). But otherwise she’s been pretty celibate. “I think Ainsley this past season had a lot to deal with in terms of investigating her family’s history, because her father was so young when he was arrested for his crimes.” So it was more of a personal exploration for Ains. “This season she had to sort herself out before she could get into any sort of successful relationship.”
Usually by this time of the year, we know if a show has been renewed. But the stars of Prodigal Son (and a lot of shows) are still up in the air. The show’s found an audience, but still loses about half its lead in from 9-1-1. However Halston has high hopes, and says tonight’s episode will leave fans wanting more. “It’s definately a cliffhanger. The finale was very surprising and really fun to read. Even as someone who’s been on the show it really ended in a fun, crazy twisted way.”
And then? “And hopefully leading up to season two. We’ll find out soon.”
I suggested that next season could see Endicott trading places with Dr. Whitly, who gets out and just spends the season happily chilling with Jessica, Ainsley, and Malcom in the Hamptons. Halston says she’s down! “That doesn’t sound bad. Let me give you our producer’s email.”
I was Zooming with her from my bedroom in Miami to her bedroom in Los Angeles. There are worse places to have to self-isolate! “I’m in LA so I could probably say the same.”
And she’s spending her quarantime working on herself. “I’m taking an online fiction class. Walking alot, doing a lot of laps around the yard to stay active.” But activity only goes so far. “Watching a lot of movies, watching a lot of TV.” Presumably she’ll be watching Prodigal Son tonight.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
I’m mixing up a Serial Killer. Three rums (3!), two juices, and some grenadine to give it the blood red color to make it deserving of its name.