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Prodigal Son - Fear Response - Review: Confrontation

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"You’ve always been good at repressing fear, pretending it’s not there, but it is."

This time around, the case of the week was a little more interesting, but still, the highlights of this episode were definitely the performances and interactions, especially the ones involving Bellamy Young's character, not only with her family but also with Gil. We see a flashback of the time right after Martin was arrested; he seemed to be in denial about his situation, but Jessica told him he was never getting out of prison and the family would never come to visit. But before she left he told her had needs and he did what he had to, to keep himself happy and give her what she needed, but that she knew deep down what he was, though if that's the only secret if feels a little disappointing.

Back in the present day, she continues to have some very interesting interactions. We learn Ainsley seems to have some questions about her father, about how much she was allowed to know of him, but Jessica tells her that the fact that she can even sleep at night is because of the choices she made and she should thank her for it. And I have to say I can't disagree, but it makes me wonder what kind of intelligent person would have doubts about that.

I also loved seeing her talk to Gil, I hadn't thought about it before, but I have a feeling there was something there, she gives him her condolences for his wife three years too late, and there's a tension I can't put my finger on. She says she doesn’t want his son to continue to do penance for his father’s crimes, but Gil says there's nothing they can do about it, that they can't control him, though she sure as hell is going to try. She says she let Malcolm see Martin because she felt like she was losing him and thought if he saw who his father truly was he’d come back to her. But I have to say if he such had a close relationship for ten years, it seems a little too long for a trial and error.

As a last resort, Jessica ends up confronting Martin herself, she asks that he leaves Malcolm alone but he’s more interested in her. I have to say I’d love to see more scenes between these two though I don’t know how that would be really possible. I still feel like there's something off here, like the actors don't know their characters' secrets and are trying to play it safe or something like that. Still, this was a joy to watch since both actors are just amazing. Him trying to reconnect with her and saying how proud he was of the way their kids turned up, and how no matter how much she doesn't want his approval she seems to appreciate it, and then the panic when he's about to touch her, she says she's terrified of him but somehow I feel like she's the one everyone should be afraid of.

Malcolm continues with his worsening night terrors and, as his mother tries to break in, he almost falls through the window. I have to say the scene was pretty hilarious, she seemed more angry than concerned, and he more confused and annoyed than anything else. She’s worried his visits to Martin are the reason his night terrors are getting worse, and she might have a point there, even if The Surgeon is helpful in cases, there's only so much Malcomlm's brain can take. Malcolm tries to convince his mother to help him remember what happened twenty years ago but she refuses, and she says for his own mental health he should forget it too. The look she gave him when he said his mental health was fine was quite hilarious.

Of course, this is just what he tells his mother, he's not THAT crazy, he admits he feels his mental health eroding to his psychiatrist, who turns out to be the same one he started seeing after his father was arrested, and he refuses to see someone more focused on patients his age. He tells her about these new memory fragments but she focuses more on the fact that he's seeing Martin again, which she's also opposed to since it's like constantly reopening old wounds.

The session gets interrupted when he called in on a new case, the victim is a psychiatrist whose brain was removed after being scared into having a heart attack by someone with a mental illness and some knowledge of cranial anatomy. It turns out the victim was a colleague of Dr. Elaine Brown (Sakina Jaffrey – Timeless, House of Cards) who was an inspiration to many, including The Surgeon himself, because of her "out of the box" thinking and her focus on the brains response to fear, something Malcolm constantly struggles with.

Turns out people were being dosed with LSD, which was part of some off-the-record trials going on, but this was also being used to get people to kill themselves by giving them higher doses that can induce panic attacks. Malcolm says the killer is probably someone who was harmed by Dr. Brown’s experiments and now wants to harm the people who harmed him which leads him to Dominic, a student of Dr. Brown who didn’t have the best experience with the drugs and will be coming after her.

JT and Malcolm stake out DR. Brown’s house and I have to say I’m really enjoying the interactions between these two, JT says he feels Malcolm doesn’t respect the badge, but he says he does respect the cops, he’s just that way in general. Then he goes inside the house to ask Dr. Brown about his repressed memories and they eventually realize she’s been dosed with LSD too and Dominic is in the house, they fight and Dr. Brown shoots him, again, the case is not the important part here.

Later, on Dr. Brown’s advice, Malcolm tries chloroform, to see if this helps his memory of his father using it on him. He remembers telling his mother about the women and her telling him he had no idea what he was capable of, which is no surprise to us but might bring up an interesting conversation soon enough. To me the more Bellamy Young the better but I really hope they know what they're doing with her character and not just trying to make her mysterious for fun.

"You did this, and now you have to live with yourself."

What did you think about this episode? I look forward to your comments.

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