Fall Review 2019: Prodigal Son

From the mind of the creator of Chuck — Prodigal Son.

So, our hero, Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) is the offspring of Doctor Martin Whitly, alias the serial killer named The Surgeon (actor Michael Sheen). Bright discovered what his father was and turned him into the cops, let by Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips).

Fast forward twenty years and Bright is very … intense for the FBI. When they declare that they’re afraid he’s about to break, Bright goes back home to New York. To his mother the blue blood, and his sister the reporter.

Now that Bright is out of a job, he’s recruited to the NYPD by the very man he turned his father in to.

This series is dark. But it’s also got a dark sense of humor. The father and son are delightfully deranged and demented. Everyone is slightly broken and nuts. I love it. 

Michael Sheen is so wonderfully creepy. He is so evil, and the actor is clearly having fun being Hannibal Lecter with a personality. He’s so joyful as he chews the scenery. This smiling psycho is so normal, and yet so freaking creepy at the same time. The camera angles and the lighting are so perfect at highlighting him.

Tom Payne’s Malcolm Bright is also wonderfully insane. He has PTSD up one side and down the other. He’s only really doing “okay” when he’s working on murderers. He’s so intense in his performance, he’s the right kind of over the top.

Prodigal Son is a fun, insane, dark romp that makes Criminal Minds look like … okay, Criminal Minds is still flipping dark. But this is more enjoyable in a lot of respects.

Let’s call it a 9/10 right now.

Speaking of dark, my current horror series, Saint Tommy, NYPD. It’s got a dark, twisted sense of humor, a strange perspective, and generally … dark. And having fun with it.



About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, nominated for Best Horror in the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, an attempt to take Dan Brown to the woodshed in his own medium -- soon to be republished by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and it's follow-up, "Codename: Winterborn." And "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set To Kill" are murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.
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