Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17 Review: Stranger Beside You

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We need to talk about Eve.

Ainsley had the line of the hour since Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17 gave us answers about the girl in the box.

While most of us suspected Eve was related, most likely the sister, to the girl in the box, Sophie, the only surprise was that it didn't destroy Malcolm and Eve's relationship. Malcolm is a forgiving man.

Normalcy - tall - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 9

It was one of those hours where the case itself wasn't particularly gripping because of a need to get to the meat and potatoes.

The only thing we wanted to know about was Eve and her story. Now that we have some confirmation, one has to pose the question. Did it make her more likable and less?

I only ask because of how many were on the fence about her from the beginning. She was already suspicious and had people's radars up.

A Sip and See Gone Wrong  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17

The way she came into the Whitly's lives was enough to put anyone on guard, and it's a wonder it took this long for any of them to look into her further.

Making her a romantic interest for Malcolm was a bit of a mixed bag. If she already came across as untrustworthy, it's hard to win favors pairing her up with Malcolm too.

Ainsley: Ninety-nine percent of people aren't serial killers, Malcolm. 
Malcolm: We're the one percent.

It left you spending time wondering when the other foot would drop, but then she disappeared after his night terror incident, and she was forgettable until she was pertinent to the plot again.

Maybe if she stuck around after that, and the series built their relationship up more, both her betrayal and Malcolm's willingness to forgive her easily would've left a bigger impression.

Eve - Tall - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 9

As it stands, they went on one date together, slept together, then Eve ran off after the knife incident. Weeks to months later, they reconnect and start dating for two weeks.

He even gave her a key to his apartment. Boy Malcolm moved fast. It's rather sad when you think about it, and it speaks to a deep-seated need for that intimacy and normalcy.

Malcolm: She's hiding something from me.
Ainsley: Two weeks in, and you're already sabotaging your relationship. Sounds right.

He loved having her there, dating, the whole experience. She was considered his girlfriend, but he knew there was something more to her. It's something he felt well before his dream.

It does have to be hard for someone like Malcolm, who doesn't trust easily, but ironically, it felt as though he and his family (or Jessica at least) trusted Eve, no problem.

He's had the occasional moment where he would be on the cusp of picking up something, but then he'd get distracted. But he couldn't shake it this time, and he learned the truth.

It's a pity that Eve was never the person to tell him. Instead, Ainsley did her due diligence as the Whitly family member who gives zero damns and looks into everything.

We need to talk about Eve.


It was a winning moment for her, and it's always nice when it seems as if Ainsley cares about her family, and she's protective. It tends to shift with the wind, but more recently, when they show her at all, she has been more family-oriented than before while still being Ainsley.

It's also cool when they find a way to put her skills to use. Half the reason Ainsley seems to be a weak spot for the series is they never know what to do with her or how to use her. Often, it's as if they don't know how they want her to be.

Protective Ainsley - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17

And for her to be a journalist, they don't take advantage of that as much as they probably should. We were due for some of that sibling banter and cajoling.

Sage and Payne do have a bit of chemistry there, and it's easy to forget how fun their sibling exchanges are when done well, and we have them.

Malcolm: She's hiding something from me.
Ainsley: Two weeks in, and you're already sabotaging your relationship. Sounds right.

But they pull Ainsley in at random. She's the one who pushes Jessica to get a lawyer. She's the one who looks into Eve and gets actual results.

Then she'll probably fade away into the background again until it's most convenient. Ainsley was the perfect audience stand-in for this hour.

Whitly Women - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17

The girl got the results in a timely fashion. She wasted no time calling Eve out the second she saw her, too. Ainsley has no filter, and she's a straight-shooter, so when she mentioned that Eve must have known the girl in the box since they were from the same place, she took pleasure in catching Eve off guard.

Eve and JT would probably get along well. The irony of that isn't lost either.

Ainsley: I think Eve is connected to the girl in the box.
Eve: You're right. She's my sister.
Jessica: How could you?
Eve: I came here to explain. I can see now it doesn't matter. You've already made up your mind about me.

Eve and her sister Sophie were orphans, and while she got to live a better life after adoption, Sophie was on her own. As a teen, it was harder for her to find a home, but she and Eve kept in contact.

Except, Sophie stopped sending postcards, and Eve was left wondering what happened to her sister. When she matched up the timeline with the surgeon's victims and when her sister fell off the face of the map, she suspected her sister was one of Martin's victims.

It still feels like a big leap for her to make, but we'll ignore all of that since she was correct in her assessment. Eve used getting close to Jessica as a chance to learn more about Martin and the victims.

She realized that the Whitly family didn't know much more than she did, and so Eve has been living in this web of deceit since. Malcolm was someone unexpected she didn't plan on developing feelings for, but she did.

Is that a baby? Man, you work fast.


What is it to say about Eve? As the family member of a victim, you feel some sympathy for her, but the way she went about it is so troublesome.

She never made an initiative to tell them to truth along the way. And when they found it out via Ainsley, instead of taking time to explain, she ran off claiming that they already assumed the worst of her, so there was no sense changing their minds.

Elite Murder - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17

What? Ma'am, they're confused and betrayed. It was the only time she shouldn't have been playing the victim.

The more time she spent with Malcolm knowing how he was and all he endured, the worse it came across. But she did return to leave her key and a note, and she was able to speak to Malcolm face to face.

Eve, we can't hide from this. We have to face it.


And he was able to give her answers she both wanted and didn't. All that she did to get close to them, and she was afraid of the confirmation she would get. In not knowing the answers, she could stay suspended in time in this limbo between believing there was an alternate reality where her sister was still alive.

But Malcolm had more flashbacks to the girl in the box, and after he convinced her that they both needed to know this truth, he confirmed the girl and Sophie were the same.

Negotiation with Martin - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 16

It was a lovely, intimate scene in his apartment. It was quiet and without interference from others. It was something that was just for them, and the music choice of SYML's "Where's My Love" elevated the scene more than anything else.

It gave them a bit of closure, but it also leaves them with more questions, and it didn't break them.

I need to remember, and you deserve the truth.


Malcolm could forgive Eve's curiosity and scheme. But now it makes you wonder if armed with this new information, including an official identity if he will approach Martin for more answers.

We know who Sophie is, and we have the Eve connection. Where does it go from here? Martin hasn't confessed to more victims, though we know there are more.

Too Cool - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17

How will Malcolm use this new information, and do you think it gave him the closure that he needed? We still don't know the full extent of what happened on that camping trip.

Anyone else eagerly wondering "what now?"

Malcolm's gut was right about Eve, but it was amusing that he spent most of the hour getting relationship advice from his colleagues and relatives.

Dani: If you're having doubts about Eve, I'm not going to be the one to confirm them. You can ruin that all on your own.
Malcolm: Good talk.

Ainsley got on his case about sabotaging his relationships before they can take off, but she jumped into investigator mode anyway.

Dani on the Scene - Tall - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 9

Dani refused to let Malcolm drag her into his trust issues and neurosis and told him to talk to her directly. He does tend to look to her as a confidant, and their relationship remains endearing.

Gil was there to add the paternal touch, but then, so was Martin. Martin was the most fun of them all. He flat out said Eve was probably hiding things, and that's part of what makes women interesting.

Martin: You think Eve is lying to you?
Malcolm: I think she has secrets.
Martin: All women do, my boy. It's one of their best qualities.

He and Malcolm's prison dinner scene was a highlight, and the way Martin speaks of his family and duality as a family man and a serial killer was fascinating.

You understand the draw between Malcolm and his father for all of those years. Martin doesn't distinguish being a happy family man from his horrific crimes.

Dangerous Dad - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 14

He recognizes that he was both a great dad, for all intents and purposes, while also being a prolific killer. He has such a simplistic approach to how he views things regarding that, and it's amazing how everyone else has struggled for years, making it more complicated than he believes it is.

Those sound like dates. Is it that lovely lady partner of yours? Dani?


Malcolm couldn't process his father's simplistic and easy-going response to all that torments him. For Malcolm, Martin is partly responsible for why he has all of these problems, including relationship difficulties and trust issues.

It was easier to talk shop with his father rather than dissect how his past has affected his present.

Another Killer  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 7

And Martin has a way of making Malcolm figure things out with his cases. Talking it through in that room with Martin adding his two cents always leads to Martin getting results.

The case was OK. A dead husband with a host of suspects ranging from his wife to the nanny led the team down the usual paths.

I don't know the first thing about being a father. What if I screw the thing up? What if it ends up like you?


The nanny as the surrogate wasn't much of a twist, and neither was the abusive ex coming after the nanny and "their" child.

The multiple baby psych-outs with objects wrapped in a blanket was overkill. We did have a mother beating the hell out of the killer to protect her kid, and that was a brutal scene.

Stand Back - tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17

Also, Edrisa hurling herself at Malcolm to protect him from an errant cork, but of course, doing it seconds after the fact was funny.

It also felt like a callback to the many times he's saved her at crime scenes, but I can't wait for them to have more serious interactions again.

And JT's constant commentary and quips throughout the case were amusing, but it was even better when Malcolm confirmed that JT and his wife are expecting a baby.

How adorable. He'll be a pretty good dad.

Hold Him Back! - Tall - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 12

He and Malcolm's antagonistic fraternal relationship is going strong.

But next season and God help me, there better be one, I would love to see more development for members of the team. JT is a character I'm itching to learn more about, and we haven't had as much payout as with other characters.

Over to you, Prodigal Fanatics. Were you surprised by the Eve and Sophie connection? Did Malcolm forgive Eve too easily? Where does the investigation go from here?

Hit the comments below.

You can watch Prodigal Son online here via TV Fanatic 

Stranger Beside You Review

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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 17 Quotes

Malcolm: She's hiding something from me.
Ainsley: Two weeks in, and you're already sabotaging your relationship. Sounds right.

Ainsley: Ninety-nine percent of people aren't serial killers, Malcolm. 
Malcolm: We're the one percent.