Dear, Prodigal Son, what are you doing?!
To say that you never quite know what to expect with this series is an understatement. It's unimaginable that by the end of Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 8, the Whitlys would, conveniently, get away with murder.
Is this the end of The Mindsleuth? But we just got him!
Bear with me, as I'm still unsure how I feel about the hype surrounding this grand arrival, only for the series to tie it up in a neat bow in a single installment.
It's such an unexpected choice, and yet, the hour was such a delight, and Cumming's Hoxley was so deliciously antagonistic, witty, and charming that it's one of those many times Prodigal Son produces when you roll with it.
Simon Hoxley has loads of personality, and every scene he was in was pure entertainment. He had so many fantastic lines.
I'm going to be killed by a Millennial. What a twist?Simon
He was as hilarious as he was intrusive. I'd love it if he returned.
Simon promised to cause chaos and ruffle the unflappable Whitlys, and even though he got distracted by the promise of more fame and attention, he delivered on that promise.
He ruffled every one of the Whitlys -- less so Ainsley, but then, she's displayed some of the tell-tale signs of someone who dances on the lines of sociopathy, and with each passing installment, the series leans into it.
The hour touched upon Simon's focus on Endicott more as he recognized the man was an evil bastard, but he wanted to utilize solving the murder as his white whale, something to get him back on a Best Seller's list and in the public eye.
Simon: Detective Powell, young, accomplished. Enchanté.
His arrival at the crime scene put everyone on edge, and aside from fanboy JT (and that's so delightfully JT, isn't it?), no one fell victim to his charms.
They caught a case that piqued Simon's interest and prompted him to investigate when the team discovered that someone slaughtered Endicott's entire courier line to his organization.
It put the team on Endicott again, and the spotlight on his death and by proxy Malcolm. The man went haywire trying to deceive his team and cover their tracks without raising suspicion, and he had to be exhausted.
Finally, we got some more background on what happened the night Endicott died and how his body ended up in Estonia. Malcolm relied on Endicott's shady courier network to dispose of his body, which was clever, and Nat was one of his couriers.
He delivered the dismembered body (in two suitcases) to Natalie, who carried it through the rest of the network, but Malcolm's foolish error was showing his face.
Natalie saw who he was and knew his involvement, so if they ever did find her, then she would've fingered Malcolm for either working with Endicott or serving as the prime suspect in his murder.
Malcolm was a mess trying to elude Simon and his assessments and suspicions while staying ahead of the team. The scenes at the seafood factory were both intense and dumb.
Malcolm is a terrible liar when he's trying to cover his tracks, and he couldn't hide how flustered he was. He found the body there, retrieved the phone, cut more body parts, and barely found a hiding spot when JT and Dani came investigating.
But then, instead of losing his jacket, or drying himself off, or risking missing out on information by not showing up at the crime scene, he showed up with a wet arm, poor excuses, and too much to lose.
The others noticed his behavior, but for whatever reason, they chalked it up to professional rivalry and jealousy because of Simon's presence.
However, it's bizarre that after Simon alluded that Gil was involved, no one concluded that the Whitlys would be the next suspects.
Hell, even half the team had their suspicions about the Whitlys' possible involvement. Simon toted his Europol title, but he didn't do much with it. He rattled everyone with his prestige and powers of deduction, but he didn't have any power or proof.
Simon: Now, how did a clever woman like you get entangled with so many homicidal men?
Jessica: So we're already down that road, are we?
Simon: You must've been furious when your latest paramour turned out to be a murderous thug. Jessica Whitly, played for a fool, yet again.
At best, he got under everyone's skin with his observational skills that started to feel more like an obsession with pinning things on a prestigious family for clout. His book would be better if the Whitlys were responsible.
He didn't get too far with Ainsley, conveniently, and I wonder if he would've picked something up if he spent more time with her. Everyone keeps sleeping on Ainsley to focus on Malcolm.
His moments with Jessica were fun. He'd say something flattering, sounding posh, and then go for her jugular with a smile. And without meaning to, Jessica gave away too much, had him pondering what she said about Endicott dying there and noticing the new carpet.
His moments with Martin were delicious, too, only in the sense that he was rude and ruthless, and somehow, he managed to bring Martin and Capshaw closer together.
Some of Simon's veneer slipped with Martin, and he was at his most unlikeable in the face of the serial killer, his posturing making him offensive to bystanders like Capshaw.
He did love getting to Martin, promising that he'd have Malcolm put away, and one thing you don't do is threaten Martin's family, Malcolm in particular.
But it was fascinating how without ever seeming to try, Simon clocked so many little things about the Whitly family in a day or two. He noted the spark of pride in Martin when it came to Malcolm, or how protective Malcolm was of Jessica and Ainsley and so forth.
And Simon's moments with Malcolm were a matter of two skilled profilers having a pissing match with one another.
Simon came at Malcolm almost as hard as he did Martin, but Malcolm gave as good as he got by noting that Simon was hurting for attention, relevance, and esteem.
Martin: Tell me, how do you end up here?
Capshaw: They told me you'd do this.
Martin: Do what?
Capshaw: Lure me in. Manipulate me. It's not happening, Whitly. I'm in charge. Do we understand each other?
Martin: Yes, I believe we do.
With the Simon of it all, parts of the case didn't make as much sense. Why did Natalie want to kill everyone in Endicott's network? Did we ever get a motive for those killings?
Was it about her relationship with Endicott and him manipulating her? And how didn't she suspect that if she were the last one in the network alive, they'd come for her, even if they assumed she was a victim rather than the perpetrator?
Malcolm getting her name off of the dead guy's phone was a blessing and a curse. What would've been his plan if he saved Natalie and she spilled the truth about his involvement in everything?
How did he plan on protecting her if he assumed she was the next victim without telling his team about her connection to the case and how he figured things out? He was operating on his own.
It was fortuitous that the garbage truck slowed her down, and he was able to warn Simon and save him. The same can go for chasing her down and falling to her death in that brutal skewering scene.
But wouldn't Simon be more suspicious of Malcolm that he went after the woman shooting after them with no weapon, and then she fell to her death before she could get arrested or say anything?
It's insane that Simon was satisfied with how everything played out and lost interest in Malcolm.
And how did Malcolm explain to the team how he figured everything out, didn't phone it in, and so forth? Papa Gil spared Malcolm a reprimand, and by stroking Simon's ego and giving him all the credit for everything, it was all wrapped up too neatly.
Ainsley was gleeful about it, though, since she got a primetime exclusive out of the ordeal, and she was smug about getting away with murder. Her confidence and nonchalance about their predicament when Malcolm and Jessica were stressed the hell out was telling. It's like she got off on it.
Ainsley: To getting away with murder.
Malcolm: How about, to keeping it in the family.
Jessica: I'll drink to that.
Ainsley: To family.
We've noticed over time how wary Jessica is of Ainsley, and that hasn't waned. She even went as far as to snap at Ainsley for how cavalier she was about everything when Malcolm was visibly on edge.
And she was right to call Malcolm out on how he spazzed on how much he's done for them to keep things under wraps, but he has sucked at communication this entire time.
No one ever knows what the hell he's doing, and things would be much easier for him if he confided in others.
Somehow, he managed to get through this without confessing anything to Gil or Dani, and that's a shock. Do you think it'll ever catch up to him, or will this go to the grave?
I guess the next order of business will be Martin's escape plan. He hasn't abandoned it, and he keeps joking about it, but it doesn't seem as if Malcolm is taking him seriously yet.
He got a hell of a break when he snagged those scissors, and I do wonder if he got the scalpel too.
Martin working in the infirmary with Capshaw gives him all kinds of access and opportunities.
And Capshaw sure as hell knows it. What is this woman's deal?!
She's hard to read, but something is simmering under the surface. Again, the Alpha Dom energy Capshaw exudes in her scenes with Martin cannot be ignored, and damn if they didn't deliver on the crackling sexual tension with that after-hours scene in his cell.
Capshaw loves toying with Martin. She's intrigued by and drawn to him, and when he responds to what he picks up on, she slaps him down. It's some crazy foreplay they have going on, but she has him on the hook.
After that kiss, when she absconded with the scissors, she knew he was hiding, with the threat of both of them suffering if they wouldn't see each other for two weeks, Martin knew it.
Capshaw is dangerous. The power, allure, and hold she has on him makes her threatening, and he knows it, but for now, at least, he can't stop it.
Capshaw: I don't know what plans you have for my suture scissors, but I need them back.
Martin: I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about.
Capshaw: Then you can't think very much of me.
Martin: You don't have the slightest clue what I think of you.
Capshaw: I won't ask you again. I'm doing you a favor, Whitly. Get caught with those scissors, 14 days in isolation. Neither of us want that, do we? Good boy.
She's a master of manipulation and plays him like a fiddle. It's fascinating to see someone leave him so unnerved, disoriented, and powerless. He's a man accustomed to having the upper hand and doing the rattling.
If anyone else questioned him about those scissors, Martin would've denied it and made them think they were crazy for suggesting it. He wouldn't have relinquished them either.
Capshaw's mystique -- her power over Martin -- it's thrilling, and if ever he's motivated to get the hell out of there, it's now.
What is her story? She never revealed why she's a brilliant doctor who took a job there. Her moments of empathy and sympathy with the prisoners are of interest, too. Is it real or conjured up?
Does she sympathize with criminals or in general? Is she a closet Surgeon fangirl, someone who is playing a long game of revenge for something he did to a relative or friend?
Simon: I can't die in Brooklyn. Don't you carry a gun?!
Malcolm: Don't you?!
Simon: I'm British!
What is it?! We need to know!
Over to you, Prodigal Son Fanatics. Did they wrap this up too fast? What is Capshaw's deal? Hit the comments below!
You can watch Prodigal Son online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.