When Prodigal son debuted for the first time in 2019, he quickly found a dedicated fan base who appreciated him for his mix of gruesome procedural elements and his general theme of living with the sins of your parents. Over the past decade, audiences have turned more to cable and premium channels to give them the mature content they need, but a few network TV shows have managed to stand out by trying to go beyond convention. . Beloved shows such as Annibal pushed the boundaries of what could be shown on network television, and Prodigal son tried to follow in his footsteps. This story follows Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), a criminal profiler whose father, Martin (Michael Sheen), was a notorious serial killer known as “The Surgeon” who was put in jail more than two years ago. decades. The first season saw Malcolm solve numerous cases for the NYPD with the occasional help from his incarcerated father. Malcolm’s personal struggle for his legacy was a focal point, but in the surprising finale, we learn that perhaps our attention should have been placed elsewhere.

The second season picks up shortly after the events of the finale, bringing in a new dynamic within the family while providing the same level of procedural intrigue. Malcolm’s younger sister, Ainsley (Halston Sage), has no memory of killing the malicious Nicholas Endicott, but Malcolm worked with his father to make sure no one finds out the truth. Not only this season Malcolm continues to question whether or not it’s inevitable that he ends up like his father, but he has the added pressure of knowing what his sister is capable of and whether or not to tell him. One of the minor missteps of the first season was not spending even more time with the series’ deliciously off-balance MVP, Martin. He always appeared to attempt to connect with his son and (un) intentionally enter Malcolm’s head, but this season really takes a look at the symbiotic connection between Martin and his children, for better or for worse. Malcolm’s mother, Jessica (Bellamy Young), also touches on more interesting topics, such as whether her life would be better if Martin disappeared altogether.

Those who come to the show for the procedural aspects should take advantage of what this second season has to offer. When your season starts with a working guillotine, you know the writers are having fun. Throughout the season, many cases are used to better understand our characters in various ways. A trip to Remington Academy to solve the principal’s murder evokes old memories for Malcolm, who attended school as a teenager and experienced traumatic events at the hands of his fellow students. Ainsley is not immune to this trip down memory lane, as the rise of the “Debutante Slayer” brings the team back to the famous finishing school they attended and which instilled in them the qualities that make a “good lady”. While the only downside to this new season is less of a focus on Lou Diamond Phillips as Lt. Gil Arroyo, the other detectives get Expanded Tale Fragments. Dani (Aurora Perrineau) in particular becomes more interesting as the tension between her and Malcolm becomes more complex.

Some surprising guest stars appear throughout the season, like Alan Cumming as the Sherlock Holmes-like character who could be the one to unravel Malcolm’s carefully executed murder cover-up. In what looks like a major hit for the series, Catherine Zeta-Jones shows up in a multi-episode arc as a doctor trapped in Martin’s institution with whom he develops a complex dynamic. There are many surprising developments as we head into the gripping season finale, which leaves the season on a cliffhanger that will have you eagerly awaiting resolution. Unfortunately, COVID has delayed this season and the public has not returned to it in the way that was necessary for the network. The show was canceled after two seasons and fans will never get the resolution they so desperately want. It’s a real shame, especially since this shortened second season has improved over the already solid first season. Many fans may find it frustrating that the story never ends, but this season remains satisfying as a complex and gripping installment of television.

Video quality

Prodigal son: The complete second season arrives on Blu-Ray in a stunning 1080p transfer. Being a modern series, it stands to reason that the presentation should be flawless, but you can still marvel at the good job Warner Archive has done with this release. The series looked good when I aired it on Hulu, but the Blu-Ray presentation has more consistent black levels and less than a mile squeeze. Fine details are present in the production design and clothing. Vegetation in some places also gives the disc a chance to shine in the retail department. Skin tones appear natural all season long and there are no major digital anomalies to speak of. The cinematography is truly top notch for a network series. The color scheme is toned down a bit, but there are some brilliant color moments that pop out of the screen. Warner Archive did a top notch job with this presentation.

Audio quality

The Blu-Ray disc comes with a pretty lively DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The series is primarily dialogue-oriented, but there are also frequent thrilling sequences such as minor physical altercations that give this track a boost. There is a nice ambient activity in the rear channels, especially during sequences in the police station or in the wild during an outing in the woods. The dialogue mainly remains in the front center channels and is reproduced clearly. The track does a good job of ensuring that neither the sound effects nor the score ever dominate the dialogue. The score brings a richness to the series which fills the room on this piece. When the action kicks off, there is a certain low end weight that is appreciated in a series like this. This track has a substantial dynamic range that should appeal to fans of the series.

Special features

  • Killer genes: A seven-minute featurette that explores the parenting dynamic in the series and how it takes real-life concerns to the extreme.
  • Getting out of blood: A six-minute featurette that explains how the team developed the new season after the bloody season one finale.

Final thoughts

Prodigal son evolved in more fascinating directions in his second season as he continued to satisfy the procedural aspects. The actors have a really nice chemistry with each other that continues to get more and more complex as the episodes go by. Michael Sheen especially exudes a joy in playing this character which transfers to the public. It’s disappointing that we can’t ever properly resolve this story due to a premature cancellation, but this season is still worth exploring for fans of the first outing. Warner Archive released a Blu-Ray with a stellar A / V layout and a few extra short features. advised

Prodigal Son: The Complete Second Season can be purchased directly through the Warner Archive Amazon Store or various other online retailers.

Note: The images shown in this review do not reflect the picture quality of Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Warner Archive has provided one copy of this disc free of charge for review. All opinions in this review are honest feedback from the author.


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