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S01.E01: Pilot

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I enjoyed this (count me as another Michael Sheen/Aziraphale fan) and will watch more, but the one thing that I always have trouble ignoring in shows like this (and it’s driving me crazy with this pilot) is that given what we saw of Malcolm here, there is no way in hell he passed a background, let alone a psych evaluation, for any major law enforcement agency, especially the FBI. Even without the mental health issues we’ve seen, his frequent visits with his father (up until his decision to join the FBI) would have booted him from background. At least, it would in the real-life West Coast agency where I work. Have a close family member with felony convictions but you haven’t seen them in more than a decade/you might see them at the holidays? We might consider you. Your close family member is an infamous serial killer who raised you and you continued to visit him and maintain that close relationship into your adulthood, right up until you decided to apply for our agency? Um, no.

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I couldn't finish the pilot. I won't tune in again. 

The tone was all over the place. Is it supposed to be funny? Ironic? Gross? 

I think it's because his screen chewing performance on The Good Fight ruined that show for me, but I couldn't stand Sheen in this role either. 

I'm sure the folks behind this thought the cage made a good callback to Hannibal Lecter and was a good visual, but come on. Same for a minor allowed to sit in said cage with a convicted serial killer.

I was done after the "bomb" scene [I won't spoil it].

Bellamy Young is totally miscast as the mother. She's too young as well.

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The show reminds me a lot of Elementary but our protagonist is not as smooth as Johnnie Lee Miller. There is a lot of bad acting in the pilot. It feels forced. Not sure if I am going to stick around.

On 9/27/2019 at 2:20 PM, EmG said:

Bellamy Young is totally miscast as the mother. She's too young as well.

Agreed about this casting. And she can’t act.

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On 9/24/2019 at 7:21 PM, HollyG said:

The first thing I thought of was the Hugh Dancy character in TVs Hannibal. 

I loved this show.  It did remind me of Hannibal, but Hannibal went off the fucking rails especially in the last season so much that it didn't resemble anything close to reality.  I liked this show and was still thinking about it hours after I'd watched.  It's creepy and bizarre and I laughed seeing "Dr. Masters" in this show, love Michael Sheen.

As for rich Saudi's paying for the cell.  When Dad mentioned the Saudi's I laughed hard.  I used to work for a neurologist who'd sometimes leave for about a week, in order to treat some wealthy person either in Saudi Arabia, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, and that doctor was quite a character himself.

And I love Aurora Perrineau so there is that.  

Edited by Neurochick
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So a year into prison, his young son is allowed to visit him alone( excep for a guard)? We are supposed to believe that Mom and the prison system would have allowed that?  Even in a mental hospital, it’s not likely. 

10 years into it, he’s still in a special cell with bars... and college age son is allowed inside the cage? 

10 years later, he’s got an office and can see non prison/hospital  paying customers.  Really? 

We are supposed to believe that son is so mentally ill that he takes 5 meds and sleeps in restraints to control his sleepwalking night terrors? And he’s a FBI guy? Where was he sleeping on assignments?

Mom is a somewhat functioning alcoholic/pill popper who attends high society parties?  And has never changed her last name? And somehow has money? 

Edited by mythoughtis
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Kept seeing previews of this show and had to check it out because of Micheal Sheen. Bellamy Young was such a pleasant surprise!

Everyone keeps mentioning the similarities to Hannibal but Prodigal son in my opinion, is literally a remake of the show La Mante on netflix! (Probably not that popular as it is in french) the pilot has the same plot as La Mante but with very subtle differences ( i suspect to make it more appealing to a north american audience). Was a little annoyed because i felt like the show would be so predictable for me. However, when bright revealed he was the son of Dr. Whitly in the first episode, i was really confused, I felt like it would have been more interesting if the NYPD team found that out later on in the season after they established friendship and trust with him.

Bright chopping the guy's hand off was absolutely insane! And he seemed a little too excited to do it.

Hopefully the plots of La Mante and Prodigal son will move in different directions and I can keep watching every week without getting bored.

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I thought the writing was pretty stilted and too on-the-nose but as others have said, it is the pilot and pilots tend to try too hard and over-explain way too much, so I'll give it another few episodes and see how I feel. Michael Sheen made me laugh a few times, and he had a terrific creepy energy in all his scenes, so I did like that.

What I think I'd find more interesting is if they spend all this time showing us that we should be worried about Malcolm being his father's son and descending into madness and violence... and in the end it turns out that his sister is the one who cracks. She's the one her mom referred to as "perfect" and not the one to worry about. So it would be more interesting, I think, if we worry about Malcolm but eventually start to see that he's the safe one, because he's so worried and anxious about NOT becoming his father that he goes to extremes to make sure that will never happen. Meanwhile, his sister seems pretty blasé about it, maybe because she never knew her dad? So it would be interesting if they gave her some depth and we slowly but surely start to see her shift and change and become altered.

And then we wonder, just which one is the true monster and did they inherit that from their father, and can it be stopped?

Edited by sinkwriter
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/23/2019 at 9:14 PM, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Why did The Surgeon have such a prison cell/office?  Because of fees from Saudi patients he had treated in the past?  And he was allowed to keep his patient files?  Does this make any sense?  I could only see something like this happening (minus the former patient files) if he were actually consulting for the FBI and recreating his office was the condition he had set.

I came here to ask this question too.  And how did the pages get ripped from the file and smuggled out?  This was never explained. 


Michael Sheen would have lost his medical license, so how is he allowed to consult, even with shady clients?  Oh, well.

This is in the quirky genius solver genre, which I like, such as The Mentalist, Elementary, etc.  Also got the Spencer Reid vibe.  I like the idea of Criminal Minds, but sometimes it's too creepy to watch.  I suspect this will be easier to swallow.  I'll stick with it for now.

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  • 1 month later...

I jsut realized during my rewatching that I have no idea how they caught the Surgeon. 

I mean, seriously, one ten-year-old calls the cops and on his word alone, they arrest a prominent member of the community? What did Martin do with the bodies? What evidence was lying around the house? What reason did they have for a warrant? Like, seriously, from Malcolm whispering that his dad was going to kill Arroyo, what did Arroyo do? Walk up to Martin and say 'Yeah, I'mma put you in cuffs right now until I can get that tea tested"? I mean, originally Arroyo was called out there to make sure that it was just a prank call; no one took it seriously. What made them change their mind?

It's bugging me now.

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I realize that this show requires me to suspend a lot of disbelief.  I can handwave away things like Martin's plush cell, since this show clearly takes place in a reality with a different prison system than ours, and where there's very little psychiatric testing before giving people weapons, badges, and FBI or NYPD authority.

But, you know what gets me as the least realistic thing of all?  Gil Arroyo calls Malcolm Bright, "Bright."

Gil's known Malcolm since he was a kid.  It can't be habit he developed to make kid Malcolm feel powerful, since, well, "Bright" is not his actual name.  It can't be a professional thing, since he calls JT, "JT."  

It pulls me out every single time.

Edited by Mari
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5 hours ago, Mari said:

But, you know what gets me as the least realistic thing of all?  Gil Arroyo calls Malcolm Bright, "Bright."

Maybe it is the name that least associates Malcolm to his famous serial killer father, since that is the reason Malcolm chose it. It might be a sign of respect to acknowledge that Malcolm is attempting to move on from his past.

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/17/2019 at 4:13 AM, CoyoteBlue said:

originally Arroyo was called out there to make sure that it was just a prank call; no one took it seriously. What made them change their mind?

I wondered what made Martin decide to kill Arroyo. At that point, the cops were still considering the call to be a prank but that would have changed quickly if the guy they sent to check things out ended up dead or disappeared. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just now seeing this as the cast is intriguing enough for me to take a look.  Tom Payne was completely wasted on The Walking Dead, where all the showrunners' promises of what an awesome character he was never really materialized as he hung around, killed a few walkers with showy karate kicks, and then he died.  I'm also always happy to watch Lou Diamond Phillips pop up in anything as that man is aging well.

I'm not a huge procedural kind of person, but I've seen enough to know that if you're watching police, lawyer, or doctor drama there's going to be a fair amount of stuff you're going to have to handwave away and just go with.  I mean, does it seem extremely unlikely that someone as unstable as Malcolm Bright appears to be with his family ties is ever going to pass the necessary background checks to get anywhere close to this field?  Sure.  And the NYPD apparently just lets anyone who knows somebody on the force from way back work one of their ongoing cases?  Okay, sure, let's go with that too.  Our resident serial killer gets to have a nice office with all his old case files because he's got rich benefactors, one of whom seems to have visited him recently?  Yeah, okay, why not?  

It's a pilot, and pilots are often clunky while the show and the actors are still sorting themselves out.  What works here is the offbeat energy between Malcolm and his whackadoo father and the whole devil/angel dichotomy Malcolm has going with Daddy and Arroyo.  Michael Sheen is obviously having a lot of fun with the role.  The actress playing his mother looks way waaay too young, even if we're to buy that she's one of those very well preserved women of a certain age, but I'm curious enough about the family dynamic of living longterm with something like Daddy being a famous serial killer enough to give them at least a few episodes.

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This is a good show for snarking. I can’t believe any of the storyline and it is a bit much. The part where Gil gives the kid a piece of candy, then cut to a shot of Bright popping candy was super ridiculous. 

Also it is weird seeing Halston Sage without alien makeup. My husband wants to know if we’ll get to see her opening a jar of pickles.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I watched this episode's rerun last night and enjoyed seeing it. I missed the premiere and it wasn't available online, so was glad it was shown again. I questioned Malcolm having a parakeet a couple episodes ago, the bird showed up "out of the blue," but learned last night he has always had "Sunshine."

I also liked learning more about how he knew Gil, and that Gil gave him that piece of candy which it seems Malcolm now associates with his job. Mom also explained her obsession with Malcolm and why not Ainsley. And Dad most certainly has issues ... including plenty with Malcolm.

In all, it was a great start to this series.

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