Nicholas Endicott is a formidable foe.
He promised Martin 20 years ago that he would sleep with Martin's wife, ruin his kids, and destroy him if he ever betrayed his confidence and revealed anything about Sophie Sanders.
By the end of Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 19, he delivered on that promise.
We knew Eve's decision to track down her sister despite the warnings would come back to bite her, so it wasn't a real shock to find out that she was not only dead but never made it out of the city.
It was no less a bit of a blow when Gil had to inform Malcolm of the death of his former paramour not long after he was sharing the breakup voicemail she left him weeks ago with his baby sister.
Eve's death was predictable and confirmed that she was nothing more than a plot device to get the series from one point to another.
It's sad that she died, and you feel sympathy for Malcolm, but again, we weren't there to experience most of their supposed love affair and romance, so there's some distance there.
We're missing two installments and jumped into the penultimate season finale because of the COVID shutdown, but if anything, we probably needed more installments between Eve and Malcolm reuniting and her leaving to investigate her sister's disappearance.
Hey, I just, I wanted to say I'm sorry to leave you and end things this way, but I have to do this on my own. Please don't come after me OK. Take care of yourself, Malcolm. You deserve to be happy.Eve's voicemail
That distances made moments with Malcolm's grief less emotional and the revelation that the killer burred holes in the ceiling and saw them together lose some impact.
Eve's death was the driving force behind the team looking into Nicholas Endicott.
It took a minute to recall that Martin was thinking about those flashbacks of what Sophie said, and he didn't share too much information about Nicholas, so that's why everyone was behaving as though he wasn't sketchy as heck.
It was one of a few moments where the pacing or whatever switch around they may have done stood out.
Even so, Malcolm's lack of a reaction to Nicholas, peacocking in the sitting room, needing him and Ainsley to see that he spent the night with Jessica was unusual.
After everything, they've endured as a family recently, and the fact that Nicholas came up during a murder investigation, you would think he would show more reservation.
Ainsley was the one whose radar went up, and she proceeded to do some digging, but it's one of those things where it's clear this family doesn't communicate with one another nearly enough.
The family reunion at the facility was a blast, though, and my goodness, it's so much fun when they can all bounce off of one another at the same time.
Malcolm: Why are you here? What is this?
Martin: Well, isn't that obvious? It's a family reunion.
They're one big dysfunctional family, and Martin was over the moon having all of them with him, but his mood shifted when it came around to Eve's death and Endicott.
Martin tends to look visibly rattled at the mere mention of Nicholas, and the tides were changing. He intended to tell them enough to keep them away from Nicholas, but not so much where they would be in danger as Sophie and later Eve was.
The problem is that both of his children are the relentless sort. He's the most worried about Malcolm driven by his need to go after Nicholas for Eve's death, but, of course, Ainsley is chasing after a story too.
Again, it's weird how neither of the parents shows enough concern about their daughter in this regard. Ainsley is just as inclined to go after Nicholas with all that she has, and more likely than ever to become a victim of his.
He already shows some interest in her and noticed that she followed him to the bar and was investigating him.
He already chose to appeal to her ambition. He's a deal maker, and making them with him is like arranging an agreement with the devil.
Either Ainsley is next on Endicott's list of Martin's loved ones he wants to destroy, and he'll screw with her in a ghastly way, or he'll manage to appeal to Ainsley's ambition at her family's expense.
It's always a treat when they bring Ainsley in and know how to utilize her, and this was one of her better installments.
Malcolm: Way to go, mom.
Ainsley: I don't know. I have done a lot of reading on Endicott pharmaceuticals, and honestly, they're kinda shady. I mean dad used to do research on them, and I'm pretty sure he just gave me the once over.
Ainsley goes guns blazing into situations without fear of the consequences, and sometimes she acts as if she's invincible. She's so fearless and bullheaded that she doesn't see Nicholas as a powerful entity she can't take down. She'll forge ahead.
Ainsley doesn't heed warnings, and Malcolm's arrest will only make things worse. For all of his humor and twisted behavior, Martin does seem to care for his family, so he'll feel helpless when he finds out about Malcolm.
It turns out, Nicholas is behind Martin's cushy, luxurious setup in lockdown. He found out that Sophie spilled the beans about Nicholas and his treacherous ways.
They arranged a deal of mutual protection or destruction. But it makes you curious about the backstory here too.
Did their deal include turning Sophie over? It's hard to imagine that Sophie would've lasted long out in the world if Nicholas was after her. She knew all of his secrets and shared them with a serial killer, who used them as leverage.
Eve never made it out of the city, so is it safe to say that Sophie is dead, and Nicholas was behind her death? We never got any confirmation on that.
Nicholas doesn't like to be on the same level as anyone, though, and after making his deal with Martin, he wanted to let the doc know that he had the upper hand and always would.
He promised that if he felt in any way that Martin betrayed him, he would sleep with his wife and ruin his kids. He threatened Martin's family, something he didn't take kindly to at all.
It takes a special kind of monster to turn someone else into one.Martin
And all these years later, he's doing what he said he would. It's in retaliation for Martin telling Malcolm and Eve about Sophie, but it also seemed as though Nicholas was on his way to enacting his plan anyway.
Martin can't protect any of them from the cell, and they aren't listening to him as they should.
The series has a habit of giving some things away before we get to a reveal. We already knew Eddie was working for Nicholas the moment we saw him.
Mr. David is already iconic within the series, and he doesn't take a sick day without raising flags. So it's expected that Eddie poisoned David to make him sick so he could take his spot and have access to Martin.
He almost had the jump on Martin too, but just as Martin nearly died, Malcolm called his father "dad," and it brought out Martin's inner beast.
Martin would be the person who thought brutally gauging out Eddie's eyeballs and nearly killing him was a gift and show of love for his son.
"Gee, thanks for nearly blinding someone, dad. Love you; mean it!" Oh, this show.
And once again, Martin went from looking terrifying and monstrous as he got into the act to perking up and grinning like an idiot over the prospect of meeting JT in person.
Dani: JT, you good?
Martin: So this is JT. I've met the whole team. Hi! I'm Martin. Good thing you came in when you did. I was being brutally attacked
Eddie came for Martin, and he also was the one who killed Eve. It wasn't wholly satisfying catching him since he was only the hired hitman.
Nicholas doesn't do his dirty work by himself, he throws money at the problem and hires people instead. It's how what he did to and with Sophie, and when he's done with them, he has someone eliminate them.
But how did he anticipate having Martin executed and nothing coming from that? And what does that mean for Martin staying in this facility that Nicholas has power and influence in?
The failed attempt on Martin's life is out there now, so how will they respond to this? Is it that now the focus will be on Malcolm instead?
I wonder if arresting Malcolm the way they did is for show so they can flush out who Nicholas controls in the police department.
Malcolm was upset about Eve, but everyone knew that his real ire was directed toward Nicholas. Dani was there for his upset outburst, and he specifically said that catching Eddie didn't feel like closure since Nicholas was the one who hired him.
They know enough to suspect Nicholas also hired Eddie to kill Martin. Malcolm didn't even kill the Junkyard Killer, who held him captive and harassed and nearly killed his mother and sister, so why would he murder Eddie?
Also, Malcolm going to the hospital to talk to Eddie was predictable as hell, and Dani knew he left in a huff, so they had to have suspected he was going there.
Jessica: You're lying.
Martin: Sorry, Jess. Another romantic swing and miss for you.
I'm betting that the final scene of the team and SWAT busting into Malcolm's poorly secure apartment was a ruse, and they're doing it for show.
Gil would've done a one-on-one if this was real.
Nicholas is too powerful, and he knows too many people. They're probably going to have to work off books for this. But they were tipping off Nicholas that they were onto something since they were still investigating Eve's death as a murder instead of accepting it was a suicide.
Edrisa was getting some pressure to rule it as such. Flirty Edrisa is cute, but it's much better when they hit those moments where it feels like they could be friends.
I forbid you from continuing this investigation. Malcolm Whitly, I am still your father!Martin
She didn't know that Eve was Malcolm's girlfriend. It shows again how exclusionary she is from the team in that regard, but she had such soft, sympathetic moments with him.
We need more of those moments and the friendships building in this series for the next season. Malcolm and Dani are the most pronounced, but it's still mostly one-sided, and they haven't dug into it as much as they could have.
Dani has slipped further to the background recently. However, she did have a great moment when she took down the Nightingale.
The choreography was a bit off in places, but the handcuff move rocked, and Dani looked amazing kicking butt.
Between that and Malcolm's inspired move to cause chaos by pretending to stab the guy with neon hair begging to be murdered with the brazen look of his, the team had some exciting moments.
But at least they gave us some Malcolm and JT time, and JT is more endearing with every scene they give him. It's best when he gets to talk about his personal life.
He cast aside the snarky comments and all for genuine sincerity and sympathy when speaking about Tally and trying to support Malcolm through his grief over Eve.
In some ways, he stepped up more in that regard than Gil and Dani.
Of course, Gil spent most of the hour supporting Jessica. She not only lost a friend in Eve, but she found out that the man she slept with was a virtual monster too.
Naturally, it had her wondering why she was drawn to and attracting dangerous men like Martin and Nicholas.
But then it took an unusual turn when she and Gil spoke about the past while drinking. I recall someone in our comments section mentioned that they were probably involved with one another in the past.
If you were the one who said as much, then you were right about that one!
Jessica: What is wrong with me? What is it about me that I attract these horrible men?
Gil: There is nothing wrong with you, and there are good men out there too.
Jessica: I had a chance with a good man. I screwed it up.
Gil: We both did.
Gil and Jessica were almost a thing BEFORE Jackie, but they missed their window when Jessica shut him down.
For some reason, it always seemed as though Gil and Jackie were married for ages, but then, we don't know much about the woman or Gil's past beyond the flashbacks to capturing Martin and him comforting Jessica.
We need more Gil backstory. Yeah, these are the moments when it's glaring that the show revolves so much around Malcolm and Martin, that it probably comes at the expense of the other supporting characters.
Jessica always gave Gil the impression that he wasn't good enough for her or that they came from different worlds when she was afraid she wasn't the best for him.
Jessica: Gil, we didn't miss our window. I slammed it shut.
Gil: You were right to. I met Jackie. Had a whole life. We moved on, Jess, no regrets.
Jessica: I have regrets. I do. I told you we were from different worlds.
Gil: We are.
Jessica: That's not why I ended things. I was scared. You were the one good thing in my son's life. I let you believe that you weren't good enough for me because it was easier than admitting that I would never be good enough for you.
Gil: You're good enough, Jess. You have always been good enough.
It also sounds like she prioritized Malcolm's happiness and needs ahead of her own. If things didn't work out, she probably feared that young Malcolm would miss out on this man who served as a father figure in Martin's absence.
It does make you wonder if Jessica, who wanted to climb her way back into the high society's good graces, would struggle with dating a working man from the other side of the tracks.
And what if Gil's sense of style was semi-influenced by that issue with Jessica? Is this why Jessica got worked up one time and snapped about Jackie not being Malcolm's mother?
And maybe this is why Gil was so jealous and angry about Nicholas. Apparently, it didn't come out of nowhere after all. Also, that tension between Martin and Gil has some more context.
Just think, Gil and Jessica's kiss should've been the bombshell that made some of us squeal, but their history eclipsed that by a hair.
Jessica dropped Nicholas like a bad habit, but Sophie and Martin both mentioned that the man doesn't take "no" for an answer, so how is this going to pan out?
By now, he probably suspects that others are onto him, and he's making moves to silence or remove threats. How do they plan to take him down?
And do you think they'll manage to do it for the season finale?
Over to you, Prodigal Son Fanatics. Hit the comments below with all of your thoughts, theories, and more.
Now is the time to binge the series if you missed anything or haven't been watching along all this time before the season finale. You can watch Prodigal Son online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.