Update 5/21/20: Good news, Prodigies! Fox has announced that Prodigal Son will return for Season 2, and the network shared the first teaser for the new season! Check out the renewal news and Prodigal Son's first Season 2 teaser here.
Previously 5/11/20: Prodigal Son's first season has now officially come to an end, and what an ending it was. If you haven't yet checked out the Season 1 finale, consider this fair warning that you should click away right now because you will want to go into that episode spoiler-free.
For everyone else, you'll already know that the episode, titled "Like Father...," upended the entire Whitly family dynamic. Instead of Malcolm (Tom Payne) following in his father's footsteps, as many of us expected, it was Ainsley (Halston Sage) who became a killer in the end. The coolest thing about that development is that, as shocking as it was, it didn't come out of nowhere. Throughout the entire season, Ainsley had become one to watch -- a character who was more deft and even devious than she often got credit for -- even if we didn't see this exact move coming. Now, we're left with many questions about what's ahead, and only a second season could resolve them.
So will Prodigal Son return for Season 2? Well, Fox has yet to announce whether Prodigal Son will return for a second season, but we are certainly rooting for the network to give us more of this twisty serial killer procedural.
Let's count the reasons why Prodigal Son should be renewed.
1. Audiences are invested. Prodigal Son has developed a loyal and passionate fanbase, dubbed "prodigies," who have been very vocal on social media about their love of the series and its characters. The show has also managed to keep its ratings steady since it first premiered in September 2019. A little more than 4 million people tuned in for the series premiere, and Monday night's finale closed out with 3.5 million pairs of eyes. Viewership has remained above the 3 million mark for each episode since the beginning, which proves that fans are sticking with this show -- a testament to its staying power. Plus, we can totally see this audience continuing to grow once even more people binge the series over the summer.
2. The crimes of the week are insane in the best way. Although Prodigal Son's familial drama is a major part of its puzzle, this is still a serial killer procedural series at heart, and the writers have absolutely been willing to go there to deliver some shocking cases. From the social media influencer who was drenched in blue body paint in a bathtub to the man who tried to poison his own kids to conceal his family secret to the guy whose body was perfectly preserved for weeks just for kicks, the crimes have been amazingly weird. And that's not even counting the Rolodex of serial killers with a direct connection to the Whitlys! The best part of all of this is that the writers only create cases that can actually happen, which makes the eeriest homicides even creepier.
3. We need to find out what this all means for Ainsley. Prodigal Son's co-creators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver told TV Guide that if the show returns for Season 2, they intend to explore what impact Ainsley's fatal decision will have on her own psyche. While Prodigal Son's first season mostly centered on how being the son of a serial killer impacted Malcolm's mental state, the toll it took on Ainsley was not a major focal point. Clearly, though, being the daughter of the Surgeon, Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), has affected her more than anybody anticipated, and now she's got a second layer of trauma to grapple with after killing Nicholas Endicott (Dermot Mulroney).
4. There are already more "twists and turns" in the works, too. Fedak and Sklaver also teased that fans can expect the tensions between Malcolm and Ainsley to be enhanced if the show continues, because although we spent an entire season wondering whether Malcolm is dangerous, now it'll be his turn to ponder what his own sister is capable of. The pair promised that this sibling dynamic will be part of the show's continued theme of "How well do you know the people closest to you?" On top of that, they've also suggested that there will be some "twists and turns" ahead as they address questions about Nicholas' death, like, "What did the police find later on?" The show can't just leave us hanging with that teaser!
5. Two episodes are already ready to go. Prodigal Son's co-creators told TV Guide that there were two whole episodes that had to be scrapped in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, and they're so excited about them that they are reserving all details on those scripts so that the stories can be incorporated into Season 2. How mysterious!
6. The romantic elements are just heating up. Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips) may be in bad shape right now, but if he does recover from his injuries, we can probably expect things to get even more interesting with his newly romantic relationship with Jessica (Bellamy Young). Also, we refuse to give up on the prospect that Malcolm will finally see how perfect Edrisa (Keiko Agena) is for him, as they're both gore-obsessed weirdos and she's obviously got an all-consuming crush on him. If it wasn't already clear that they're a match made in the morgue, Edrisa also proved herself to be quite an ally for Malcolm when she was the only one he could turn to while ducking the police. For someone who's had, well, trust issues, that should count for a lot.
7. The Major Crimes Unit is going to go through some things, right?! Although Dani (Aurora Perrineau) and J.T. (Frank Harts) may have developed an honest-to-goodness sense of camaraderie with Malcolm thanks to his stint in the NYPD, recent episodes proved that the whole team is a tinderbox. No matter what happens with Gil, we have to imagine things will get even more tense for the NYPD squad if and when the news of Ainsley's act gets out. They've already been giving the side-eye to Malcolm over his dad, and now his sister has blood on her hands? We can't wait to see how they respond to that.
8. Malcolm and Martin's connection is taking a very interesting turn right now. Even though the action is shifting to another Whitly, there's no doubt that the bond Malcolm and Martin share is still a centerpiece of this series, and recently we've seen some major changes between them. Malcolm has shown, more than ever, a true concern for his father's well-being and even started calling him "Dad" rather than his usual cold address of "Dr. Whitly." Plus, now that he's gotten closure on his most nagging nightmare -- the "Girl in the Box" saga -- he can finally put that behind him. Does that mean he can finally forgive Martin, at least for that?
9. We've got to see more of Malcolm being Malcolm. On top of everything else, Prodigal Son is always reliable for its lead character's WTF moments. Whether he's cutting a guy's arm off with an ax (to save him) or rolling himself out of windows mid-slumber or fake-stabbing a guy in the train station, Malcolm's watchability is always at its peak. For all these reasons and more, we need Prodigal Son not to be a corpse on the cancellation pile.