Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) may not have made many friends at the FBI, but at least one of his former Bureau colleagues is going to step up to try to save him from the Junkyard Killer when Prodigal Son returns from its winter hiatus. TV Guide spoke with co-creator Sam Sklaver at the Television Critics Association winter press tour to get the scoop on what's ahead for the killer Fox procedural — and it sounds like the whole Whitly family is in for quite a ride.

"No one is going to be happy with ... what's about to befall the Whitly family. The Whitlys are in for a roller coaster," Sklaver teased of the back half of the season, which picks up after Bright was tricked and captured by the killer, who has ties to Martin (Michael Sheen), in the winter finale.

While Sklaver obviously wouldn't confirm or deny whether Malcolm will make it out of this scary situation alive, he did reveal that Bright's newest nemesis could become one of his most important allies soon. Agent Collette Swanson (Meagan Good), who was recently introduced as a sort of foil to Malcolm and "reminds us that the FBI and Bright didn't get along so well," is going to be an important part of the inevitable manhunt to save him. "She is going to be central in this search for Bright," Sklaver explained.

Bellamy Young Breaks Down Jessica's Power Move in the Prodigal Son Fall Finale

Assuming Bright does make it through unscathed — and let's be honest, it's too soon for the show to kill off its title character — that doesn'tmean we'll be done dealing with the Junkyard Killer."The Junkyard Killer won't go away completely. I love that character, and I think he will still grace the back nine [episodes]," Sklaver teased.

At the same time, much of the show's focus will also return to the major question that's plagued Malcolm's memory for so many years. "What we're most excited for going in is still the central mystery: Did Bright find the girl in the box? ... We're starting to realize that maybe Bright was right — we're learning more about Martin chloroforming Bright, we're learning more about this mysterious camping trip. And this girl-in-the-box mystery is not some series-long mystery that we want to solve. Like Jessica Whitly (Bellamy Young), we want to find out: Was there another victim? So, that's really the focus [of the episodes to come]."

As with the first half of Prodigal Son's first season, though, fans can also expect to see the tension cut with moments of levity — particularly when it comes to Malcolm's, well, complicated love life. Sklaver acknowledges that the clear chemistry between Bright and Det. Dani Powell (Aurora Perrineau) and Bright's unique dynamic with Edrisa (Keiko Agena), but he says that fan can expect Eve (Molly Griggs) to come back into the picture soon, too.

"Eve is not gone," Sklaver said. "Eve is definitely scared off. And I think anyone [would be]. But she wasn't scared off about dating the son of the Surgeon to begin with. So, Eve might not be like every other girl ... She's a little bit more understanding of what she's going into. I think we have some explosive stuff lined up. Molly Griggs, the actress who plays her, is so wonderful, and we're very excited about her playing a larger role."

Prodigal Son returns to Fox on Monday, Jan. 20 at 9/8c.

Tom Payne, <em>Prodigal Son</em>Tom Payne, Prodigal Son

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)