Prodigal Son might be built upon Malcolm Bright's (Tom Payne) twisted relationship with his serial killer father The Surgeon (Michael Sheen), but he's not the only Whitly child whose professional endeavors involve hunting down mass murderers like their dad. Ainsley (Halston Sage) has also been channeling her work as a TV journalist into following some majorly macabre cases lately. As the action moves ever closer to home — with the new Junkyard Killer teasing a deeper relationship with her father than even the pilot's copycat killer had — Ainsley is going to once again find herself in the middle of the action on Monday night's new episode, titled "Family Friend."
"It felt a bit like we were filming a thriller. There [are] a lot of suspenseful moments with her being chased by this potential serial killer that Malcolm has been after," Halston Sage teased to TV Guide. "What's really fun about this show is that it dabbles in a lot of genres. It can be very dramatic, but it also has great moments of comedy that cut through the darkness, and now we're getting into the territory of ... this is a very thriller-driven story line, the whole pursuit of the Junkyard Killer, and Ainsley is able to get in on the action. She's able to confront one of the serial killers in her own way."
It won't be the first time Ainsley has found herself in real danger. Last week, Prodigal Son fans watched as she braved the harrowing prison scene so that she could film her exclusive interview with her father, and Malcolm joined in on the family fun as well. Though she wasn't happy about her brother's unexpected intrusion at first, Ainsley quickly recognized that her brother brought out some rare vulnerability and truth from their dad, and she decided to capitalize upon it to expose Martin's less composed side. "She's literally investigating her own life at this point," Sage noted. That interview was cut short, however, once another inmate escaped his cell and violently demanded some airtime with Ainsley, causing grave harm to her boyfriend-slash-cameraman Jin (Raymond Lee) in the process.
Just as Ainsley was not afraid to tap into her own family's notorious history for the sake of her work — she seemed to embrace the opportunity to find the true nature of the father she barely knew and get the ultimate scoop — she confirmed an intense dedication to her craft in the aftermath of that attack. After convincing Malcolm and the prison guard to let Martin operate on Jin, she made sure to get the entire procedure on film. That decision will have both positive and negative consequences for her going forward.
"We have such amazing writers, and they really wanted to accentuate how driven Ainsley really is, and that capacity she has to possibly not make the most logical decisions when she's working because she is so passionate about getting a good story, and I think that by being able to turn that little piece of her brain off just for that slight moment just added a new dimension to we hadn't really seen before," Sage said, "[In "Family Friend"] you kind of see how other people react to that, like Jin. He had obviously been unconscious for most of the last episode — he wakes up to find out that Ainsley taped him, and it brings her character into question, and [he] asks what kind of person could shut off emotion and focus so specifically on the job."
Regardless of Jin's reaction, though, it'll be hard for anyone to doubt Ainsley's chops on the field ever again, and we can expect to see her reap the benefits of that in terms of her assignments. "What's really great about the Q&A she was able to do with her father is that it put Ainsley in a position of power at work," Sage said. "It elevates her status a bit, and so you will be able to see her more on the scene than she was — she gets a little bit of a boost from this exclusive."
Prodigal Son airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.