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The old adage about "sins of the father" takes on an all-new meaning in Fox's upcoming crime procedural Prodigal Son. The series introduces audiences to profiler Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) as he puts his superior mind-hunting skills to use solving crimes and tracking down murderers for the NYPD. Bright knows a lot more about these maniacs than most; in addition to being a whip-smart criminologist, he's also the son of the notorious serial killer Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), aka The Surgeon. As it turns out, Bright's personal relationship to the work is both a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, Bright is incredibly intelligent and incisive on the field. Flashbacks to his childhood reveal that his father carefully curated his fascination with science and anatomy from an early age, a field of expertise that Bright continues to put to use in his career. On the other, Bright is still plagued by the trauma of his father's heinous double life and struggles with night terrors so intense that he has to chain himself to his bed while he sleeps. The one moment, in particular, that continues to haunt Bright's thoughts is a memory from when his father was arrested for his crimes and told the 10-year-old Bright in parting, "I will always love you, because we're the same."
Bright - Adult - Life - Characterization - Truth
Bright has spent his entire adult life countering that characterization, but he seems to fear there's some truth to Martin's belief. Like his father, Bright exudes charisma, but can be numb and calculated. Bright is also exceedingly gifted at putting himself into the mind of the killer that he's targeting, becoming visibly alight while pondering their methods and motives. Despite Bright's requests over the years, Martin cannot — or will not — tell his son why he killed so many people, making...
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