01x01 - Pilot

Prodigal Son - 01x01 - Pilot


MARTIN: Malcolm?

Malcolm, listen to me.

I want you to remember something, okay?

You're... you're my son.

And I love you.

I will always love you.

Because we're the same.

Just get him out of here.

NEWSMAN: Tonight the serial killer known as "The Surgeon" may finally be behind bars.

The NYPD arrested Dr. Martin Whitly in connection to at least murders.

Neighbors say their relief is mixed with shock that one of New York's most prominent families may have produced a monster.


SHERIFF: Our suspect's in there, Special Agent.

They're amazing.

The cicadas.

That noise protects them.

It mimics a predator's own sounds.

Our killer feels safe when he hears it.

Special Agent, Claude Springer is in there.

He's got hostages.

Great. Let's go get him.


COP: Clear!




Can I ask you something?

Yes, of course, Malcolm.

Why did you kill all those people?



Well, uh... well... (CHUCKLES)

Uh, I'm not sure I know the answer.

If there even is one.


I have some time on my hands.

Maybe we can figure it out.

(WHISPERS): Together.

They call you a monster.

On TV, kids at school.

Are you?

Oh. Oh, no, my boy.

There's no such thing as monsters.




SHERIFF (OVER COMM): Bright, what's your ?

This is Bright.

I found the hostages. They're alive.

Whoa! Hey, Claude.

How'd you find me?

Short version? Uh...

Your victims, their skin.

It was smooth, untouched, identical.

Then it hit me. You chose them the way a butcher would, someone who was raised in a slaughterhouse.

You were sent here when you were, what, ?

A ward of the state?

This is where you were made.

I was made?

No one's born broken.

Someone breaks us.


Put the gun down, I can tell you.

That's good.


SHERIFF: I did it.

I got him!

- He put it down!
- No. No, no, no, no.

He didn't.

- You murdered him.
- I just killed a serial killer.

I'm a damn hero!

A cold-blooded hero.

Hey, don't you get it twisted.

I just saved your life, son.


I am not your son.

BRIGHT: I get it.

You don't punch a sheriff.

Even if it's not an official rule, it's definitely unspoken.

It's both.

Special Agent Bright, this report is damning.

You ignored protocol, intimidated everyone who said no to you, and pissed off every cop between here and Tennessee.

All in all, that's, like, four good cops, so... (CHUCKLES)

We have sign-off from DOJ. You're fired.


Wait, I found Claude Springer.
I-I saved those people.

I'm sorry, Bright.

We're afraid you might suffer from certain psychotic inclinations, not unlike your father's.

Your complex PTSD, the narcissistic tendencies.

I mean, you ran into that slaughterhouse with zero regard for your own safety.

Just so you know, The Surgeon, he's not a psychopath.

He's a predatory sociopath.

Not that you should know the difference.

It's only your job!

Next time you call someone crazy, ask for their gun first.

MARTIN: Dahmer, Gein, Kemper.

I just keep coming back to the thought: what if psychopathy is not a disease?

What if it's a kind of genius?

Genius? (CHUCKLES)

Come on.

Dahmer wasn't that smart.

H-His fridge was so packed with body parts that he didn't even have room for groceries.

Those were the groceries.





I should get going.

Oh, it's so much fun to talk shop.

You know, I-I cherish these sessions.

- I'm intrigued by the criminal mind.
- Oh, please.

We talk about murder the way most people talk about sports.

(LAUGHS): It's more than that.

I see the tremors are back.

Ah. It's nothing.

You know, I-I-I once had a-a patient who had a psychogenic tremor.


What do you have to tell me?

I applied to Quantico.

The FBI?

A-And you-you think they'll trust you?

Your father's a serial killer.

What I'm saying is... this is over.



No, I-I need you.

You're my only connection to the world out there.

I'll-I'll be cut off.

P-Please, please, please, Malcolm.

No. Don't do this.

This is not what I want!

Maybe that's a good thing.

You can't leave me.

This is wrong.

I haven't seen you in ten years.

This isn't real.

I left you. I walked out of here.

I won't let you go.

Remember: we're the same.




I can see clearly now, the rain is gone...

Morning, Sunshine. Sleep well?


I can see all obstacles

In my way...

"I'm willing to let go and trust myself."

I'm willing to let go and trust myself.

All right. Good one.

AINSLEY: They fired you?

Because of Dad?

I mean, it's not fair.
You haven't seen him in years.

Ains, I'm fine. Honestly.

Are you having nightmares?

You know, I'm lucky.

I was only five when Dad was arrested.

I don't really remember it.

But... I remember you, telling me everything was gonna be okay, even when you knew it wasn't.

Hey. This is a good thing.

A-a fresh start, you know.

Forget about the FBI and all of those serial killers.


Uh, so you're saying I should take a break from murder?

- Yes, exactly.

Oh, here, hold this.

It's probably just work.
I got a report on a thing.

Oh. Another Ainsley Whitly exclusive?

No. Just some white-collar crap.

Remember: you're taking a break.

Thanks, Ains.


GIL: Bright.


What are you doing here?

Heard you were back, city boy.

You know, it's not nice to sneak home and not tell your friends.

Oh, I have friends?

(CHUCKLES) I missed you, too, kid.

What's the matter? You got that spooked

- puppy dog look going on.
- Uh...


Just some white-collar crap.

BRIGHT: My sister just lied to me.

Her autonomic tells always give her away.

Hmm. A reporter lying?
I can't believe it.

She didn't want me to know she's covering a murder.

Which, if she has a murder important enough to cover...

I've got a murder important enough to track down your crazy ass.

I need a profiler.

Come on.

You know the FBI fired me, right?

Good thing I'm NYPD.

I told you you weren't an FBI guy.

When are you gonna learn to listen to me?

Well, let's just not mention, um...

That your dad's a serial killer?


Don't worry, my lips are sealed.

Hey, move it, come on.

DANI: Victim's name is Vanessa Hobbs.

Mayor's office keeps calling.

We got a V.I.C. on our hands.

- V.I.C.?
- Very important cadaver.

Medical examiner did a drive-by.

- Here's what I got.
- Ooh.

I'll take that, thank you.

Dani Powell, this is Malcolm Bright, psychologist, forensic profiler, acquired taste.



Housekeeper found the body this morning.

Vanessa Hobbs.
She was , unmarried and rich.

Just my type.

- So you're a necrophiliac?
- What?

No. Who's this guy?

JT, Bright. Bright, JT.

You're not gonna like each other.

Good to know. Excuse me.

So you're a profiler?

- Mm-hmm.
- JT: Looks like our victim already filled out her profile.

She was looking to bang.


Do you always associate intercourse with violence?

Bro, right now you're the only thing I'm associating...

Let him work.

What's the matter?

Nothing. It's kind of my thing.

I imagine the crime from the killer's point of view.

Helps me understand his state of mind.

You think like the killer?

It's a gift.

Well, you're right, Jeffy.

It's JT.

Our victim was waiting for someone special.

A lover.

Unfortunately, the wrong man showed up.

She threw her champagne glass the moment she saw him.

She wasn't expecting our killer.

The fight was contained, and he subdued her quickly.

But how did he do it?

She bit her tongue.

He injected her with something.

Probably a paralytic drug, trapping her in her own body.

She had to feel everything.

Inducing paralysis is a thousand times harder than knocking someone out.

It requires practice, equipment...

...medical skills.

What is it?

I've seen this before.


There'll be an injection point into her iliac crest, and a third near her heart.

How the hell do you know that?

Our killer's a copycat.

He's mimicking another serial killer.

Dr. Martin Whitly. The Surgeon.

DANI: Yeah?

And you know all about this Surgeon guy?

Almost like he's family.

GIL: Bright, you okay?

I worried about bringing you in.

Didn't want to wake up any old demons, but I had to be certain that he was copying your dad.

Don't worry, my demons don't sleep.

Look, I can only imagine what you must be feeling.

The killer is copying The Quartet.

A series of four murders my father committed in ' .

We've only had three.

The killer isn't finished.

Have you spoken to him?

(SIGHS): No. No.

Not in ten years.

And I can't go back there, Gil. I can't go back to him.

No... it wasn't a healthy relationship.

I'm not asking you to... but I got a serial killer on my hands, and you're telling me he's not done.

Okay, I'll get started on a profile.


- BRIGHT: Hello?


Hello, Mother.


I'm sorry I didn't call. I...

Ainsley told me you were fired.

Hallelujah. Finally you can be done with all this morose profiling nonsense.

Yes, I will no longer be dragging our family's sterling name through the mud.

Oh, stop it.

Bright... what a ridiculous alias.

At least I have the decency to drink through our family's ruin and not hide from it.

- Turns out that's impossible.
- So... your loft.

I had Luisa change out your sheets and wipe down your restraints.

And I called your old therapist, Doctor...

Mother, it is lovely to see you, but I have things to do, and...

I know you're not sleeping.


Chamomile should help.

And if it doesn't, I have pills.

Relax, they're practically over the counter.

I have anxiety meds and mood stabilizers.

Even some quaaludes, stashed from the ' s.

Though I would rather not share those unless it's really an emergency or a very good cocktail party.

I'm afraid pills alone will not fix what is wrong with us.

If you take enough, they will.

How I've missed our talks.

Oh, I'm having your sister over tomorrow night for a petite soirée; be a dear and join.

I'm assuming you don't break into Ainsley's place like this?

God, no. She's perfect.
You are my only concern.


Try the tea. It'll help.

Oh, yeah? What's it laced with?


(SIGHS): Okay, let's get to work.


Edrisa, thanks for hustling on this.

- I know these homicides were...
- Amazing.

I mean, I've only ever read about

The Surgeon's methods in textbooks.

To see them carried out in person is a real thrill.

So, three victims.
Based on the tox report, each one was injected with a different cocktail of paralytic agents that shut their bodies down one system at a time.

- It must have been agony.
- BRIGHT: It was.

I imagine.

I have a preliminary profile.

GIL: Damn, Bright, you sleep at all?

I got six hours, three nights ago, so... yeah, I'm good.

He's the killer, right? We agree?


This suture work is amazing.

These Y-incisions.

You're like Picasso with formaldehyde.

Thanks. (CHUCKLES)

And you're... very slender.

Yeah, well, most food makes me sick.

What's happening?

Bright, your profile have a headline?

Our suspect is a serial killer superfan.

Probably white male. Big surprise.

He blends in.

Average size, average height, and smart.

He's a high-functioning psychopath.

Hmm. Sounds like my ex.

- He's also inadequate.
- Definitely Khalil.

He can't craft his own murders, so he mimics The Surgeon.

His victims are white, over , and wealthy.

They're also strangers. Nothing connects them.

Except for these.

All three victims had the same bruising on their wrists.

This does not match The Surgeon's methods.

Maybe our guy handcuffed Vanessa?

These aren't from metal.

My guess is quarter-inch-thick Japanese-style bondage rope.

- Simple but effective.
- (CHUCKLES): Exactly.

I mean, I agree about the rope and its effectiveness, and, and everything else that you said.

Also, these bruises don't match the time of death.

They're from earlier.
Three days at least.

So, the women were all restrained, but not on the night that they were murdered.

They were into a Fifty Shades type thing, I got you.

So, we have three victims, all exhibiting bruising consistent with BDSM.

What if the man that Vanessa was waiting for was a dom?

A professional dominant.

- He was seeing all three of them.
- Right.

If he's a pro, that means that they paid him.

I'll track down the bank records.

Nico Stavros. He lives in apartment J.

Each victim sent him a payment in the last month.


Lights are off.

Gil said to wait. He's pulling a warrant.

- You calling Gil?
- No. Nico.

His number was in the file.

Maybe he's available for a quick session.




I think he's home.





DANI: What is this?

JT: What the hell, man?

He's building electronics.

Compounding his own drugs.

He's more than a copycat.

- My profile's wrong.


NYPD. Don't worry.

You're okay.

He's here?



- Are we good?

- Yeah, good.
- Yeah.

- Stay-stay with Bright. I got him.
- JT: Good!



Why did Nico do this to you?
Were you one of his clients?

I'm not a client, man. I'm Nico.

He made me call them. Set up dates.

He's a psycho, man.

I got a - , armed perp at Riverside.

Officer in pursuit.

Hey, stop!

- Who did this to you?
- I didn't see his face.

Please, I've been in this chair
for days. Get me out!

- Yo, he's locked in.
- JT.

Little problem here.

Oh, man, that ain't good.


- Bright, you see that?
- Yeah.

It's a bomb, and he's locked to it, and the chair's locked to the ground.

What?! No, no!

Yo, man, he didn't need to hear that.

Well, he was gonna find out in around seconds.

JT: We need to get one arm free.

Find a screwdriver. I can pick the lock.

BRIGHT: There's not enough time.

JT, kitchen.

Get ice. Lots.

- NICO: What's happening?
- I'm gonna chop off your hand.

- What?


- There's really no other option.

And reattachment surgery's come a long way, so... deep breaths.

- No, no, no.
- Deep breaths!

How much time we got on the clock, Bright?


- I'm willing to let go

- and trust myself.
- Hey, Bright.

- Wait, man! Don't do...

- Gil.
- Talk to me.

Thank God. I-I-I lost him.

JT and Bright, th-they're still inside.


- MAN : Hit the ground!
- MAN : What happened?

Oh, my God.



Hey, hey!

Hey! Bright.

- Bright, Bright.

Bright, Bright, Bright, Bright. You okay?

- Are you okay?

- Hello?
- Yeah.


Oh. I got to give them a hand.


BRIGHT: Our killer's motive is revenge.

He wants to inflict as much pain as humanly possible.

That's why he's using The Surgeon's Quartet.

It was an experiment to find the most agonizing way to kill someone.

- That's motive. What else?
- He's white, , maybe ,

rich, likely bald, and a romantic.


DANI: Go back.
Um, how do you know that he's bald?

Well, I don't, uh, but his psychology implies dysmorphia.

He hates his own body.

Yet we saw an imposing man at Nico's, so I'm thinking bald.



JESSICA: Oh, Malcolm,

I lunched with the Egyptian ambassador last week.

- He has a lovely daughter.

A bit curvy but acceptable.

Maybe you could ask her out.

Am I keeping you from something, dear?

Huh? No, uh, no.

Nothing important. Um, you... were talking about... Egypt?

What are you not telling me?

Ainsley, give.

He's working for the NYPD on the new serial killer investigation.


- Don't you watch my reports?
- Not with the sound on.

I thought you said you were done with this murder business.

I have moved on from your father.

Why can't you?


Because, um, this new killer is...


...copying The Surgeon.


Way to bury the lede.

Is Dad a person of interest?
Are there others?

Maybe. I don't know.

Ains, you can't cover this.
It would cause a panic.

People should panic.

What do you mean he's copying him?

The Quartet. The, uh, first three...

Alexis Scott, Sharice Baker, Lyla Thompson.

He took their lives, stole them from their family, and then from his cage, he tried to steal you.

I promised I would never see him again.

Careful, Malcolm.

Your father would love all of this.

You trying to solve his murders.

Don't do it.

Do not go to him. He is a cancer.

He will destroy you.

- Take it from me.
- Mom...

Good night.



MARTIN: The median nerve travels

from the brachial plexus all the way down through to the fingertips, and that's how we feel touch.

They call it the "eye of the hand."

- It's amazing.
- Well, then it's just like you.

Okay, you go finish your cocoa upstairs and I'll clean up down here, okay?

- Good night, Dad.
- Good night.




Don't... don't-don't open...

YOUNG BRIGHT: Dad, what's in here?



Don't open!


Don't... don't open...

Don't open it.


Don't open! Don't open it.



Relax, Bright. Bright, relax, stop.

Stop, stop, Bright.
No, no, no, no, no. Stop.

Hey! No, no, no, no. Don't, don't, don't.

He's asleep. He's... Bright, relax.

Bright, it's a dream, okay?
Just a bad dream.


They're called pavor nocturnus.

Night terrors, and they're not fun.

But on the bright side, they're ruining my life, so...

I didn't hurt her, did I?

Don't flatter yourself.

Dani's from the Bronx.
Tougher than both of us.

Like Jackie.

Yeah. Bronx girl.

She loved you like family.

Worried about you every time you went to go see your father.

Don't worry, Gil, I'm fine.

I got it under control.

Under control?
You chopped off a man's hand, a maniac is copying your father's murders, and six cops nearly shot you right over there.

You are anything but in control.

What does that mean?
You agree with the FBI?

I've known you for years.
You're on edge.

You're right.

There's a fourth victim out there, and I can save her.

I'll do whatever it takes.

That's what I'm afraid of.

You found something.

What is it?


FID pulled these out of Nico's apartment.

Open it.

These sketches show the first three methods from The Quartet.

My father drew these.

I know, but how did our killer get them?

Your dad's still locked up at Claremont Psychiatric.

Well, I'll ask him.

No, I'm not letting you go back there.

- There's got to be another way.
- There isn't.

He'll only talk to me.

I can't let you do this, Bright.

I'm not asking.



My boy.

Dr. Whitly.

God, I can't believe it.

Ten years.

Nice cell. Who paid for it?

Oh, you'd be amazed at what our Saudi friends will pay a disgraced cardiothoracic surgeon.

Your eyes.

You look exhausted.

Yet you look fresh as a daisy.

Funny how that works.

Well, I'm a vegan now, and I haven't seen your mother in years.


Uh, please, have a seat. Take a load off.

How's your sister?

You have a copycat.


(LAUGHS): Really?

Well, I'm-I'm flattered.

And, uh, deeply concerned. (EXHALES)

Save it. I know you're helping him.

My drawings. H-How did you get those?

From our killer.

- Who is he? Why are you helping him?
- I'm not.

Of course you are.

You drew these for him. They're proof.

No, they're from my study.
Journal , top shelf.


They were stolen.

I've been robbed. This is an outrage.

Three women have died.

Sure, yes, that's an outrage, too.

There can be multiple outrages.

But-but it wasn't me. Those journals never leave this cell, and I don't have visitors anymore.

What about your patients?

Mostly men. Wealthy, powerful, morally suspect.

They fit the profile.

You're sounding a bit judgy.

How is your mother, by the way?

Malcolm, what are you doing?

The suspect, I think he's one of your patients.

There are cases in there.

Uh... Okay, these are too young.

Not divorced.

Not obese.

These men died on the table.

Nobody's perfect.

No. No. No.

No. No.

You winnowed all those down to just two?

Well, tell me. Who is, who is the killer?

I'm on the edge of my seat.

I don't know. There isn't enough detail.

I need...


Their doctor.

Patients tell you things nobody else knows.

What isn't in these files?


Helping the police goes against everything I stand for.

You know that.

W... What?

- What are you doing?
- You're going to tell me.

- No, I'm not.
- This isn't an argument.

I can tell, you're afraid.

Not of the killer, not of the police.

You're afraid of me.

- You?
- It's obvious.

Your breathing, how you hold your hands, how you're looking at the door.

You're afraid I'm gonna leave.

This is it and I'll never come back.

Okay. I'll give you this: help me and I'll come back.

Carter Berkhead, the developer.

He had his heart attack whilst whipping some poor submissive in a s*x dungeon.

Thank you, Dr. Whitly.

- DANI: Bright.
- Dani.

- Gil and JT are still with Nico.
- What is this?

DANI: I don't know, some charity event that the Berkheads hold

- for their club.
- Their club?

- (WHISPERS): Which club?
- What's it matter? You a member?

Um, let's hope not.

What do we know about Carter Berkhead?

Old money, lots of it.
This is him and his wife Blair.

BRIGHT: Huh. So he is bald.

Let's go find him.


Detective, we're in trouble.

- What?
- Nope, not that kind.

Um, do you see the woman in the blue dress?


- That's my mother.
- Your mother?

Mm-hmm. Is she looking this way?


Maybe you should draw your gun.

- We should split up.
- What?




Mrs. Berkhead?

It's Blair. And you are?

Detective Powell, NYPD.

I'm looking for your husband.
It's regarding Nico Stavros.

Let's talk upstairs.

This your husband's office?

Um, Carter's out of the country on safari.

We can speak freely here.



We're at the hospital. Nico just woke up.

Carter's wife Blair was one of Nico's clients.

She was cheating on her husband with another dom.

Blair's the fourth victim.

He's here.

Carter, what are you doing?

You said you were hunting.



- Decisions, decisions.

How are you going to do it?

The gun's too loud, and I'm guessing you don't have enough paralytic agent for two.

Who are you?

Malcolm Bright.

I'm unarmed.

I'm a profiler.

You're still in control.

A profiler?

You think this is about control?


Controlling yourself.

Your passion, what you want, what you desire, you have to cause it pain.

Especially your wife.

You dominated Blair like everyone else.

And then came your heart attack, and at your weakest moment...

She betrayed me with Nico.

You lost control.

You had to punish her, make her feel the most pain imaginable.

It only makes sense that The Surgeon saved your life.


After he saved me, I became obsessed with his work.

I studied him.

He inflicted pain like no one else.

That's where I learned to do this.

No, don't.

- You want to live up to The Surgeon?
- No...

- You want to be the perfect student?
- No, that's for Blair!

Shooting her doesn't cut it.

You need to finish The Quartet.

You don't deserve it.

That's the thing, Carter, I do.

I do deserve The Surgeon's pain.

Because I'm his son.

My real name is Malcolm Whitly.

I changed it because I wanted to get away from him.

See, I always thought I was afraid of my father and everything he taught me.

But, really, I was afraid of me.

So I betrayed him.

I became a profiler and hunted down people like him.

So now's your chance, Carter.

Now's your chance to kill me, his prodigal son.

Bright, no.

I'm willing to let go.

DANI: Bright, no.



Don't move! Stay down!


Hey. You okay? You okay?

You weren't gonna let him do that, right? Right?

Of course not.

That'd be crazy.

AINSLEY: I've just received breaking news.

A trusted source inside the NYPD has confirmed that police are charging Carter Berkhead with the three homicides that have terrified the city.

The Surgeon's son?

Gil, you know I love you, man, but this is a bridge too far.


Gil, who is he? Who is he to you?

I worked the Upper East Side in ' . Not far from here.


One night we get a call.

Some kid, a prank.

They send me to sort it out,

apologize to the owners and all that.

The doctor who lived there couldn't figure out who made the call.

Still, he invited me in, even offered me a cup of tea.

That's how The Surgeon tranquilized his victims.

Tea laced with ketamine.

Keep the creaking night

So close

That it's seething...

What's up, kid?

You should take out your gun.

Excuse me?

My father, he's going to kill you.

Bright called the cops on his dad?


He saved a lot of lives that night, including mine.

Look, I know he's a little different, but trust me,

Bright's one of us.

You're a real hero.

Don't you ever forget it.

What a thrill.

You caught the killer, saved the girl.

You're quite the detective.
Of course, you had my help.

There's one thing I can't figure out.

How did Carter Berkhead know which pages to take from your journal?

That is an excellent question.

Here's another: did you orchestrate all of this just to get me back?


Carter, The Quartet, everything?

You're letting your imagination get the better of you, Malcolm.

(LAUGHS): Even I couldn't do that.

Wait, you can't leave.

What did you say?

I mean...

I'm sorry.

I sh... I should have been more supportive of you joining the FBI.

I was stubborn, and we lost ten years.

But watching you in action, it was exhilarating.

And I realized something.

I can help you.

- I don't need your help.
- Well, you might.

You know, there's so much more I can teach you about murder.

You know, maybe we can solve a few.


I don't want to lose you again.


Goodbye, Dr. Whitly.


My boy.