'Prodigal Son': Tom Payne Says Malcolm Is Facing a 'Whole New Thing' With Ainsley

Killer genes seem to run in the Whitly family. On FOX’s Prodigal Son, Malcolm Bright and his sister Ainsley have come to terms with the fact that she murdered Nicholas Endicott. Malcolm can analyze the psyche of the most dangerous psychopaths.  But according to Tom Payne, dealing with Ainsley is a whole new ball game for Malcolm. 

Ainsley reveals she knows she killed Endicott on ‘Prodigal Son’ 

In the season 1 finale of Prodigal Son, Nicholas Endicott (Dermot Mulroney) turns out to be the big bad Malcolm (Tom Payne) was looking for. To lure Malcolm, Endicott kidnaps Ainsley (Halston Sage) and brings her to Jessica’s (Bellamy Young) house.  Malcolm tries to get the drop on Endicott. But when he fights back, Ainsley finds a knife and slits Endicott’s throat. 

However, right after the murder, Ainsley zones out and doesn’t remember what she did. To protect his sister, Malcolm tells her that he killed Endicott. He then calls his dad, Martin (Michael Sheen), who talks him through the process of disposing of the body, which eventually ends up in Estonia. 

In the first episodes of season 2, Ainsley still thinks Malcolm killed Endicott. However, in the latest installment, Ainsley toys with her brother and then reveals that she now remembers everything. 

When she confronts Malcolm about lying to her, he insists it was to protect her. But Ainsley suggests she doesn’t need his protection and seems perfectly fine with the fact that she killed someone. “We’re Whitlys,” she tells Malcolm. “No one does this murder stuff better than us.” 

‘Prodigal Son’ star Tom Payne says this is all new for Malcolm

In a recent chat with TV Insider, Payne revealed that Malcolm was truly trying to protect his sister. So, he was both shocked and upset when she toyed with him. “He really feels like he doesn’t know his sister at this point,” he explained.

Up until now, Malcolm has been an expert at psychoanalyzing killers. Just by looking at a murder scene, he can assess what type of personality the murderer has. But with Ainsley, Payne says Malcolm is in completely new territory. 

“He did think he [knew her],” the actor suggested. “It’s an ongoing profile because he has so much knowledge of her already and it’s all been upended. That’s why he studies serial killers — he wants to understand his father more.”

Payne continued, “This is a whole new thing because outside of his father, he hasn’t known anyone this closely who has killed someone. I don’t think he has the measure of her yet. He’s been closer to his sister than he has to his dad for his whole life.”

Malcolm thinks he’s unleashed a terrifying side of Ainsley

Malcolm has always been a protective big brother, shielding Ainsley from their serial killer father. But with this new revelation, Malcolm is terrified of her turning out to be just like the Surgeon. 

“That scene is only a page long but he goes on this huge journey of just letting everything out in that one moment in disbelief of what his sister has done, and then in that same breath, being terrified of himself and what he has just unleashed actually,” Payne told TV Insider.

“He’s afraid of himself in that moment and terrified of Ainsley and how she deals with the whole situation and how cold she is. It’s quite a chilling scene.”

Prodigal Son airs Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. EST on FOX.

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