Prodigal Son Wiki
Ainsley Whitly
Ainsley Whitly
Biographical Information
Real Name: Ainsley Whitly
Born: 1993
Age: 26
Originally From: New York City
Current Location: New York City
Interests: Jin (Ex-Boyfriend)
Parents: Martin Whitly (Father)
Jessica Whitly (Mother)
Siblings: Malcolm Bright (Brother)
Affiliations: ADN
The Whitly Family
Physical Description
Gender: Female
Height: 5'5 ¼
Status: Alive
Character Information
First appearance: Pilot
Actor: Halston Sage

Ainsley Whitly is the daughter of the most notorious serial killer, The Surgeon. Despite this, Ainsley leads a productive and normal life. She graduated from Columbia University and is working her way up as a journalist. Having been so young when her father was arrested, she never had a relationship with him, so unlike her brother Malcolm who has been left traumatized through various events, Ainsley was spared. She doesn't meet her father until her mid-20s. They have a friendly relationship, but just like her mother, her father is constantly preoccupied with Malcolm's well-being. [1]

Early Life[]

Young Ainsley Whitly

Young Ainsley Whitly

One day in 1998 a police officer came to their house, responding to a prank. This led to the arrest of her father, Dr. Martin Whitly, as it was discovered he was the serial killer The Surgeon. Ainsley briefly had an imaginary friend after her father went to prison, named Mr. Boots, who gifted her a small angel. [2] Despite everything, Ainsley led a productive and normal life. Graduating from Columbia Journalism School and working her way up as a TV journalist. [1]

Season 1[]

Ainsley Whitly is walking in the park with her brother who is just been fired from his job at the FBI. She is interrupted by a work call and excuses herself. Days later she has dinner with her mother and brother. It turns out they are both working on the same case. Malcolm Bright reluctantly informs their mother that there is a copycat of their father. Her mother is visibly upset and excuses herself. [1]

Not long after Ainsley finds herself reporting on the case her brother had solved. Her mother had been at the social party that had turned out to been harboring Carter Berkhead who attempted to kill his wife. [1]

Annihilator 3

Ainsley was contacted by her mother for an early breakfast along with her brother. However, she had to leave when hearing about a murder on the upper East-side. She rushed down to the building's location and began reporting. Presumably running into her brother who was also there. Later that day she was contacted by the hospital after her brother had received a serious poisonous snake-bite. She arrived the next morning only to find him checking himself out. She also discovered he was in contact with their father who had left him multiple messages. She warned him not to get involved with him. [3]

Jessica tracks her down, demanding to know why she was not informed that Malcolm was seeing his father again. Ainsley exclaim she's sick of getting in the middle of them, and demands they work it out together. [4]

Ainsley calls her brother demanding to know what's going on with the rest of her family, and leaves an angry voicemail when he declines to pick up. Later she comes into her mother's walk-in closet to find her possibly drunk in front of her mirror. She confesses to the fight between her and Malcolm, insisting it was a huge one. Ainsley basically tells her mother to get it together, and both of them should cut their father out of their lives because he's causing too much drama. [5]

All Souls and Sadists 5

Ainsley & Jin

Ainsley was able to convince her father to free it to a sitdown interview with her. Consistency had never asked for anything from him in her life. Later she said the good news with her boyfriend Jin while going over questions to ask. That night while at dinner she informed her mother and brother of her intentions with the interview. Both are upset and neither of them wanted her to do it after her mother started berating her Ainsley stormed off. [6]

Later Jin, insisted she take a tiny break while they made out, but was interrupted by her mother. After showing her boyfriend away, informed her daughter she did not want this going any further and had talked to her boss's boss's boss, and the interview would hunger be taking place. Ainsley was furious with her mother from meddling in her business. [6]

Q&A 17

Interviewing her dad

Ainsley was very excited to interview her father, hoping it would help push her forward her career. Though her mother warned her against playing games, she was confident she knew what she was doing. While in preparation at Claremont Psychiatric Hospitalshe and Jin were interrupted with the screams of a patient. Hours later Martin was allowed in and they began conducting the interview, she enjoyed watching him squirm, as she changed the questions from they originally approved ones. They were interrupted by Malcolm. Ashley decided she wanted her brother to stay after realizing how uncomfortable it made their father. She began hitting some personal question about what type of father he was, and it led to a very uncontrolled and surprising outpour of rage from him. He quickly composed himself, but before getting back into the interview the hospital went into lockdown after a patient stabbed his therapist. [7]

While Jin was getting B-footage, the three of them had a small family reunion well Ainsley secretly recorded it. It came to an abrupt end when Jin was stabbed by Tevin Standish, the man they saw earlier. Mr. David was able to save him and locked the door, barricading them inside. Martin was extremely unphased by the entire situation and began talking them through what to do. It was clear neither were experienced enough, and Ainsley convinced Malcolm and Mr. David to let her father perform the surgery, giving him the scalpel. He immediately got to work in was able to save Jin’s life in time for the paramedics to arrive. [7]

Family Friend - 46

Almost murdered

Ainsley was at the hospital with Jin, wanting to be with him during his recovery. It during her down time she was persistently going over and editing the footage she got from her interview with her father a week earlier. Unbeknownst to her Jin woke up and called her over. The two joked both relieved he was doing better. Later when walking through the halls she saw two police officers and knowing something was amok she called her brother demanding answers. She refused to be scooped by CNN. She went into Jin's room and complained about the officers, knowing that there was a story and soon became overexcited at the thought of having a piece to immediately follow up the story about her father. The next day her brother finally called her back and want her to get out of the hospital. She realized the two officers were away from their post and upon inspecting the room she saw one dead officer and a dead victim, with the killer in the bathroom. As she turned upon her shoes made noise and he followed her. Malcolm insisted she get inside the locked room, and police were already on their way. With only a coffee pot to defend herself she was lucky when the police showed up when they did, though the Keller got away. Later when she went to go tell Jan what happened he was hurt and angry at her for recording his life-saving surgery for the TV news special. He broke up with her for her ambition, and without telling him her ordeal she left the room in silence. Not long after she was outside reporting her would-be killer in the hospital. [8]

Silent Night - 23

Ainsley was excited to finally have her interview with her father come to light. After broadcasting as she relentlessly called her brother for information who continuously centered a voicemail. She soon arrived at her mother's apartment to hoard of reporters but refused to give them a scoop, insisting it if she had a quote it would go to her own news network. Once inside she soon got into a fight with her mom, while she insisted she was changing the narrative, her mom only felt guilty for her father's victims and their families. Storming out Ainsley took back the alcohol she had given her mother is a gift. Afterwards, she was surprised to find her mother had done an impromptu interview offering $1 million dollar award for information. She apparently returned to her mom's place while they sat in silence waiting for Malcolm. [9]

Alone Time - 46

Almost murdered Pt2

Ainsley was walking and talking with one of her producers following the interview of her father. They are on the way to a board meeting where her producer wanted to hurt to further explore her serial killer father but actually wanted to explore the families and the victims. She was interrupted by a phone call from her mother, to which she reluctantly agreed to come over. There she was shocked to find out her brother Malcolm had been kidnapped by the serial killer Paul Lazar. Having just heard the news it was still Ainsley who was comforting her mother. While looking over some photos of Paul's house she recognized an angel figurine she had received from her imaginary friend as a child. She always thought Mr. boots wasn't real because when she had followed him to the basement he just disappeared. They're interrupted by a man coming out of that same location in the basement building with an ax. He chased them both to the house having somehow disabled the power. Ainsley got caught with the web in and it left her head and face very bloody. They barricaded themselves in the bathroom, and before he could break through their brother's voice rang out. Not long after her brother returned victorious. [2]

Ainsley secretly scores a seat for her mother at the very wealthy Taylor wedding, at the media table. Well helping her mother get dressed, who believes this is the start of every introduction into high society, she insists everything will go up perfectly fine. She is also the first on the scene to report the groom's father's arrest, as well as an attempted murder on his life during the reception. [10]

Ainsley is excited for her first day in the studio, but her segment is pushed forward when the carousel Keller demands to speak with her, where he gave himself the name. He accuses her family of being horrible people, but she maintains her composure. She then receives a phone call from her father on air, who insists the first man is somehow doing this in regards to him. Ainsley insist that he is a narcissist and everything is about, though he agrees he also insists he is still right. Their carousel killer calls in again, and it is quite obvious post the men are watching each other through her news network, and the entire thing is connected to her father somehow. Her brother and the NYPD eventually capture and arrest him, but not before her father is stabbed and ends up in the hospital. [11]

Ainsley was very surprised to find out it was her brother who stabbed Martin and not her mom. Though she originally had to argue the secret out of her brother she was glad he confided in her. Though she didn't know her dad very well she stayed with her mother at the hospital, both unsure of their feelings, but wanted him to survive so her mother wouldn't catch a murder charge. [12]

While walking with her brother before work, he confesses he had a dream to which his girlfriend Eve was lying to him. Believing it's his subconscious trying to tell him they both agreed to investigate her. Ainsley comes up with the most evidence of begins trying to question Eve while she is having lunch with her mother, to which she quickly leaves, and Ainsley is scolded by her mother. Later, while at Malcolm’s, they beginning connecting the dots, questioning if Eve's might have a connection to the Girl on the Box. Eve surprised them all when she too arrives at Malcolm's place, admitting she does, and that the girl is most likely her sister that went missing 20 years ago. She apologizes for using them, but insists her feelings for Malcolm were real. She leaves and, both women apologize to Malcolm for this, and after a very mild breakdown, he composes himself and goes to work. [13]

Ainsley and the rest of her family demand Martin reveal what he knows about Nicholas Endicott. Admitting he is indeed a dangerous man, and he blackmailed him to get his cushy prison sentence. Back at her moms, she comforts her heart broken mom. Later she tracks down Nicholas a bar, and he appears to attempt to swoon her, career-wise.[14]

Like Father..

Covered in blood

Ainsley covers for her brother after he sneaks away without his ankle bracelet. When he returns, she sits with him on the couch, both her and her mother insisting he never left as they are informed her father's lawyer has been murdered. Malcolm admits he left, and they haul them off for questioning. That evening, She and her brother visit Martin in Gen. pop, and Martin admits he had no documentation to prove what he knows about Nicholas, it was all a gamble. That night she texts her brother to come home, and he finds her with Nicholas, crying as he sits extremely close to her. Nicholas admits he is responsible for the pending death of their father and will be framing Malcolm for the murder of Eddie. Malcolm threatens to shoot him, and when he can’t, Ainsley grabs Nicholas and slits his throat. Their father calls Malcolm from prison after taking Ainsley's advice and Ainsley takes Martin's advice to kill Nicholas. [15]


  • Malcolm locked Paul Lazar in a chest after he attempted to murder her and their mother. [2]
  • Had an imaginary friend named Mr. Boots, who gifted her a small angel. He turned out to be Paul Lazar. [2]
  • Graduated from Columbia Journalism School. [11]
  • Slit the throat of Nicholas Endicott after he attempted to kill her father, and frame her brother for murder. [15]