Bloodline: Part 10

"You take me down, you're gonna take down the whole family."

We've entered the end-game now, people. Let's sail into this tempest.

The series began with us asking questions: like, how does John end up hauling Danny's corpse through a rainstorm to be blown up on a boat, and what did Danny do to deserve that fate? It's been a long, dramatic, slightly Shakespearian, slightly soap-operatic journey, but we're finally starting to see.

John and Danny

As we saw at the end of Part 9, John tries to rattle Eric O'Bannon and get him to confess to what he and Danny have been up to, but they've got nothing to hold him on. Eric tells Danny that John is onto them, but Danny doesn't seem concerned at all.

Despite his increasing frustration, John knows its just a matter of time before Danny's involvement in the local criminal element is discovered by the police and DEA. He keeps quiet, though, attempting to protect Danny before the authorities go after Wayne Lowry's whole operation.

Meanwhile, Danny continues to bond with John's kids, Janie and Ben, using them to get under John's skin. John and Diana order Ben and Janie to stay away from Danny without explaining why to them or to Sally. So they've already begun making Danny estranged from the rest of the family. Not that I really blame them, since Danny's been covertly doing the same thing to the rest of the family already.

We Have to Talk About Kevin

Kevin is losing his marbles over getting assaulted, plagued with nightmares and paranoia. He's still convinced that Nicky Widmark was responsible and angry at John for not believing him. Even though he's totally off-base and being a child, he's not wrong about there being someone out there who wants to hurt him.

It's kind of surprising that he hasn't figured out it's Danny yet.

Meg's Mystery Machine

Meg finally comes clean to Marco about cheating on him. I like that she did it not out of fear of Danny telling him (though, I'm sure that was a factor), but because of his sad reaction to her not telling him about the job offer she got in New York; she could no longer bear to keep lying to this decent guy. Props to Linda Cardellini for her acting in this scene, the way she went from a picture of love and happiness to being overwhelmed with regret and heartache.

Marco silently leaves her to focus on the investigation with John. This, in turn, gives Meg the initiative she needed to begin her own investigation into Danny. And I can't help but be reminded that the first thing I ever saw Cardellini in was the live-action Scooby Doo movie, where she played Velma. Correction: where she played Velma brilliantly.

Meg's a lot smarter than Kevin, and immediately figures out something shady is going on between Danny and Carlos. She also tells Sally that she's no longer okay with including Danny in the will. Has yet to tell her the wedding is probably off, though.

Meg may be on the verge of unlocking a big piece of the puzzle at the end, when she snoops around the shack Danny and Carlos are using to store Lowry's drug shipments. Jinkies!

Sally's Secret

Like Part 9, there's a lot of focus on Sally. As seen from the opening flashforward, she decides to go through with the pier dedication in her and Robert's (posthumously) honor. But despite stating how thankful she is for her beloved children and all her good fortune, she is still haunted by memories of abandoning her family as a younger woman.

In the present, though, Sally is striving for unity within the family. And fighting for Danny especially, openly picking his side over John and the others.

We finally see why when she explains to John (and us) her tragic secret. As we might have guessed from her story last episode, running away from home at 17 to marry a guy you've only known for a month is maybe not the wisest move. It turns out, Sally had trouble living with Robert and the two often quarreled behind closed doors. One day, in desperation, Sally packed her bags to leave Robert, only to be confronted by Sarah. Sally laments her inaction in this moment. She couldn't comfort or even face her daughter, so she left her with Danny and ran out on her family. This led to Sarah dying under Danny's watch, ruining his life and destabilizing the Rayburns.

John vs. Danny

Unable to overcome his own mixed feelings, John confronts Danny about his criminal activities and warns him of the DEA's plan to bust Wayne Lowry through Rafi Quintana. He'll cut Danny a deal if he tells him what he knows. Danny seems to reconsider his actions when John throws Lowry and Quintana's murder victims in his face, clearly haunted by the images of the burned girls. Rafi Quintana is also haunted about killing those immigrants when Danny gets him talking about it, having done so reluctantly at Lowry's command.

While the DEA goes after Quintana, Danny comes in to confess to his side of things, like John wanted. Only half-way through the confession, John finds out Quintana was able to elude the DEA and realizes Danny just played them all. He even played Quintana too, orchestrating his ironic death at the hands of Wayne Lowry's hitman. Can't say I'll miss Rafi Quintana or his dyed blond pompadour hairdo; he got what he deserved, and Danny knew it.

Danny's plan comes full-circle: by using the Rayburn House inn to smuggle Lowry's drugs, he's gained leverage over the whole family. If he is found out and arrested, the family's business and reputation will be forever tarnished. This seems to be what he's been after since he made his choice in Part 6. He's finally usurped control from his family, doing it in the darkest way. Their legacy is entirely in his hands. This means John is now at war with Danny, and Meg and Kevin aren't far behind.

Bits and Pieces:

* According to John, when Eric O'Bannon was a young man Robert dragged him out of his house and beat him in the street, warning him to stay away from Danny. This was presumably to keep Danny out of trouble, but this helps explain why Eric and Danny are as close as they are. Not only are they boyhood friends, they both were victims of Robert's rage. Their resentment of the Rayburns is nearly equal.

* Danny and Chelsea's conversation about family. After Danny tries to give an envelope of money to Chelsea and Eric O'Bannon's loathsome, white trash mother -- so that Chelsea won't have to always be looking after her -- Chelsea returns the money. They then have an interesting conversation about family. Danny doesn't see why Chelsea would sacrifice so much to care for a woman who made her and her brother's life miserable. Chelsea can't help but empathize with her mother in spite of everything, and refuses to let herself be ruled by her family, no matter what they do or how they make her feel. This provides a sharp contrast to Danny, who is completely possessed with a need to get back at his family for what they've done to him in the past.

* I couldn't help but find Kevin's nightmare funny, with him tentatively wandering around the Rayburn House, getting startled by the wind.

* There's another funny Kevin moment where he awkwardly encounters Danny and Chelsea together. After she leaves, Danny needles him passive-aggressively about them having both slept with her. Danny claims to be turned on by it, stating that they finally have something in common, which leaves Kevin looking incredibly (and hilariously) disturbed.

* John is once again haunted by the ghost of young Danny. Even though he is at his wit's end and outright tells Diana he wants Danny out of his life, John can't escape the fact that he and his whole family are as much to blame for the current situation as Danny is. He's no longer a convenient scapegoat. Which is exactly why he's beginning to hate Danny as much as his father did.

Quotes:

Danny: (in his wedding jacket) I may never take this off.
This show likes its comedy black.

Wayne Lowry: How long has your family been running that place?
Danny: Near to fifty years.
Wayne Lowry: ... That's half a fucking century.
Danny: Couldn't be prouder.
Pitch black.

Meg: We are not the people I thought we were.

Mrs. O'Bannon: Eric didn't tell me you were back.
Danny: Oh. You see much of Eric these days?
Mrs. O'Bannon: That son of a bitch knows to keep his distance.

John: You are just gonna have to trust me on this.
Sally: No! He has finally got his life turned around, and we are not gonna fuck it up!
John: He has to be held accountable.
Sally: So do you.

Chelsea O'Bannon: If you give someone control over your happiness, you're fucked.

John: Real smart, knocking out a federal fucking takedown.
Danny: Did you feel really smart when you were tipping me off?
John: I gave you your chance to get out from under this.
Danny: Yeah, but... I think I'd rather keep doing what I'm doing.

Danny: I call the shots now.
John: We'll see about that.
It's on now, y'all.

Only three episodes to go. Things are about to get truly explosive. Four out of four lucky flocks of razorbills.

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