Bloodline: Part 7

"I guess you really don't know who I am."

This is where the story of Bloodline shifts from family drama to revenge thriller.

It's clear that Danny Rayburn is no longer interested in burying the hatchet. And though his attitude towards his family shifts from affable to indifferent, his actions make it clear that he intends to get back at them. At the start of the episode, he washes his painkillers down the drain. By embracing his pain, he is now constantly reminded of what his family did to him. Perhaps this is how he justifies his current motives.

He continues working at the inn and playing nice with the Rayburns, but he's gone back to his criminal ways, dealing drugs and smuggling gas cans with Eric O'Bannon. This gig dries up due to John's police investigation, but Danny is determined to continue. He follows Eric to the blond guy he receives his orders from, and tracks the blond guy to the man in charge of this local crime operation: a grumpy, middle-aged, white guy who owns a bait shop.

We learn a lot about Danny from this development. He's a way more experienced criminal than he initially appeared. He's eerily calm and in control when these guys pull guns on him. And with very little effort, he makes himself a crucial element to their operation by offering a new location to store their stolen gas cans. The quote at the top seems as if it were meant for the audience as much as it was for that crime boss: we really don't know what kind of person Danny is beyond the perspective of his family.

This is understandable since it seems that, no matter what they do, the Rayburns cannot escape the consequences of the role they played in making Danny the man he is.

John tries looking on the bright side, hoping things will be better now that he believes he's made peace with Danny. This means a lot to John; as we've seen, he feels the most guilty about what happened to Danny. This is partly because he knows how close he came to suffering the same circumstances. Few people have the chance to literally witness their fate take shape before their eyes, let alone the chance to watch a fate they avoided play itself out in someone else's life.

But as his wife Diana accurately points out, people don't change overnight. John knows this too, and when it looks as if it might be true, he continues pursuing his investigation into the burned girls. Unfortunately, we see how John allows his personal frustrations to spill over into his detective work. He aggressively shakes down a former human trafficker, and he and Marco both threaten a man employing immigrants at an orchard. However, his search does yield results this time. He is led to a missing persons flier with the face of the victim found in 'Part 1.'

John, Kevin and Meg all seem to be on the verge of success in this episode. John's made a break in the case, Meg's also making headway in her case with Carlos, and Kevin has managed to set up a deal that will save his business.

But underestimating the depths of their older brother's resentment turns out to be a huge mistake. While acting as if he's let bygones be bygones, Danny finds his siblings' vulnerabilities. He's already got dirt on Meg, knowing she cheated on Marco. After watching his daughter Janie ride off on a date, John confesses to Danny his fear of losing Janie like their parents lost Sarah. And, of course, Kevin is the one who makes the biggest mistake.

Kevin is sort of the focus of the episode. At least from Danny's point of view, after he listens to the tape of Lenny Potts questioning Kevin as a boy of about 10. Young Kevin was clearly disturbed by Danny's injury, even if he did lie about it. In the present, Kevin finds himself feeling guilty about his treatment of Danny. He just had a drunken fling with Danny's love interest, Chelsea O'Bannon, which both regret. This prompts Kevin to reconsider letting Danny back into the will, which Meg confirms. He goes to Danny not to tell him that, but to sheepishly apologize for sleeping with Chelsea and then proceeds to spill all of his personal issues in a pretty blatant plea for sympathy. Danny lets him off the hook, barely reacting to anything he says.

Unfortunately, Kevin's too self-centered to realize how offensive this might be from Danny's point of view. On top of a lifetime of suspicion and spite, Kevin sleeps with the woman Danny clearly has feelings for. Then he tries to confess in the hopes that Danny will absolve him of his shitty behavior. And on top of all of this, he whines to Danny about his problems and what a rough time he's had. I'd probably just tell him to fuck off at that point, but Danny has something else in mind. Or so it seems.

At the end, Danny goes and makes peace with Chelsea. He tells her that she and Eric are the only family he's got. This scene is intercut with Kevin getting brutally beaten by a thief with a baseball bat, who robs him of half the money he was going to use to buy out his neighbor's property. The thief turns out to be Eric, almost certainly acting on Danny's behalf.

There's no going back now.

Bits and Pieces:

* There's a great fast-paced montage that illustrates the double-life Danny is living. The song used during this sequence is "Lazaretto" by Jack White. In learning that, I also learned that a lazaretto is a term for a special quarantine for lepers, a place for them to be shut away from the rest of society and made outcasts. I found this to be rather fitting for Danny's arc.

* Danny's still mailing the money he earns to an unknown location.

* The Rayburn siblings are all rather childish at times. Danny can come off like a moody teenager with his passive-aggressive, trolling behavior. John awkwardly tells Marco that he doesn't understand women, and rarely seems any different from the shy 14-year old boy we see in the flashbacks. Kevin is obviously a man-child. Meg often acts like a flighty, insecure adolescent, though she has at least somewhat acknowledged this.

* Could not help but laugh when Marco told John that Meg has been "restless" lately. Sigh, poor Marco.

* Danny whispers something to Janie before she goes off on her date. We don't hear what he said, but Janie finds it funny. Diana is not amused when Danny blithely refuses to tell her what he said.

Quotes:

Young Kevin: I never saw someone get hurt so bad.
So Kevin has always known how much pain Danny was left in after their father brutalized him, and treated him the way he did regardless. That would be hard to forgive.

John: I feel like things can be better now.
Diane: Just don't expect too much, you know? People don't change overnight.

Eric O'Bannon: Did you spend the night with that asshole?
Chelsea O'Bannon: What do you care?
Eric O'Bannon: Well, I care because Kevin Rayburn is the douchiest shitbag in that whole fuckin' family.

Danny: Sometimes things happen, and you get clear in your mind. You know who you are. You know what you are. And you know what you have to do.
Uh oh.

Four out of four busted windows.

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