Bloodline: Part 8

"Danny turned us into that family nobody wants to be."

So a lot happens in this episode. A surprising amount. Maybe that's why it's one of the least compelling so far.

Kevin is in a sorry state after the vicious beating he received at the end of Part 8. And that's just the beginning of his troubles. His cash was stolen and the damages to his property mean he can't use that as collateral, nails in the coffin for his plan to buy out his neighbor's property and save his business. He's also convinced himself that the one responsible was Nicky Widmark, his neighbor's son and Kevin's rival.

We, of course, know that it was actually Eric O'Bannon who assaulted and robbed Kevin, acting on orders from Kevin's brother, Danny. As always, Danny has the most interesting journey. A simple excursion to a cockfight leads him to run into Carlos, Meg's client. Having caught him in a compromising position, Danny decides to "help" Carlos and Meg by using his new criminal connections to threaten the main witness in the case against Carlos; the case falls through and Carlos is off the hook. Then he's on another hook when Danny employs Carlos at the Rayburn House, in reality forcing him to be his wingman in handling the hidden drug shipments that are now being offloaded to the inn.

This puts all of the Rayburns into a dangerously compromising position. Or, at least, they will be. The shipments Danny receives and delivers turn out to be fake, as a test from the bait-shop crime boss. The end of the episode makes it clear that Danny passed, meaning the inn will now be secretly used as a hub for smuggling drugs.

And John is steadily making progress in his investigation into the very people Danny is working with. He and Marco find the father of the first burned girl they discovered. The father helps them to identify the human trafficker he was in contact with. It turns out to be Rafi Quintana, the blond Cuban henchmen who ordered the boat explosion. Rafi Quintana and Danny are now criminal associates. I'm sure it won't be long before John figures that out.

The biggest part of this episode for me was when John decides to take a break from the case of the burnt up girls and go drinking with Danny. We learn a lot about these two through this. Their brotherly relationship feels very believable to me. They both know how to seriously bust each other's balls and remain on friendly terms. It gets a little too real when a drunken John starts self-righteous mumbling about how he stood up for Danny, and Danny lets some of his hidden resentment slip to the surface. Nothing comes of it. John's too drunk to even remember it later.

Meanwhile, Marco finally proposes to Meg after witnessing how much she cares for him and his family. They announce it, and everyone's happy. But then there's Danny, smiling knowingly. With the knowledge of her affair, he grills her some more about cutting him out of the will and makes it clear that he's not going anywhere.

Obviously, this is not a good thing. In the very near-future, Kevin is a disheveled wreck, snorting cocaine in his underwear and seemingly plotting with John to murder Danny with an untraceable revolver on a dark stormy night. John's narration claims Danny forced them to do this. Maybe he's right.

Bits & Pieces:

* John and Danny laugh about bullying Kevin when they were kids.

* As great as he is at dramatic performances, Kyle Chandler can also be pretty damn funny, as seen when John decides to cut loose with Danny.

* After he's gotten drunk, John briefly hallucinates Danny approaching him with a knife drawn. I think as much as John wants to start over with Danny, in the back of his mind, he knows Danny must still hold a grudge for all the years of adversity he's faced within his own family. And he'd be right to think that.

* When they're getting drunk in the bar, Danny tries to make John feel insecure by suggesting there was a time when he (Danny) and John's wife Diane might have hooked up when she and John first got together. The thing is, I really can't tell whether or not he was just trying to get a rise out of John or if he's being serious. It might explain why Diana is always so clearly on edge when Danny's around. Then again, he is kind of a creepy guy. I don't know.

* Ben Mendelsohn (Danny) and Jacinda Barrett (Diana), who are both Australian, have pretty flawless American accents.

Quotes:

Kevin: I didn't want to let you down.
Sally: Let us down?
Kevin: My marriage failed! It did. I failed. Dad's never gonna e-even get to meet my children. You know how important family was to him.
Sally: How important could it have been if his own son couldn't even talk to him about what was going on in his life?

John: (drunk) Hey don't fuckin' listen to him he's my brother he's an idiot I know that!

Eric: You got some balls, bro.
Danny: I got two balls. Same as you. I guess.

Still really good, but erring towards redundancy again. I'm sure the next one will be a bit juicier. Three out of four bags of sugar.

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