Bloodline: Part 15

"Because I realize there is no answer to my mother's question: Why? There's only human nature. And human nature needs to be nurtured... and policed. So as to save us from ourselves."

Doing bad things only seems to make it easier to keep doing bad things.

Despite how terribly desperate they are to return to their lives as normal, decent people, the Rayburn siblings cannot escape the consequences of their actions.

Even after Danny has been killed, burned, and buried, he continues taking slow revenge on his family. Through the son he never told them about, and especially through his former boss, Wayne Lowry.

We learn that, after Lowry tried having Danny killed at the Red Reef Motel and John left him there knowing he would be killed, Danny sought to take out two birds with one stone. He recorded a tape for Lowry which explained all the illegal things John, Kevin and Meg did. Well, all besides John leaving him to die and, of course, everything the three did after that night. Lowry doesn't appear to know that John killed Danny, but if what he does know now were ever to get out, it would be enough to give the siblings motive for killing Danny in addition to all the other laws they broke.

The family is all together when Meg comes home at John's behest. He tells her about Danny and Rafi Quintana interfering with the Carlos Mejia case, and the paper trail Carlos left behind that ties the Rayburns to the cocaine smuggling operation Danny had running out of the inn. Meg encounters Carlos and persuades him to speak with John, knowing he's the only one who knows Meg and Sally weren't involved with the drug running. However, when they meet Carlos is uncooperative, and tells John that the whole Rayburn family was in on it. He quickly flees into an unknown car before John can talk any sense into him. Not sure if Lowry and his people got to Carlos already or if he's just out for himself now, but this throws another big wrench into things. Not sure how they'll be able to tie up that loose end.

While this is going on, Belle puts Kevin in touch with a wealthy real estate tycoon who might be able to save Kevin's boatyard business. He meets the tycoon at a swanky yacht party, but comes unprepared and ends up making a fool of himself again. He retreats to a bathroom to snort cocaine (something he does regularly now), but is discovered and joined by a man who suggests he sell his product to some dealers he knows. Kevin smartly declines... until his friend Jake quits working at the boatyard due to Kevin's inability to pay his employees. Then he reconsiders.

Here we get a surprising look into Kevin's criminal ability. He is able to set up a drug deal with professionals and pull it off on his own terms, getting a big envelope of money out of it. Kevin is clearly proud of himself for having pulled it off; it's amazing how fast he made the transition from a normal, fun-loving guy to a junkie drug dealer. By the end of the episode, the men he sold to are already wanting more of what he's got. No way this turns out well for him.

Sally continues digging for the truth alongside Lenny Potts. They visit Danny's apartment in Miami, learning that John has been there more than once and never told her. Sally also meets Nolan, her long lost grandson. We get an amusing scene of the two starting from a place of vague hostility as they verbally test each other. I liked that they only really reach a point of respect or, at least, understanding after they exchange insensitive f-bombs.

The really big dilemma in the episode presents itself when John and Marco get a lead on one of Wayne Lowry's minions, a woman named Elena Cortez. John pursues the case with the knowledge that going after this woman puts him at risk of being exposed by Lowry. When the police finally get a warrant to search her house, John discovers a photo which reveals that Cortez and the late Rafi Quintana were in a relationship. He takes this evidence under the noses of all his fellow officers and later destroys it. Cortez goes free and keeps working for Lowry.

In the end, John announces that he is running for Sheriff of Monroe County. This race for public office could unearth some things John would rather keep buried, but I can kind of see the logic he's running on. Becoming sheriff will give John the power he needs to keep his ungainly situation under control so that he can protect himself and his family. Wayne Lowry's power play at the start only made him more determined to seek the position.

His announcement is centered around a simple childhood story of how he learned right and wrong. It solidifies the fact that John Rayburn is living a lie. While he may know that human nature must be handled with care, he can't hide from the reality that his own is neither well-nurtured or policed. His nature is deeply flawed. This is why John finds himself haunted by the ghost of the innocent boy he once was. A boy who thought he knew right from wrong, who wanted to be a detective, a hero. A far cry from the corrupt soul he is now.

Bits and Pieces:

* The opening flashback of Danny invading Wayne Lowry's bedroom as he and his wife sleep was another chilling look into his character. Lowry clearly underestimated him the way everyone else did. And like episode's flashback, this scene also portrays Danny in a terrifying way -- with him standing cast in a black silhouette, briefly illuminated by flashes of lightning.

* The Rayburn family's go-to word in times of stress or anger is most definitely "fuck." It's practically Kevin's mantra these days.

* Speaking of which, John smashing up Danny's old truck in a profanity-laden temper tantrum after the tape is revealed tells us that his emotional maturity isn't much higher than Danny's or Kevin's. It's a lot more subtle with John, but it's there.

* It looks as though John's dark side is here to stay. His repeated use of the phrase "my word against his/his word against mine" gives us insight into the ways he freely abuses his authority and reputation. He is fully relying on his goody-two-shoes lawman image within the community to help conceal his terrible crimes. Like Walter White, his benign public image is half of his alibi. And his entire goal in becoming sheriff is to have more power that he can use to shield himself and his family.

* John's behavior is rubbing off on Marco, the Robin to his Batman. Marco is fiercely determined to take down Wayne Lowry, even if it means doing things he knows are unethical. When Marco suggests digging through Elena Cortez's profile to find anything to hold her on, John is amazed at his partner's ruthlessness. He's also incredibly hypocritical, since we and Marco saw John do something very similar to an ex-human trafficker on parole last season.

Quotes:

John: Every word on that tape is a lie.
Wayne Lowry: Is it, detective?
John: His word against mine.
Wayne Lowry: Well, then I guess you got nothing to worry about.

Meg: Jesus Christ, this is all about Danny still. He won't fucking go away!

Sally: What is it you want from us?
Nolan: I don't want anything from you, Sally. So you can fucking relax.
Sally: And you can clean up your fucking mouth. Now come inside, we're having lemonade.

Three out of four torn up photographs.

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