Bloodline: Part 16

"You always looked out for your brother. Even to the end."

Every step forward just takes the Rayburns two steps back. Though, if we're being honest, none of them are really stepping forward.

Their misguided belief that they can salvage whatever normal lives they had before the deaths of Danny and Sarah only compounds their problems, making their situation more inescapable with every action.

Things take a major turn this episode when Kevin's latest drug deal goes wrong. He is recognized by some local cops, triggering a violent reaction from his buyers. They abduct Kevin, thinking he's involved with the police, and torture him with tasers. Kevin tries to escape but is chased down. Later, no one knows where Kevin is. Belle is worried, and calls John. He and Meg ask around to try to find him.

The body of the buyer Kevin sold cocaine to is found half-naked with cigarette burns on his body and a bullet in his head. We learn that after he and his partner beat up Kevin, they were found by the scary man acting as an emissary to Wayne Lowry's bosses. He is not happy with Lowry, and tasks him with finding the person who's been selling their product.

That would be Kevin, who Meg and John find holed up in a motel. They find out Kevin has been selling Wayne Lowry's drugs, and that he's addicted to cocaine. John knows it's partially his fault for getting him wrapped up in his murder of Danny, which Kevin feels immense guilt over. Unfortunately, John and Meg are far too pissed at him to be overly sympathetic.

Meg is forced to babysit Kevin while John goes out to try to clean up his mess. She misses her flight, upsetting Susannah back in New York.

While tiptoeing around the sheriff's department and the DEA, John tries to persuade Lowry to take a deal: he does 10 out of a 25 year stretch in exchange for federal protection for himself and his family. Lowry isn't happy with this deal, but he may be forced to take it. He arrives home and finds his front door left open, which neither his wife or son can account for. Lowry is a scary guy, but he is clearly at the mercy of even scarier people.

John is also forced to take care of a more personal problem. Sally argues with Diana about Danny. When John goes to his mother, Sally confronts him about what she and Lenny Potts learned: that John and Kevin were secretly moving suitcases full of drugs into Danny's apartment. John is able to spin this so that it appears he was nobly putting his career on the line to protect Danny, which Sally readily believes. Problem solved.

I do still feel bad for John and the impossible situation he's trapped in, but the further he goes to cover up his crimes just makes the Dudley Do-Right image he projects to the world creepier with every passing episode.

I'm sure he'll go even further in the next episode, since Kevin goes ahead and makes another problem for him to solve. Kevin decides he can fix everything by rushing off to personally give the drugs back to Wayne Lowry. This is a good idea, in his mind. As soon as Meg turns her back, he drives off to his next blunder.

Even if Kevin and John do somehow rid themselves of the Wayne Lowry problem, they'll still have to deal with the other ghosts from Danny's past. The most obvious would be his son, Nolan, but we meet a few new, more intimidating figures in this episode.

Flashing back to Danny's past, when he still owned the restaurant in Miami, we see Danny reluctantly take part in the robbery of a pharmacy with his partner-in-crime, Ozzy. Danny tries to pull off the robbery by himself with no violence, taking a female employee hostage with an unloaded gun. It all goes smoothly until Ozzy decides to join in the robbery. Unfortunately, Ozzy is not the nonviolent type. He ends up pistol whipping a man's face in.

In the present, Ozzy has arrived in Monroe County. Narratively, he appears intent on picking up where Danny left off. He's driving Danny's old car, he meets up with Nolan and Eric O'Bannon, and he's very interested in the Rayburns. Ozzy claims to have a knack for sniffing out opportunities. It's an easy guess as to what that might mean, since Ozzy is intrigued when he learns Danny's cop brother left him to die, and excited when he finds out that cop brother is running for sheriff.

Ozzy is not the real surprise, though. The real surprise is the woman Danny takes hostage in the flashback. In the end, it turns she is Evangeline Radosevich, the mother of Danny's child, who has also just shown up in the present. She was apparently in on the robbery with Danny and Ozzy. And her only dialogue to Nolan makes it clear that she shares Danny's distaste for the Rayburns.

Bits and Pieces:

* I give Kevin a lot of shit, but Leo Norbert Butz is just as worthy of praise as the other actors on this show. It takes talent to make Kevin as realistically frustrating a character as he is.

* There are some good soundtrack bits in Kevin's scenes. During his last drug deal, "Gallows" by Dustin Kensrue is playing in the background. And at the end, when Kevin makes his ill-fated decision, "Liar" by Rollins Band is on the radio and plays over the credits. The lyrics to both songs are very fitting for Kevin and the Rayburns in general.

* I like how John and Wayne Lowry are always surrounded when they have their little secret meetings. The last time they were surrounded by various boats, and this time they meet between the trunks of several close-quartered palm trees, and always in the dark. It's a nice way of visually illustrating that these two men are feeling boxed in, just one wrong move away from prison or the grave. It guess it could count as the Most Obvious Symbolism of this episode and the last. Or maybe I'm just overthinking it. Yeah, probably.

* As Sally and Diana's argument illustrates, the issue with Danny is still terribly complex. In a way, they are both right. Sally is right that Danny was never given a real chance by his family, that they hurt him. Diana is right that what happened in the past doesn't really excuse Danny's vicious behavior toward the end.

* Ozzy acts like he and Danny were good friends, but in the flashback Danny was ready to cut all ties with him once the robbery was done. We can see why after the pistol-whipping thing.

* While John Leguizamo (Ozzy) is a veteran character actor who is pretty easy to spot, Andrea Riseborough (Evangeline) is more of a chameleon. I've seen her in several different roles before Bloodline (each one vastly different from the other), but I did not even recognize her in this until the very end of the episode.

Quotes:

Jake the Snake: Ever since Danny died, Kevin's been scrambling.

Ozzy: I got my own thing with the Rayburns.

John: Did anybody I.D. you?
Kevin: No.
John: Nobody could I.D. you?
Kevin: No! It was those two guys, it was the main guy and the taller one. That's it, I swear to God!
Meg: What about the football player on the yacht?
Kevin: And the football player... on the yacht. Just those three, that's it.
John: ...
Kevin: And the waitress. Fuck! There was a waitress.
Meg: ...
Kevin: And maybe a couple of cops. I dunno, man! I can't remember... (blubbering and cursing)
John: Jesus Christ.

Lenny Potts: You remind me of your dad. I knew him, when he was younger than you. I always felt like the cards were stacked against him.
Nolan: Are you shitting me? You see the place he grew up? He had a sweet deal. Mother, father, sisters, brothers, one big happy family.
I guess it's all about perspective.

Meg: (to Kevin) I need you to look at me, right now. You are in no condition to be offering solutions. I need you stay here and focus on not making anything worse.
Listen to your sister, Kevin.

Three out of four unloaded guns.

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