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Bloodline: Part 14

"I didn't think about Danny when he wasn't here, but of course he had a whole life going on outside this place. Who knows what else is out there?"

If you consider yourself to be a good person, how do you live with doing something unspeakably bad?

It seems the answer would be: not very well.

The fallout of Danny's murder has affected every one of the main characters.

John, Kevin and Meg are all desperate to forget what they did to him and move on with their lives, but they are constantly reminded.

Kevin hastily (and very suspiciously) sells the boat he used to hide Danny's corpse for days, but it does nothing to alleviate his paranoia and guilt. This paranoia and guilt is having a negative effect on his business. He's once again in a financial crisis, heavy in debt and unable to pay his employees. He can barely even pretend to be happy with his wife or the baby they have on the way, fighting the urge to tell her everything.

Meg took a job in New York to escape the nightmare back home, but she's become a frazzled mess, consumed with work and prone to heavy drinking. She joins her colleague Susan to wine and dine some prospective clients, but is unnerved when she sees the restaurant they're meeting at is called Daniel's West End. Meg gets worryingly drunk, which ends up winning over the douchebag clients, but it makes her look like a fool in front of Susan, who suggests that she go home for some R&R. Oh, if she only knew.

Finally we have John, who gets a surprise visit from a teenage boy claiming to be Danny's son. His name is Nolan and he's come to the Rayburns because he has nowhere to go. Or so he says. It turns out the people Danny was funneling money to in Miami weren't dangerous criminals; he was sending money to support his kid.

John tries to track down Nolan's dead-beat mother, Evangeline Radosevich. Meanwhile, Meg learns that Robert had been sending checks to Evangeline Radosevich for years, and Meg now has the power to either continue with the payments or to terminate them.

Living with what they did to Danny was already difficult enough. The unforeseen arrival of his son only makes it worse. Now they are faced with a constant reminder of their crime, a boy who is nearly the spitting image of Danny as a boy, and just as much of an unwelcome ghost from the past.

The apple clearly didn't fall far from the tree with Nolan. He has the same cold, indifferent attitude as his father. And like Danny, he appears to have an ulterior motive for his presence. An interesting thing happens where John is questioning Nolan about his past, and then Nolan starts low-key interrogating John about Danny's apartment in Miami. Nolan saw John and Kevin leave the place after moving Wayne Lowry's drugs there. The end reveals that he clearly suspects John is lying to him, which he relays to Eric O'Bannon at Eric's hideout.

It turns out Eric was there at the Red Reef Motel when Danny killed Ralph Lawler, Wayne Lowry's henchman. Meaning Eric knows that John left his brother to die that night. Has he told Nolan?

Further complicating matters, Marco Diaz is determined to find Danny's killer, and he's pursuing other leads besides Wayne Lowry. He seems to be doing it partly on behalf of John and the Rayburns, who are like family to him. This may, unfortunately, bring Marco into conflict with John.

Marco picks up Kevin abruptly, bringing him to the burnt boat used to dispose of Danny's body. Kevin quickly loses his shit and leaves, calling John over to complain. Kevin is clearly not capable of living with these lies, and John is being overwhelmed by the increasing number of impossibly difficult situations he's forced to handle. They're already at the point where they have to force laughter to keep themselves from breaking down into raging, weeping hysterics.

It's all good, though, because John's plan to take down Wayne Lowry and pin all of their crimes onto him is still in motion. Wayne Lowry is in an even worse situation than the Rayburns. His superiors are cleaning house, executing anyone involved with him and Danny from last season. They're hunting for Eric O'Bannon and Carlos Mejia, and they are not happy with Lowry. He's facing certain death from his bosses on one side and federal prison on the other. Not looking good for him.

Until we find out that he's got another trick up his sleeve. In the end, he sets up a secret meeting between himself and John, wherein he reveals a tape recording from Danny, who had given Lowry information that could ruin John. Even in death, Danny finds a way to raise hell.

The Rayburns are so desperate to bury and forget the past, but their efforts taint whatever future lies beyond, only bringing them more pain and misfortune. If they are truly good people, then they won't be able to lie to themselves and everyone else around them for very much longer.

Bits and Pieces:

* Sally is still in contact with Lenny Potts. They both know her kids (or, at least, John) are hiding things. And apparently they both know about Nolan. Potts introduces himself to Diana at the inn, presumably because he wants John to know that he's around, which visibly rattles him.

* Kevin held onto a few kilos of Wayne Lowry's cocaine for his own purposes, as was hinted last season.

* David Zayas, a favorite character actor of mine since the days of Dexter, joins the cast as Sheriff Aguirre. Aguirre hopes to get re-elected and respectfully warns John that he won't hold back in competing against him for the office.

* Nolan is played by Owen Teague, who also plays the younger version of Danny. I cannot praise the casting on this show enough.

* I LOVE that Danny recorded a tape of his own to get revenge on John.

* The shot that reintroduces Danny in the flashback to the Red Reed Motel was dynamic as hell. The way it pans up from Ralph Lawler's corpse all the way to Danny's face as if he were a giant monster. That "Oh please," smirk when Eric expresses surprise that John didn't intervene to save him. Danny may be dead, but this and the ending scene firmly establishes that his story's not finished.


Nolan: Are you afraid of me?
John: Am I afraid of you?
Nolan: When I showed up last night, you seemed like you might be a little afraid of me.
John: ... No, Nolan, I'm not afraid of you.
He totally is.

Kevin: I thought we wouldn't still be dealing with this shit, John!
John: ... Listen to me. You fucking listen to me. We are always gonna be dealing with this. Do you understand me? And you better fucking get used to it. Because whenever Danny comes up, you gotta be smart. You've got to say as little as possible, you've got to do as little as possible. Because everything's on track, but this thing could go a million different ways. Anyone can ask you a question, at any time. Mom, Marco, the feds, it doesn't matter. You've got to be ready for everything possible, do you understand me? Always!
Kevin: You're scaring me, man--
John: You don't have to be scared, Kevin, you just got to be smart!
That's asking a lot from a guy like Kevin, John.

Danny: (voice recording) Hey, John. I'd like you to meet my friend, Wayne Lowry. I've told him some things that could make your life very difficult.

A solid start to a new season, full of good twists. Four out of four dead brothers.

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