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Bloodline: Part 21

"That was the last time we ever tried to celebrate Father's Day."

We're in the final three episodes. Everything is seriously eroding now.

At the start of the series, the Rayburns are among the most beloved and respected members of their community. A beautiful, prosperous, all-American family who enjoyed a sparkling reputation. That surface-level illusion is coming to an end. If it wasn't clear before, it is obvious now. And the ones who are coming to this realization first are the Rayburns themselves.

The one who handles it the best is Sally, the Rayburn matriarch. In Miami, Nolan takes her to see the restaurant Danny used to own, as well as the place he and Eve were staying. Sally learns a bit about Danny's past, and that of his own dysfunctional family. It moves her enough to change her mind about them. She wants to start over, offering Nolan and Eve a place to stay at the inn. And though she is hesitant to trust Sally with the history they share, she and Nolan manage to convince Eve the offer is sincere.

It's a sweet turn of events in a show clouded in darkness... but for everything Sally learns, there is a deeper truth that Nolan didn't tell her about. That his father resorted to committing armed robbery and selling drugs to keep the restaurant running, the latter of which Nolan was unfortunate enough to witness. This landed Danny in jail. His refusal to go to Robert and Sally for help fueled Nolan's own resentment toward his father and the family he came from. We discover that it wasn't gangsters who burned down the restaurant. It was Nolan. One might be forgiven for assuming his brooding emo appearance is just some teen phase he's in, but no. It's an expression of genuine angst. Like his father, the chip on Nolan's shoulder is very real, well-earned and dangerous.

The same could be said of his uncle, John. He's becoming more demanding, more hostile. And this is making him appear less trustworthy in the eyes of his siblings/co-conspirators, Meg and Kevin. He doesn't think twice about blowing off their valid concerns or bullying them into doing what he wants.

This behavior leaves Meg with no other choice but to seek Roy Gilbert's help in dealing with Ozzy Delvecchio. Gilbert readily provides the money needed to make Ozzy go away. Meg leaves Ozzy with a warning to go with his bribe. While that is pretty hardcore, what's scarier is the fact that this clandestine meeting was being observed by the man who had been bossing Wayne Lowry around earlier this season, credited as "White Shirt Man" even though he never wears a white shirt. It isn't clear who he is stalking, Ozzy or Meg. Maybe he has something in mind for both.

Meanwhile, Kevin's business is still barely hanging on by a thread. He wants to fight for it, but he's still very proud. He refuses to be bought out by the very wealthy Mr. Garnet, since he still wants to run the business himself. I'll give him points for at least realizing that his obsession with making the marina work stems from his lifelong desire to please his dad.

Luckily for Kevin, he is able to keep that dream alive when Meg gets Roy Gilbert to generously invest in Kevin's business. Unluckily for Kevin, Roy Gilbert is obviously a nefarious guy despite the helpful generosity he is so willing to extend.

John is the one facing the biggest threats at the moment. First of all, his wife treats him with cold disdain now that she knows what he did. Then, after revisiting the scene of Danny's murder, John discovers a security camera that could potentially spell doom for him, Kevin and Meg. Finally, John is questioned by Marco. Marco was once practically a member of the Rayburn family. He and John, his mentor, were almost brothers by law. That all changed when Meg cheated on him, and John began keeping secrets from him. It's easy to see why he's now so determined to find out what they're hiding. It's not clear what he's accusing John and his siblings of, but he is pissed. And his dialogue implies that he now seriously suspects John had something to do with Danny's death. So yeah, Marco is no longer a friend of the Rayburns. It's sad, but can we really blame him?

This is what I meant about erosion. The once prestigious Rayburn family is starting to get a bad name. People are beginning to see through their lies. They are becoming disgusted with and resentful of the Rayburns. Just like Eric O'Bannon and Ozzy Delvecchio are. Just like Danny was.

Bits and Pieces:

* "Sharks" by Morphine, the song that plays during the end credits, fits very well, since our characters are all in dangerous territory now.

* Sally finds a photo revealing that Nolan and his grandfather Robert had met previously. She never knew about it. There's got to be more to that.

* I loved how, during his conversation with Ozzy, Eric discretely picks up a big rock that he hides behind his back. Smart move, considering Ozzy has threatened his life at least twice.

* We know Marco's not that different from John, lying to cover up Aguirre's domestic abuse and all. And now we know that he's not that different from Meg, since he totally cheated on his new girlfriend with Meg last episode. Interestingly, Marco gets a call from Meg's lover Alec Moros while he's out on a date with the other girl. First, we had to deal with cycles of violence, now there's cycles of infidelity going on too.

* Most of the Rayburns are associated with water and the ocean, perhaps denoting their ability to change and adapt to chaos as well as calm. Danny and his son Nolan, however, are also associated with fire; the boatfire that burned Danny's corpse, and the explosion Nolan caused in the restaurant. Maybe this is hinting at their potential for destruction.


Meg: He says you beat him up.
John: ... Yeah, well, you know, things got a little physical.
Haha, great explanation!

Ozzy: (to Meg) Oh, that look. What, you people really think you're the victims here? Let me tell you something, honey. I've been on your end of this hook more times than I care to admit, and it sucks. Oh yeah, it sucks! But we both know how you got here, and it ain't 'cause you're exemplary individuals.
As much of a scumbag as he is, he's really not wrong.

Nolan: Why don't you just ask your parents for the money?
Danny: ...
Nolan: You want me to ask them?
Danny: No. No, I don't. I absolutely do not. I want you to stay away from them.
Nolan: Why? I'm their grandson.
Danny: You're a fucking embarrassment to them.

Kevin: Then he asked me why I didn't want to sell. The thing is I didn't have an answer. I think its 'cause my dad gave me the money to start this place and I all I ever wanted to do was to make him proud. And deep down I always felt like I had to live up to John, and not be a fuck-up like Danny. This place was a way for me to do both.
Belle: That's a lot of pressure to put on yourself.

Sally: I just want to do right by you two. And I want to do right by Danny.

Meg: (to Ozzy) I'm not the only one who wants my brother to win. There are others out there. Powerful people. And if you don't disappear, things could get ugly.

Marco: Meg told me, how your mom made all three of you lie to the police when your dad beat the fuck out of Danny. Lying to the police to protect your family, is that what you're doing now, John?
John: Don't go there.
Marco: What is it with you people? Hmm, you guys think that you can fuckin' lie? You think that you can cheat? You think that you can fuck people over and get away with it?
I like how John says "Don't go there" right before he mocks Marco for getting cheated on by Meg. The hypocrisies just keep on comin'.

This was another taut, intense episode, but it was primarily just setting everyone up for their season finale shenanigans. Three out of four boiling gas canisters.

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