“We’re not bad people. But we did a bad thing”

Bloodline debuted on Netflix last year, a Florida Keys set drama/thriller centering around the Rayburn family. Prodigal son Danny returned home, secrets were uncovered and sons and daughters all covered up a very bad thing. A slow-burning, humid and dense first season was hailed as the normative successor to Breaking Bad and the perfect example in how a story can be most effectively told in a 13 episode, binge-ready format.

Head here for an excellent read to recap or catch-up for Season 2, just released, and here for Episode 1 Recap & Review before diving into the decidedly muddy waters of the Rayburns once more.

The Florida Keys, gorgeous to look at with a dark underbelly
The Florida Keys, gorgeous to look at with a dark underbelly

Yes, they did a bad thing but not bad people? We beg to differ. It would seem the Rayburns, or at least some of them, are moving toward being very bad people indeed. And they’re making extremely bad decisions as they go.

John Rayburn and Wayne Lowry face off, with Lowry having the upper hand
John Rayburn and Wayne Lowry face off, with Lowry having the upper hand

We last left off with John having a very secret meeting with people trafficker and drug runner Wayne Lowry, the man he wants to pin brother Danny’s murder on. But Lowry has an ace up his sleeve, a tape full of incriminating evidence against John Danny made and gave him just before his death. “Everything on that tape is a lie”, John says. It’s bluster that Lowry brushes off, and probably with good reason. His price to remain silent is that John get all the heat off him so he can continue his business and the fact that the elder Rayburn doesn’t immediately discount the idea out of hand is testament to how much of a hold Lowry has on him already. Maybe he should have shot the guy there and then? Or would that be too much of a bad thing….for now?

John decides to run for Sheriff. And doesn't he look happy?
John decides to run for Sheriff. And doesn’t he look happy?

Despite everything that’s happening and could go down – or perhaps precisely because of it all – John has decided that he will run for Sheriff. This strikes as the series’ first potential bum note; wouldn’t a man in his position decide to lie low and let everything (hopefully) blow over? It seems completely out of character unless we put trust in the writers and see that it’s a decision made to give John the best possible opportunity to keep the bad thing – his murder of Danny – from bringing down the entire Rayburn clan. It was a decision made quickly and undiscussed with his wife straight after the Lowry meeting after all.

Meanwhile, Meg is back in the Keys, ordered to take a weekend and ‘regroup’ by her New York boss. She wasn’t going to go near the place but John has ordered she return anyway due to a plot line even hardened fans might not remember from season 1. And also because he’s Kyle Chandler, right? Kyle Chandler could probably get a cat to wag it’s tail. Long story short – a case from her recent past involving some witness coercion has come back to bite her, courtesy of Wayne Lowry. Looks like he’s piling pressure on all the Rayburns.

Kevin may just be good at business after all
Kevin may just be good at business after all

As a line to the drug and people traffickers opens up – much to John’s horror – younger Rayburn son Kevin may just have found his calling. Blowing a potential deal to save the marina in spectacular fashion, he chances across a stranger who likes the coke he’s snorting so much he asks to buy more. Thinking it over for all of two seconds, Kevin goes into full drug dealer mode and finds he’s really rather good at this, offering samples in sugar sachets and hiding the coke in pies. The bloke’s a natural. This won’t end badly at all will it? It was Danny’s coke and here’s Kevin, becoming all he hated in an instant. Meanwhile John’s at the house of Elena Cortez for a police raid; Elena is a waitress somehow involved with Lowry and the trafficking and with the police discovering fuel cans hidden in the mangroves it looks like another run of drugs or people is imminent; this bust could provide proof and that vital link to Lowry. John finds such evidence – a photograph of Elena with Rafi, one of Lowry’s goons who was killed last season. And what’s a police chief about to run for sheriff gonna do with that? Pocket it of course, becoming a thoroughly corrupt cop in one simple move.

As if he hasn't got enough on his plate, Lenny the ex-detective is still poking around John
As if he hasn’t got enough on his plate, Lenny the ex-detective is still poking around John

With Rayburn matriarch Sally and ex-detective Lenny visiting Danny’s old apartment and finding John has lied about how often he’d visited it, and the how-bad-is-he-really Nolan finally meeting his grandmother – a frosty tête-à-tête to say the very least – the ground is being laid for a very satisfying season. Follow it all here at XO.TV.

  • The tense stand-ff between John and Lenny was politeness personified. “Leave my family alone. Please” implored John. Courteous, begging and threatening at the same time, a tour de force performance from Kyle Chandler who could act purely with just his eyes if he wished.
  • Talking of John Rayburn, we’re all surely already begging to see him do something really bad. Is this reminding you of anyone elses early character arc? A certain Walter White perhaps?
  • Carlo the dodgy witness is working for Lowry now. We hope the convoluted, murky plot strand involving him and Meg and last year’s court case is left alone – it’s got the young, almost alcoholic lawyer back in the Keys now after all.
  • Elena the waitress has given Lowry an envelope. What’s in it?