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

Bloodline is the Netflix Florida Keys set drama/thriller centering around the Rayburn family. The 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 the Recap & Review for Episode 8.

Eric O'Bannon (Jamie McShane) finds an incriminating piece of evidence
Eric O’Bannon (Jamie McShane) finds an incriminating piece of evidence

Kev gets the financial lifeline he so desperately wants but is it from the person he needs in his life right now? O’Bannon has had some vital evidence all this time and John steps over a line with alarming ease. As we enter the penultimate episode of Bloodline season 2, what’s expected and required is the ramping up of tensions, some proverbial ticking clocks and the fear of John and family being found out just around the corner. What we get instead is more flashbacks, a plot point that’s irrelevant but is posited as vital and a feeling of strolling toward whatever denouement has been planned for us rather than the sprint that we want.

With Marco getting ever closer to the truth, John decides it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy and crosses the line he swore he never would just a couple of episodes earlier. He goes to Aguirre’s ex and says he’d like to get the full story of her domestic abuse at the hands of the incumbent sheriff out. As well as helping his political ambitions, this will also land internal affairs at the feet of his one-time friend and thus stall Marco’s investigations.

Put it there! Kev sells his yard to Gilbert, a deal he may live to regret
Put it there! Er….no. Kev sells his yard to Gilbert, a deal he may live to regret

After much deliberation, Kev finally signs the deal to sell his yard to Roy Gilbert (Beau Bridges) and we get the first sign that the rich businessman is not all he seems when he swats the fragile boatman’s hand away before the ink is dry. He’s an interesting character is Gilbert and more could and should have been done with him; however, it’s pretty obvious he’s being set up for something much bigger in season 3, so we’ll forgive the writers at this stage.

We learn in a flashback that O’Bannon has had the seahorse necklace all this time, finding it the day of Danny’s death after the Rayburn siblings had moved his friend’s body from the beach. This necklace always been posited as some major plot point but it proves and shows almost zilch, save that an item once belonging to one Rayburn was then owned by another. However, O’Bannon does accuse John Rayburn directly of murder, and to Marco at that. He’s willing to testify to all that he knows, provided Marco gives him immunity. But Marco won’t be able to do jack once IA gets on his case.

O'Bannon accuses John Rayburn of murder giving Marco something concrete to work with - for now
O’Bannon accuses John Rayburn of murder giving Marco something concrete to work with – for now

Eve decides to take up Sally’s offer and move into a bungalow with Nolan at Rayburn Inn. That won’t play well with Ozzy, so she confronts and dumps him citing the fact that the Rayburns are ‘real family’. Meg happens to see the whole thing and goes to warn her mother. And Sally, God bless her, decides that now is the perfect time to warn Meg about Roy Gilbert; horse bolted, barn door wide open Sally! Like we said, Gilbert is finally getting interesting.

With so many balls up in the air, and so much that can go wrong, John takes the simplest of options available to him and goes snooping in Marco’s desk. You’d think that a detective as dogged as Marco wouldn’t keep all the stuff he’s got on John at work, unlocked, but there it is. John sees O’Bannon’s statement and the application – as yet unsigned – for his immunity. John is one tiny step away from being arrested and he knows it. What’s he gonna do? Apart from frown very, very hard that is.

  • With Kev’s boatyard and John’s sheriff campaign in his pocket, Roy Gilbert sort of owns the Rayburns now, all without them really realising. What’s his history with deceased patriarch Robert? And what are his long term plans?
  • The flashback reveal of O’Bannon finding the necklace felt a bit cheap and thrown-in. And it’s also, as discussed, rather superfluous.
  •  In one quick motion – swatting away Kev’s outstretched hand the moment after he’s signed the contract – we see what sort of man Gilbert really is. ‘Show, don’t tell’ is a maxim of screenwriting and this is a perfect example of how to do it right.