Danny (Ben Mendelsohn) is killing it with kindness and the case is finally heating up…sorta.
Let’s bitch it out…
With ‘Part 7’, Bloodline officially crosses over into the second half of its freshman season. At this point, one would expect that there would be a greater sense of urgency, but sadly, this episode feels firmly grounded in developing and expanding storylines, not resolving or expediting them. We’re still slowly working towards Danny’s murder that was teased back in the first few episodes, but now even the voice over and flash forwards have ceased, which makes it feel like we’re simply spending time with the Rayburns.
The exception to the rule continues to be Danny, who feels like the only character with a sense of agency. After learning he’s been cut out of the will, and then here discovering that his younger brother Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) slept with Chelsea (Chloë Sevigny), Danny seemingly kicks his plans into high gear. What exactly those plans are isn’t clear, but Danny is trying to make substantial amounts of coin and he’s mailing money off to addresses unknown (Arguably the most kinetic aspect of ‘Part 7’ is his money making montage). In the meantime he’s killing his siblings with kindness: being polite, smiling and telling grand stories about how he helped John (Kyle Chandler) land wife Diana (Jacinda Barrett). The latter piece is intriguing, if only because Diana is so clearly uncomfortable with Danny’s reintroduction in their lives, but she’s trying to play along. You can see it when Danny pulls daughter Jane (Taylor Rouviere) aside to whisper advice on how to handle her date and Diana frustration when he refuses to confess what he said.
Of course, Danny doesn’t care what Diana thinks about him. His focus is squarely on climbing the criminal ranks of the Keys in order to get a big score. Throughout the episode he repeatedly tries to convince Eric (Jamie McShane) to introduce him to his gas-procuring contact, but Eric refuses (out of concern for his friend or to maintain his position? Unknown). It’s not until the market dries up and Danny follows Eric that he finally gets what he wants and it’s here that we see Danny make his big play. He’s completely fearless in the face of a group of thugs, but smooth as a cheshire cat when the big boss Wayne Lowry (Glenn Morshower) makes an appearance. And after Danny finally gets what he wants, he goes to Chelsea to apologize for blowing her off. All in all, it’s a good episode to be Danny Rayburn.
- In other news, John’s case finally heats up. He and Marco (Enrique Murciano) follow leads from one of the former people smugglers, Ray Jenkins, to a fruit farm manned by employees of – shall we say – “questionable” immigration status. None of them want to talk to them (understandably), but it does lead John to the church that one of the dead girls may have attended since her missing poster is still up on the bulletin board. It’s progress…even if we still don’t really know where it’s going.
- In Kevin’s mostly separate story line, he’s sticking his neck out to buy the land around his shop. It looks like things should go his way, though Meg (Linda Cardinelli) cautions him against taking on so much debt and the son of the woman selling threatens him. Turns out the danger is real: Kevin takes a beating near the end of the episode. I couldn’t make out the identity of the man who beats him, though – it was either Eric (as payback for sleeping with Chelsea) or the son.
- Meg also suggests that Belle (an unseen Katie Finneran) could “torpedo” the deal if she divorces Kevin before the details are finalized. That sounds ominous, so it will probably happen.
- In Meg land, she’s still helping former Rayburn employee Carlos (Eliezer Castro). She even convinces Sally (Sissy Spacek) to write him a character reference letter. I will honestly admit that this story line feels so superfluous it’s aggravating. I understand that it will likely become important, but spending a substantial amount of time without some clarity about why I should invest beyond “it’ll probably pay off” is becoming one of this show’s more frustrating characteristics.
- Ray (when John asks him who’s trafficking girls these days): “Why don’t you listen to WKWP, get your traffic on ones?” Admittedly this is a pretty amusing answer.
Your turn: Do you feel like there are too many disconnected pieces on this show? Do you care about John or Meg’s case? Are you excited to see Morshower (Pierce from 24!) as a baddie? What is Danny doing with that money and how long can he keep his con going? Who beat up Kevin? Sound off below, but please refrain from posting spoilers from subsequent episodes.
Bloodline is available in its entirety on Netflix.