On Friday, May 27th Netflix released season 2 of "Bloodline," their thriller set in the Florida Keys. For the past week I've spent at least one hour a night watching new episodes and last night I finally finished!
For those who aren't familiar, "Bloodline" stars Kyle Chandler, a.k.a. Coach Eric Taylor from "Friday Night Lights," as one of five siblings untangling a mess of lies about his family.
*SPOILER ALERT! Please do not read on if you do not want to know anything about season 1 or season 2 of the show.*
In season 1 (you can read my full review of those 13 episodes here), we learn that though the Rayburn family is well regarded in their local community, they are sitting on a mountain of secrets. By the end of the first season we've learned that one of the Rayburn children drowned, that their father blamed his oldest son, Danny, and beat him to a pulp as a result. We also uncovered that Mama Rayburn asked all of her children to lie to the police to protect their father. In the last two episodes we watch brothers John and Danny duke it out, ultimately resulting in Danny's death. Then, in the final 60 seconds of the season finale we learn that Danny had a son. Do you remember watching that scene? My head exploded!
When I sat down to start season 2, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the story picked up right where we left off, with Danny's son's arrival at Rayburn House. I was worried the writers might decide to jump ahead a few months or even a year, but was really happy when they reignited the story in a logical place.
We resume with the Rayburn siblings - John, Meg and Kevin - trying to cover up their involvement in Danny's death. The anxiety I felt in the last few episodes of season 1 returned in full force. When I watch this show my chest is tight.
To add a new level of complexity, John decides to run for sheriff. Imagine trying to seek a leadership position in a police department when you're covering up a murder. Not good.
Also at the police department, John's partner Marco (Meg's ex) begins to back away from John and consider him a real suspect in Danny's case. It was uncomfortable to watch their brotherly relationship dissolve and turn into a tense, at times hostile, stalemate.
Kevin, the youngest Rayburn, gets way more screen time this season. He admits his substance abuse problem and starts going to AA, he and Belle are expecting a baby boy and he has reached a point where he has to sell his boat yard.
Three new characters arrive on the scene - Nolan (Danny's son), Eve (Nolan's mother) and Ozzy (Eve's boyfriend and a former friend of Danny's). The actor cast as Nolan, Owen Teague, has an uncanny resemblance to Danny. Bravo to the casting directors.
Eve, played by British actress Andrea Riseborough, has a mesmerizing quality about her. She seems high all the time, but is also disarming.
And lastly, John Leguizamo joins the cast as Ozzy. He brings a particular creep factor to the role that rivals my original feelings about Danny.
Speaking of Danny, I know many fans of the show were upset he was killed off, as he was one of the most captivating characters. I am happy to report that Danny is still active on the show, appearing in both flashback scenes (mostly in Nolan's mind) and as a ghost during John's darkest moments of panic.
I was glued to season 2. It had the same eerie and haunting quality as season 1, but with an added intensity due to the unraveling of the murder cover up. The show dug much deeper into the Rayburn's family history, especially Danny's past and Mama and Papa Rayburn's reactions to the birth of his son.
If you were on the fence after watching season 1, I'd definitely recommend season 2. I think it's stronger.
Now that I've finished "Bloodline," I am counting down to the return of "Orange is the New Black" on Friday, June 17th.