Last time around: We learned things were not as peachy as they first appeared down in the Florida Keys for the Rayburn family. We open with the sight of pouring rain and a giant hole in the window of Kevin’s office. Scary-sounding future John voice-overs that Kevin is the hothead (a.k.a. the Sonny Corleone) of the family. People used to tell John he was like his father, but that he’s not the same man now. Nothing is the same now, he says. Sheesh show, we get it: things are going to get nuts!
We touch upon what we saw briefly last episode: John taking Danny to the bus. We all know he never gets on—instead he walks down the road till Eric O’Dirtbag pulls up alongside him. They seem to be up to something vaguely shady, involving gasoline tanks. When they’re finished Danny asks Eric what happens next. O’Dirtbag stresses that this is a job not to mess up because they are dealing with seriously bad dudes. Eric tells Danny that he can stay at Eric’s sister’s for the night.
Kevin is left with the task of telling his dad that Danny left. Rob is concerned only for his wife’s feelings, it seems. Kevin’s wife drives Kevin back to his office where it quickly becomes apparent that Kevin is hiding the fact that they are no longer together and that Kevin wishes this wasn’t so and he hasn’t told his family. “These things happen,” says his wife. “Not in my family,” he replies. Oh, Rayburns.
(On the opposite end of things, John comes home and looks sort of tired and sad till he realizes that the kids are out of the house and he can fool around with his very pretty wife. Way to go, Coach Rayburn.)
Rob and Sally relax out on the porch, and—quick real life aside—Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard make for one super attractive couple. Rob breaks the Danny departure news to Sally. She’s had it: “I give up. I can’t take this anymore. I’m done with him.”
The next morning John is at the coroner office and views the dead body they pulled out of the water. There are burns all over her body though her official cause of death is drowning. John makes the neat-o point that means she was alive for the burning. Gah.
Danny wakes up to the nice sight of Chloe Sevigny—Eric O’Dirtbag’s sister, Chelsea—tossing pebbles at him. He gives her the cutest grin we’ve seen out of him yet. Instant chemistry with these two. She even flashes her butt at him as she walks into the house to make coffee. Hooray for Sevigny!
Rob Rayburn sea kayaks around a small inlet and sees his eldest son standing on the shore. Gosh, it’s pretty around there, isn’t it? Danny tells his dad that he wanted to say goodbye since he won’t be coming back anymore. Danny says he wanted to work things out before Rob dies. Yikes.
Cut to: Hospital! Apparently Robert Rayburn was in some sort of accident and is in the ER for head trauma. The children have gathered and Sally is having a hard time accepting how serious a situation this has become. Kevin seems mainly concerned with yelling at Danny about how exactly their father got hurt. Danny says that Rob was in his kayak and then just collapsed. The whole family gives him a collective WTF.
NEXT: But seriously—did he do it?[pagebreak]
Kevin, Meg, and John gather in the hallway, each taking on their familial roles: Kevin is losing it with anger, John is pacifying. Meg cancels the ceremony and goes to attend to the details of the family business. “You know Danny didn’t hurt dad,” Meg says. No one looks too sure on this point.
Danny and Sally are left in the waiting room: She confronts him about leaving without saying goodbye. He tells her that he didn’t want to leave but that his father didn’t want him to be around. (Hmmm. This level of misunderstanding is already making me uneasy.) Meg and John come back with news of CAT scans and Meg whisks Sally away. John invites Danny to come talk outside. Danny pops a pain pill in preparation.
John and Kevin take on Danny about what he was even still doing in town and how exactly Rob got hurt. Danny sticks to his story: He says that he and their dad chatted briefly and then Rob got in his kayak and collapsed. John and Kevin aren’t buying it, having him go over all the details again. Things get heated fast: Everyone is sort of yelling and then John blows his top—at Kevin, mostly—which seems to scare everyone (also me: when does Kyle Chandler ever get this mad?). They scatter when a nurse comes out and John takes the opportunity to check on a parolee and if you guessed that parolee’s name to be Eric O’Dirtbag then ding ding ding!
Speaking of O’D, Eric is trying to reach Danny with no luck. That’s because Danny is in with the doctor who is showing him his X-rays. She says while nothing is broken there is an injury, a fracture that never healed that gives him chronic pain. He says it happened via drunk driver and he’s in pain and he needs his prescription pills filled ASAP. The doctor relents, probably because she doesn’t want him to yell at her anymore. Danny calls him as soon as he’s out and Eric is not having it. Danny tries to placate him by offering his family’s boat. I’m sure that will end well.
Sally, meanwhile, is freaking out about the incoming guests. Meg is all, um, let’s not worry about that now? But you don’t have a successful inn without worrying about the details. Meg heads to the hotel and micromanages in a way that seems to set some employee’s teeth rightfully on edge.
John fills his wife in on the latest: that his dad might have had a stroke while on the water. He’s saved from answering about whether he thinks Danny had something to do with it by a call from his colleague, Chuck. Eric O’D never showed up for work. John’s face is totally like—of course. He’s on his way out the door when the doctor stops him to chat. In what seems like a wild breaking of confidentiality, she tells him that Danny seems to be displaying some drug seeking behavior. She throws in the hit-and-run injury and John comes apart a little bit. Interesting! We get a little dramatic reenactment memory of a boy being chased out of the house. John looks pained and guilty. I’m not sure why.
Kevin’s wife brings him clean clothes and expresses sympathy for what’s happened to Rob. Kevin is all, like, listen—I don’t buy it. His wife (reasonably) tells him to take a deep breath and cool off. I like this wife—she’s like why don’t you try to chill this time bro but he stomps off, rolling bag behind him. (It’s hard to make a dignified exit with a roller bag.)
NEXT: More Chelsea please [pagebreak]
Chelsea is hanging out at home—watching a game show in denim short overalls over a bikini as you do—when John Rayburn shows up. “What did my brother do now?” John is all, heeeey you tell me. Chelsea is not nearly as psyched to see the handsome visage of Coach Rayburn as I would be: She doesn’t want to get him or Danny into trouble, but John plays the dad-in-hospital card. Chelsea doesn’t know anything and John is frustrated. He leaves, she calls him a prick.
Danny picks up the family boat and boy, this doesn’t seem like a good idea at all! He and old O’D bring in their shady gasoline cans onto the island. Eric doesn’t tell Danny who they are doing the job for exactly.
Poor Papa Rayburn is still unconscious in the hospital. Sally tells Kevin they’re going to do another scan. Sally wants to know why Kevin always assumes the worst when it comes to Danny. And now the Three’s Company confusion as to who did or didn’t want Danny to come home starts to unravel: Kevin calls John and yells at him for letting their father take the fall on the decision. Kevin thinks this gives Danny a motive to smash up their dad. Sally watches a doctor look at her husband’s charts and worries about the worst.
Kevin meanwhile plays detective with some local fisherman to see if they know what happened between Danny and their dad. The fisherman stay quiet till some cash is offered. What they tell him doesn’t exactly help: that they were thrashing and maybe they were fighting till Danny asked them for help.
John, meanwhile, is being visited by ghosts. He’s remembering maybe Danny getting his ass kicked by their father? Unclear. Come ON, dramatic reenactments! Sally comes to John and tells him that she wants (demands) Danny to come home. “It will mean more coming from you—you know how he feels about you.”
John confronts Danny about what he is up to with Eric O’Bannon. It turns out it’s hard to hold the moral high ground when your pain meds spill out all over the place. John loses steam at the sight of this pathetic behavior but not Kevin—he comes charging down yelling about their dad. “I hit him over the head with a paddle,” says Danny, which I don’t believe for a second and the two of them start rolling around. John and Sally seem to be having parallel flashbacks to what now seems like might be the days when perhaps Rob used to the beat the hell out of Danny? John goes all Incredible Hulk and and now there’s three grown men wrestling in the sand outside the family hotel. Aces.
But! We see what really went down with Danny and Rob. Danny told his dad he wanted to make things right and that he had been angry—so angry—when John told Danny that their father didn’t want him to come home. “You know the kind of anger Dad? You know the one.” Burn. He goes on to say that whatever his father is holding on to, he should let go of because Danny is moving on.
Rob thinks on this and walks away. As he gets back into the boat he admits it wasn’t his call: It was John and Kevin and Meg. “It was them that didn’t want you back.” Then he paddles off and indeed seems to slump over all on his own. Danny rushes to rescue him. Aw, poor misunderstood Danny.
Uh-oh. Future scary John voice is back. “Could this all have been avoided? Probably.” We flash-forward to that epic rainstorm of doooom. Kevin hands John a gun and tells him it’s untraceable. YIKES.