Just imagine how scary it would be to wake up and see, looming in the dark, Danny Rayburn. That’s just what happened to Wayne Lowry and his wife. Yikes. But Danny tells them quickly he has no plans of killing them. He tosses that telltale tape that screws John in so many ways it’s nuts.
In the present we’re back with John and Wayne, who explains that he hopes now that John is going to drop this whole pesky investigation thing. John tries to bluff that Danny was totally lying. Wayne calls that bluff and says, sure, we’ll see.
John white knuckles it out of there, thinking that Danny has managed to hose him from the grave. He sees the old Rayburn truck Danny drove and he snaps—smashing it as much as he can. It sure must be frustrating to want to murder a dude you have already murdered.
When he gets home Diana is all so, heeeey? John goes for the brown liquor instead of talking to her. She says they need to decide about whether he’s running for sheriff and he’s like: Oh, I made that decision without you already. He’s running. She stays pretty patient, considering. She tells him he’s been AWOL since Danny died and that she is worried about him and worried about them as a family, too. He distracts her by making out with her, which works because he is Kyle Chandler. They are uninterrupted by Nolan creeping around because creepers gotta creep.
The other Rayburn kids aren’t doing so great either. Kevin is continuing to do a lot of the coke he shouldn’t even have and screaming f— at his own reflection. Meg, without work, is driftless in her apartment. She goes to her mailbox and is surprised by hot hot affair Alec, who she apparently has been blowing off (a true sign of a problem if you ask me). He’s talked to her boss, and he agrees she should go home, which she flips out about to the point where he starts to leave. But she’s smart enough to realize there’s a really good way to spend her afternoon and seduces him upstairs.
John and Diana meet with a potential campaign manager and all of this sounds exhausting and Diana is wary. This dude tells them what we already know: Danny is going to be a tough thing to get around during the race, and John running will open the entire Rayburn clan to a new level of scrutiny. Yeah, that’s just what they need.
Belle has a job at some upscale boutique and smiles at Kevin as he flip-flops in. She managed to sell something expensive to a rich guy and set up a meeting for Kevin to talk real estate. Belle is the greatest.
At John’s work, Marco has found more gas cans — dear god, not the gas cans again — and thinks that Wayne Lowry is looking to get his business running again. (Correct.) But before we delve into that, there’s a call for them to check out some guy harassing a waitress. When they get there it seems the waitress, Elena Cortez who is one tough cookie, didn’t call them. It was the other guy: our friend from last season, the grieving father whose daughter was killed in a Lowry human smuggle go wrong. He and Marco talk in Spanish… It turns out he thinks the tough cookie waitress is all tied up in the smuggling. He says a boat is about to come in, and it’s the same people. John is like, geeze, let us do our job. Marco is all excited to bring the waitress in, but John drags his heels. We know why.
Elena Cortez lawyers up pretty dang fast. John calls Meg and fills her in about how bad things are going. He’s like, uh, come home. I need you. You need to be here. He gets real big brother bossy about it, too.
In Miami we see what dressed-up Kevin looks like — and that’s pretty great all in itself. He’s on a party boat and meets with some gray-haired rich guy who seems kind of into him and his shipyard. Kevin, in fact, seems to be crushing it! That is until the guy asks to see a business plan. Ooof, he def does not have that. He goes to the bathroom to do some coke and yell at himself. Some dude comes in and is like, hey I like coke, too. (Why don’t dudes lock bathroom doors?) So Kevin lets this stranger have some and it turns out this coke is extra good and the stranger offers to buy some and gives Kevin a new nickname, Frosty.
Sally goes to Danny’s place in Miami. She walks through his home, looking at his papers, wondering about this black sheep son who went so astray. On the fridge is an article about how great Danny’s restaurant was. Lenny is there too and tells Sally the landlord remembers John being at the house.
Meg is back at her old place. John meets her there, and they talk about the potential fallout from witness tampering. Their mom paid with personal checks and Carlos had him sign over the check. What does this mean? It basically means the Rayburns could be seriously screwed. As usual. John tells Meg the deal… but not really. He doesn’t, for example, tell her about the tapes Danny made but does let her know the general direction the poop creek is running.
Kevin, in dire straits clearly, still tries to put up a good front for his worker pal, Jake. But Jake — as nicely as possible — tells him he’s out. Kevin begs, and Jake is sympathetic but firm, so Kevin leaves. He spirals down harder. He texts his old friend from the boat. “It’s Frosty: you still want snow?” Boy, is that an uncrackable code.
NEXT: This very thick plot continues to thicken
John goes to see Lenny Potts, in full Coach Rayburn mode. But he drops it fast and starts telling Lenny what a mistake it was to give Danny those tapes. Lenny is like, I hate to differ. John goes on to be like, take your guilt elsewhere and why don’t you leave my family alone pretty please?
He goes and tells Sally about Nolan, and she has the great restraint to not to be like, DUH. She asks what Nolan knows about them as a family. Poor, Sally.
Meg’s boss is like great, you are getting your head together? Boy, does she not understand how stressful the Keys are right now. She’s already asking for Meg’s return. Meg is startled by an unexpected appearance from Carlos. He wants to know what she wanted, and she begs him to talk to John.
John and Marcos track down a judge who is just minding his business fishing. They ask for a warrant and blah blah blah; the judge is all, beat it i’m fishing. Off subject: Kyle Chandler looks just fantastic on a boat.
Sally comes downstairs to find Nolan. This feels big, right? She watches him, this boy so much like her other boy now gone. Nolan, for his part, is edgy. He trashes Danny at every chance and pushes Sally’s buttons. “My dad liked the dead one the most,” regarding Sarah. Sally, who has some experience with difficult Rayburns, stays patient yet tough and doesn’t take no guff. Yay, Sally.
Kevin, or should we say Frosty, is waiting to make his drug deal. He’s surprised when some other random not from the boat shows up. But considering he’s a novice, he seems to have thought this one out: There’s a complicated transaction involving sugar packets and pies, but it all seems to work, and he walks out with a lot of cash.
John goes to a very scary darkened street to talk to Carlos. But uh oh, someone has got to Carlos. He’s spinning all sorts of lies about Meg (which is messed up), and he’s clearly been put on someone else’s payroll. Carlos keeps yelling the whole family was in on it, which would be funny if it wasn’t such doom for the Rayburns. He then jumps into someone else’s car. This is bad.
John tells Meg what’s going on: They are in trouble. Carlos can provide motive. He still has to play cop though when he gets a call from Marco, who is all excited about getting a search warrant for Elena Cortez. He tells Meg he can’t not pursue it and he can’t tell Marco to back off. What is he to do?
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He figures it out while they go on their search. He tells most of the other detectives to go outside so he can look at things himself. This plan looks like it might backfire when the cops outside find a shed, but no, he finds a picture of Elena with Rafi (murdered last year, you might recall) and there is the link he was worried about. He thinks for a second before pocketing the picture and yeah, he is weaving himself quite a web.
The next day John is charming the crowd with a little story about life at the inn as a young boy and the time he broke the one big rule: He went into a guest’s room and fell asleep on their bed. He jokes about how mad Papa Rayburn could be (he probably doesn’t mean murderously but we know that). Pops Rayburn apparently said, I’m happy for you because every day after today you’ll know the meaning of right and wrong. Uh… well, oh well. He talks about the look of disappointment on Sally’s face. We see other things too — like Elena giving an envelope to Wayne; Kevin gets a text for Frosty about a dude wanting more pie; and then John officially announces he’s running as sheriff. Afterward, he rips up the picture. Seems like someone has made up his mind.