Diana puts the pieces of John's past together and gets more than she bargained for
Another day, another beatdown.
That’s right. Last time we left off with the Rayburn clan, Sally was diva slapping the daylights out of Jane, parenthood was slapping the final drops of tequila out of Kevin’s mouth, and Coach Rayburn was beating the bejeezus out of Ozzy. But with every fight club night comes a morning of pain to follow. Or at least a faucet. We open up with John washing the metaphorical/actual blood off his hands. Diana walks in, but at this point, she doesn’t even try. Poor Diana, for real. The next day, Diana, John, and Jane sit down for a come-to-Coach-Rayburn meeting about what happened with Sally. Jane complains that she was only telling “the truth,” but if a Rayburn knows anything, it’s that you do not tell the truth to anyone.
Elsewhere, Evangeline is in her natural habitat, doing nothing in a bed. Kind-of-boyfriend Ozzy tells her about getting attacked, but he won’t admit that it was John who did it. She laughs and mentions John and tells Ozzy that the only reason that he’s staying is because he’s “having fun.” Shiners don’t seem like fun to me, but I also don’t think cocaine is fun, so WHO KNOWS WHAT’S UP WITH ME. Anyway, Ozzy grabs Evangeline by the hair and asks why she would want them to be her family. She looks kind of like when you pick a cat up by its neck fur, so I’m not sure if she enjoyed it, hated it, or if it just paralyzed her. Either way, Ozzy tells her she has nothing to worry about.
Out on the dock, O’Dirtbag is just trying to live his truth, and Marco swings by to ask more questions about that damn hotel room. Marco tells him that it’s only a matter of time before he pins a body on him, and it finally comes to a head. He tells Marco to go talk to the people with the answers — Danny’s family. Speaking of Danny’s family, Meg is cross-referencing Ms. Ortiz’ medical records with Marco’s employment records and it appears that Ms. Ortiz was being honest. Meg tells John that he’s within seven points of the sheriff and that she’s going to have him speak at a victim’s rights rally. She nearly tells him about Marco, but we have three episodes left, y’all. Can’t reveal everything.
Back at the house, Diana and Sally cross paths. Sally tells Diana that she feels awful, but Diana shuts it down in her own loving way. And then she tells her that the violence continues, and she wonders where Danny got it from, which is not a loving way to voice your concerns. That’s when Sally gets real and tells Diana that they all had a hand in killing Danny, even John, which is ironic because… in case you forgot, John killed Danny.
At the crossroads of complicated and progress, Kevin goes to AA and admits that he’s an alcoholic and actually chimes in at the meeting. It’s easy to focus on Kyle Chandler or Linda Cardellini, but in this moment, Norbert Leo Butz shows why Kevin is hardly the Rayburn to ignore. His approach to Kevin is nuanced and subtle, but ultimately his story is one of the most powerful of all. But if anyone’s downfall was unexpected, it’s Marco’s strange spiral. He has lunch with the sheriff to discuss the Red Reef Inn murder, and the sheriff makes a bold (accurate) claim that the family worked together to cover up a murder.
Gary tells Marco to bring in Meg and Kevin for questioning, and as a service, Marco immediately tells John about it. John goes to Meg and Kevin to tell them to keep the story the same, but Kevin is nervous because last time he testified he was high and (probably) drunk, so it’s a tricky road to walk again. Speaking of tricky roads, Sally has Nolan over for some tea and light talk about Danny. Nolan spares no time in tearing into Sally’s emotions, and that’s when Sally drops a truth bomb on Nolan by saying she thought Danny shouldn’t have a child. Nevertheless, she wants to make nice with Nolan and let him know that she’s there. Nolan tells her about the restaurant, and Sally asks if he will take her there. I would KILL for a Nolan/Sally road trip spin-off.
Meg talks to Kevin about AA, and he tells her that it’s going well, but it’s nearly impossible because recovery is about honesty and it’s not the Rayburn’s strong suit — unless you’re Jane, who has no understanding of what’s actually going on. Diana finds her snooping through John’s stuff looking for her seahorse necklace (!!), but it’s in the moment that Diana is explaining why Danny wasn’t a good person that she finally figures out that John killed Danny. Jane sasses off, but that’s clearly not the point when you realize that your husband killed his brother, ya know?
Back at the station, Marco begins his questioning with Kevin. It doesn’t take long before Kevin starts stumbling over his words a bit. Marco thinks that he’s getting closer to something, but Kevin speaks the truth and tells Marco that he crushed some cocaine and booze the night he last saw Danny. When it comes to the next day, he gets stumped on where he was in the morning. Instead of going with the throwaway response (hungover on cocaine and liquor), he says that Meg called him and he needed more cocaine. Then he admits that he had seen the boat from Danny’s crash and that it belonged to his dealer (Rafi). Meg is super proud.
NEXT: No one just shakes hands anymore
Meg’s questioning follows, and it seems like it should go easier than Kevin’s, but Marco used to be with Meg. He starts calling out her behavior as strange, claiming that it was kind of suspect that she put her luggage in her car to move to New York when she took a cab to the airport the next day. He runs with the lead and makes the assumption that Meg didn’t want him anywhere near her and that Meg was panicking. Tensions continue to build, and ultimately Meg says that she doesn’t have to be there and then she excuses herself. Essentially, I haven’t seen Linda Cardellini so panicked in a legal proceeding since that time she forgot the basic rules of perm maintenance.
She heads over to see John and talk to him before his domestic violence speaking engagement. John pulls off, and Meg heads up to the campaign headquarters, leaving Ozzy in the parking lot watching from afar. Still reeling from her revelation, Diana goes on a power run. She keeps flashing back to her and John’s conversation. It’s becoming more and more clear to her that John is hiding some major business. She brings up the necklace to John, who had it with him when he killed Danny. It doesn’t take long for John to blow up about the necklace, and it causes Diana to ask him what’s going on. She admits that he scared her for the first time in their marriage and that she noticed his hands covered in (Ozzy-shaped) bruises. She recommends a therapist, which John quickly rebuffs, so Diana tells him that she quits.
Meg, being the super responsible woman that she is, heads over to Marco’s place to hang out for a bit. She tells Marco that she’ll open up about her family and gives some super important background info for him. Sally left. Danny took Sarah on that boat, and she drowned, and that’s when Robert beat him. And when Sally got back, she had her other three kids lie to the cops (old habits die hard) to protect Robert. She says that’s why she ended it with Marco because she wanted to escape her family, and she couldn’t do that and still be with him. It’s hard to tell how much of it is meant to mislead Marco and how much of it is true. She says that Marco needs to decide who he’s loyal to, and like most pacts that you make with friends, they decide to shake on it have sex.
At the domestic violence gathering, John “Iron Fists” Rayburn shows up to speak about domestic violence, which is just every shade of ironic. The only thing more ironic is the speech that he gives because it’s laden with all these little nuggets from his own life, particularly when he says, “the violence lies within all of us.” Diana’s face is just grief-stricken in the audience. After the panel (at a bar, which seems super strange), John can’t find a clearly upset Diana. On the other side of the spectrum, Marco and Meg have a nice conversation post-coitus about that night in her driveway, where she says that Alec was at her house and that’s why she panicked. It’s still a lie, but a good one.
O’Dirtbag meets up with Ozzy to bring him his gun. He asks why Ozzy needs it, and Ozzy simply says that he wants it because it’s his. That can’t be a good thing, especially with Diana and Jane and Meg running around everywhere in the night. Do we even know where Jane is? I mean, she always makes it in for breakfast but who knows from there. Ben and Jane reveal that Diana took off to her sister’s “for an emergency,” but they see through it pretty quickly.
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So with Jane and Diana accounted for, that leaves Meg, who is greeted at the campaign office by Ozzy. He makes no attempt to keep up appearances. He tells Meg that John was the one who beat him up. And then he says that it’s clear that John wanted Danny dead. He corners Meg and then says that he wants to tell her a story about the Red Reef Hotel.
John is not having a great day. It’s only exacerbated when he finds Diana, who then launches into a speech about how she didn’t think there was a way that John could have ever killed Danny… right? RIGHT? Wrong. She says that she can’t ask him the question because she can’t bear to hear the answer. His silence is enough of one though, and she asks who else knows and if they’re safe. Poor John (can we still call him poor John?) looks devastated — this may be his biggest blow yet because how can you come back from having the person you’re so intimate with look at you like a monster? And just how long can they keep these secrets all tied up?