Bloodline recap: 'Part 29'
The only thing you have to fear is the Rayburns themselves
Ain’t you tired? God, Sara is tired. We’re all tired. The Rayburns are exhausted.
So I’ll be taking you through the final five episodes of the beautiful, sometimes dark (both in plot and cinematography), often complicated story line of Bloodline before we say goodbye to the Rayburn family for good. And at this rate, it looks like they may just do themselves in. Of course, just to refresh if you skipped (A LOT OF) episodes: Danny is gone. Robert has been gone, well, forever. Even Meg is gone, though last we saw her, she was just having a good ol’ Moana moment out in the ocean after telling her onetime fiancé, part-time family enemy, full-time dolphin of death victim goodbye. And we’re left with Kevin and John playing wrestlemania on the beach, only to be interrupted by Sally, who is 100 percent over all of these shenanigans. Do you feel caught up? No? That’s okay, because no one really knows what’s going on, specifically with Chelsea, who just recently got a penchant for poaching pills at the hospital. Sigh. Take a breath. Let’s do this together.
John has taken a hiatus from wrestling his brother on the beach and has decided to start ignoring calls from Eric O’Goodguy. If you remember, Eric used to be O’Dirtbag, but guys… poor Eric has had a run of bad luck this season. Missing his mom’s funeral because of biased officers? No fun and games. But his public defendant is trying to keep his spirits up, even when he’s unraveling. He’s unraveling for good reason though because, short and sweet, Eric’s been taking the heat for the Rayburns’ misgivings for a little too long at this point.
Speaking of the real noticeable potholes in the Rayburn family, let’s chat about Kevin. It’s hard imagining who could steal Ben Mendelsohn’s Emmy spotlight without him in season 3, but it’s most assuredly not going to be Kevin. Kevin is preparing his statement for the jury, which is a big no-no because if you’re innocent, who needs to prepare a statement? Well, Kevin does because he has a bad habit of beating people over the head with dolphin statuettes. Even with the lies against him, Eric has the real work to do here because no one trusts an O’Bannon. Well, except Danny. His son Nolan (oh, hey bud) comes to visit Chelsea to pass off some money from his dad. He’s returned to help with this crazy trial and to assist Chelsea and the gang. He’s been out of the loop because he’s been scared, but he’s ready to assist now because bad seeds like to stick together, ya know?
As the trial is coming together and the Rayburns fall a bit more apart, Chelsea is getting her chips in line. You see, Chloe Sevigny has always been a long-game play, and who knew she’d be a key player in saving Eric O’Dirtbag-Turned-Good-Guy? Honestly, it’s the O’Bannon crew who are taking this season from good to great because it takes a certain finesse to be so wonderful at being so complicated. But back to those Rayburns… as Chelsea is getting it together (sans pills… but seriously, what is that plotline?), Sally is having quite a time processing her perfect family’s demise. She comes to visit John at work and launches into the past, wondering how this Rayburn spiral happened. Specifically, she’s talking about that whole moment where John killed Danny. It’s a hard pill to swallow when one of your sons goes all Cain on Abel.
As the trial begins, it’s clear that it’s going to be a dark proceeding. To go back a little bit, Kevin went to the dentist with a raw tooth. It appears that he’s going to have to get a root canal, and it’s either the cause of poor maintenance or cocaine use. It’s not a stretch to connect that tooth to Kevin’s current standing in the community, and specifically his turn against Marco… a little rotten thing that won’t seem to go away. It doesn’t help that Sally, post-christening, has had quite the religious turn and confessed her sins to a priest. But with all those loose teeth and strings from the Rayburns, Eric O’Bannon is the loosest — a messy defendant, no matter his innocence. But his public defender has the Rayburns squarely in her sights, and she’s focusing in hard on them. She’s not here to convince this jury that O’Dirtbag is a good man. She’s just here to drive home that he’s not a murderer.
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So, while Eric’s PD is doing the Lord’s work, Eric’s good friend Ozzy has come over to do some pleading with Kevin, as if that’s a good idea. When it doesn’t work, Ozzy gets a hair too aggressive, and Kevin asks if he’s threatening him, but Ozzy (ever the wordsmith) tells Kevin that he’s threatening himself. Meanwhile, having to do all the O’Bannon family work, Chelsea calls in John to ask him for help because she still believes that John has her best interests at heart. John tells Chelsea that while he won’t do anything to hurt Eric (OKAY, JOHN), he can’t help.
Nolan, on his 2017 redemption tour, has taken that money he was going to give Chelsea and brought it to Sally, who also says she can’t accept it. Imagine being this Florida family who isn’t interested in taking free money! Nolan says that he feels like he missed out, and that everything fell apart once he came into the picture. Nolan’s not the only one feeling alienated these days though. John and Eric have moments thinking about the past and how complicated this world is.
The next day, John takes the stand for Marco’s trial. His incredible resumé is put on display; on the surface, John is just a good guy who loves the puff of a nice cigarette from time to time. But the defense goes in hard on John, and of course, John has to start lying his way through the testimony… including supplying Eric with the evidence that would ultimately perfectly frame him. In the bathroom, John is confronted by a man who tells him that this is his chance to make it all right, but guys… Good Guy John has hardly ever been the one to take the actual good way out. So when the defense lawyer questions John about the seven minutes he was at the crime scene alone, unsupervised, she pushes the idea that he could have removed evidence… even when John insists he was saying goodbye to a friend.
So when the evidence starts to argue that there’s really no way that Eric committed the murder, John throws a total wrench in the testimony, fabricating a story about Marco, saying that he had told John that he was going to rescind Eric’s immunity. That, of course, sends the ever-volatile Eric into a rage mid-courtroom, but it also sends us back to when John killed Danny. It’s a testament to Bloodline, but also to how our society works. The truth is only a shade of what matters. Appearance and decorum? That’s what wins cases.
But the true heartbreaker is watching Sally break down in her confession to a priest. Sally is a mother first and foremost. She loves her family, but she hates the people within it. She calls upon the curse put upon her family, and she asks him what to do. He tells her she can strive for more, or she can die for them, and guys… it feels too literal for words. Stay tuned for that. Chelsea, meanwhile, has gone forward to offer her deposition, which also feels too real. She jumps into the conversation she had with Meg, explaining that Meg said she would “fix this s—,” but Chelsea didn’t want to get involved because of her safety. When asked why she didn’t reveal that, she said she was afraid. Afraid of what? The Rayburns and what they’d do to her. Stay tuned for that, too.