The Rayburns are still up to their knees in the swamp of their own problems
Bloodline Recap: Season 3 Episode 1
Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Welcome back to the Florida Keys, people! It’s a place of inky darkness and beautiful swaying palm trees. It’s where you can hear the ice melting into cocktail glasses, and whole bottles of tequila suddenly make sense as a drink order. As I have surely said at least three times per season, kudos to the Bloodline gang for shooting on location — can’t you just feel how dreadfully humid and hot it is? Like the kind of heat where clothing feels like a burden and you just want to up and brain someone with a dolphin statue?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. When we left things last season, the Rayburns were scattered both literally and figuratively. Let’s begin with Coach Rayburn: John, after almost murdering my main man, Eric O’Dirtbag, has gone from fight to serious flight, putting the pedal to the floor to get the hell out of the Keys.

But, as (bad) luck would have it, he hits an alligator. (Or is it a crocodile? Please don’t yell at me in the comments for not knowing this. I am a Northeastern gal and our alligator/crocodiles are called deer.) John’s car is wrecked, but not as badly as the reptile. The thing is wheezing in pain (yours truly might have even fast-forwarded to avoid seeing this), and John puts it out of its misery with two shots from his gun.

He’s stopped by a Highway Patrolwoman, Tammy Peters, who recognizes John and sums up things thusly: “That is some crazy s—.” New show tagline?

Meanwhile, Meg is at the inn with Sally, trying to bring her mom up to speed. Uh, good luck, girl. Sally is all, “We’ve got to protect your father,” her brain spinning away from current events and flashing back to the first foundational cracks that hit this family. Finally, it becomes clear, and she orders her daughter to round up her wayward brothers and bring them to her. She’s going to gather this flock!

It’s going to prove to be difficult, as Kevin — running, barfing, reeling — goes home and watches his innocent wife sleep. He takes off his murderous clothes and throws everything in a bag and… somehow decides the best move is go BACK to the scene of the crime? Kevin, come on, man. He yells at Marco’s dead body, grabs hold of the murder weapon (please remember, it’s a dolphin statue, and tell me that’s not the most Florida thing in the world), and throws it into a suitcase. His sister has pulled up to Marco’s and spends a great deal of time trying, and failing, to call her brothers. All that happens is Kevin smacking his head on the counter while cowering. Oh, Kevin.

John is picked up by an elderly woman who smokes what is apparently very strong weed and gets him high while she throws around rather on-the-nose remarks, such as, “You don’t look dangerous.” Well, that’s the whole problem isn’t it? She sings “Bye Bye Blackbird” while he thinks about an easier time when he and Danny danced across the sandy beach and didn’t try to kill each other.

Kevin continues to make things worse. Next up: being at the dock past the time Roy has allowed (10 p.m.), where he tries to sink the telltale dolphin o’ death statue. He gets caught in a headlock by a Roy goon instead and starts to confess everything to Roy, who, believe you me, does not want to hear a word of it. Rather than become an accessory, he orders Kevin out of the car.
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Kevin goes home to the inn, where he confesses everything to Sally, who listens to it all and reacts in a few crazy ways. One, she gives a stiff drink to her not-drinking-for-a-reason son. (Boy, I hope Kevin remembers to tell a therapist this in the future.) Next, she tells him she’ll meet him out on the deck. But instead she locks him out. Man, how many times do you think parents think about doing just this?

Her other son, John, is real high and at a bus station, which is a truly terrible combination of things to happen at once. He sasses back and forth with the overnight clerk, trying to figure out where to go, and in the words of the angels and poets, take me anywhere anywhere I don’t care. This includes such exotic locales as Atlanta! He goes drinking some more to kill the time, and makes a call not to his wife, interestingly, but to his daughter, telling her that he loves her. Oh boy.

Meanwhile, Kevin gives up and goes to the police station, ostensibly to confess, but instead is treated as the li’l bro to John. There’s ice cream! He can’t even confess right. Kevin!

Meg isn’t doing so hot either. She’s been looking in bars for Danny but comes across the angel of the swampland herself, Chelsea. Chelsea is sad and a bit in her cups because her mother is dying and her brother sounded nuts in his last voice message. They end up sitting together, and it’s easy to picture an alternate reality, one where these two are friends and rule the world. They talk old times, like when Eric O’Dirtbag gave Meg a bump of coke in the 10th grade. This tracks. Chelsea says Danny was furious, and this gives Meg pause. Everyone has a secret life and affections, even her dead brother. When Sally next calls, she snaps and hangs up, orders a whole bottle of tequila, and goes to work on it herself. Amazingly, she drives home like a maniac and kills no one, making her a very special Rayburn these days indeed.

Sally finally gets through to John. She tells him he must come home for the good of the family. Anything to protect the family name. He remembers, too, the original time he was put in this position, to cover and protect his family. He hangs up on his mother and gets on a bus. Who needs therapy?

Sally then makes an interesting call to, you guessed it, one Roy Gilbert, who tells her that he’s doing everything he can to help her. He asks if this evens things out between them and she’s all HELL TO THE NO. Not even close. Oh good, more old secrets to come out.

Roy tries to tell Kevin he can get him some help with this. This feels not great.

Meanwhile: Eric O’D shows up, sees Marco’s body, and backs out like the raccoon-human he is.

Oh! And throughout all this, Ozzy has been being led around menacingly by goons. He’s not one for being the victim however, so he manages to break free and do some killing of his own. Oh boy. Lots of threads to pull, people!

But also, you guys? What the hell happened to Surf, John’s dog?

Episode Recaps

Netflix’s family drama features Sissy Spacek, Kyle Chandler, Sam Shephard and the list just keeps going.
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