Bloodline series finale recap: 'Part 33'
You can never escape being a Rayburn
“I used to think the greatest thing to ever happen to me was being born a Rayburn.”
Well, here we are, at the end of the road. Bloodline is ending after a three-season run at Netflix and the Rayburns as we know them will cease to show up as our late spring fix that makes us appreciate our own families. At its best moments, Bloodline was a prestige drama that showed off some incredible acting chops from Ben Mendelsohn, Sissy Spacek, and others on the show. At its worst, John had a number of fever dreams about Danny coming back from the dead. And that’s a great place to start today… because John is in deep. I’m not talking about his dive into the ocean where he may have died/drowned/been resuscitated/killed his mom/etc. I’m talking about the whole season: the murders, the cover-ups, the seeing Danny literally everywhere.
We’re back in the real world, and Eric is out in the world doing community service. Sally is showing people around the inn. Kevin is getting yelled at by Jake. Meg is running. And John? John is still driving. He drives up to the site where Eric is doing his community service and says that he’s going to do everything he can to make things right between his family and Eric. But Eric isn’t having it. He’s done with the Rayburns, but he does hope that John will keep Nolan out of it all.
At the inn, Sally’s doctor/Roy’s friend is watching with his wife as she uses her charm to soothe guests into their stay at the Rayburn Inn. It seems pretty calm across the board, but then there’s Kevin. Good ol’ Kevin hops in his truck and a man puts a gun to Kevin’s neck. He wants help from Kevin because Nick, that man that Kevin thought he befriended, is actually a Fed and the whole Cuban operation Kevin has been put on by Roy is crumbling.
Speaking of crumbling, John goes to the doctor because he’s worried. About what exactly? Who knows. Probably seeing his dead brother. But the doctor insists that he’s fine… so fine that he tells John to stop taking his blood pressure medicine to help identify its possible side effects. John heads back to the house, and it’s clear that things are still very much up in the air when Danny appears again. With Beth Mackey. Danny says she’s part of the family, but the reasons as to why aren’t clear. Maybe she’s the love child from Robert’s affair? Maybe just another extension of the Rayburn clan? Who knows.
At Kevin’s place, Belle calls out to him in the night and asks for him to bring her some water, but all she hears is the water running from the bathroom. The door is locked, and she can’t get him to respond. Thinking the worst, she runs to the garage to discover a naked Kevin with a loaded gun. He says not to look at him, and he puts the gun to his head. He puts the gun down after admitting that the DEA knows everything about his operation with the Cubans. Belle tells Kevin to get John because John can fix everything… except himself, honestly.
Kevin goes to John, but he immediately folds after being judged by John. He says John has this stare, but I’m pretty sure that’s just Kyle Chandler’s face. Eventually, John asks what exactly Kevin wants him to do for him, but it’s possible that Kevin doesn’t even know. When John goes to his and Diana’s place, Diana admits she wasn’t sure what to do after John’s accident, which ultimately leads to her admitting that her entire relationship with the Rayburn family can be summed up in one word: sad. The whole family is always sad, which doesn’t feel like an unfair assessment. She goes on to say that she’s always loved John, but that love… it’s just not enough. He apologizes to Diana, but it’s too late. She walks out, and John is left in tears.
Back at Sally’s place, she finally admits to John’s kids that she’s going to sell the inn. When they express shock, she explains that when she thought of all the happiness and blessings she’s had in her life, she thought about the house and not the people. Yikes. Not a great thing to hear from your grandma. But what is really great is that she’s going to leave them the money from the place, which always makes the dispersal of your childhood memories go down a bit better.
John meets with a detective and calls out that he knows Kevin is under a secret investigation. He wants to help Kevin, but it will require some legwork on Kevin’s end. And it’s also going to require him to out his de facto dad Roy. Kevin is 100 percent not interested, and when he gets a call directly from the Cubans threatening his family, Kevin makes the one totally wrong move he could make: He goes to Roy.
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When Kevin makes it to the hospital, he can’t find Roy. When the nurse asks him what he’s looking for, she has to inform Kevin that he can’t get updates on Roy because he’s not family. Hey, Kevin, did you hear that? Not. Family. He’s left wondering what’s going on as his entire family is on the line.
Let’s take a departure from the Rayburn world and catch up with former-nurse-now-waitress Chelsea. She’s just waiting and doing her job when John shows up asking where Nolan is, but she tells John to go f— himself. Nolan doesn’t need John in his life — kid has enough problems on his own. So John goes home and finds Kevin sitting outside of the inn. The music inside is crazy loud, and Sally is inside wasted. Why? Because she found out Roy’s dead. And John jumps to the conclusion… Roy was the man she had an affair with. Kevin hates that theory, but it seems like it could be pretty sound.
John goes inside and turns off the music only to find Sally standing at the sink, water running, static. She launches into a discussion of how the super moon affects the tide: It makes the sea rise, and it takes it. Everything: her kids, the inn, everything. Confused, John asks what’s going on, and Sally reveals that she was going to sell the inn, but she can’t because after experts came in, she was informed that in a couple of years, the whole place will be underwater anyway (THANKS, GLOBAL WARMING). But most of all, Sally feels like she’s wasted her entire life, as a businesswoman and a mother.
But when Kevin tries to comfort her, Sally goes all in and explains how messed up Danny was. And the girls… she only had sweet things to say about. But for Kevin, she said that there were complications and that if they had left him inside her, he probably wouldn’t have survived, so they cut him out, and she shouldn’t have let him so he could have proven himself and found his strength. And if you think that‘s bad, let’s talk about John, who ripped Sally upon delivery. She blamed him for everything: for Danny, for Sarah, and for the entire Rayburn demise. He was the one that caused the most damage, but John is broken at this point. All he has to say is, “You have no idea what family is. You never have.” It’s a KILLER scene for Sissy Spacek, but man is it tough to watch. She’s left alone in her kitchen with a legacy and a house that is ultimately worth nothing.
John goes to a bar, and what do you know, Danny appears again. They flash back to the time Danny offered John his first cigarette, and adult Danny asks John, “How did you see me? How did you see me growing up?” But in the back and forth that is John’s current life, we switch between Danny and Nolan sitting in front of John. Nolan wants to know the truth about what happened to Danny, and Danny tells John that this is his chance. He can be honest and switch the way that the Rayburn family works.
The next day, John meets with that detective and tells him Kevin’s willing to turn himself in for the Cuban deal. And when Kevin tells Belle about the deal, he agrees that it’s the best case situation for the team. But when John and the cops show up the next day to take Kevin in, Kevin doesn’t come to the door. John lets himself in, and it appears that Kevin and Belle have taken off. One of the detectives says, “I know this guy, he’s no genius.” Have truer words never been said.
Kevin calls John back and he puts it on speaker phone, allowing Kevin to completely out himself and reveal where he is — his plans to escape with Belle and his entire strategy to start fresh in Cuba. The Coast Guard almost immediately catches up to the boat, but when they open the hatch, it’s one of the Cuban men behind the trade. I stand corrected: Kevin isn’t totally ignorant. He and Belle continue to escape in a much smaller boat.
Outside of the inn, Nolan and Beth Mackey sit outside and Nolan says he’s finally going to ask John about what happened to Danny. Beth says he can just let it go, but Nolan isn’t ready to shake it off. He can’t rise above the same motivation that his dad had. In an office, John gets a call from a blocked number. It’s Kevin on the other end, and they’ve made it to Cuba. John was in on the plan all along. He just wanted Kevin to escape. So it wasn’t Kevin that was the brains behind the situation. When Kevin asks if John, Meg, and Sally could come and visit, he says no. He’s got to end it… all of it.
So we return to the lines that opened this episode. The ones where John said he’s going to tell the truth about everything. So he tells Franco about how he’s responsible for Danny’s death and framing Eric for Marco’s murder. But Franco stops him because John’s been through a lot of stress (but seriously) and he’s been through enough (probably). But Aguirre isn’t going to let John hang himself on this. He’s going to Boston to take the partnership with Mike. Belle, being a total idiot made in idiot heaven with Kevin, forgot to turn her GPS off on her phone, so they’re getting brought into the States tomorrow. Before their journey started, it’s over.
John returns to the inn, and he hears voices in the distance of his past: the parties and family moments that made the Rayburns so perfect and unattainable and deeply flawed. Looking out the window, he sees Nolan on the dock and older Danny puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him to go tell Nolan the truth. Young Danny looks back at John through the window and says Nolan doesn’t need to know. But as John approaches Danny on the dock, he simply looks at him, and that’s the end. No, I’m not kidding. That’s it. Bloodline ends on a knowing stare. Maybe it only took a look for Nolan to know. Maybe it was a cliffhanger cut short by Netflix. Maybe it was creative storytelling gone… awry. But regardless, that’s Bloodline.
Meg is presumably still running. Kevin is caught. Danny is dead, and Sally is getting the worst mom award this year. And John? Well, this time, John is still as complexly and brokenly entrenched in his past as he ever was. That’s just the Rayburn way.