Bloodline Recap: Keep Me Hanging On


Part 25
Season 3 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Netflix

The episode opens with something of a fake-out as Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) toasts with Belle (Katie Finneran) that he’s never been happier than he is right now, as the “Escape (Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes plays in the bar. With cuts to the cops finding the body of Marco Diaz (Enrique Murciano), the cop who Kevin murdered, we wonder if he actually got away with it. Nope, just a daydream. We’re still trapped in the longest night of Kevin’s life, and it’s about to get worse.

Should the Rayburns pay for their crimes? Will the final season of Bloodline conclude with these murderers getting away with it one more time, or will they finally get the justice they deserve? It’s too soon to tell, but the dark tone of the first two hours of this final season hint at increasing pain to come. Sure, John Rayburn (Kyle Chandler) may have been sucked back into the whirlpool that is his family, but is it too late to stop it from spinning out of control?

Kevin goes back to Marco’s house and waits for the man who is essentially Roy Gilbert’s (Beau Bridges) version of the Wolf from Pulp Fiction for Floridian morons. His name is Jim Shakowski (Paul Tei), and he happens to be the local coroner. He’s willing to save Kevin’s ass, but only if Kevin follows every single instruction. What could possibly go wrong? Kevin’s great at following instructions!

Jim goes over the night in question with Kevin in a well-directed, well-written scene. Kevin sweated all over the place and pissed himself, so Marco’s house is a Kevin DNA factory. They’ll need an elaborate plan. Jim orders Kevin to go get the murder weapon, and they also notice that Eric O’Bannon (Jamie McShane) called and texted Marco a lot. Looks like they have a patsy.

Kevin does not take Jim’s plan well. He’s swerving, screaming, and acting generally Kevin-esque. He ends up with his shirt off on the side of the road, trying to call John for the umpteenth time. It turns out that John has made a friend on the bus, who playfully answers the phone the 800th time that Kevin calls. Was confessing to his brother part of Roy and Jim’s plan? Too late, because that’s what Kevin does. John orders Kevin to stay exactly where he is, and he learns that his mother, Sally (Sissy Spacek), knows what happened, but Meg (Linda Cardellini) is still in the dark.

In a move that could have gotten him immediately killed, Kevin tells Jim that he told his brother, who is a cop, about the murder. Jim seems surprisingly unfazed. He has a job to do. They can tie up loose ends later. The story will be that Kevin came in and caught Eric standing over Marco’s body. Eric shot at Kevin. Wait, what? Yep, it’s time for Kevin to take a bullet. Make that two.

Meanwhile, Eric can see the storm clouds coming. He’s trying to run for the hills himself, but he finds a roadblock on the route out of town: His mother is in dire straits, needing a new air tank. Eric will try to get ahold of his sister, but it’s interesting that he’s delayed by his family. Everyone on this show has a family member who’s like a ball and chain around their ankle.

While Ozzy (John Leguizamo) goes to get a Polar Freeze before bandaging his many bruises, Kevin takes the bullets needed to make his cover story work. Jim shoots him twice, once in the leg and once in the stomach — but Kevin moves before the shots, making them more painful than they would have otherwise been. Jim calls 911, then shoots into the wall two more times to get them to come quickly. A neighbor even calls the police as Kevin looks at Marco’s body across the room. Will he join him on the other side?

John makes it to Marco’s apartment to see Kevin wheeled into an ambulance. Wouldn’t this be a fitting end for Kevin Rayburn? Shot by someone who told him he was going to shoot him as a part of a stupid cover? Sheriff Aguirre (David Zayas) comes out and John is seriously confused. Kevin couldn’t have been shot by Eric, as he was at mile marker 80 when he called John. Something doesn’t make sense, and Chandler is very good here as he conveys the confusion and emotion of the longest night of John Rayburn’s life. We hear the voices in his head, including his brother saying, “Roy Gilbert.” It won’t take long for a police officer like John to put this all together.

As Ozzy finally finds sanctuary, Belle panics in the hospital awaiting the surgery to save Kevin’s life. Sally wants to talk to Roy, worried that he’s gone too far in shooting Kevin. John goes to Meg, who’s too passed-out drunk to care, and then finds his mother. No one can find Roy. Sally tells her son that she knows everything, including that John killed Danny. She doesn’t want to hear about it. Really?! It’s interesting to consider that Sally would absolve John for killing Danny if he can save her other son, but I hope that’s further developed beyond this rushed scene. And again, should we want Kevin saved? I’d kind of like to see John run for the hills again and escape these deadly Rayburns.

As Kevin fights for his life, Eric speeds off on a boat, and John promises he will do his best to cover up his brother’s murderous acts. Too bad we all know how bad the Rayburns are at cover-ups.

Other Notes

• The great Mikael Hafstrom brings some strong tension to this episode. He directed a solid episode last season, as well as the Stephen King adaptation 1408.

• Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” plays while Kevin is spiraling out of control, and also over the end credits. The repeated phrase that closes the song could be the theme of Bloodline: “You’re going to reap just what you sow.”

• Will this whole season be this compact? What if it all takes place in a couple days and with fewer flashbacks? It would be an interesting, tight way to end the series. We’ll know soon enough.

Bloodline Recap: Keep Me Hanging On