Is Bloodline just making it up as it goes along? Over three seasons, we’ve seen several instances in which the show felt rudderless after major events. Think of how little the show knew what to do with the Danny Rayburn flashbacks in season two, or how it meandered that season without Mendelsohn to anchor it. Here we are again, with only three episodes left and a lack of direction now that the Eric O’Bannon trial is over. We watch Kevin Rayburn fall into another trap and see how paranoia and depression are pulling at John Rayburn, but no one would ever guess that this is the third-to-last episode of a series given the lack of tension. And then there’s the ridiculous fate of Ozzy Delvecchio.
Let’s start there. Our most wasted character of the season is skulking around the Rayburn property again, trying to guilt Sally into confessing something. He wants her to talk to Father Lopez, and then Ozzy will get the truth from the priest, I guess? Later, Ozzy learns that won’t work, and he doesn’t get anywhere at the police station when he tries to find John, so he takes his final stab at the Rayburns, going to Roy Gilbert (Beau Bridges) and asking for a meeting. When Roy has a heart attack, a couple of his thugs go to pick up Ozzy instead and Ozzy blows his own brains out in the back of the car rather than be tortured. I guess this adds to the villainy of Roy, but I can’t believe that’s the end of a character who was so interesting last season. Bloodline didn’t what to do with him this year and Leguizamo deserved better.
While that is happening, John gets a visit from an old cop buddy named Mike, who used to visit every year and try to convince Rayburn to come up to Boston. They’ve been friends for 25 years and Mike wants to save John’s depressed ass. He’s going to get him out of the gloomy motel and take him out to dinner. John is paranoid, especially when Mike mentions O’Bannon the first time the two see each other. What is Mike really doing there? John later sees Mike at the police station, but Aguirre denies having seen him. Mike is hiding something, and it’s not just that he kissed Diana the last time they were in town, as seen in flashbacks. Nevertheless, it’s a nice character beat to reveal that Diana may have been unhappy before the action of the first season.
As John continues to fall deeper into his own depression, guilt, and paranoia, Kevin gets into a bad situation with Roy. His benefactor is finally going to give Kevin the mixed-use marina of his dreams, but Kevin has to close the deal with the Cubans first. How likely is that? Kevin also has to face a wife who knows he’s a liar. Belle confronts Kevin and says that she’ll leave if he doesn’t tell the truth. There’s a long pause and Kevin says, “It all started when Danny came home.” And then the scene cuts! We later see Belle supporting Kevin. WTF? It felt like they were building to a big scene between Kevin and Belle, but instead, it’s just another thread that like it will end underdeveloped.
We’re too busy watching Kevin get into another bad deal to really spend time on his marriage or confessions. Remember the stripper-loving Cubans? Kevin negotiates a deal with them that will pay for the marina, but Roy has a heart attack, which means Kevin will have to handle everything on his own, including the particulars of the run. Really? I get that Roy has a family tie with Kevin, but he has to know that the dumbest Rayburn can’t handle things. Maybe he’s setting him up for a fall.
While Nolan tries to figure out what to do next, including meeting with Sally and getting a hand-me-down from her father as a gift slash bribe, the Cuban deal goes down … and goes wrong. Kevin gets a call the next morning that the plane was forced down before it got back to Cuba. Someone in Kevin’s organization talked. Kevin denies it vehemently, and then we see the truth: The Cubans are undercover agents. It’s all been a sting, and they’re gonna take Kevin and Roy down. Could Roy have faked a heart attack and sacrificed Kevin? It makes more sense than thinking Kevin could handle major duties on his own.
Meanwhile, Mike and his wife are out with Diana and John but no one is happy. John takes Mike aside and confronts him about the Aguirre lie. It turns out that it has nothing to do with John: Mike wants Aguirre to come work with him in Boston and neither wanted anyone to know yet. Mike is really there to help John, not destroy him, but John is deep in his own paranoia, captured in a closing scene in which he imagines drowning before he can reach the surface after a dive. Will John Rayburn drown, literally or figuratively, in the last two episodes of Bloodline?
• Mark Valley is a super-underrated character actor who actually does a lot with very little here, bringing a new energy to the show. I just wish Mike had been introduced much earlier in the arc of the series, since it’s a little late to care about guys we’ve never met before kissing characters we barely know. For the record, Sonya Walger played Mike’s wife.
• Ozzy is dead, Roy is in the hospital, Chelsea and Eric are nowhere to be seen. Although this is a frustrating episode, at least Bloodline is tightening the narrative focus on the Rayburns, closing out subplots for the supporting cast. Let’s hope it pays off in the final two hours.
• Will Kevin’s closing arc really be getting arrested for drug running? Hmm. I suppose it could be sold as karma — Roy got him out of the murder rap and just threw him into another crime — but I’m not sure how that’ll be thematically satisfying. Unless he ends up in a cell with Eric O’Bannon. That would rule.