BLOODLINE Review: “Episodes 5 – 7”

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Airtime: Streaming on Netflix
Episode: Season 2, Episodes 5 – 7 (S02E05-07)

TB-TV-Grade-B

Tweetable Takeaway: Lowry is dead, but now the Rayburn’s need to worry about Ozzy and Aguirre on #Bloodline


Some of the wind is sucked out of the sails of in the aftermath of Lowry’s death, and with Danny’s confession tape missing, the Rayburn’s are still in perilous waters.

When I think about the first four episodes and the way they ended, the tension between Lowry blackmailing John could have been stretched out to an entire season on its own. All of the corners John found himself painted into, and the ways he manipulated situations to get out of them, made for entertaining viewing. The tension was more intense, and the stakes felt a lot higher than they do with Lowry now out of the picture. At this point Lowry’s death seems like it would have made the perfect season ending climax, and the hook into next season could have been John finding the confession tape missing from all of the evidence confiscated from Lowry’s properties.

With Eve, Nolan, and Ozzy in the picture during the first half it almost felt like two entirely different story arcs mixed together. I have a hard time seeing how one had to do with the other since none of the key players in these separate plots mingled in any meaningful way. Danny’s son and Eve seem to only have shown up to turn the money tap back on, and Ozzy is just along for the ride and unable to keep his psychopathic nature in check. Theirs is a much less satisfying arc with less stakes and tension, than Lowry holding things over John’s head and forcing him to help his drug running business. Perhaps I’m wrong, and the way this arc plays out will pay off big time.

So far, this season does not match the intensity, tension, and conflict of the first wonderful season. I haven’t finished the second season yet though, so time will tell if the second half plays out as intelligently as last season finished. I’m beginning to worry with only three episodes left, the season hasn’t been set up for as rewarding a payoff as could have been. I hope I’m wrong.

Lowry’s death seems to solve a lot of problems for John and the Rayburn’s momentarily, but when John searches through the confiscated items from Lowry the tape is nowhere to be found. Where is it? Who has it? It’s the one thing that can really harm John and his family, and the only thing other than Meg or Kevin confessing that can cast suspicion onto them all. There are two possibilities on who has the tape. Either Lowry gave it to his wife or a confidant to hold onto in the case of his demise, or Sheriff Aguirre has gotten to it. It would definitely explain part of the reason Aguirre is pushing so hard to reopen Danny’s murder case, and looking at the Rayburn’s in connection with it. Either way, John has to run for Sheriff now and win. If he can become Sheriff he’ll be able to better control the situation and shield his family from anything that may come their way. With Meg out of a , John asks her to be his campaign manager.

Meg courts a rich donor to support John for Sheriff, and the donor gives her information about some domestic abuse Aguirre was involved in which was covered up by the police. When she does some digging she finds the hospital records and photos from the abuse. She leaks the information to the press to sink Aguirre’s bid, and it helps John close the gap against him. The woman who was abused by Aguirre thanks Meg for doing it. She also finds out a young officer at the time helped Aguirre cover it up, and was rewarded by Aguirre by being hired as a detective. That officer was Marco. How will Meg use this information later? It will definitely have some value to the Rayburn’s.

It’s revealed Eve and Ozzy are a couple. They are both dangerous, but in totally different ways. Eve spends most of her time lobbying and manipulating the Rayburn’s in an attempt to get them to continue to make the payments Robert had promised her. She touches everyone she possibly can, but Sally, Meg, and John are all of the same mind. They will not make the payments anymore. There’s a problem with Robert’s will though, and Meg discovers a grey area in its wording that may allow Eve to sue and win money from Robert’s estate. When Eve gains no traction with the Rayburn family, she instead manipulates John’s daughter Janie. It causes a big rift to form between John’s family and Sally after an argument Janie gets into with Sally ends up with Sally slapping her face.

Ozzy on the other hand is a loose cannon. He’s upset about the money for sure, but he has a personal vendetta with John. Ozzy believes John was going to let the hit man kill Danny last season at the Red Reef Inn, and thinks John may have had something to do with it. He goes about inserting himself into the Rayburn’s life so intensely that it’s clear he’s unhinged. It starts with a chance encounter for directions, and soon he’s buying John and his daughter lunch. What tips John off something is up, is when Ozzy tells John he’s staying in the Red Reef Inn in the same room Danny stayed in when he murdered the hit man. He also targets Diana. Ozzy pops the tire on her car, and then happens to be there to help her change it. As he’s doing it, he spouts off about all of the dirt someone could find if they dug deep enough on John. He says it could derail his bid for Sheriff.

Between Ozzy pushing all of his buttons and Sheriff Aguirre targeting his family for further investigation in Danny’s murder, John is under a lot of pressure. Aguirre asks Marco to really hit the investigation hard, and it’s clear when Marco asks him if his motives are political, they are. He wants to use the investigation as a way to knock John out of the race. With this on his mind, John tracks down Ozzy, knowing about his past with Danny, and tells him to leave town. When Ozzy doesn’t and instead breaks into John’s house to mess with him, John beats the shit out of Ozzy. Instead of stopping Ozzy, it seems John may have just made things worse. Ozzy next targets Meg in an attempt to blackmail her and John.

Marco’s investigation has focused on O’Bannon, and he’s ridden him hard. Only O’Bannon had nothing to do with Danny’s death, and tells Marco to ask the Rayburn’s about it. Marco brings Kevin and Meg back in for questioning, and since John knows it’s happening, he’s able to manipulate the investigation so it looks like Kevin points to a Lowry associate as the murderer of Danny. Kevin is having a hard time dealing with everything while also trying to stay sober. Meg on the other hand gets some hard questions about why she wouldn’t let Marco in the night he showed up at her house. He knows she’s hiding something, and thinks she was protecting Danny after he murdered the hit man. She was hiding Danny all right, but it was his dead body in the trunk. When Meg tries to manipulate Marco’s feelings for her with sex (they were engaged once), but it backfires as he pressures her to tell him who she was hiding. She tells him it was the guy she cheated on him with, and tells him a name. Now he’s going to follow that lead. Will everything unravel because of it?

The most intense aspect of these three episodes is watching Diana begin to put all of the clues together until she figures out John killed Danny. The scene where she confronts John about it is one of the most intense of the season. Their relationship will never be the same. I wouldn’t say she’s ok with it, but she accepts it. The look on John’s face as she exposes his secret is priceless. It’s filled with an agony and disgust with himself as he’s revealed to be just as much of a monster as Danny was.

TB-TV-Grade-B

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For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
Twitter: @OfSoundnVision

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