Bloodline / Screen

Bloodline: “Part Four”

Bloodline is a very pretty show. Very pretty, very wonderfully shot. The long shots of the ocean, closeups of grasshoppers and the general airy bliss borne of the Florida Keys setting makes the show feel much lighter and airier than it really is. It also makes it seem more fun. As pretty as the show is, as talented as the cast is, it’s not all that exciting to watch. There are bits and pieces here and there that make continuing onto the next episode seem particularly appealing, but for the most part the show is a slog. The Rayburn family isn’t all that interesting even with the future promising homicide, and “Part Four” drops that thread entirely in favor of further exploring the origins of the dead body in the swamp.And it’s boring.

I don’t know what I expected, but it was something a little more compelling or at least a little bit more narratively structured than seeing exactly what happens aboard the boat and then watching Marco and John argue about it. The boat was carrying undocumented immigrants who were locked below deck, the boat launched out to sea and set on fire by the men transporting them. Besides the fact that Marco’s as dense as one can be about a fairly obvious situation (which is obvious even without the episode opening explanation to accompany it), there’s till no reason to care about this case. Even with it dominating a fair bit of the episode, there are no stakes. It’s not the typical murder mystery, which whole shows have been known to build themselves on. Combining it with the family drama only makes it look and feel like a distraction.

Meanwhile Robert returns home from the hospital, apparently perfectly fine despite the previous episode having everyone in a frenzy about his mental state. But whatever I guess. If there’s anything this episode does it’s make clear that Robert isn’t long for this world. The will’s a huge issue in need of solving, and wills aren’t really that serious unless someone’s about to drop dead. And what’s the point of Danny pushing Meg to keep in the will and Sally avoiding talking about it altogether if Robert’s going to live a long and healthy life?

Robert’s sleeping a lot and dreaming of Sarah, the Rayburn daughter who seemingly drowned. His visions of Sarah on the beach, someone trying to awaken an unconscious Sarah and Danny waving frantically from a boat implies she drowned out on the water with Danny. That would account for Robert’s hatred of Danny

Considering this episode, the whole hatred of Danny thing hardly seems necessary. He’s doing a decent job at the inn, and Sally’s pleased. Even the other siblings are doing fine with him, Kevin even admitting that Danny seems to have it together and is actually trying. He’s perfectly charming at work and even manages to have some nice interactions with his brothers and father. They laugh and joke and all seems well in the world until Robert takes Danny out for a solo drink and tells him to leave and never return because “bad things” follow him around.

Danny’s not exactly enjoyable but I understand him. And I understand him more than I do any of the other Rayburns. He has an idea of how he wants to make that money he desperately needs, and now Robert’s yanking the rug out from under him. So I’m not mad when Danny demands even more money from Robert to disappear from his father’s life for good. Good for Danny actually.

I’m more surprised that Robert actually survives the episode.

Stray Observations

  • Maybe Meg should stop having sex with Alec in cars. That’s not the most private of venues, but if he’s pullling out o that project I guess he won’t be around anymore anyway. But the job offer makes things suitably awkward, throwing out the question of how their relationship is going to proceed now.
  • I’m very annoyed this episode had so little Meg in it.
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