Previously on Bloodline, ‘Part Four’
Two episodes in a row where we don’t open in the pouring ass rain with dead Danny! In this episode, our patriarch kicks the bucket (for real this time) and the family starts to come to terms with who their father was and the effect it has had on all of them.
Bye Bye Papa Rayburn
To be fair, we still start with a wet Danny as he’s having flashback dreams of Sarah combined with diving for her seahorse charm/fishing hook and him screaming underwater in the first few episodes. He wakes with a start and promptly lights a cigarette, which I feel like has been deemed dangerous by the Surgeon General and society at large for at least a few decades.
We get a quick flash of Robert dragging his kayak back up on shore after his morning paddle. Then back to Danny, who’s stuffing his clothing and belongings back in his rucksack to fulfill his part of the agreement with Robert at the end of the previous episode. As he’s packing, he hears a yell from outside and goes to find Sally sitting in the sand with Robert’s dead body. She stares with red-rimmed and stunned eyes hauntingly at the camera. Slay, Sissy Spacek, slay.
As news of Robert’s death spreads, we meet Lenny Potts, although we don’t get his name until much later. For the first half of the show, I have him written as “Rando” in my notes. Rando/Lenny’s wife informs him that someone from their fleet called and told her that Robert has passed. He immediately starts packing, telling his wife that he’ll only be gone for a few days. She says maybe he should let the family know he’s coming, and he says that maybe it’s better not to. We later learn that he is not only a sloppy car eater, but that he carries a gun in his glove compartment.
The Family Grieves
Back at the inn, Sally sits on the porch bench with Robert’s sunglasses in her hand when a honeymooning couple greets her enthusing about their wonderful vacation in paradise. She snaps to perfect hostess and sends them on their way to their suite. Meanwhile Danny calls and cancels his getaway flight and joins the rest of the siblings in the kitchen.
Meg, Marco, Kevin, John, and Diane sit around the kitchen island having a drink and reminiscing about their father. As Danny blends Sally a drink, much to Kevin’s annoyance at the noise, they talk about the last time they spoke with Robert. Kevin mentions the joyride in the truck the previous evening and John asks Danny where he and Robert went after dropping off John and Kevin. Danny lies and tells them that they spoke about Danny taking on more responsibilities around the inn. Meg, John, and Kevin exchange a look of suspicion.
Sally joins them in the kitchen and they discuss a memorial service. She says Robert did not want anyone to fuss over him, and John points out that as a prominent member of the community, people would want to be able to pay their respects. They plan to have a memorial service at the inn and everyone heads home. As they are leaving, Sally pulls John aside and asks him to speak for the family at the service. She says she doesn’t want anyone else talking, only him.
Let’s Get This Memorial Service Started
The next morning Sally and Meg go through photos for the memorial service. Sally chooses one of Sarah from the stack and says she wants to include it. Meg acts surprised and then finds an entire stack of photos hidden away of Robert and Sarah. Looking at them, Sally says, “They had a special bond.” Meg murmurs she remembers as Alec blows up her phone asking if she is there. She responds that she cannot talk.
Danny and Chelsea have breakfast at a diner when Rando/Lenny enters and throws Danny off. He gets agitated, sends his food back and then practically drags Chelsea out of the diner. This was when I started suspecting that Rando/Lenny was an assassin sent to murder the rest of the Rayburns. I was wrong, but I felt like they made him seem way more sinister than he ended up proving to be.
John is sitting on his dock attempting to write the eulogy for Robert when Danny pulls up. Evidently the bike he’s been riding for four episodes actually belongs to John and he was returning it. He snatches John’s legal pad and tells him that all of his eulogy ideas are pathetic. Danny asks him if he thinks Danny should say something at the memorial. John tries to discourage him, but Danny decides he’s going to do what the fuck he wants, so he’s going to speak. Then Danny mentions he thinks he saw Lenny Potts at the diner, which seems to make John uneasy.
Robert Had a Shitty Childhood
John goes back to the inn looking for Sally and ends up abandoning that search pretty quickly when he remembers that they are Rayburns and there is tons of alcohol everywhere. So he pours himself a scotch. Sally finds him and asks him to pour her one and they sit and discuss Robert. John asks about Robert’s childhood because he never spoke much of it other than to say it was rough.
Sally breaks into a depressing story about how Robert’s father beat his wife and then locked her in the cellar once while Robert was away from the house. When he came home and couldn’t find his stepmother, he asked his younger siblings where she was, but they were too scared to answer. He heard her moan from the cellar door. Upon opening the door and seeing that she had been hit, he went into the backyard where his father was grilling and got into a fight with him resulting in Robert being cut with a steak knife. Robert saw red, grabbed the grill fork and stabbed his father in the neck. He stopped short of killing him, but he left home and never returned because he knew he would kill his father if he stayed. As a result, Robert never completed high school. These are the happy memories one loves to hear about their father directly after his death.
The next morning as Danny once again rakes the beach and Sally prepares for her day, she sees Robert’s toothbrush and shaving implements in the bathroom and it gives her pause. Danny comes inside and sees the photos from the day before and picks up the picture of Sarah. He then has a memory of watching a younger Robert come flying into the driveway in his old truck and come slamming into the house as he stands there motionless.
The Memorial Service
Later at the memorial, Kevin’s wife, Belle shows up despite him not inviting her. I wish someone would tell Kevin that this is not how memorial services work, but he’s already drinking so I assume he wouldn’t pay attention anyway. Lenny arrives and John watches him cross the lawn and take a seat. The memorial soon gets underway while some old dude plays the ukulele.
John begins his eulogy which drones on about how Robert was a good man who made him and his siblings who they were. He says that Robert never spoke much about himself, but that he told a lot of stories, and that really said a lot about him. Considering my impression of the man was that he was a bit of an asshole, I am not sure what this said about his character, but Coach Taylor/John was talking so it didn’t really matter what he was saying because his voice is awesome.
As John is wrapping up his eulogy, he looks at Lenny and has a flashback to watching Robert kick the ever-loving shit out of Danny long ago. He starts to indicate that Danny wants to say a few things, but Danny gives him a subtle head shake and John wraps everything up by saying thank you to all of the attendees.
Will Someone Talk to Me?
After the ceremony is complete, Lenny wanders around talking to the family members while Sally studiously avoids him. He corners Danny drinking down on the beach and tells him that he’s sorry about Robert. John watches him suspiciously, still giving me the indication that this man was going to pull out a switchblade and knife a memorial-goer any minute. When Lenny finally catches up to John, he is introduced to Diana, and it is revealed that he was a detective.
While Lenny is playing cat and mouse outside with the many members of the Rayburn family, Kevin and Belle are inside having an argument. He is mad because he asked her not to come, and she’s a grown-ass woman so she does what she wants. He is wondering what he did wrong this time, and somehow they go round and round until she tells him he’s like his Dad. Then he yells and tells her to get the fuck out and she leaves distraught. Meg sees her on the way out and wonders what is going on.
During the memorial mingling, Meg receives a call from Alec, who she promptly tells to never call her again. It turns out he was calling to pay his respects for her father. He tells her that he didn’t realize she was at the memorial and apologizes. Meg is having none of his niceties.
Kevin is Free and Everyone Should Know
Later that night at the bar, a supremely drunk Kevin laments his life once again to Meg and Marco. Evidently Meg has a big mouth because she already told Marco that Kevin and Belle are Splitsville, so he decides to announce it loudly to Danny (and the rest of the entire island), who is at the bar with Eric and Chelsea. Kevin combatively asks Eric for some blow, and Danny waxes poetic about how awful John’s eulogy was. Eventually he leaves with Chelsea, leaving Kevin and Eric who confusedly asks if he really did want some blow. Kevin starts yelling again and leaves.
The same night, John catches Lenny up on his case at the suggestion of his wife, Lenny tells him to look into an old case he had. After discussing the case, John asks what happened with Lenny and Robert. Lenny says they had a disagreement around the time Sarah passed and Danny was injured. Lenny asks about Danny and John tells him that life hasn’t been kind to Danny and he’s struggled a bit.
Later, Kevin drunkenly drives himself to Belle’s house (I presume it also used to be his) and beeps his horn, which is so gentlemanly I could die. She comes to the door and he jumps out of his rust bucket of a truck and start apologizing to her and walking toward the house. He drunkenly falls sobbing in her arms and she starts crying as well.
The next morning John goes to the police archives to check out the case that Lenny told him to look into. As he walks through the boxes upon boxes of files, I was thinking that this precinct needs to go digital ASAP. He finds the box he’s looking for and reads through the very boring looking current patterns and looks at the photos of the washed up body before throwing it all back in the box and doing exactly what every single human in history would do, go snooping. He finds a box labeled Rayburn, D from 1983. On it is listed many transgressions from September – November of that year. He pulls it off the shelf and takes it to his table.
As this is happening in the archives, Lenny Potts visits Danny at the inn before leaving town. He apologizes to Danny for not doing his job better. Lenny tells him that he knew what actually happened and how Danny was really injured, but he couldn’t prove it. He tells Danny that Robert took what happened to Sarah out on Danny and it wasn’t fair. He said he tried talking to the family about it and Danny asks him what he means. Lenny leaves him with an envelope of tapes telling him there is something he needs to hear.
Danny Learns the Truth, John Shits his Pants
We are treated to a well-shot montage of John reading over the transcript where Detective Potts interviewed him at the age of fourteen after the incident with Danny. Danny is sitting in his father’s old truck and pops the tape into the player. As he listens and John reads, we realize that John lied to the police about what happened to Danny. Instead of telling them that Robert was the one who beat and injured Danny, John tells them that he was hit by a car that drove away.
During this montage, we also see a young John sitting at their dining room table being interviewed by a much younger Potts. This is a revelation to Danny as well as the viewers, and the episode ends with John coming to the realization that the tapes are missing from the archive box and that the last person to sign in to the record room before him was Lenny Potts. As he gets a look of “oh shit” on his face, the credits start to roll.
This episode has really started to pick up the pacing of the show. Not only did we get a major character death, we got pretty significant character development from everyone. Meg has seemingly decided to stop being a slutty lying liar who lies; Kevin seems to have reconciled with Belle for now; John has realized that he done fucked up. I am interested to see where we go from here now that Danny knows this has all been a conspiracy from the beginning.
The episode also answered some of my questions from last week, Danny did attempt to leave. Meg, at least for now, seems to be staying in the Keys. The rest of the bodies from our boat explosion could be caught in a current and heading north to wash ashore in some other jurisdiction. I’m still left wondering a few new things:
- Does it count as a memorial service if only one person speaks for less than 10 minutes?
- Is this whole immigration explosion issue going to somehow end up back on Danny’s doorstep?
- Are Kevin and Belle back together for real or was he just a drunken mess she was comforting?
- Why did John lie? Was he scared of Robert or did he also blame Danny for Sarah’s death?
- Can someone give Sissy Spacek a hug?
- Is it appropriate to drink during a memorial service or am I right in assuming that is generally frowned upon?
Join me on Thursday as I recap Part Six and we continue down this crazy dramatic road with the Rayburns.