It is both with relief and trepidation that I am able to report Netflix is renewing its Florida Keys-set drama Bloodline for a third season. While I unabashedly loved the first season, Season 2 was mostly treading water (you can read my full review here), and lost its drive as it examined the emotions of the Rayburn siblings following the emotional turmoil of Season 1’s actions. And while Bloodline is at its best when it’s focused in on character drama, the cycle of guilt that the Rayburns subjected themselves to soon wore thin in terms of trajectory.
That’s the end of my vagueness about this, so if you haven’t see Season 2 thar be spoilers from here on out.
Even though I wasn’t as enchanted with Season 2 as I wanted to be, Bloodline always provides a fantastically visceral atmosphere, and a definite sense of place. The heat and humidity of the Keys, the beauty of the natural landscape juxtaposed with the dark actions of the family, are all wonderful things. Kyle Chandler continued to be fantastic as the family’s de facto leader John Rayburn, and even though John had several conversations with his projection of his dead brother, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), Mendelsohn’s presence was sorely missed throughout the season. The decision to not use the flash-forward plot device also kept the pace slow and the direction uncertain, and the flashbacks (especially of Danny) didn’t feel fully developed or even relevant (lord forgive me, as I love Mendelsohn deeply).
Still, despite the fact that Meg (Linda Cardellini) didn’t have much to do, and neither did Sally (Sissy Spacek) —or most of John’s family, for that matter, particularly his ignored son — things seemed like they might plausibly turn around for the Rayburns for another season of family drama, even after the secret about Danny started to spread. And then Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz), who had had a really interesting start to the season, was essentially turned into the new Danny, and made a very, very bad decision at the end of Season 2 to murder Marco (Enrique Murciano) rather than face the consequences of the murder coverup. And thus, a new coverup will surely be concocted. But truly, where does it end? Does everyone end up dead or in jail?
Netflix says the series will be back in 2017 for another 10 episodes, but I’m hoping that the production team (Todd Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman, also known as KZK) find a new drive for the series. It reminds me a lot of their show Damages, which I also loved, but which also had a stellar first season before losing its way. It had a big turnaround though for its final seasons, and I’m hoping Bloodline finds a way to recapture some of the magic of Season 1, even without having Mendelsohn full time. There are plenty of things still begging to be explored, and more drama to be uncovered — it just doesn’t always have to revolve around murder and coverups. Because really, they can’t say that they’re good people who just did one bad thing anymore.
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