Netflix’s ‘Bloodline’ Ends With Riveting, Mysterious Final Season ~ TV TALK WITH BILL CUSHING


By: Bill Cushing – June, 2017

One of TV’s most binge-worthy shows, Bloodline, premiered its third and final season on Netflix on May 26 and brought to an end the story of the devious Rayburn clan. Be warned. This column contains spoilers.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this series, it follows the Rayburns, a very prominent family living in the Florida Keys. They’re not bad people, but they did a bad thing as the series characters continually tell us. That bad thing has haunted them since the first season and they’ve been trying to get out from under it ever since. One lie has led to another and another and another. The problems for the family have just gotten worse and they have gotten deeper and deeper into trouble.

When season 3 begins, it picks up immediately where season 2 ended. Creators Daniel Zelman, Glenn and Todd A. Kessler were originally planning five or six seasons of Bloodline, but it’s probably for the best they wrapped up with season three. The three seasons feel contained and complete. It wouldn’t have been fair to fans of the show to needlessly drag out the story any longer.
A big part of the final season centers on the wrongdoings of Kevin Rayburn (Norbert Leo Butz), the brother who tests our patience the most. He continually points the finger at everybody but himself, makes mistakes over and over again, all the while trying to make everyone believe he’s got everything under control. Let’s not forget, that like his brother, John (Kyle Chandler), he has killed someone. But unlike John, he doesn’t seem to show any remorse for what he’s done.

Each episode of season 3 is a reminder that Danny Rayburn (Ben Mendelsohn) wasn’t the only bad guy in the family. We are shown more of the remaining members of the Rayburn family’s bad side this season. We also get to see more of the good that was in Danny, the good that his family helped crushed in him a long time ago. Danny, who makes an appearance in the last few episodes, is portrayed this season as a sympathetic figure. We see glimpses of the life that Danny could’ve made for himself. His family deprived him of that life.

The other big part of the season deals with John and the crippling guilt and pain that he’s feeling. Even when he wants to try to make things right, so he can maybe ease his conscience for selfish reasons, he can’t. John’s guilt and stress over everything has reached a breaking point. He is seeing visions of Danny, young and old, and even having conversations with him. Young Danny suggests that Nolan (Owen Teague) doesn’t need to know what happened to his father. Older Danny knows that he does. The final scene is a bit ambiguous, leaving it up to us to decide what happens. This might leave some fans unsatisfied, but I liked the ending. It’s something that keeps people talking about the show and debating the ending. Before John even opens his mouth to tell Danny’s son the truth about his father’s death, or lie about it, the series cuts to black. In my opinion, John comes clean to Nolan. He’s has been plagued with guilt over the whole thing and I don’t think he’s going to keep lying. For John, he gets some closure in that final scene, even though we don’t. Bloodline was never going to provide a neat conclusion, so fans shouldn’t be disappointed with the ending. Bloodline concludes three strong seasons with uncertainty, discomfort, and questions, all of which John will live with for the rest of his life.

The season is full of the great acting that Bloodline has become known for. Norbert Leo Butz and Kyle Chandler turn in Emmy worthy performances. Chandler is especially good over the last few episodes. John Leguizamo is underused this season, but excellent as always.

All 3 seasons of Bloodline are available to stream on Netflix.

Bill Cushing
Bill Cushing

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