Before you begin reading this review, there will be spoilers as I discuss the second half of Bloodline’s first season. You can read my spoiler-less review of the first half of Bloodline here.
Once again: SPOILER ALERT
First and foremost, the last four episodes of Bloodline might be the best thing produced as a Netflix original yet. Better than the first season of House of Cards and anything I have seen on Orange is the New Black (yet). As a huge fan of both of those shows, for clarity, I’m using this as a way to say how much I absolutely loved Bloodline’s finale.
The ever distressing relationship between Danny Rayburn and his family as he continued to twist his devious plan into action only continued to get worse until an extremely dramatic climax. It seems for so long that Danny really has a mastermind plan as he continually appears to be one step ahead of everyone trying to rid him from the Rayburn Hotel, and subsequent financial benefits of his late father’s will, which he was of course not a part of.
But in a twisted sense, Danny’s actions never feel completely unjustified, as the show leaves you with a really sick feeling of dread for him and his childhood. Danny is the type of character that on the surface you hate, but he remains complicated and in some senses earns quite a bit of sympathy. You feel bad for Danny by the end.
John Rayburn, opposite of Danny, remains the most likable character, but as him and his brother remain at odds, my favoritism for him drastically declined. As the show progresses from early episodes, I really started to question John, especially after the “tapes” are revealed that he had actively protected Robert Rayburn, his father. Robert had assaulted Danny for his indirect responsibility for the death of his sister Sarah when they were teenagers, something Robert could never forgive Danny for. I’ll leave it up to you to determine how much fault should be assigned here.
John and Danny’s relationship got increasingly interesting. Their battle for this ethereal idea of control continues into a final scene I won’t discuss in this article, you just have to see it.
Bloodline wasn’t without its faults, and one of the biggest I feel was the final scene, a plot twist leaving the door open for a second season. The twist feels contrived, and perhaps even added at the last minute once Bloodline had revealed itself as a hit. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that it’s really hard to produce an amazing television show, and it must be even harder to end one doing as well as Bloodline, but everything felt nearly perfect for closure until the final scene.
I think everyone struggles with morally ambiguous endings, and had Bloodline ended five minutes earlier, many viewers might have been left feeling negatively about the show’s apparent lack of complete closure. It now feels like they’re going to continue on what was nearly a perfect season of television with a “safe” second season, answering questions left perfectly off balance in the finale.
Will I tune in for the second season? Absolutely. I’m not too worried that it will remain on par with the first season as the writing and directing from season one should remain intact. But I do worry the show might continue for too long, similar to that of a Lost, where everyone gets dollar signs in their eyes after early success.
Never will I blame show creators wanting to continue with the success of a hit. But selfishly, Bloodline felt so perfect the way it was, why risk it?