TV Review - Bloodline: Season 3

This series continues the recent tradition of programs that follow criminals or people who commit criminal acts but who use their knowledge of the legal system to get out of it, even if it seems impossible for them to get out of it or even if they're up against people who are even smarter about the legal system. Because this series is set in Florida and David Zayas is in the cast, the echoes of Dexter are unavoidable. This show isn't about serial killers, but the idea of a cop who's murdered someone and now has to keep his peers at work from learning the truth is certainly here.

The show isn't as fun or funny as Dexter. The protagonist here doesn't really have a sense of humor, although his humorless disposition is the point. He has a lot of pain and fear in his past. He bottles it all inside and doesn't let it out. He is regretful and carries a lot of guilt. As the first season's narration states, he did a bad thing but he's not a bad person. Bottling up all those emotions for so long eventually caused him to explode. It didn't help that the person on whom he exploded almost delighted in antagonizing him. Otherwise, he maintains control and stoicism. He can easily become irritated with his family, but mainly keeps it all inside.

It is perhaps fitting that this third and final season would ultimately conclude with the main protagonist not running away and avoiding this "bad thing" he did or keeping it all inside but instead facing the music, letting it out and being honest. He resists till the very end and he could have continued bottling it all and lying.

What seems to turn the tide is a near death experience that is prompted by a random accident. It's so random that it feels very contrived. It leads to a ninth episode or "Part 32" that is very contrived and wildly off tone. It does allow for the return of Ben Mendelsohn whose Emmy-winning role is sorely missed. It pushes the protagonist to a final decision that I'm not sure is totally believable. It is a way to put a button on the series though.

Kyle Chandler returns as John Rayburn, a detective and deputy at the Sheriff's Office, and the most reliable child in a troubled family. Chandler's performance has really anchored the past two seasons, as he does this one. He really shined last season, as Mendelsohn shined in the first season. Norbert Leo Butz who plays the younger brother Kevin is positioned initially as the one to shine this season, but in a few scenes, he's eclipsed by another.

Sissy Spacek plays Sally Rayburn, the matriarch of the family, owner and manager of the upscale inn along the beach. Spaceck really takes center stage in several crucial moments and she is incredible, particularly in "Part 28" and "Part 30." As the second season ends, there is a shocking murder. Season 3 deals mostly with the murder trial. Sally has to talk to the mother of the victim in "Part 28" and then take the stand in court in "Part 30," and in both scenes she hits it out the park.

Speaking of "Part 28," there is a funny moment between John and Kevin on a boat. It made me think that there would be more sibling rivalry between John and his remaining siblings. Unfortunately, that wasn't really the case. The ending isn't the most satisfying, but it works for the most part from where the whole thing started.

Running Time: 1 hr. / 10 eps.

Available on Netflix.


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