Bloodline took me by surprise last season; I didn’t know what the show would be, just that it had an amazing cast. By the second episode, I was enthralled with the family drama-cum-thriller and its alternately beautiful and dark Florida Keys setting. This season has gotten mixed reviews, with some favoring this season and others the first. My reaction is mixed as well, but I’d be happy to have more, especially with that ending.
As with the first season, the performances are the best element. Last season, Ben Mendelsohn stole the show as misfit prodigal son, Danny, which is saying something given that his costars include Sissy Spacek, Kyle Chandler, and Linda Cardellini. This season, tensions have only risen, and watching these characters–Chandler’s John, the “responsible” oldest son and detective; Cardellini’s Meg, a lawyer; and Norbert Leo Butz’s irresponsible Kevin–barely keep it together after the events of last season is a nail-biting pleasure. My favorite scene involved John confirming his wife’s suspicions without saying a word; Chandler turns into a scared little boy right before your eyes, all the more impressive if, like me, you associate him most strongly with Friday Night Lights‘ Coach Eric Taylor.
Another amazing scene is when all three siblings confront one another, with Meg and Kevin teaming up against John. No one is willing to take full responsibility for their actions, and it showcases another effective element of the show, which is the way it steers your sympathies with different characters moment to moment. You’re never rooting for anyone long.
The weakest part of this season was the cavalcade of new characters, meant to keep some of the same tensions from last season while restricting the main characters’ choices. There was just one too many, and their storylines didn’t always pay off, or were shifted. I’m most interested in Evangeline and Nolan, as well as the obviously shady Roy Gilbert and his plans.
I would still recommend this show if you’re looking for something tense and well-acted.