For those curious if the final season of “Bloodline” is worth it — the basest function of a review — I will quickly and succinctly answer: No.
Such efficiency feels refreshing after 10 redundant and listless hours spent with a family stuck in the Florida swamp, drifting through the guilty consciouses of characters who seem eager to move on from their own story, and the only thing holding them back is the need to fill one more season.
At its best, “Bloodline” found tension in the intense moral quandaries drawn out by its central conflict: John Rayburn (Kyle Chandler) — the patriarch of the Rayburn family despite being the younger brother — and Danny (Ben Mendelsohn) couldn’t resolve their deep-seeded issues that divided them years before “Bloodline” began; not before it was too late, Danny was dead, and John was the one holding him under water.
Season 1 gave that twist away in the first episode, making for a bumpy 13 episodes to arrive right back where we started, but Season 2 found thrilling drama in fresh disputes. Suspicions surrounding John from his partner, Marco (Enrique Murciano), his family, and his own fracturing psyche served to further the plot, pushing the Rayburns to extremes and delivering honest, personal moments of confrontation. Whether the finale jumped the shark — with Kevin killing Marco to protect himself and John — was debatable… until Season 3 failed to follow-up.
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Rather than this immeasurably talented cast adding to scenes, they’re propping them up. Each actor is asked to carry a lot of weight in scenes that circle around the same general problem. And that Ben Mendelsohn is largely absent from the final season doesn’t help; not only because he’s a magnetic, engrossing character actor, but because Danny and John’s dynamic is still the best thing about “Bloodline.” Without it, the show feels like dead weight any good sailor would cut lose.
Now then, for those who are curious, continue reading for the spoiler review.