Those familiar with the show often refer to the first season of the murky Netflix series Bloodline as a “slow burn,” and that’s a label that’s likely to stick with season two. A “slow burden” may be a more apt description. Bloodline‘s second season starts with a lie, then lets new lies get piled upon the original until nearly every character in the series is carrying the weight. That’s true of viewers, too.
Bloodline is a stressful series. It seems designed not to entertain, but to give viewers a panic attack. It’s a series that demands to be binged, not because the viewer wants to find out what’s next so much as not pushing through means living with these characters’ anxiety that much longer. The magic of Bloodline is its ability to divide our loyalties between wanting to see these characters get away with the lie and wanting them to see them unburden themselves with confession. Confession is good for the soul, they say, but here it would also mean the destruction of a family.
Season two of Bloodline picks up where the first season left off, with the death of Danny Rayburn (Ben Mendelsohn). While the first season built for 13 slow-burning hours toward John Rayburn’s (Kyle Chandler) inevitable murder of Danny, season two deals with the coverup. It feels like a 10-hour interrogation, as the police and various characters from Danny’s past return to point the finger at John and his brother, Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) and sister Meg (Linda Cardellini) for the murder, and we wait for someone to snap under the pressure and confess.
What sweet relief that would offer. But Bloodline has no interest in offering us relief.