This review of Bloodline contains spoilers. For the review of the premiere episode, click here.
“Kids have a hole in their souls in the shape of their dad. And if a father is unwilling or unable to fill that hole, it can leave a wound that is not easily healed.” – Roland Warren
When the past returns to haunt, one ought to be prepared for some surprises. Each person remembers the past differently, and their lived experiences can’t be altered to suit the needs and comfort of others. Families tend to fail in this regard more so than friends or coworkers. Siblings and fathers oftentimes hold each other up to outside expectations of what a family should be.
Most fathers raise their sons hoping they will grow into their own image. The disconnect happens when sons despise or fear their fathers, and emotionally or physically distance themselves lest they become a clone.
There’s always a keeper of secrets in a family who eventually feels burdened by the unofficial job description. Forgiveness can be in short supply for those who leave home against the general consensus. When a prodigal son returns to the fold, he is looking for something that only exists in his mind and heart, a clean slate for all previous pain and heartaches.
Good parents have bad or troubled kids, as is the opposite, good kids can overcome and thrive as offspring of bad parents. Etiquette books and societal pressures aside, a majority of families follow their own code and get along privately.
A family is a mixture of unrealized dreams, expectations and competition. Parents want their children to exceed their accomplishments in life, offspring are expected to honor their parents’ sacrifices, and siblings compete with each other for their parents’ attention and praise.
Friends, lovers and colleagues are the easiest escape from family when the water rises and threatens to drown. No one sets out to be a rebel, it just happens when they forget who they are with each other. Danny Rayburn lives on this plane. He wants the best of both worlds, but the outside and that of his family’s superficial breezy, genteel Southern lifestyle are in constant conflict. Danny looks and acts as if he wasn’t prepared for his role as the eldest son. He didn’t have anyone to model his thoughts and behavior apart from his aloof father.
Sons want to protect their mothers in ways different than their fathers, but some mothers aren’t always capable of sharing themselves with their husbands and sons uniquely.
Daughters in a family of men can have an easier road to travel because they absorb unclaimed emotions intended for their mothers. Mothers and daughters sometimes become natural competitors in male-dominated families.
People return home for many reasons, but topmost is being beaten up, betrayed and abandoned by the outside world. Estranged family members seek refuge and no judgment. Whoever and whatever slingshots a prodigal child back into the uncertain passage of time has no hold on the one returning with a bowed head and humbled heart.
Family members who remain at home or within close proximity can grow to resent those who venture out on their own. Questions of loyalty and love bubble up to the surface at each homecoming, or at the mere mention of it.
Mother Sally’s faith and patience seems infinite when it comes to her children. Unfortunately, her children don’t have an endless reserve of these traits as they jostle for position and power as it relates to Danny. Absence has not made Danny’s siblings’ hearts grow fonder. The secrets they’re holding onto are too much to bear, and will ultimately destroy them.