By Luciana Leitão
Secrets after secrets after secrets. Netflix’s television series Bloodline is an intriguing story of an established family in the Florida Keys, holding many secrets. Once Danny, the black-sheep son, comes back to the family’s inn, the secrets start to unveil. The plot is very well constructed, while the characters are well designed, reflecting the many layers behind each of the family members.
Bloodline tells the story of the members of an apparently very close-knit Southern clan, but it is more than that. The siblings — three men and one woman — are heirs of a well-to-do inn that has been in the family for half a century. It holds childhood memories, but also many secrets. So, what might initially seem a portrait of family ties, proves to be an intriguing, compelling drama, almost shaped as a thriller, even though there doesn’t seem to be any intentional murder. It’s filled with secrets and lies, which come off as flash-backs by the main characters.
Kyle Chandler is John Rayburn, a detective in the local sheriff’s office, who seems to be the family anchor. Sam Shepard is the hardworking father, while Sissy Spacek is his loving wife. Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) is another son working at the hotel, while Meg (Linda Cardellini) is a lawyer.
Danny (Ben Mendelsohn) is the returning son, who breaks the apparent harmony between the clan. He is the classic unhappy, frustrated, bitter, who can’t hold a job and has frequent issues with drugs, women and law. Most of Bloodline’s mystery revolves around Danny — sometimes, he seems just a victim of a stolen youth, while other times he seems a manipulator and malevolent man.
Yet, if Danny seems to be the one with mixed motives and a hidden agenda, throughout the series, you realise all of them have their own agenda and their own secrets.
Bloodline is one of those addictive television series, well constructed and shaped, that doesn’t seem to let you breath, so involved are you in the plot. But it is not fast paced, it is slow, as storytelling should be.