The final season of “Bloodline” ends on a cliffhanger. Will John Rayburn (Kyle Chandler) confess to Nolan (Owen Teague) that he killed his father (John’s brother) Danny? Danny’s ghost (Ben Mendelsohn), who returned to haunt John in the final two episodes of the series, eggs him on; while another figment, in the form of a young Danny, assures him that Nolan doesn’t need to know. We’re left with a final shot of John, mouth agape, standing before Nolan, and then the screen cuts to the final credits.
It’s complicated. Confessing to Nolan is John’s only chance at redemption, but also, his route to condemnation. John got away with the crime, in a legal sense, but the guilt has wrecked him mentally and emotionally; breaking the Rayburn clan’s cycle of lies would ostensibly set him free, but if Nolan then went to the cops, he’d likely end up incarcerated.
About the decision to leave it open-ended, showrunner Todd A. Kessler explained to Vulture, “We’re trying to put the audience in the shoes of the characters. It’s a deeply personal question for John.”
There are no easy outs for any of the Rayburn clan. Their respective fates are all pretty bleak — and appropriately so, as they never owned up to their culpability, instead perpetuating their guilt with lies and cover-ups. As we say farewell to the very bingeable Netflix show, here’s where we leave Meg, Kevin and Sally and what we think lies ahead for them (it doesn’t look good).
Sadly, our girl Meg (Linda Cardellini) doesn’t even appear in the final two episodes. Last we see her, she’s run off to California, where she now goes by “Amy,” sports a crazy goth back tattoo, and has a whole new set of friends. When John visits her to see if she’ll come back to testify in the trial over Marco’s death, she declines. But she’s far from contented in her new life, and we aren’t sure if she’ll ever be. She’s still drinking heavily and having the same recurring nightmare where someone’s breaking into the Rayburn Inn and she can’t bolt the doors. Running away may have given her physical distance from her toxic family, but mentally she can’t keep them out.
The shifty Rayburn matriarch (played by Sissy Spacek) has an ugly end. After she learns that selling the inn is no longer a viable option, because it’ll be under water in ten years (thanks, Trump!), she proceeds to get wasted and rant to Kevin and John that “the sea takes everything” and point the finger at them as the reason why her life is ruined. John stands up to her, saying “You had no idea what family was.” Looks like she’s set to live out her remaining years drunk, miserable and alone.
The dumbest, unluckiest Rayburn, Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) meets an appropriately dumb and unlucky end. After the feds catch wind of his involvement in a drug-running operation, he and Belle and their baby escape to Bimini, colluding with John to fake out the cops that they’re enroute to Cuba. But the scheme flops because Belle forgets to turn off the GPS on her phone, and they’re discovered in no time, apprehended mid-beer at some island joint. Kevin’s the only Rayburn who will be physically punished for his crimes by serving jail time; and this time, we don’t think John will be able to bail him out.