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Critics Find Bloodline’s Finale Dysfunctional, But Fans Still Want More

"Part 32" made some throw in the towel, but many stuck with it until the end.

by | June 9, 2017 | Comments

Bloodline was among the first in a wave of Netflix cancellations. The streaming service, which has allowed flagship series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black to go for five seasons and counting, has started tightening their belts. Sense8 was the latest cancellation announcement, ending in its second season.

Season 3 was announced as Bloodline’s final season last year. Since the May 26 release of the series’ final 10 episodes, critics have been harsh, but fan reactions have been more mixed, including plenty of enthusiastic positives.


Spoiler warning: The following discusses plot details from all three seasons of Bloodline.


Bloodline - Ben Mendelsohn (Rod Millington/Netflix)

The first season of Bloodline, which is Certified Fresh at 80%, began with John Rayburn (Kyle Chandler) confessing to the audience that he and his siblings killed their brother Danny (Ben Mendelsohn). Viewers watched the Rayburn family saga unfold and got to know more about the Rayburn family secrets, including those of matriarch Sally Rayburn (Sissy Spacek) and siblings Meg (Linda Cardellini) and Kevin Rayburn (Norbert Leo Butz). The first season culminated with Danny’s murder and revealed he had a son (Owen Teague).

With Danny killed, season 2 struggled to maintain the delicious tension in Rayburn-family conflicts. Mendelsohn still appeared in flashbacks, along with new characters like the mother of Danny’s son, Evangeline (Andrea Riseborough), and Ozzy Delvecchio (John Leguizamo), a shady character from Danny’s past looking to extort the Rayburn’s further. Still, the series took a hit in its critical reception and season 2 stands at 50%.

Critics have been even harsher to season 3, giving it a 29% score from seven reviews as of this writing. Its audience score is considerably higher, at 64% from 149 votes. That’s not perfect, but nearly two-thirds of fans are enjoying the final season of Bloodline. You can see some of the most devoted below.


Sissy Spacek, Jacinda Barrett, Katie Finneran, Kyle Chandler (Jeff Daly/Netflix)


Bloodline -

Bloodline can even claim some celebrity fans. High School Musical‘s Sharpay herself, Ashley Tisdale, got starstruck when she saw Mendelsohn in person! Reign‘s Torrance Coombs is also watching a home.


Bloodline - Norbert Leo Butz, Kyle Chandler (Jeff Daly/Netflix)

(Photo by Jeff Daly/Netflix)

But, some fans agree with critics that the ending was too abrupt. This is in part because creators Glenn and Todd Kessler and Daniel Zelman had a plan for five or six seasons. They had to cut the long arc short to wrap things up.


Bloodline - Norbert Leo Butz (Jeff Daly/Netflix)

Even fans of the final episodes agreed the finale didn’t do the show justice.


Bloodline - Hani Avital, Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn (Rod Millington/Netflix)

The most controversial episode in Bloodline’s history has been “Part 32,” episode 9 out of the final 10. John ends up in the hospital and seems to wake up in an alternate reality. Some went with it. Some were just lost.


Bloodline - Sissy Spacek, Kyle Chandler (Rod Millington/Netflix)

(Photo by Rod Millington/Netflix)

Then again, some just found the series’ burn a bit too slow for them. Bloodline took its time introducing each of the Rayburns and revealing tidbits of their past. For some who made the 33-episode investment, it just wasn’t worth it.


Bloodline - Sissy Spacek, Kyle Chandler (Rod Millington/Netflix)

Now that Bloodline is over, some reflect on the series as a whole. Any disappointments in the final season might be mitigated in the context of the big picture. Like this video, where an excited Bloodline fan considers season 3 an improvement, yet still not reaching the height of season 1.

And other fans who simply commented on the series as a whole.

If you haven't seen Bloodline on Netflix yet, you really should! Brilliant show with non-stop twists and turns.

Posted by Galit Gordon on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

TV: "Bloodline" on Netflix was a very terrific series, well worth the time to watch it. Slow-moving, character-driven,…

Posted by Jason Mundstuk on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Just finished Bloodline on Netflix, Loved it!! Top three series for me! 1. Breaking bad, 2. Tie between Lost and Better call Saul, 3. Bloodline. Any new show recommendations? We need a new series!

Posted by Tara Thamarus Usrey on Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Bloodline - Linda Cardellini, Enrique Murciano (Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

Even with the finality of “Chapter 33,” some aren’t ready to say goodbye to the Rayburns.

At least there’s one thing all Bloodline fans can appreciate:

Bloodline is available to stream now on Netflix.


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