First off I liked this season more than I did the first one. Danny is the focal point of the show and everything revolves around his death and how it happened but I couldn't stand the character, in spite of the performance. I identified a lot more with John, and I think Kyle Chandler's performance was every bit as good. This time Chandler has to carry the season, and his character along with Linda Cardellini as Meg are up to the task. They all do a fine job and I liked that this series explores the consequences of their actions.
I found myself feeling the same way about the characters that I did in the first season, for the most part. I like John in spite of his missteps and the growing darkness in his character, Meg is damaged and Kevin is sort of the goofy screw up- and I still can't stand Sally very much. So all the character work this season pretty much reinforces how I already felt, with a few exceptions. I'm disappointed with Kevin this time around- he's a mess here and between his substance abuse and poor decisions he just can't seem to catch a break. I would have liked to see him get his act together rather than lurch from crisis to crisis. And a decision he makes towards the end astounded me- can he really be that dumb?
The story itself is good- the Rayburn kids have a secret to hide, Sally doesn't know what happened to Danny but suspects the kids are keeping something from her, and some unsavory people from Danny's past show up in the Keys looking for trouble. The Wayne Lowry/ drugrunning angle returns and is the focus of the first few episodes, then we switch gears as John runs for sheriff and the political dynamics bring the whole Danny case back into the open. Loyalties are tested and we learn a lot more about the Rayburns as everyone has to deal with Danny's son, who showed up at the end of season one.
The show has the same slow pacing as the first time around, although it's not as bad here. I thought episode three was in some ways the best of the lot and the pace seems to pick up quite a bit. They're all good and compelling - there's something about this family, with all their flaws, that makes me want to keep watching. I think a lot of families have secrets and misunderstandings, regrets and resentments in their past and I think that's why we can relate to the Rayburns- even if things don't get quite as bad as they do here. I do have a few problems with some of the story directions, in particular I was a bit disappointed when Diana towards the end seemed to disappear a bit as she and John had problems.
Speaking of Diana, her mixture of wanting to support her husband but not wanting to know what may have really happened is played to good effect here. She's one of the highlights of the show and I look forward to seeing more of her in a third season. And the ending is shocking although they telegraphed it a bit- you knew something was going to happen- but there are a lot of unresolved plot points so I certainly hope there will be a season three!
All in all I enjoyed myself immensely watching this show. The locations, the cinematography- the croaking frogs and night sounds- everything plays up the atmosphere of the place, and this was more watchable than the first time around. We have a pretty big cliffhanger ending, and again the absence of Danny- he shows up in a few flashbacks- was a plus for me. The story may still be about him but it belongs to John, Meg and Kevin now. I can't wait to see what happens next.
For those who have seen the show I thought I'd share some more in depth thoughts. Let me know what you think!
I didn't like how Marco turned on the Rayburns. I mean, John's his partner. It happened a little too fast and S1 established what a nice guy he was- and by the end of S2 he wants the three of them in prison? Not buying it.
Having said that, he won't be a problem going forward will he? You could see that coming when Kevin went in there- but Kevin is now a killer?? Given how fragile he was this season, I can't see that going well. At all.
I hope Kevin picks the statue up. You know, prints and stuff.
Where is John going?
Meg is going to tell Sally?? Did she and Kevin lose their mind in this last episode? After all they've done they're going to confess to everyone NOW?
Gilbert has the tape? Where did HE get it? And what does he plan on doing with his new leverage over both Kevin and John? And where is Luis taking Ozzy? This idea of Gilbert as the kingpin behind the scenes seems a little iffy to me...
I thought the whole sequence where John was going to shoot Eric was a bit much- I don't see John as a killer and it seemed like they went a little over the top there. Speaking of Eric- who knew that he would be at the heart of everything?