Bloodline Narrative Structure

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The Beginning of a Bloodline Bloodline’s pilot episode, “Part 1”, establishes a narrative structure that demands the viewers to connect the plot dots and become comprehensive. “Part 1” lays the groundwork for a full ongoing serial by creating a narrative architecture that will sustain a series using narration techniques to guide the audience through a mysterious story and murderous plot that creates an intriguing web of character relationships performed by an elite cast. This is an hour-long serial family drama with mystery at it’s core. Creators, Todd and Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman draw on similar narrative techniques used in their widely successful collaborated series, Damages. “Part 1” removes the drama derived from legal and crime…show more content…
From the opening bracket of John’s voiceover to the closing bracket the audience can close the gap that Danny did something pretty bad to be alienated from the clan and deemed the protagonists. Danny tricks his way out of getting picked up by John at the busstop and instead visits his old partner in crime, Eric, rather than his parents anniversary event. Upon Danny’s arrival to the event there is obvious tension causing the siblings to argue. Danny pulls John aside to talk to Robert for him because his plan is to stay in town to help with the family business. Robert opposes in fear Danny’s return will break Sally’s heart, but he leaves it up to the siblings to decide. Sally and John are not as strongly opposed to Danny’s arrival as the rest of the clan is. Danny and John have a strange relationship because John seems to be the only one with compassion for his ‘Black Sheep’ brother, yet the plot has revealed the flashes forward of John carrying a dead Danny through the marsh. The narrative problematic is apparent through the dynamics of the Rayburn family community when they learn Danny is staying in town. This will be the dilemma faced in every episode as Danny has the potential to influence multiple events and plotline, maybe his own death. The pilot creates minor plotlines that have potential to become conflicts such as revealing Meg’s affair with John’s partner, John and his partner finding a dead body in the…show more content…
The creators offered multiple communities in the pilot to ensure integration of multiple story and plot lines across episodes. First, the pilot establishes the setting of the diegesis as a beautiful oceanfront town of Islamorada, Florida where the Rayburn family and their hotel business is located. This community is presented the most on-screen time to extensively explore the past of the Rayburn clan. Recurrent flashforwards of John Rayburn carrying dead brother Danny Rayburn through mangrove infested murky swamps represents the other community created in “Part 1”. The depth of information in this community is restricted through the mental subjectivity of narrator, John Rayburn. The flash forwards functioned as a narrative hook to an ongoing series within the pilot creating a mysterious major plotline, “Why did they kill Danny”? Breaking Bad uses this nonlinear technique in the pilot of it’s final season, for the audience is shown a scraggly and lonesome Walter White and then reverses time to explore and explain what happened. John’s voiceovers and the flashes between the two communities become intrinsic norms to the episode perpetually casting an eerie sense of darkness over the Rayburn family in the great Sunshine

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