Don't you hate it when you lose a favorite accessory like a ring or a pair of sunglasses or a necklace? So annoying. But don't you really hate it when you lose an accessory and suddenly that accessory becomes a key piece of evidence that will probably get you arrested for murdering your own brother? Ugh, it's the worst, you guys. (Spoilers for Bloodline Season 2 ahead!) Well, that's exactly what happened to John Rayburn in Season 2 of Netflix's Bloodline , when the entire cover-up of Danny's murder was blown by a little gold seahorse necklace. But why was the seahorse necklace significant to begin with? And how did it cause everything to unravel?
You may remember the necklace as a recurring motif of the first season, as it flashed through Danny's thoughts, tied directly to the traumatic event that shattered the Rayburn family decades ago. Throughout the season, we got more and more information on what exactly that event was: the tragic death of young Sarah Rayburn. Eventually, we learned the full truth behind the horrible accident. Sally Rayburn was planning on leaving her husband Robert; kicked out of the house while their mother was packing, Danny decided to take young Sarah out on the family boat. John, who knew the kids weren't allowed on the water without an adult, stayed behind. While they were out there, Sarah's seahorse necklace fell into the water; she dived in after it and, while trying to retrieve it, got her hand stuck in some coral on the ocean floor. Before Danny could manage to extricate her, Sarah drowned.
Nothing was ever the same for the Rayburns after Sarah's death. Robert blamed Danny and began to physically abuse him; Sally covered up for him by coercing her surviving children into lying to the police about their brother's injuries. After a while, Danny ran away from home and nothing was ever the same in the Rayburn family. But flashbacks and visions weren't the only time we saw the necklace in Season 1; it eventually popped up in the here-and-now as well, when Danny implicitly threatened John by taking his daughter Jane out on the boat without permission… and when they got back, John saw she was wearing Sarah's necklace, given to her by her uncle.
The necklace also played a key part in Danny's death. When John finally confronted his brother in Season 1's penultimate episode, he told Danny that he was willing to forgive his brother of "so much" — but "not this," he said holding up the necklace, referring to his brother's threat against Jane. Of course, that confrontation ended with John drowning Danny in the surf, and we never saw the seahorse necklace again…
…until Season 2, when the necklace transformed from a mere recurring symbol of the past to a full-blown plot point in the present. It didn't pop up until the latter half of the 10-episode season, when Jane started asking her father to give it back to her; it was the only thing her uncle Danny ever gave her and she didn't understand why he had taken it away. Trouble is, John had no idea where it was, having lost it in the struggle with his brother. However, even more troublesome is the fact that one character does know where the necklace is: Eric O'Bannon.
We learn late in the season that Eric went to the beach looking for Danny shortly after John killed him; although he didn't find his best friend, he did find the seahorse necklace in the sand, discarded under a log. Although Eric hocked the necklace for cash soon afterwards, he returned to the pawn shop at the end of the season and bought it back in order to help Marco Diaz make his case against the Rayburn siblings.
Of course, Season 2 ended when Kevin Rayburn killed Marco in a fit of rage — and once again the fate of the necklace is left up in the air. Is Eric still holding onto the necklace? Or had he already given it to the detective? If so, where is it… and will the Rayburns be able to find it and clean up after themselves before the rest of the department puts the pieces together in the wake of Marco's murder?
That shocking finale set up Bloodline for an even more intense third season; and it looks like the Rayburns might be brought down by something as simple as a shiny gold seahorse necklace. The devil's in the details, right?
Images: Saeed Adyani/Netflix (2)