The second season of the Sundace TV show ‘Rectify’ has affirmed its position as one of the best five shows on television, in my opinion. This show takes its time, is extremely easy to watch, and offers a ton of drama through the oft-used paradox character abstruseness. It is a study in how clever television should be done; how intelligent viewers can be; how simplicity is more intricate than complexity.
Season two gives us more insight into how Daniel is still coping with day-to-day life after serving 19 years on death row. We also saw more of the same things I talked about last year: Law officials not willing to admit their mistakes. There have been so many real-life ‘Dateline’ stories of an innocent man being sent to prison for murder, and a district attorney’s office unwilling to admit the truth – The redundancy is depressing. This show keeps reality intact and does not force any fairytale ending down our throats. The guy who prosecuted Daniel believes in his guilt no matter what, the current DA wants to uphold her predecessor’s sentiment, and the current sheriff has so far been on board with popular opinion (more on that later). Even with all of the hate, Daniel has risen above it in a way that would make John Cena proud.
Daniel’s propensity for being a good moral citizen in the midst of the world believing that he a cold-blooded killer is amazing. Last year ended with him taking a beating from Hannah’s brother and a few of his friends, and he forgave them. He refused to press charges, and simply moved on with his life. In fact, except for his confrontation with Teddy (who deserved it), Daniel has taken the high road, and spread kindness to everyone in his path. In the episode, “Weird As You,” Daniel further shows that he is a forgiving soul. He tells Trey that he has no hard feelings toward him (even though Trey and George actually committed the crime Daniel was accused of) for testifying against him. Daniel actually spent time with Trey, at George’s house, while they awaited his return (Daniel of course does not know that Trey has killed George).
The only thing I was thinking while watching this was “why is Daniel popping pills and getting drunk with this idiot?” They traded points about the day Hannah died, and Trey did everything except confess to being the real killer! I thought Daniel was catching on, or maybe was setting Trey up to expose the truth, but instead once Daniel woke up the next day, he didn’t seem to be any closer to realizing the truth of his unfortunate circumstances.
I used to be sure that Daniel was absolute in his position that he was an innocent man, but now I am not so sure. We now know that Daniel merely thinks he didn’t kill his former girlfriend Hannah… he does not truly know. The scene of him straddling a pillow and simulating the act (murder) he has been accused of was introspective and frightening.
I believe Daniel wanted to see if he was truly capable of the act. He doesn’t seem to understand that any person is capable or murder. The weariness of the situation led Daniel to consider confessing (in exchange for time served, case finally closed) and leaving town for the rest of his life (the terms of the plea agreement). This decision and the effect it had on everyone was riveting television.
Daniel is tired, and wants everything to end, but his family should have had more input in his decision, especially his sister Amantha who has uprooted her entire life to support her brother. His mom, younger brother, step-father, and step-sister-in-law Tawny all have a stake in what happens to Daniel, and yet he chose to confess to a crime he did not commit, for the betterment of his own personal sanity. I am not even sure that was a bad decision given the zeal from the authorities and the rest of the community.
By the way, the more I watch ‘Rectify,’ the more I understand that the real storyline is between Daniel and Tawny. The two of them on screen equals magic. From the start, there has been a strong attraction, but due to Tawny’s marriage to Teddy, her strong Christian faith, and Daniel’s overall life ambiguity, they were never able to truly connect. Tawny finally left Teddy, and a day after telling Daniel she could no longer see him (alone), they slept together (just sleep) in her motel room.
Too much time was spent this season on the confrontation that happen between Daniel and Teddy last season. Daniel pulled Teddy’s pants down and put potting soil on his anus and everyone is acting like that is some sort of rape? That’s a slap in the face to real rape victims. It was a gesture to humiliate Teddy – that’s all. As disrespectful as Teddy was, he’s lucky Daniel didn’t make him his first real murder victim. No one brings up the fact that Teddy put his hands on Daniel first!
After watching the finale, “Unhinged,” there is so much up in the air. Daniel is sitting in the courtroom hallway, awaiting a hearing that would end his agonizing odyssey, but at the same time, several people are working to disrupt his plans: 1. Sheriff Daggett has finally gotten a clue and will have the business card he got from Trey examined for DNA (hardcore watchers had to know that was coming). 2. Teddy has seemingly had a change of heart (to report what Daniel “did to him”) and may be poised to charge Daniel with whatever it is he is going to charge him with. 3. The body of George has been found.
Variety has reported that ‘Rectify’ has been renewed for season three, but I’ve also heard that it may only return with another six-episode season (like season one).