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'Rectify' recap: Now you know you

Season 2 | Episode 7 | “Weird as You” | Aired July 31, 2014

I’m often distracted with the feeling that Rectify skirts the fringes of reality, but this week’s episode, “Weird As You,” outright concerns itself with the business of dreams and hallucinations. Both the opening and ending scenes are fueled by drugs, and all throughout, the characters are under the influence in some way or another. McKinnon is asking us to consider what is real and what is not, and if it’s really even important to Daniel’s story.

We left Daniel last week as he had just taken mushrooms and settled in for his trip. We pick up this week as he hallucinates a walk in the woods, wrapped in a red blanket. While I don’t usually comment on form, the cinematography is telling a story of its own in this episode. The red of the blanket contrasts so sharply with the gray of the trees, and the fire he sees in the distance, it becomes apparent that Daniel is being warned of danger. When Trey and George appear, it becomes an ominous foreshadowing to the rest of the episode. In this dream, Trey asks him, “Are you up here, or down there?” and it marks a symmetry between this scene and the last—which I will get to in a moment.

DanielatTreysThis experience prompts Daniel to go see Trey, and when Daniel arrives at Trey’s house on his bike, Trey asks him in for a beer. I was surprised at this exchange, and I’m still wondering what Daniel meant when he told him, “No hard feelings.” Daniel enters Trey’s house, and the politics between them are hard to figure. Trey acts a little too friendly, and Daniel is a little too conciliatory. The dynamic reminds me of that between a bully and his victims, as Trey mocks Daniel’s directness and his questions about “that night.” Trey is manipulative and passive-aggressive. I find myself nervous for Daniel when they agree to go to Live Oak, Florida (“Satan’s butthole”) to pay George Melton a visit.

Daniel seems on guard as well, especially when he sees Trey come out of the shed with a bag. What Daniel doesn’t see is Trey loading that bag with things that I can only assume are George’s: a pink cell phone, a set of keys and a gun. Trey seems unstable in a very Deliverance sort of way, and I am having a hard time piecing together the actions with the motives.

As they drive south, the talk turns to dreams again. Trey shares a dream he had about Paula Deerectify_unit_207_01_1000x594n, a chef on TV who “cooks Southern food for Yankees.” Deen tells him, in his dream, “Everything that is good between men and women was written in mud, and butter, and barbecue sauce.” Of course, Daniel doesn’t know who Paula Deen is, but he is more concerned with the meaning of the dream. Trey is not a deep thinker, which makes him dangerous, and tells Daniel he doesn’t see the point of trying to figure the meaning of dreams; it is a waste of time to think on them once you are awake and walking around in reality. He suggests that it is a waste of time to find meaning in anything, but when Daniel presses him about life being meaningless, Trey mocks him again, telling him, “You twist things around like a woman.”

rectify_unit_207_03_1000x594Once they arrive at George’s house, Trey uses the keys to let himself into the trailer in the Buena Gardens trailer park. I have to keep reminding myself that Trey knows George is dead, helped hide his body, and is essentially the only one left who really knows what happened to Hannah that night. Knowing this confirms my fears about Trey’s instability, and I fear how dangerous his manipulations will get before Daniel comes to his senses.

Both Daniel and Trey are very drunk and have taken a lot of pills, so the scene has a strange mix what’s real and what’s imagined. It feels unsteady and blurry as the camera shakes and goes in and out of focus—to mimic their state of mind, presumably. As Daniel and Trey become more and more intoxicated, Trey begins to tell the story of what happened that night, but it’s mixed up and distorted with time and substance. Daniel questions him when his story is inconsistent, but Trey overcorrects and Daniel feels insecure about what he’s hearing.

Daniel has maintained all along that he doesn’t remember what happened, and that the police coerced his confession. Trey confirms that Daniel didn’t rape Hannah. In fact, the story that Trey tells reveals Daniel as a hurt, embarrassed boy with a crush. According to Trey, Hannah was “a bitch and a slut,” and he doesn’t understand why Daniel thought she was so special. Trey paints a picture of a promiscuous young girl that was free with her body and who laughed at Daniel when he couldn’t perform. Trey recalls how he and George watched from atop a hill while Daniel got angry at her for laughing at him. He says they saw him run off “dick puny,” angry and embarrassed. Both Trey and George waited until he left to have sex with Hannah, claiming she readily slept with them; that she wanted it. Trey tells Daniel that he came back and killed Hannah after he watched the three of them together.

Daniel reacts to Trey’s story violently, throwing him against the wall, and Trey uses this action as evidence that he is, in fact, “a psycho killer.” The entire sequence at George’s house is surreal and laced with dreamy, blurry memories and recollections. Trey tells Daniel that he’s “like a time machine that don’t go nowhere but backward,” and it punctuates the emotional confusion of the moment. Trey’s version of events are so splintered with drugs and time that I had to watch the scene twice in order to make sense of all the passive-aggressive manipulations going on.

Although Trey believes Daniel absolutely killed Hannah, he tries to make Daniel question the events of that night. Those last scenes with Daniel and Trey offer an eerie symmetry to the opening scenes, calling attention to the differing memories Daniel has of that night. Was he down there with Hannah or up on the hill looking down? This is going to be the key component if and when Daniel receives a new trial.

AmanthaThriftyTownThat scenario is looking more and more likely as Jon rejects the D.A.’s plea deal that would require Daniel to spend 10 more years in prison. When Jon relates this offer to Amantha, she quickly loses her marijuana buzz, and jumps to some quick conclusions about the prosecution’s intentions. She comes home to Jon in her apartment and is sweetly and warmly surprised that he is there, expecting him to have been long gone. Her time at Thrifty Town is starting to wear on her, and she can’t quite shake her disdain for the folks of Paulie or the feelings of oppression they remind her of.

She finds a little relief when she and her coworker get high in the parking lot and then visit Teddy Jr. at the store. This was such a fun scene to watch. Teddy is uncomfortable with Amantha’s lighthearted kindness, and looks flummoxed at her laughter and playfulness. Their interaction is innocent and devoid of all the baggage that they have with each other. There were no agendas in this exchange, and these versions of Amantha and Teddy offer a sliver of potential at what this family could be.

teddyandsherrifsenatorTeddy’s new attitude following Tawney’s pregnancy announcement has me hopeful too, especially since he now refuses to come forward about Daniel’s attack. His first concerns were about how his accusations would affect the family, and I respect his resolve at trying to protect this family that is already in such a fragile state. The sheriff and Senator’s visit is an alarming omen of the reignition of their feud with Daniel. There is something that exists between these men that we aren’t privy to yet, but it is unfolding really slowly. I hope we have enough time to sort it out before season’s end.

With more time and space, I could have discussed the subverted gender roles in this episode and the place of socioeconomic status in the characters’ interactions, but I will leave that for the comments section. Tell what you think—tweet me all about it.

Rectify, rated TV-14, airs Thursdays at 9/8C on SundanceTV.

For more of my thoughts and opinions about the shows I watch, visit Honest Reviews Corner and TV Megasite.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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