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'Rectify' fan recap: Find a more crooked path

Season 3 | Episode 4 | “Girl Jesus” | Aired July 30, 2015

Even after two seasons and four episodes of Rectify, we still don’t know Daniel Holden very well. Tonight’s, “Girl Jesus,” is a heavy reminder that Daniel is a mystery, and for the first time, I started to see him through everyone’s else’s eyes.

Although Daniel is not the first character in modern TV to ever have gone through extraordinary circumstances during the life before we knew him, he is the first to keep us at such a distance. Even TV’s most complicated protagonists—Walter White, Raylan Givens, Ray Donovan—opened themselves up to audiences sometimes.

Daniel, on the other hand, does not. This is painfully clear during his encounters with his parole officer. One of the most revealing moments we’ve had with Daniel is when the PO comes to remind him about his form (and the severity of his situation), and she find his flippancy off-putting. She asks Daniel outright, “Is that a joke?” Daniel responds with, “That’s just the way I think.”

Daniel and his parole officer on

This is echoed later in Tawney’s official statement to Daggett when she says, “He’s been that way ever since I’ve known him. That’s just Daniel.” McKinnon is asking us to consider “the way” Daniel is, how he thinks, and how he exists in this world. I thought I knew before tonight’s episode, but now I’m not so sure.

I’m questioning who our protagonist is and what makes him do the things he does. In the last few moments of the episode this week, Daniel sabotages his hard work on the pool—work that he’s previously been so proud of. He pulls out the paint, the drop cloth, and the stirrers, and it seems like he’s about to go to work again. Then he just tips the paint over in the pool, watching the paint drip down, with tears running down his face.

There is something so mysterious about this. Daniel has seemed so put-upon these three seasons—a victim of horrible circumstances—but this makes it seem like he’s a victim of himself. Tawny thinks that “his sins are greatly outmeasured by the sins committed against him,” and that “God is testing him.” I agree, for the most part, but it’s hard to reconcile this dejected, hopeless Daniel with the challenging, buoyant Daniel of last week’s “Sown with Salt.”

It’s surprising to see him get so rattled by the parole officer’s visit. She isn’t harsh or cruel, but she is firm, and her insistence that the housing form be returned to her by five o’clock made Daniel visibly anxious that he disappointed her.

As he rushes to Thrifty Town to have Amantha sign it, his usual apologetic demeanor is overshadowed by his anxiety at getting the task done. Daniel is no stranger to unyielding authority or strict rules, but it’s a new situation to have to reconcile that part of his old world with his new one.

Daniel is trying so hard to get the form there, and perceives that the stakes are so high, that it’s anticlimactic when he arrives and the PO just takes it from him without much ceremony Daniel simply stands there, bewildered, like he thought it was going to be something else. Although what that might be, we can’t guess.

Daniel in the kitchen on

I’m also thrown off by Trey Willis … especially that scene at Daniel’s mother house. Daniel falls asleep on the couch and (maybe) wakes up to Trey sitting next to him. Almost everything about this scene—the music, the lighting, Daniel’s body language—suggest it’s a dream. But there are moments that feel real, like when Trey warns Daniel to lock his doors because “it ain’t 1995,” or complains to Daniel about not seeking an estimate for the remodel.

But then Trey gets cryptic, like in a dream, and talks around the thing between them. Trey is pushing Daniel hard on Daggett (and Daggett knows this), and his manipulations are starting to become transparent. It’s almost like he knows Daniel is innocent, but he’s trying so hard to convince everyone otherwise.

He is playing with Daniel, saying he knows it must have been hard “to crack up so much that you said you did it. Or to crack up so much that you even think you did it.” It seems like he knows Daniel didn’t do it. But would he admit that anywhere but a dream?

Daggett knows Daniel didn’t do it too, but Persons isn’t as quick to admit it. With new evidence in George’s case, it’s “not impossible, but improbable” that Daniel killed George. Persons reminds Daggett that this doesn’t mean Daniel didn’t kill Hannah Dean, and that it’s still three separate crimes. (Question to readers: What’s the third crime?)

The more that comes out about the night Hannah died, the more it seems the initial investigation was botched. Now that the Senator is completely incapacitated, we may never know what any of it means.

Jon is adamant that Daniel is not going down for George’s murder, and he’s still in Paulie fighting for Daniel, and maybe a little for Amantha too. There’s a beautiful scene between them that breaks your heart all over again when you remember they’ve broken up.

They are so clever, I could watch an hour of them together. As Amantha walks into the restaurant to meet him, she says, “Barstools and barbecue joints. Is that all we are these days?” And he responds, “I didn’t think we were anything to each other these days.” Oh my.

As much as I want Jon and Amantha to just be together already, I am as reticent to root for Tawney and Teddy. We heard about Teddy and Tawney’s past in a therapy session that was about as un-TV as they come.

Tawney and Teddy go to therapy on

Tawney came right out with it: She told him she didn’t know if she wanted to stay with him or be married. In Teddy’s defense, he didn’t bully or threaten.

They wound up riding around a while, and even shared a kiss through Tawney’s tears before they parted ways. I’m not one to root against love, but I just am not on board with these two.

With so many revelations this week, what did y’all learn?

Rectify airs Thursdays at 10/9C on SundanceTV.

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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