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precision
May 7, 2006

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What is Rectify? It's a drama about a man in a small Georgia town who spent ages 18 to 38 imprisoned for the rape and murder of his girlfriend, and who is then released on DNA evidence that refutes the state's claim that he was the sole perpetrator. In season 1, we got no definitive answer as to his guilt or innocence, though we got all-but-verbal confirmation that other people were involved, we were made aware that he and his girlfriend were on psylocibin mushrooms at the time, and that his confession was either coerced or based on him literally not remembering what happened.

But gently caress all that, this is not Twin Peaks or The Killing. This is the best goddamn show to ever air on television. It's about love, God, humanity, reality, life, loss, control, hope, despair, yearning, and what all of that even means in the first place, let alone how we fit into it and perceive it. It's a supreme meditation on what it means to exist.



Aden Young as Daniel Holden, the main character.



Tawney Talbot (L) and Ted "Teddy" Talbot Jr. (R), played by Adelaide Clemens and Clayne Crawford. Ted is Daniel's step-brother, the son of his mother's second husband whom she married while he was in prison; Adelaide is his extremely religious wife. Ted seemed to have rivalry and resentment toward Daniel, which reached a boiling point near the end of season 1; Tawney believed it was God's will that she "help" Daniel, culminating in his baptism, also at the end of season 1.



Abigail Spencer as Amantha, Daniel's younger sister, who idolizes and unconditionally loves him, and who was instrumental (along with her lawyer boyfriend) in getting Daniel released. She loving hates small redneck towns.



J. Smith-Cameron as Janet Talbot, Daniel's mother. She is far more intelligent and well-read than one would assume of an older Southern woman, and has always believed in Daniel's innocence, as well as being the source of much of his interest in philosophy.

Rectify premieres Thursday, June 19, 9pm, on the Sundance channel.

Watch it.

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precision
May 7, 2006

hug your posting pals


I actually don't remember... which means I probably didn't think he killed him, at least not in a strong sense. It just wouldn't have fit the narrative in my mind, because there is so much obvious story to keep going with Daniel's relationship to Ted and his wife that I couldn't see him being written off. I think I thought he strangled him into unconsciousness and just left him there.

But I was very surprised by the coffee grounds.

I just now got that the edges of the logo are truncated to give the impression of prison/containment. I feel pretty dumb.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Well that was as good as I'd hoped. Having a whole episode to focus on the side characters was a great choice, and my worries about bringing back the prison scenes (especially Kerwin) were, I suppose, premature since it makes sense to confine them to coma-time.

The scene between Amantha and Tawney was great, and I was surprised the Sheriff is coming out to be so sympathetic.

It was really awkward and weird that Daniel's lawyer was just not there, though. The actor is confirmed for the season, so why not even the briefest mention? Also strange that Daniel's little step-brother wasn't there too, since he's also coming back. I assume we'll see them next week, and would guess that Daniel gets out of the coma at the end of next week's episode (hopefully, anyhow).

Even if it takes until episode 3 or 4, though, I think it's cool that they're exploring the effects of his return and assault without him around. It's a risky move to take your best actor and sideline him, but it really is letting the rest of the cast shine.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Lycus posted:

Is Trey planning on planting that gun and wallet, I wonder?

Yeah I was wondering what the point of that scene was, other than to remind people without having a "previously on..."

One thing that surprised me was that they brought back Melvin. I did not see that coming at all, and I wonder where that's going (other than his obvious crush on Amantha).

I'm still thinking that Hannah's brother somehow had something to do with her death. Dude just has crazy eyes.

precision
May 7, 2006

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AVClub gets it: B+

http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/rectify-running-bull-205978

precision
May 7, 2006

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Lycus posted:

So why did Trey go to see George's dad? My guess is that he looked at George's call history and saw that he made a call home, so if that's true he wanted to see if George's dad would tell him about it or lie. I'd further guess that George told him the truth and that's why he wanted Trey to gently caress off without outright saying it.

Georgie's dad definitely knows what happened, is what I got from that scene.

I'm glad the Mazzy Star mix tape came back. This show also continues to do a great job of presenting Christianity in a fair light. I knew Daniel was gonna wake up, obviously, but it still was a great scene and really hit me hard. I just hope the slow roll isn't affecting its reception or viewership. I don't know if season 2 is planned to end things or if they're hoping for a third, but there is a lot of room for plot with all these characters and I hope it keeps on going.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Nah the sheriff was kind of a shitheel last season, what with following Amantha ominously for absolutely no reason in the first episode and such.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Loomer posted:

His motivations are pretty obscure at the moment but I look forward to them becoming more apparent. I doubt he genuinely cares about the law in and of itself, but the social order it stands for might be another thing.

"You can't just murder someone because you want to, even if you think they deserve it" seemed like a pretty clear cut line in the sand.

Also, "Amantha" = "Samantha - S". You're welcome.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Someone better at the internet than me should make a youtube video consisting of nothing but Kerwin's scenes. I think it would hold up as a monumentally awesome short film.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Ubiquitous_ posted:

Good episode last night. Though I agree with some of the AVClub reviews of late that talk about how the season feels a little more restrained, but it might be deliberate. Most of the character's lives are unraveling so fast that things are about to get really bad really fast.

The preview for this season showed some really, really crazy poo poo so I think you're right.

precision
May 7, 2006

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That last shot of Ted was a great touch; he was sitting on the bench the exact same way Daniel was in season 1 episode 2. I'm not sure where his story's going, but I'm inclined to think that it won't just be more antagonism with Daniel. I think that he's coming to terms with the fact that his situation is not much different than Daniel's.

There's a storm building inside Daniel, and I think the rest of the season is going to be chaotic.

Also, at the store today, I saw frozen pre-made Monkey Bread. I'm from the South and I never heard of it until this show.

precision
May 7, 2006

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All we know is that Daniel confessed. The most obvious explanation that the show seems to be heading toward is that he confessed because he felt that he was responsible because he gave her the 'shrooms they were both on. I believe Trey and Georgie are the ones who raped and killed her; that seems so obvious it'd be weird if it didn't turn out true (why the hell else would Georgie kill himself?) The guy in episode 1 (the retired DA) was the one who found him, though strangely seemed to be one of the few people not really convinced of his guilt.

The slow pace so far this season makes me really think they're planning on a season 3, especially what with setting up new plots like Amantha's job, and being 4 episodes in and still dealing with fallout; Daniel's field trip is almost the only forward momentum the plot has had, other than Bobby Dean getting arrested and released and Teddy going increasingly nuts.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Riled Shareef posted:

I'm glad the show didn't have Daniel accidentally shoot someone or something.

We aren't sure what those last two shots that Trey heard were, though. :ohdear:

precision
May 7, 2006

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My girlfriend was skeptical that old redneck hipsters like Lezlie With A Z and his friends actually exist and thought the show was being very unrealistic. So I just want to assure people that, even if Lezlie and his party were intended to be a fantastical extreme, parties/people like that definitely exist in the South and have for as long as I've been old enough to go to them.

Lezlie is in fact probably what I'll end up being in 20 or 30 years. I don't know if I'm happy about that or not, to be quite honest.

precision
May 7, 2006

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This whole season has felt like they've been assuming a third (probably to finish the story up as I think a fourth season would be a stretch). I really doubt they'll accept a plea without any more prison time and a new trial could definitely fill a whole season. I kind of feel like they're focusing too much on the "what really happened" rather than just the raw existential drama that season 1 was, but I'm still entranced by the show and especially the performances. Stoned Amantha and Nice Guy Teddy were a delight.

precision
May 7, 2006

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This latest episode was intense overall but goddamn that last scene set to Mormon band Low's "The Great Destroyer" was absolutely loving soul-destroying. Tawney and Daniel are going to Hell and taking me with them.

precision
May 7, 2006

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It's getting increasingly hard to convince people I'm not the guy reviewing this for the AVClub. His review of the latest episode said exactly what I did, that there are many scenes (especially Ted-Tawney) that are essentially filmed and written exactly as if they were in a soap opera (if soap operas were, you know, good). It's an interesting route for the show to take, and while I'd say there have been some bits of this season that felt awkward and less than perfect, the core of the show is still phenomenal and I've got pretty high hopes for season 3. Season 2 feels like a very long, deliberate set-up season, and there's no way they wrap anything up next week.

Also, why was Jared spying on Bobby Dean? What the heck is his deal? Are they seriously implying that he's curious about what killing someone would be like, and if not, what was the point of that scene where Daniel tells him "it's OK to be curious" or whatever?

precision
May 7, 2006

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Red Red Blue posted:

I didn't enjoy parts of this season as much as I did the first, but this finale more than made up for it

Yeah pretty much this here. That finale was just goosebump-inducing from start to finish.

Crazy limb theory time here, but Jared sees a whole row of scarves in Hanna's room. I know from experience that girls who like being choked also usually own a lot of things to cover their necks up. So Hanna's death may have been completely accidental, no matter who did it? That's the only reason I can think of for showing that rack of scarves, or in fact, for the "Jared is a creepy home invader" scene at all.

The flashback to young Amantha and Daniel in jail was also really ace.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Oh, and I think it was meant to be heavily implied that Daniel is planning on killing himself once he leaves Georgia, hence the conversation with Jared: "Will I ever see you again?" "Probably not. Wait a while to tell mother."

If there weren't a third season on the way, this would have been one bleak rear end ending.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Wallet posted:

It was a major plot thread this season that Daniel's freedom was far more damaging to his family than his incarceration. It felt, to me, that a lot of Daniel's resignation wasn't him deciding on suicide, or even confession, but rather him accepting that as long as he's around he'll be hurting his family as much as prison hurt him. The plea deal forces him to move somewhere else, where no one knows him, and I assume that he's either going to cut himself off from his family or he expects them to cut him off after they find out what he did to Teddy.

I mean, I can see that reading but Daniel doesn't seem like someone who would do that to his mother - his sister, father-in-law, Tawney, Jared, maybe, but to be so drastic as to be in a situation where his mother can't even call or visit doesn't quite fit his character for me. I really got the impression he was going to kill himself, though probably in a way that makes it ambiguous whether he just disappeared or what. Because in the end of the season, that's all he wanted to do - disappear. This world is not his home anymore.

Now, let's have some forward progress on a happy Daniel next season, or at least one who isn't so self-defeatingly whiny.

Some random stuff I don't think I posted about before:

- Was the waitress/prostitute (the one the Senator and Daniel have now both had sex with) actually at Lezlie's house and I didn't recognize her? I seriously thought I had missed an episode when he woke up in her bed. Going into next season, I really want to know what her deal is. She was nice to Amantha and obviously cares for Daniel (seems to be about the same age too). As far as I know she also never gave any opinion on Daniel being guilty or not. I had her pegged as a much more important character than she has been so far, based on her season 1 relationship with the Senator.

- Why no scene between Bobby Dean and Daniel after Daniel essentially let him get away with attempted murder? I mean, yes, they're saving it for season 3, and maybe it goes in the pile of evidence suggesting that season 3 was tacitly greenlit the entire time season 2 was being written, but still...

- Charlie the Chaplain was fantastic, just like we got a little more Kerwin this season, I hope we get a little more Charlie next time.

precision
May 7, 2006

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Right, Daniel clearly understands why Teddy would want him to stay away from Tawney, and even believes that he's a bad person for desiring Tawney in the first place. He's caught in the dilemma of having feelings for someone, and believing those feelings are reciprocated and good (for him and her both), but also feeling the moral crisis of knowing that Teddy loves her and that if Daniel hadn't shown up, she would still love him.

Of course it's more complicated now that Tawney flat-out admitted that she might not have been happy with Teddy even before Daniel showed up.

precision
May 7, 2006

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savinhill posted:

And it would have been nice if Daniel said something like "Teddy just kept digging at me about prison rape, even after I told him my first years in prison were a living hell of repeated rape, abuse and degradation" to one of the people who he discussed the whole coffee grounds incident with instead of letting them just think he lost control of his repressed sex assault urges once again.

Nitpick: he was only raped that one time (repeatedly), that we know of.

But yes, a running theme of the show is that Daniel might not get nearly as much of a bad rap if he just told the whole story a bit more often. See also: "Trey took me to see Georgie but Georgie was mysteriously missing, this information might have some relevance to you, Sheriff."

precision
May 7, 2006

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Has anyone watched the DVD release of season 1? It appears to have some, but not much, creator and actor commentary. I hope season 2 gets a full commentary track for every episode.

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precision
May 7, 2006

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el oso posted:

Unknown, for now.

Was Christopher not the Sheriff?

fake edit: Nope. I assumed that's who he was talking about. Hmm.

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