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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rectify 2.1: Indelible

Rectify returned for its second season the other night.   If the first episode is any indication, it is continuing its presentation of one of the most philosophic, poetic, personally heartbreaking crime narratives ever to hit the small screen.

The story concerns Daniel Holden, convicted of murder when he was a teenager, sentenced to death, but recently released (at the beginning of the first season) on a technicality.   He is likely innocent, but we don't yet quite know that with 100% certainly.   His mother and sister believe in him - and no doubt the real murderer or murderers, if they are still alive - but few else do.   And many want him dead.

He was beaten to within an inch of his life at the end of the first season, just seven days after his release. As he tells us, every one of those days was like a lifetime.  And although part of the power of the series is how Daniel re-integrates into our new digital world, not yet emerged when he was convicted, the real power resides completely within Daniel and his thoughts.

He was put through sheer hell in prison.   But his life outside of prison is only fleetingly better, as glimpses of love, affection, and friendship shine just barely through the clouds that ever surround him. Peace of mind is just not an option at this point.  The best he can hope for is regaining enough of his mind to live some semblance of a normal life.

And his own inner demons are abetted by just about everyone other than his sister and mother and the woman he is beginning to care about.  Only one lawman shows interest in getting the people who nearly beat Daniel to death.   The rest would just as soon see him to dead - to either save face for the wrong prosecution, or because they believe he is a murderer.

In our real world, in which capital punishment in the United States is raising all sorts of justified concerns, Rectify presents a story about what it's like for a sensitive human being to go through most of the process that will stay with you forever.

See also Rectify: Sheer and Shattering Poetry ... Rectify 1.5: Balloon Man ... Rectify Season 1 Finale: Searingly Anti-Climactic

another kind of capital punishment story


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