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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rectify 2.8: The Plea Bargain and the Smart Phone

Hey, have you ever been involved in a plea bargain for, say, a speeding ticket?  Heres's how it works:

You're pulled over for speeding, let's say, 20 miles over the speed limit.  You come to court, ready to plead Not Guilty.   An attorney or a police officer pulls you aside, and says, if you're willing to plead guilty to a lesser offense - speeding only 10 miles over the limit, or driving with a broken tail light - we'll put aside the original charge.  Never mind whether you were guilty or not in the first place, or - if you're inclined to accept the offer - that you never had a broken tail light in your life.  If you accept the offer, everything's all wrapped up for you. No further prosecution on the original charge.  And it doesn't matter in the slightest if you're guilty or not.

Crazy, isn't it?  But this in effect is what Daniel is being offered.  A lot worse, actually, because he has to admit that he killed Hannah - just as you'd have to admit that you were driving with a broken tail light, even if you weren't, in the speeding example - but the dynamics are the same.  Guilt or innocence doesn't matter.  It's all wrapped up, forever, once you accept the terms.   It was therefore gratifying and right that Daniel in effect rejected the plea deal offer.

Several other profound and excellent threads in Rectify 2.8.

The conversation between the current sheriff, Daggett, and the previous sheriff was priceless.  It's good to see Daggett settling in to his role as protector of the truth.   And the revelation that George came to see the previous sheriff after the law had dealt with Daniel is very significant.   In addition to committing suicide, we now have another reason to see George as a crucial character in this story.  Let's assume George came to see Daggett's predecessor and committed suicide for the same reason.   Is that reason because he was the killer, or did he just feel overwhelmed with guilt because he let Daniel go to prison for a crime George knew Daniel did not commit?

On that score, it was good to finally hear Daniel's recorded confession.   No wonder the original sheriff thought that maybe it was coerced.   Sure didn't sound even the least bit convincing.

The other profound moment was the conversation Daniel had with Tawney.  It looks as if there's perhaps some closure in their sudden relationship, with Daniel speaking from his heart to her.  I'm hoping Daniel can find someone he can relate to like this in a subsequent season, who is not married to his step-brother.   In the meantime, you can't beat their conversation as far touching points in philosophy and religion that would have made Thomas Aquinas proud.

And the series continues to excel in memorable lines pertaining to someone who has been locked away from the world for two decades.  The standout in 2.8 is Daniel opining about a pay phone - which indeed, as he says, is rare to find - that he likes talking on a phone that isn't smarter than he is.   Classic media observation!  (For more on the evolution of smart phones, see my New New Media.)

See also Rectify 2.1: Indelible ... Rectify 2.2: True Real Time ... Rectify 2.3: Daniel's Motives ... Rectify 2.4: Jekyll and Hyde ... Rectify 2.6: Rare Education ... Rectify 2.7: The Plot Thickens

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

another kind of capital punishment


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