Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rectify 4.6: Shedding the Straw Man

A beautifully powerful episode 4.6 of Rectify tonight, easily the best of this final season so far.

It was so good, that it almost convinced me that the most important story is not whether Daniel was guilty or innocent of Hanna's rape and murder, but whether he can find himself enough to survive and live in this world today, out of prison.

Chloe puts this well when she challenges Daniel to find out whether he can shed the persona of shame via which he survived in prison and since his release.   I don't agree that seeing a therapist is the only way to do this - which was Chloe's point - but her underlying motive of wanting Daniel to shed his shame is profound and sums up his life now beautifully.

Jon's story was powerful tonight, too.  He's convinced that Daniel is innocent and Jon has committed himself to doing all he can to make sure that Daniel is cleared forever, and never threatened again for a crime he didn't commit.   Note that this, also, is a story different from whether Daniel is guilty or innocent - Jon assumes he's innocent - but that's nonetheless a strong and worthy story, too.

Also in that story, I do hope Jon and Amantha can get back together, but there's not much motion on that score as yet.  Ted Sr and Daniel's mother, though, seem to be on the verge of pulling closer, after they've come this close to falling apart.

In a way, the ending, with Teddy Jr. shooting himself in the leg as he tries to bring down the balloon man, is a good template for the whole story of Rectify, too:  everyone shooting themselves in the foot as they try to bring down straw men, largely of their own creation.  This applies most to Daniel, as he struggles with the straw man of shame, though that of course is by no means all of his own creation.

I'll be sorry to see this great series conclude, as it promises to do, in the two final episodes.

See also Rectify 4.1: Rummy  ... Rectify 4.4: Slow Motion ... Rectify 4.5: Temper

And see also Rectify 3.1: Stroke of Luck ... Rectify 3.2: Daniel and Amantha ... Rectify 3.5: Finally!

And 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 ... Rectify 2.8: The Plea Bargain and the Smart Phone ... Rectify 2.9: Dancing in the Dark ... Rectify Season 2 Finale: Talk about Cliffhangers!

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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