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Rectify - Yolk - Review: "Abscence makes the heart grow fonder"

After a stellar season premiere almost entirely focused on Daniel and how he's handling his life outside of Paulie, Georgia, Rectify is back with an episode entirely devoid of Daniel, a first time for the series, but one that in a subtle manner shows how his absence has a ripple effect on the lives of the other characters, to some more than others.

Janet is definitely the one character that is experiencing the most deeply and destructive sense of loss in the wake of Daniel's departure. She can barely get up from bed when she doesn't hear his voice downstairs, and stumbles throughout her day, with only the thought of baking a cake for Daniel using the oven that he gifted her two seasons ago giving her any sort of sparkle. Though as her conversation with Ted Jr. points out, she holds some sort of disappointment for the way that his son has been ignoring while living in New Canaan, and how he hasn't asked her to visit not even once, despite it not being an issue anymore, unlike during his time in prison. She does get to have some sort of revenge on Trey, now out on bail, when she upon encountering him at the supermarket, squashes a whole carton of eggs, in the same sort of "you're not welcome here" not so subtle kind of message that Daniel used to get after getting out of prison.

The episode also sheds some light on Amantha, and her supposedly new life as the manager of Thrifty Town. She's struggling to adjust with a position that gives her more responsibilities and puts her in a position to decide things in behalf of others, she still wants to have fun, and does so with an out of town trip to smoke some weeds while watching at the sunset, which ends up with her alone on the side of a very dark road after her car suddenly broken down. Everything is fine though, Rectify isn't the kind of show that delves too much in edge-of-your-seat tension or even horror, and we're even introduced to an old pal of her, Billy Harris, which I might guess will play into some sort of love relation with her later in the season.

After deciding, and not without a lot of struggling, to split up during last season, Ted jr. and Tawney are now living some sort of re-approach to each other, with weekly dates where they randomly discuss how things are going in their lives. Teddy is definitely doing the right thing here, pushing her to live her own life and make a decision about her and their future, and this despite how it could very well lead into them splitting up forever. It's amazing how the character has grown since the early goings of the show, with credit due to be shared equally among the writers and Clayne Crawford's performance.

We also get a glimpse from other people affected by Daniel's absence, his lawyer, Jon, still interested in clearing his name once and for all, despite his firm necessities lying elsewhere -mainly, people still behind bars-, or Carl, now having to deal with Trey getting out of prison -he's still the main suspect for the rape of Hannah- and the possibility that he's been wrong about Daniel and his role in Hannah's murder all these years. Jared, still the family member that more resembles Daniel, having his own adventure all alone in the wilderness, with the mere company of his raggedy tent.

The hour ends up in a familiar place, with the family all together, Daniel's absence notwithstanding of course, enjoying the legendary flapjacks cooked by Ted Sr., in a scene resembling, as Janet puts it, "the old days", when Daniel was still in prison, the possibility of him ever getting out fading away, and the whole family living under the same roof, predicament that changes when Amantha accepts Teddy's proposal to switch places, she living with the family and able to save enough money to afford a new car and him living at her condo, finally ridden of having to see his father everywhere he went.

This was yet another awesome outing, and though devoid of the kind of deep and emotional-stirring moment like Daniel's monologue about being "unglued" from last week, it was still a nice way to reminds us how deep Daniel's impact on the lives of his relatives still is, despite he's now living many miles away from them. I guess that next week we'll be back to a more familiar structure where both story-lines are shown at the same time, but kudos to McKinnon for shaking things up a little, despite being so close to the end too.

Episode 4.02 - "Yolk" - A-


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