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Rectify - Happy Unburdening - Review: "Nothing Else is Real"

8 Dec 2016

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As anticipated in my review of episode 6, this week's episode runs a little longer than usual, roughly 10 minutes more, and while I'm usually wary of longer episodes, since it happens very often that the extra length is unwarranted and the episode just winds up bloated and a drag, that luckily isn't the case with Rectify, actually as a matter of fact I wouldn't have minded if the episode was even 40 minutes longer than usual (as it might be the case next week). These are the last moments for this magnificent series and the more of them we have, the more we can savor it one last time. Let's jump over to find out what were my thoughts about last night episode.

"And it's like you get a kind of tunnel vision."

The episode opens up with a bang, despite Daniel's resistance shown last week to the idea of going into therapy to finally overcome what he experienced while on death row, we actually find him in the middle of it, reliving with his therapist for the first time, what sure was one of the many horrifying moments he had to endure. While other show would've used a flashback in situation like this, to expose visually what he was recounting, Rectify being what it is, it sorely relies on Daniel as our narrator to tell us about a sexual assault he received from 5 other inmates. Other shows go the exposition way for a reason, it's easier for the viewer to empathize if he's able to see what he is being told, but other shows don't have Aden Young, who as usual blows us away with one hell of an interpretation that so intimately and closely share the horror of that moment. After taking care of his share of the duty, he then helps Chloe taking care of hers, as she doesn't really want to pack, or even move to Ohio altogether as she later confesses, but Daniel is there to return the favor, and begins the packing for her, starting with a single item. Though there's nothing that Daniel would want more than for Chloe to stay in Nashville and live with her and her baby, he's also keenly aware that the practicality of it just isn't here, with him being an ex-convict barely making a buck, forced to see an officer of the court every other week, and being unable to move at a moment's notice. This doesn't mean they can't savor whatever time they have left though, as they share a wonderful scene with the two of them dancing to "Many Rivers to Cross" by Harry Nilsson.

Some time has passed since the events of last week, and Ted junior while still limping, is able to walk around of his own accordance, now out with Ted senior, looking for places they might rent to set up the new shop. But Teddy doesn't really want to be in the tires business anymore, as he confesses to his father that he was working with him just because somehow he felt compelled to, because he wanted to support him and make him happy, but now he doesn't want to feel responsible of his happiness anymore, nor does he want his father to feel responsible for his. While his marriage with Tawney is definitely over, his time with her isn't, as they both agree to spend some time together over a pizza maybe, just like good friends, before the divorce comes through -probably through a mediator as Teddy suggests- and they can move on with their life, Teddy definitely not going back in the tires business and maybe working for someone else, giving up the responsibility of handling your own business, and Tawney embracing her spiritual nature, completing her nursing degree first and then join doctors without borders, to spread love onto the world. Before the episode is over, he has to disappoint his father one more time, as he breaks him the news of his incoming divorce with Tawney. Ted senior reacts like we're used to see him, dispelling some advice to Teddy while not really showing any emotions towards him. He himself is looking at the possibility of a divorce, as things between him and Janet remains tense, despite the nice moment they share while she washes his back, professing love to each other.

Amantha's week starts in a bad place, as -with the mediation of Jon- she meets Bobby Dean, seeking for some sort of forgiveness or at the very least of unburdening -a theme that is sprinkled throughout the whole episode- for what he did to Daniel back in season 1, when he almost beat him to death. Amantha of course isn't interested in forgiving, though she listens to what he has to say and even accepts the letter that Judy Dean, Hanna's mother, wrote for Janet. A letter that she delivers while Janet is in the middle of selling some of her old stuff on eBay with Jared, she's definitely moving on, in a nice way to circle back with Jared's storyline from earlier in the season, but Amantha understandably feels a bit sour about it, accusing her of being around for Jared more and in a better mood, than she ever was with her. Her "back to the roots" vibe continues as she meets Jenny, a longtime friend of hers that she gave up to after what had happened with Daniel and Hanna. This is one other stepping stone in the journey that the character undertook already in last season, when she basically accepted that her life will forever be linked to Paulie, and began working for Thrifty town first, and has since been promoted to manager, hook up with high-school buddy Billy and now reconnect with the friend that she forced herself to give up, to deal with Daniel being on Death Row.

Unbeknownst to most of the characters, the day of the final reckoning for old sheriff C.J. Pickens has arrived, as he has a deposition with current sheriff Doggett and the district attorney Sondra, now in a quest for the truth, despite the resistance she showed last week when Jon floated the idea. I won't delve much into what Pickens said, but the gist of it is that both he and Roland Foulkes had developed some sort of tunnel vision, where neither time was able to conceive that something other than Daniel raping and killing Hanna might have happened, and that's why they didn't pressed on the issue too much when George recant his first testimony of not having seen a thing to later accuse Daniel of being responsible, using this information to lead Daniel or rather force Daniel into caving and confessing something he wasn't responsible of, or when Trey deliberately deceived them, not answering their questions or being extra careful when he did. We also finally find out who Roger is, the name that Trey floated to Jon a couple of episodes ago, with Roger Nelms actually being Chris Nelms' father, a powerful lawyer and longtime friend of Roland Foulkes, likely the main reason why Chris was never deposed, though he hadn't listened to the conversation the two had that day at the police station, he believes that Roger knew about what his son did the night before and Foulkes was willing to hold on onto the idea of deposing him, until it wasn't necessary anymore when Daniel was coerced into confessing. Though a lot of this was already intended before, it give us a lot of more clarity on the role of Roland Foulkes and why he would focus so much on Daniel being responsible to help a good and powerful friend of his, Roger Nelms that is, keeping his son out of trouble.

In the end we find Daniel reliving the sexual assault once again, this time listening to a registration on his iPhone, while Pickle gets in his room to share the news of his recent employment. The horror of it still crawling under Daniel's skin as he listens to his voice, his hands around his neck as his voice melts into his memory of what happened that day. We're now only one week left before everything is said and done, and I guess that at this point the idea of a happy ending is definitely out of the deck, though I'd settle for something bittersweet, something that is real, but that also gives a simmer of hope. And speaking of hope, what are your hopes for the final episode of the series? Share it in the comments below. See you next week... one last time.

Rectify - 4.07 "Happy Unburdening" - A-