Rectify Review: “Girl Jesus”

(Episode 3.04)

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<i>Rectify</i> Review: &#8220;Girl Jesus&#8221;

Now we’re moving. This week’s episode reveals more than the three previous episodes combined. Let’s get to the meat and meaning of every juicy detail.

In the hospital, we see Senator Foulkes for the first time since his stroke occurred. His sometime lover and full time waitress Marcy drops in, but is so horrified by his condition that she abruptly leaves while he helplessly watches. For once, I actually feel sorry for the guy. What does it mean? Well, as bedfellows, there’s a good chance Marcy heard a lot from the egotistical, bombastic Foulkes. And now that he’s incapable of speech, expect her to do some talking.

Sheriff Daggett brings Trey in for a simple question and continues to let him think he’s innocently providing more evidence on Daniel’s guilt. Then Daggett matter-of-factly tells Trey that George’s DNA matches semen found in Hannah’s underwear. Later, the sheriff tells D.A. Person that Daniel seems too honest for his own good, while Trey seems to be trying too hard to pin George’s murder on Daniel. Person reveals that there was an estimated 40 kids at the river the night Hannah was killed. And only seven were interviewed. But the Sheriff, who was only a deputy back then, remembers that a lot more of those kids were brought in to give testimony, including Christopher Nelms. Person then says she’s “got the warrant” but doesn’t say for whom. It’s another example of leaving deduction to the audience. If nothing else, Rectify is thoughtful television.

While he continues to work on the apartment pool, Daniel’s probation officer comes by to remind him that he hadn’t turned in a form. “You have to bend to this life, Daniel,” she says. “It does not bend to you.” She gives him till 5:00 p.m., a deadline he almost misses as he begins to panic and flashes back to prison life where time means little.

As Daniel, Aden Young often reminds me of Michael Shannon (Take Shelter, Boardwalk Empire). Both of them have a beautiful way of telling a story with their faces. Of all the show’s characters, Young often has the fewest lines. But his face fills the screen with an imposing presence every time he appears.

Daggett asks Tawney to come by to talk about the time she picked Daniel up in Florida. She says they discussed sin and redemption in the car. She goes as far to tell him she believes any sins he committed are far surpassed by the sins committed against him. “I don’t think Daniel ever carefully considered a sin and then actually committed it,” she says. We see the confident side of Tawney, comfortable in her own beliefs. Teddy waits in the parking lot, genuinely concerned, and she asks him to just drive around before leaving her at Beth’s. But when they arrive we see the unsure Tawney as she begins to weep, falling into Teddy’s arms and lips before walking to the house. Teddy is dazed.

Amantha tells Daniel that she still loves Jon, aware that he loves her. Daniel tells her he thought he loved someone once (apparently Hannah), and believed she could save him. His “Girl Jesus” he called her. But he got mixed up. “It wasn’t love,” he says. “It was insanity.”

Daniel stops by his mom’s empty house and falls asleep on the couch dreaming that Trey came by and rattled on about Daniel’s state of mind. Later, Janet talks with Ted about the coffee grounds incident. Predictably, Ted stands by Teddy while Janet defends Daniel, decisions that I predict will force each of them to consider the other’s viewpoint. There is always a middle ground in the show. It confirms what the writers have established from the first episode: with every event, from Hannah’s murder, to Daniel’s baptism, to George’s death, in Rectify gray is the new black and white. Then right on cue, under a filtered moonlight, a teary-eyed Daniel purposely kicks a full can of epoxy into his almost-completed pool.