Rectify Season 2 Review “Sleeping Giants”

Rectify Season 2 Episode 2 Sleeping Giants (4)

When season one of Rectify ended, the 12 people who watched the show were left wondering where the show would go next. The six-episode first season told such a brilliant, contained story that even the most ardent of fans couldn’t help but wonder if we should just let it go after Daniel is savagely beaten in the cemetery. Instead, the show did well enough critically that Sundance thought it merited an additional 10 episodes to see what happens next in fictional Paulie, Georgia. With so much of the initial season centered around the considerable talents of Aiden Young as Daniel Holden, there was going to be some work to do with the show’s supporting characters.

Through two episodes, the show has done considerably well with its supporting cast. It’s a bold decision to take your star mostly out of play for two episodes at the beginning of the season. It requires some a lot of conscientious decision-making regarding the supporting players. Abigail Spencer continues her spirited work as Amantha in this episode, and J. Smith-Cameron was particularly powerful as Janet dealt with both of her children with equal love and care.

However, the real winner of the first two episodes is Clayne Crawford and his portrayal of Ted Jr. Perhaps season one’s most on the nose character, it seemed hard to imagine Ted Jr. gaining any sympathy from the audience when his character is so antagonistic to those characters we gravitate towards the most. The first two episodes have seen a bit of a course correction with the character, and Crawford’s performance is as earnest as it gets. To classify people into phyla of “good” and “bad” is a reductive exercise for a show like Rectify. The story is about a family and town’s reaction to a high-stress event. Ted Jr.’s bluster and gelled hair paint a pretty obvious picture, but beneath the surface is anything but. His interactions with his Tawney over the past two episodes are downright heartbreaking in their mundanity. When they finally have a mostly honest discussion about Daniel, no one raises their voice and no doors are slammed. Like most things on Rectify, the emotional turmoil simmers slowly beneath the surface.

While I find myself constantly gravitating towards those closest to Daniel and the impact his presence has on their lives, this episode drew me towards Sheriff Daggett as well. I’m not overly concerned about him working to catch Daniel’s attackers. I’ve seen enough small-town, criminal investigations to know I’ve seen enough of them. What I am interested in is the inner workings of the Paulie Sheriff. He’s not pressing on at all costs while those around him basically pull an Adrian from Rocky IV on him (YOU CAN’T WIN!!!!). Instead, J.D. Evermore plays every scene with the angst of a man just trying to do his job under difficult circumstances. Though he does arrest Bobby Dean at the close of the episode, his future is far more tied to Daniel Holden waking up in that Atlanta Hospital. Despite my skepticism at the beginning of the season, I’m starting to believe the future is pretty bright for Rectify.