Rectify, one of our favorite new shows on television, is back on SundanceTV for a second season full of heart-wrenching and intense moments. As the story of a man whose murder conviction is vacated upon a technicality, he lands back in the small southern town he came from after 19 years on death row. The next chapter in the story will feature another season of great performances from actors we love like J. Smith-Cameron and Aden Young to directors like David Lowery. And if you haven’t yet seen Rectify, it’s 6 episode first season makes it super easy to catch up on before the season 2 premiere. As you watch, make sure to keep an eye out for these 5 pivotal scenes:
1 – There is a big difference between wanting it and meaning it. The whole family is there, but the difference between Amantha’s hug and Mom’s hug could not be starker. Amantha runs for her brother, while Janet looks like she is forcing herself, until she finally lets go, and hugs her son. In those two reactions the entire first season dynamic is set.
2 – One of the key reasons why we love this show is how it portrays power, and this scene encapsulates that dynamic better than any other. That cop represents power in its most arbitrary form: the power to protect and the power to condemn. But Amantha, the seemingly powerless sister, is doing all she can to protect her brother from the system that, as she sees it, robbed her brother of the last 19 years of his life and has even come after her—the same cop followed her in an earlier episode. She is angry at the system, and all it has put her family through.
3 –How can you connect with someone whose experience is so fundamentally different from what you know? It’s at the church BBQ that Tawney finally gets to know what Daniel has been going through, and when they connect, Aden Young delivers one of the most powerful lines in the whole season: “It does something to you, not to be touched in any positive way for so long.”
4 –You knew it was coming all season. Ted Jr. was never about to let Daniel back into the fold. But how it happens plays to the show’s strengths of being “forcefully restrained.”
5 – Cowards come in packs of 4 or more—these guys came with 5. In many ways this scene in the cemetery is the inverse of the previous episode’s fight between Ted Jr. and Daniel. This was raw, visceral, and completely unrestrained. And again, you knew it was coming sooner or later. Many people, maybe even most of the people in Paulie, still believe that Daniel is guilty. And if the Law will not provide the justice they seek, the mob will.