Rectify Recap: Bob & Carol & Ted Jr. & Alice


As if right on time, Rectify delivers a message of reflection and self-examination. Here’s the Rectify recap that we all need to hear right now.

It’s hard to know how to talk about TV right now, but this Rectify recap couldn’t have come at a better time for us. This week’s episode doubles down on the themes of reflection and self-examination, and some hard truths are revealed.

Every character saw themselves a little differently by the end of this episode. And that feels like a really good metaphor for the emotional hangover some of us are feeling after the election.

It’s funny how Rectify will start to pull a thread in one character, but the unravelling will carry

Watching Daniel go through something is usually just a lens through which we can see everyone else go through it.

through to all of them. I’ve said before that Rectify is Daniel’s story, but I don’t think I believe that anymore. Sure, often something will start (or end) with Daniel, but watching Daniel go through it is usually just a lens through which we can see everyone else go through it.

This week’s collective experience is a reflection and self-examination. It starts with Daniel learning that Avery (his mentor and counselor) wants him to get further counseling for his (apparent to everyone but him) PTSD. Daniel seems dejected – like the suggestion of a mental disorder is somehow a judgement about him as a person. He shrinks when Avery suggests he see a psychologist, and denies the need for it.

Of course Daniel needs therapy – lots and lots of therapy – but his reluctance reflects a burgeoning pride that we haven’t seen from him. These sprouts of self-respect have long been dormant, as he’s suffered countless dehumanizing and soul-sucking malices. To see Daniel feel self-conscious is to see Daniel move forward, towards being a whole person.

His relationship with the artist, Chloe, reflects some sort of growth on his part, as well. Although I’m not sure she’s the best accomplice to his personal growth, she and Daniel definitely have chemistry. We learn she’s pregnant and the baby’s father is a man she “ran off.” We also see her be conflicted about whether or not she’ll keep the baby.

Photo: SundanceTV/Rectify

Daniel, as often as he misses social cues and interpersonal rituals, is insightful with Chloe. He comes right out and asks her what her deal is with him. He even tries a little psychology of his own when he asks her, “you like being around danger?” Daniel is savvy enough to know how she sees him, but self-aware enough to know that she’s mistaken about her perception. He informs her that he is mostly “dangerous to myself, rarely to others.”

Chloe is comforted by his honesty and confides in him about the pregnancy, although I’m a little unclear about what she wants from him. She invites him to touch her stomach and Daniel does it. This is a strange gesture for a man who couldn’t bring himself to play cards with a group of men two episodes ago.

In a convenient parallel, Tawny is seeing a therapist. Like Daniel, Tawny is also trying to figure

Photo: SundanceTV/Rectify

out how to be her own person and how to stop being absorbed by Teddy. She contemplates divorce, equating it to a death, but her therapist assures her she’ll still exist. In other words, she’ll still be real – a sentiment expressed by both Daniel and his mother about his own identity and existence. Tawny is echoing Daniel’s existential journey of self-discovery, and it looks like she’s about to leave Teddy, Jr. behind.

Teddy finds himself the outsider a lot. His attempts to please everyone aren’t wasted on me, but I find them incredibly hard to watch. Maybe it’s because he just wants approval and acceptance so much or maybe I’m simply turned off by his thirst. But I get a sense he realizes he wasn’t a great guy, and he sees his chances to change that slipping away. From buying bran muffins for the tire store to that awkward phone call to Tawny, Teddy is caught in the in-between of transformation. I want to root for him, but I can’t decide if it’s worth it or not.

But I tell you who I am rooting for. Billy Harris. You know, the sweet Samaritan who waited with Amantha when her car ran off the road? He turns up at Thrifty Town to ask Amantha for a date and I screamed, “YASSSSS!!!!” at my TV. We (as in me and Amantha) need a win right now. This hunky little piece of Southern charm might be just the thing.

Their date is cute and simple, but a dark cloud appears when we see Jon Stern’s name pop up on

This hunky little piece of Southern charm might be just the thing.

her phone. We know Jon is back in town, partly to work on Daniel’s case, but mostly to assuage his own guilt. He goes to confront the Sheriff George Melton’s murder and Hannah Dean’s rape. Jon’s voice breaks as he admits he “couldn’t convince [Daniel] to fight,” but it’s apparent that Jon is only one left in the fight.

Jon also calls Janet. Janet is in her own anxiety-spiral, but she hasn’t quite figured out where it starts. She’s going to Nashville to see Daniel, to make sure he’s real, but she also must contend with an offer to buy the tire store. It’s really just a metaphor for the passing of time and it’s eroding effects, but she has to ruminate on it over a bottle of wine.

Related Story: Rectify Recap: Season 4, Episode 2: Yolk (And Other Metaphors)

Rectify airs on SundanceTV Wednesdays at 10/9c