Teddy’s a lot of things, but combat sniper isn’t one of them. In fairness, a windblown Air Dancer in the dark of night is a pretty tough target, sober or not. When an intoxicated Teddy took aim at his inflatable adversary’s metal base, it was doomed to ricochet and catch him by the knee. Or was it?
Rectify has, with a huge assist from composer Gabriel Mann, characteristically and artfully threaded the needle when it comes to summoning dread. Situations simmer more often than boil, arriving at the show’s signature tension. Even now, with Teddy prone on the ground in front of Paulie Tire, literally bleeding for the business he never asked to be so desperate to hang on to, writers Coleman Herbert and Scott Teems pull back a bit short of utter horror. Teddy, it appears, will be okay. Nevertheless, his close call from tempting fate foreshadows how these final two episodes will walk us right up to the edge of reckoning.
Unfulfilled by his visit to the site of Patsy Cline’s near-death, and with slightly less at stake than life and limb, Ted Sr. takes that first big step toward utter self-awareness. He and his Nashville guide, Dog the taxi driver (actor Ricky Muse, FWIW, is a Florida native), travel the 90 miles (or 100, if you ask Chloe, but who’s counting?) to Camden, Tennessee, where the fabled singer felt what Tawney might describe as her final “profound, old, old ache” before possibly reuniting with whomever predeceased her. Ted makes it back to the motel in one piece, but his experience hasn’t changed him. He can’t apologize for being content with what he has, not to Janet or himself. Even Daniel might agree with that, much as Ted might confess that joining his wife on her trip to Tennessee was less about clearing the air with Daniel than feeling grounded.
Back in Paulie, Amantha’s awfully curious about Jon’s intentions in returning to the scene of the crime and trial (and relationship) that consumed him. It’s not entirely about rekindling an old flame, though he no doubt saw little harm in feeling out his ex’s availability. But no one spends the hours Jon’s logged idling on the front lawns of former sheriffs, sifting through stacks of case files, and confronting every last person who’d rather he scurry back to Boston and take his nagging conscience with him unless they’re conducting serious material business. Bits of evidence and testimony — Chris Nelms’s recent deposition confessing to he, George, and Trey having raped Hannah, as well as Bobby’s on-camera interview about how “Trey went back” — are compelling him to sit with D.A. Person and plead for her cooperation in recruiting outside agencies who can see the Dean murder through fresh eyes. He even jeopardizes his own standing with the bar by clearing the air, if you will, about his and Amantha’s ongoing liaisons amid the legal process. Like Ted Sr. and tires, Jon wants nothing to do with a profession that simply spins its wheels, in this case working against itself to make the truth more opaque.
The irony is that hundreds of miles away, all Daniel wants is for everyone to stop seeking answers — about who killed Hannah, how his existence defines everyone in his life, and the surest way for him to start living again, unburdened. Chloe’s directness with Daniel about seeking therapy belies remarkable restraint. She holds back from saying she loves him (another familiar Rectify brink), instead risking it all to discover whether he’ll ever be ready to be more than sometimes happy. He in turn recommends she run away to Ohio, bonding them in exile. Their destination isn’t writ, but as with Janet and Ted, it appears Chloe and Daniel might be headed in different directions.
This entire “hell of a day,” as Teddy deadpans while waiting for an ambulance, fits inside Zeke’s final hours. In that context, it all seems as relatively fleeting as the feeling Tawney has when she connects with recollections of her mother. She motions through Zeke’s home, gazing at decades’ worth of totems and telling keepsakes, visibly flooded with the kind of strange warmth we get from revisiting our parents’ basement storage as grown adults. Daniel briefly, achingly recaptured that same warmth among his teenage things in the family attic circa season one. Zeke’s housekeeper, Bonnie (a rare and poignantly cast turn from Joie Lee), offers to help Tawney find what she’s looking for — that elusive plaque — and in doing so affirms her journey back toward belief. (Daniel could have used her at the Parthenon.) Tawney, for all her shy naïveté, is on the clearest and quickest path to some kind of peace. Everyone else is merely waiting to see where the chips fall and who’ll be left to pick up the mess.
Apart From All That:
- Gabriel Mann’s score as Tawney roamed Zeke’s home is fittingly, achingly good.
- Teddy may have enjoyed the Hermitage Café, as one Yelp reviewer of the real Nashville eatery suggests it’s “probably best when not completely sober.”
- How is Teddy supposed to move on while he’s going to work every day where he was assaulted by Daniel, taunted by that stupid bobblehead?
- Daniel’s scene at the Parthenon with Janet is a terrific mirror to Teddy and Tawney’s divorce accord from the previous episode.
- Jeff’s wife is so the boss of him.
- In fairness, Paulie could probably use a Rite-Aid.
- Hopefully, Chloe will get that chance to “talk about me being the one to talk some other time” with Daniel.
- Daniel’s gonna be pissed when he hears what Jon’s up to. Danger, Will Robinson!