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Rectify – “The Great Destroyer” Review

"Incredibly Balanced Episode"

An awful lot happened in “The Great Destroyer.” In what may turn out to be the turning point for the entire future of Rectify as a series, the Holden-Talbot clan is set to implode and Daniel’s guilt or innocence is now more confused than ever before.

To begin, the Chekhov’s gun of the series so far- Daniel’s attack of Teddy- is now officially out into the open. While we have yet to see the fallout, it’s clear that something truly unfortunate is on its way, both for Daniel and the rest of the blended family. This is particularly hard to stomach, as Ted Sr. has become one of Daniel’s most staunch advocates (excellent work again from Bruce McKinnon this week- he truly has become one of the show’s unsung heroes). With the revelation that Daniel isn’t as good as he (and the rest of the family) believe now known, it will be a major game changer moving forward. After all, without the support of his family, where will Daniel be?

It’s easy to believe that Amantha will side with Daniel- that’s a foregone conclusion. I have a had time seeing Janet turn her back on her son now that she has him back at her side, but I can also see her wavering. Poor Jared will likely continue to be confused. And while the family shatters, Daniel’s plea deal will hang in the balance.

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Speaking of the plea deal, I have a hard time seeing the show move forward with it, as it would effectively end the mystery of Daniel’s guilt for the time being. I think the show functions better with that mystery lurking in the background, with hints and clues dropped along the way. And “The Great Destroyer” certainly left an interesting trail of breadcrumbs along the path to finding out who killed Hanna.

It certainly sounds like the former sheriff walked Daniel into that confession. And with him admitting his own doubts regarding Daniel’s guilt, the evidence (all circumstantial, of course) seems to be stacking up in favor of Daniel’s guilt. But, there are still so many holes- holes that could have been filled by the now departed George or the less-than-honest Trey. As the clues begin to trickle in with more regularity, the essence of the show is slowly shifting in an interesting manner. So long as Rectify can continue the delicate dance of letting us know just enough to keep us interested in the mystery without sacrificing the excellent character development, I’ll be very happy.

Along with the wealth of story movement, “The Great Destroyer” also provided some lovely character beats. Like McKinnon, Adelaide Clemens is one of the unsung heroes of the series. Tawney has developed into such an interesting and complex character throughout these two seasons. Clemens’ chemistry with Aden Young (Daniel) is incredibly, but the pair also bring such amazing emotional depth to all of their scenes together. Tawney is such a wonderful and caring woman that it’s easy to see why she is drawn to the broken soul of Daniel. Clemens has the uncanny ability to convey Tawney’s empathy toward Daniel as well as her own stern sense of morality. It’s so easy to see how Tawney has the power and strength to go toe to toe with Teddy and Daniel, but we also get to see what each confrontation cost her. I’m especially intrigued to see Tawney’s reaction to Daniel’s attack on Teddy.

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Final Thoughts

— It’s only a matter of time before someone notices George is missing. And it looks like Trey did everything in his power to eliminate any trace he had every been there. It doesn’t look like Daniel did the same. I have no doubt this will come back to bite him.

— I would love a scene between the former sheriff and Senator Foulkes. I’d like to see Foulkes try to corrupt and turn the sheriff to his will. I have a feeling that wouldn’t go over so well.

— I’m also hoping against hope that Sheriff Daggett keeps digging. He seems like the only really good person in a position of authority.

Rating
9.5
Pros
  • Great balance between character development and story movement
  • Strong performances
  • Emotionally resonate cliffhanger
Cons
  • Not enough Tawney/Daniel interaction

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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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