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There is only one more episode left in Rectify‘s second season, and with that in mind, it’s easy to see how “Until Your Blue” took more steps to advance the plot than your average episode of the series. That being said, the episode proved the show doesn’t need to simply be about existential questioning. It can combine deep and complex questions of religion and family while still creating compelling character arcs.
The main theme of the episode was family- whether that is a biological family, a blended family, or the family of a small community, each was addressed and dealt with in kind. The blended Holden-Talbot family remains in danger of falling apart, as Ted struggles with how and when to tell Janet about the altercation between Daniel and Teddy. The Holden side of that clan has its own cracks, with Amantha not liking the prospect that Daniel no longer needs her counsel in his legal matters. This particular storyline I understand, but dislike, as it serves to continue painting Amantha as a spoiled brat. Sure, she might actually be one, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t additional character traits the show could be exploring.
As for the town Paulie, with Daniel seeming more and more likely to take the plea deal (which, should the show not receive a renewal for a third season, might be a really intriguing end point for the series), that decision would go to great lengths to heal the town and provide closure. But, considering Daniel has no conscious memories of whether or not he is in fact guilty, the decision might result in the wrong person going free. With the small hint revealed through the Sheriff’s conversation with George’s father, it’s apparent something isn’t right with the case against Daniel. And it’s hard to believe that Trey doesn’t know more than he’s saying.
However, the biggest schism of the episode- and some of the finest acting over the course of the series- came between Tawney and Teddy. Something has always been off with their relationship, and while we as an audience never saw them together before Daniel came into the picture, I have a very hard time believing they weren’t in trouble before his arrival. While Tawney has some incredible chemistry with Daniel (Adelaide Clemens and Aden Young shine on the screen together in a way that only a handful of television actors do), the arrival of Daniel isn’t what sent their marriage flailing. It certainly didn’t help, but there is such a mismatch between the two characters on a fundamental level that it’s impossible to see how they pair got along well enough to marry in the first place.
Teddy’s innate insecurities have likely been present for years, and Tawney’s desire for something beyond being a wife and mother didn’t just magically appear over the past several weeks since Daniel’s release. But, as so often happens with every relationship, once a good excuse arrived, both Teddy and Tawney found a good reason to want out of their marriage. The argument between the two was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve seen on television this year, in great part because it was so raw and real. We’ve known this was simmering under the surface for a while, but to hear the words and see the pain on both characters’ faces was so very difficult to watch. Kudos to both Clemens and Clayne Crawford for making the scene hum with energy and pain.
The success of the scene makes the ensuing moments between Daniel and Tawney all the more complicated. This is what we, the viewers, have been condition to want since day one. But, seeing how Teddy has been so utterly destroyed by it sours the moment. A relationship between Tawney and Daniel would destroy the family just as completely as the various other threats currently circling the Talbot house. Perhaps a mournful dance in a cheap hotel room is all the pair will ever have, but its enough.
— I presume, since Rectify has spent so much time building it up, that the mystery of what George knew will be revealed at some point. That being said, I doubt it will come up in next week’s finale. So, unless Rectify is renewed, we might never get the chance to know what George knew.
— While I appreciate that losing the baby helped drive the final wedge between Teddy and Tawney (and her subsequent apparent lack of emotion pushed Teddy over the edge), this storyline was all but telegraphed as soon as Teddy shared the news of the pregnancy against Tawney’s wishes. That’s pretty much Television Tropes 101.