Rectify: Girl Jesus

"Every time I tell the truth, I'm punished for it."

I can't help shipping Daniel and Tawney. They're two lost souls that connect so strongly that it seems they would be so good for each other.

But in this episode, Daniel said that he saw Tawney as a "girl Jesus," his salvation, but said that it would be insane to love her. And Tawney told Teddy that she would never be with Daniel. Please tell me they doth protest too much.

Tawney's interview with Sheriff Carl was my favorite scene so far this season. She was so calm, so truthful about her testimony, so centered in her faith and certain that Daniel was being tested by God (it's as good a reason as any) that the Sheriff was clearly impressed with her. She told him that the sins being committed against Daniel were much worse than any sin he might have committed because they were deliberate.

Tawney finally told Teddy the truth in couples counseling, too. She's done with their marriage and tired of trying to be what he wants her to be. (Although the fact that they ended up kissing in the car made me wonder.) At least we have a much better picture now of how Teddy and Tawney ended up together. There she was, living in foster care and working at a chicken shack. Teddy must have seemed like an answer to a prayer for a woman of faith like Tawney.

The scene with Rebecca the counselor gave us yet more insight into Teddy. Rebecca tried to get him to open up about his childhood, but he treated her with condescension and didn't take it seriously -- until she got him to say something about Janet and Daniel that hit him where he lived. "Her real son came back." Tawney looked away, and immediately, Teddy started lashing out at Tawney about Daniel again, which has become their pattern. Even though Teddy sometimes shows that he has a good side, he turns into a toddler having a tantrum when Daniel is mentioned. As much as I love Tawney as a character, every time she talks to Teddy about Daniel, I want to tell her to please shut up so that she won't set Teddy off and make things worse for Daniel.

There was some truth-telling at Janet and Ted's house, too. Janet asked Ted Senior about Daniel's side of the assault story, and Ted said that Daniel hadn't tried to tell his side. Of course he hadn't. Like his conviction twenty years ago, nobody took Daniel's side. Daniel is even seeing probation like prison, just without the actual bars.

This week's Most Obvious Symbolism for Daniel's life on the outside was that beautiful pool. After all the work he put into it, it was just too bad that Daniel got so upset about the probation situation that he ruined his gorgeous paint job. The epoxy looked like spilled milk, or maybe tears. There was also the Talbot kitchen again. It's still a wreck but it has a nice new wood floor, which was what Janet wanted. A new foundation for Daniel to get his family and home back, perhaps? It's also interesting from a symbolism viewpoint that the old kitchen wallpaper that consisted of vertical bars is nearly gone.

The way Trey showed up while Daniel was sleeping on the couch was so weird that at first I thought Daniel was dreaming. Or maybe he dreamed part of it. Seriously, why would Trey want to point out the unfairness of Daniel spending twenty years in prison for a crime he didn't commit? Did Trey simply want to be cruel?


But at least it appears that the Sheriff has seen through Trey and knows he is trying to pin George's "murder" on Daniel. He asked Trey to come in, asked what color his truck was, and then did an "Oh, by the way" with the information about them finding George's DNA on Hanna's underwear. (I was waiting for the Sheriff to say they'd found Trey's, too. I guess they didn't. Darn.) There was also the lie about the "loose jacket" with lots of pockets for George's cell phone and wallet. The Sheriff saw that surveillance video, so he knows Trey lied and that Tawney was telling the truth.

I'm glad that Amantha seems to have gotten over her anger about the plea deal. She was calling Daniel 'brother' again and making him take her car to get the form in on time. She's still seeing Jon, too. Even though she keeps assuming that her personal and business relationship with Jon is over, Jon can't seem to leave the Holdens behind. I want Amantha and Jon to work things out. I like them together.


Like every other episode of this show, "Girl Jesus" was beautifully shot, especially Daniel silhouetted against the empty and almost supernaturally blue swimming pool. It's interesting that this season is more focused on something beautiful created by Daniel himself instead of the beauty of nature. I'm sure that's deliberate.

Bits:

-- In the probation office, there were signs on the wall that said, "We're here for you." Clearly, they are not there for Daniel, who must "bend to this life."

-- D.A. Person and Sheriff Carl talked again about obvious errors in the original case against Daniel, that only seven of the forty kids who were at the river that night were interviewed. Christopher Nelms was mentioned again.

-- Since I feel compelled to report the water imagery in this show, the opener in the hospital room began with a wet drinking cup that Senator Foulkes couldn't reach by himself. He's in pretty bad shape. Feels like karma, doesn't it?

-- Teddy's mother was an addict, and moved to Florida when Teddy was in third grade. Florida again.

-- Daniel's bedroom at Amantha's looked even more like his cell than the guest bedroom at home: stark, uncomfortable, mattress on the floor, bare necessities.

Quotes:

Sheriff: "Desert sand mica. Amazing that it's somebody's job thinking up names for colors."

Probation officer: "They can lock you up for jaywalking."
Daniel: "I'll watch my step, then."
Probation officer: "Is that a joke?"
Daniel: "It's just the way I think."
Probation officer: "You have to bend to this life, Daniel. It does not bend to you."
In other words, Daniel isn't allowed be himself.

Jon: "He's your brother."
Amantha: "The master of baffling decisions. Jesus."

Terrific episode. Four out of four names for colors,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves quality television and spends way too much time writing about it.

4 comments:

Thomas Ijon Tichy said...

Minor snippet I wrote before season three aired, which I believe is relevant to your questions here.

***

I can’t wait to see how they’ll resolve Tawney and Daniel’s situation, if it’s even resolved. The way I see it… I don’t think Tawney can go back to Teddy and her normal life. What the narrative has shown us thus far is really… Once she met Daniel, her marriage was basically over. It was scary how good the pair managed to sell that “hit-by-a-freight-train” love at first sight thing. Not a teenager in your face infatuation, rather a very subtle but really, in a sense, frightening feeling, like “I talked to you for five minutes and now I’m changed forever.” It happens right away. They have one single chat and suddenly she doesn’t want to sleep with her husband, doesn’t want to have his children, finds no solace or truth in their conversations, and it’s not because Teddy has changed. It’s her.

Tawney has a real problem. What the show drives at is how both these characters affect each other and make each other question their own beliefs, and that’s a two-way street. The idea of marital infidelity and divorce is alien to Tawney, but I think in her mind she already is unfaithful to her husband, and it’s equally immoral for her to keep married to a man she no longer loves, someone who really has taken the second-seat in her heart… Which is what broke her up so badly in “Until You’re Blue.” Daniel isn’t necessarily a good influence on her or even someone who brings her joy in the ultimate picture but their connection is impossible to get away from for them, even if she tries. It’s a recurring theme.

“-Why do you care so much about my soul? -I care about everyone’s soul”

“-We can’t be together - I know.”

Denial, denial, denial.

Billie Doux said...

That's a really good point, Thomas. Tawney has done absolutely nothing with Daniel that she should feel guilty about, but she does seem to feel that the way she instantly connected with Daniel amounted to cheating on her husband. Interestingly, so does Teddy.

Thomas Ijon Tichy said...

Also the amount of times Daniel and Tawney has said that "nothing will ever happen" between them sort of guarantees that eventually it will.

Anonymous said...

They do protest too much. And they are only making it worse by not coming clean to Teddy, unless they have made their mind up of wanting nothing to do with him in the future. But if they acknowledge he will be a part of their life going forward, denial won't help one bit.