by Billie Doux
Twenty years of probation? Seriously?
By throwing his unwanted stepson out of the house, Ted Senior passed Daniel to his sister Amantha as if he were stray puppy that left messes around the house. Daniel is now in limbo for a month until his banishment, and it is clearer than ever that he can't function in the real world. The way he danced around Amantha's apartment singing "What should I do?" before his attempts at shopping for groceries and doing the laundry said it all.
Jon suggested that Daniel try the New Canaan Project, an organization that helps ex-prisoners adjust to the outside world. That sounds like a good idea. The kindly Melvin of the turtles has also stepped in with a little job for Daniel: painting the apartment complex's pool. Sort of like fixing Janet's kitchen, but with Rectify's constant water imagery thrown in.
Again, we got a parallel with Daniel, who was just thrown out of his family home, and Tawney, who we just learned is an orphan who grew up in foster care. That probably explains why Tawney said yes to marrying Teddy when she didn't love him. He must have seemed like a wonderful option in comparison to a group home, even though he wasn't. Sorry about that, Teddy.
As Tawney told her new counselor, Teddy never hit her, but she felt cornered and trapped as if she was always expecting him to do it. Did that come from him, or was it a product of her upbringing? She feels guilty about her relief that she miscarried because she wanted out of the marriage. But Teddy doesn't want out. He stalked Tawney twice in this episode, once by showing up at Mitch and Beth's with Tawney's undies in a laundry basket, and later by using a "thrill ride" with Jared as an excuse to watch her at dinner. Maybe in Teddy's mind, Mitch has taken Tawney away from him, and much like with the guy who refused to return the tire rims, Teddy tried unsuccessfully to pick a fight with him.
While in the car, Teddy made an interesting confession to little brother Jared that I wasn't quite sure how to take. Teddy confided that the first night he was legally allowed to drive, he took out a girl named Julie who had a fast reputation, and pressured her into having sex with him. Teddy advised Jared to never do that with his girlfriend Claire. But it so obviously wasn't about Jared, whom I doubt would do any such thing. It was all about Teddy, who seemed to be relating his selfish, immature behavior with Julie to what he did to Tawney. Does that level of self-awareness make Teddy a more relatable, more likable character? Not to me. Again, sorry about that, Teddy.
I enjoyed the scenes that showed the obvious differences between Teddy and Daniel. Teddy was playing "Stomp and Holler" as he strutted around the house drinking beer; cut to Daniel listening to a Beethoven piano sonata as he was drinking wine and preparing Amantha's favorite childhood meal: chili dogs and tater tots. I thought that meal was so endearing, but Amantha was having none of it.
Why is Amantha mad at Daniel? He was desperate. He took a plea deal. I get it. Why doesn't she? Yes, she spent years of her life trying to get him out of prison, but she's not the one who'd have to go back if the members of a new jury were having a bad day.
Speaking of which, there were several uncomfortable conversations about the late, unlamented George. Sheriff Carl thought that the investigation was already tainted, while Ms. Person was angry that the Sheriff's unofficial investigation of George's trailer in Florida would... taint the investigation. George's father, who had nothing nice to say about his own son, pointed the Sheriff at Trey's recent and rather suspicious actions.
Please tell me that Hanna's murder will actually get solved, and Daniel won't have to endure banishment on top of twenty years of probation. Twenty freaking years. Honestly, that shocked the hell out of me.
Bits and pieces:
-- Amantha, whose career at Thrifty Town might be taking off, said that she and Jon were "divorcing" after their "marriage of convenience." That's sad. I like Amantha and Jon as a couple.
-- Janet realized that Ted Senior threw Daniel out, and Ted told her why.
-- At the tire store, Teddy turned off the red dancing air cross-shaped thingy, which was a reminder of Daniel's father. Ted Senior turned it back on. I get that to mean that, even though Ted Senior threw Daniel out of the house, he's still very aware of where his livelihood comes from.
-- Teddy's mother, who hasn't been mentioned before, is still alive.
-- Daniel's takeaway from listening to the FM classical station was that the deejay (or curator, I loved that) unselfishly passes on information about the greatness of others.
-- Daniel is 38 years old. I don't think they've actually said how old he was until now.
Daniel: "Good morning."
Daniel: "No. Daniel."
Possibly a little jab at Daniel's status as a metaphorical Christ figure?
Amantha: "See, the way I roll is I don't eat, I don't eat, I don't eat, and then I eat shit. A lotta shit."
Daniel: "Seems to be working."
Amantha: (looking at the photo of a huge newborn) "So! That's Wyatt Andrew. God, that must have hurt."
Peanut: "Not really. I had an epidermis."
Peanut: "Amantha. That's such an unusual name. Family name?"
Amantha: "No. Actually, my mother's dyslexic. (pause) Kidding."
Daniel: "How are your turtles?"
Melvin: "Well, they're dead. I mean, they lived a good life, uh, except one."
Daniel: "To the good life."
Melvin: "And the turtles. In all their flavors."
Three out of four minimally filled laundry baskets,
Billie Doux loves quality television and spends way too much time writing about it.