Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Rectify: Act As If

"We are what we don't throw away. Teddy bears and barbells."

A lovely episode about the clutter of life and about moving on. Hopefully.

A collector of junk and people, Lezley "with a Z" must have immediately recognized Daniel, not just as an odd local celebrity, but for the lonely and discarded human being that he is. It was fun how Lezley kept Daniel talking by asking for details about exactly what sort of old stove Daniel wanted for his mother's kitchen, as if Lezley had a selection of Wedgewood waiting in the back of his store. And how kind it was of Lezley to invite Daniel to his party.

That was a party I'd love to attend. (Or I think I would, when I'd probably be one of the cranky neighbors complaining about the noise because I'd have to go to work in the morning.) Lezley didn't allow Daniel to just go off by himself and brood; instead, he tethered Daniel to his belt and forced him to socialize and have fun. Help me carry this huge wooden totem into my house, Daniel. Act as if you're a part of the world, Daniel.

Reluctant at first but finally enjoying himself, it was delightful to see Daniel laughing, getting stoned, making out with one of the many women at the party who found him intriguing. This was the sort of fun that Daniel never got to have in his late teens and early twenties. But then there was an interesting moment of unreality during the skeet shooting, like the lights were too bright, the night too stark, the gun too loud and real. And then the scene shifted to Trey in hip boots in the river, obviously searching for George's body. The party at Lezley's was fantasy fun. Trey in the river is reality.

Daniel doesn't know it yet, but D.A. Person (love that name) doesn't think another jury will put Daniel back on Death Row. So she's thinking of talking him into a plea deal that would put him back in prison for ten years, maybe out in six to eight. How will Daniel take that? How could he even contemplate going back to prison until he's in his mid-forties when he's already lost so much of his life?

The unthinkability of Daniel going back to prison was beautifully illustrated by the mother and son scene in the family garage full of junk, when Janet reluctantly told Daniel about the last time she rode her bicycle and wore her yellow dress while she was waiting through yet another night to hear whether or not he had been executed. Such a powerful but understated scene, focusing on the circumstances instead of her emotional pain, although the pain was clearly visible. Daniel may not have realized that, while he was undergoing such a horrible ordeal, his mother was experiencing it, too. Daniel is entitled to serious reparations, not six to eight more freaking years behind bars.

It's also unfair that Daniel apologized for tearing up the kitchen, although he was actually apologizing for being an ongoing problem for his family. It was never Daniel's fault, and it's his freaking kitchen, too. I'm glad that Janet finally took Daniel's side against Ted Senior, even though it might affect their marriage; it was sort of an echo of what was happening with Ted Junior and Tawney.

Because of Daniel's reading choices and the books his mother gave him in prison, a possibly pregnant Tawney now wants to go to college. She was trying harder to make things right with Teddy, and he was trying harder to be kind and give her some space and privacy. But their marriage is still all surface and no substance. Tawney said that Teddy's anger will consume them both, and I think she's right.

On to Amantha, whose old life that was centered around Daniel's freedom is also gone. The way she was standing at the checkout at Thrifty Town with a vacant look on her face made me literally laugh out loud. It was like she was standing in the middle of the clutter of her life, dazed and confused about where to go. I was surprised that Jon asked her to move to Boston with him; maybe their relationship is more solid than it first appeared.

Maybe it's time for Amantha to make a life for herself in a place that isn't Paulie. Although I'd hate it if Amantha left the series when I enjoy her so much as a character.


-- Daniel got his driver's license, just in time to attend that party at Lezley's.

-- In at least two scenes, Amantha was carrying a basket of laundry. There wasn't much laundry in the basket. It's funny how people in TV and movies never stagger under heaping loads of laundry. I always have heaping loads of laundry.

-- Although I'm on Daniel's side in the kitchen dispute, I felt bad for Ted Senior. His house is a mess and his store was just taken over by Teddy's rental display.

-- Daniel's previous lawyer Rutherford Gaines died. Will that affect Daniel's case at all?

-- Janet and Daniel were playing a word game as they scraped the old linoleum off the kitchen floor, a nice little scene that showed how Janet is starting to adjust to the reality of Daniel being back in her life.

-- Loved the skeet shooting with the outdated CDs, although I kept thinking about stepping on shards in the grass. Probably this episode's Most Obvious Symbolism for leaving the past behind.

-- Ray McKinnon, the creator and showrunner of Rectify, played the Reverend Smith on Deadwood. That must be why wonderful Deadwood actors like Leon Rippy (Lezley) keep showing up on this show. Could I put in a request for Timothy Olyphant and Brad Dourif in season four?


Teddy: "Change is inevitable. You gotta get out in front of it."

Lezley: "I'll send your request out to the universe and lay my ear to the cosmic rails as it were, wait for a reply."

Daniel: "How did Gaines die?"
Amantha: "Regret or cancer. I forget."

Lezley: "Implied radius. No cord. One hour. We'll set the kitchen timer."

Lezley: "Act as if."
Daniel: "As if what?"
Lezley: "As you belong here, Daniel, with us, your fellow travelers."

Lezley: "Come on, Dan. Do the world a favor. Blow old Michael Bolton off to bloody hell, won't ya?"

Another thoughtful episode. Three out of four Spin Doctor CDs,

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


  1. Yes to Brad Dourif for season 4. Oh I need to watch Deadwood.
    Lovely review.

  2. >>"The way she was standing at the checkout at Thrifty Town with a vacant look on her face made me literally laugh out loud."
    Cute girls in show need to stop being Doublemeat Palace'd :(
    Actually I really liked it. All the subplots except for once the main one involving Daniel. This episode's been my favourite out of the past few, up until Lezlie's party lol. It was fine too, but I liked the 'fluff' of the previous scenes better. I mean everyone was actually kinda getting along... Daniel and Janet, Tawney and Teddy, Amantha and uh Peanut's negative space.

    I like Amantha but I wouldn't hate losing her. I hope Jon sticks around though, I love him.

    Ah, I have to disagree about the thing with Ted Sr. I thought he was fair. He didn't say "you can't do this" so much as "you gotta adhere to a specific schedule." Daniel tore the whole kitchen up without telling anybody. And considering it was right after those 2 jagoffs took his picture I figure he did it in a state of real unrest. Also Ted cleaned it up! I think he's entitled to some light discipline. I felt so sorry at the expression on his face when Janet said Daniel was here first. Poor guy... he's alright.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.