Rectify Season 3 Episode 2 Review: “Thrill Ride”


I really can’t get over how powerful and beautiful Rectify can be. There is nothing overly produced or complicated about it. Rectify is nothing if not simple, but it’s also human. It’s real. It wrestles with your every day emotions. This show has taken one out of the ordinary circumstance and created this whole world of powerful emotions. There’s nothing crazy to discuss at the water cooler the next day; there is simply a beautifully crafted, simple yet sophisticated drama series.

This week on Rectify: On top of dealing with the return of “Peanut,” Amantha struggles to move on from everything that has happened, since Daniel is now living with her. Ted Sr. reveals to Janet that he asked Daniel to leave, and why. John attempts to move on. Sheriff Daggett works with the DA to investigate George’s death. Tawney visits a psychiatrist. Teddy and Jared go on a little adventure, as Teddy deals with some insecurities.

Very few episodes of Rectify would be considered “shocking.” This isn’t the type of show that does things for shock value. However, at times it can be shocking. It can be gut-wrenching. It can be powerful. It can be thought provoking. Rectify has created this world that feels totally real. Every character could be someone you know. As you watch, you find yourself immersed in the world because of how real it feels, and you’re only taken out when something happens that makes you think “I’m glad this isn’t happening to me”. “Thrill Ride,” in a nutshell, exemplifies that world. It takes every day problems, like alcoholism, mixed families, broken marriages, and heightens them into the special situation created by Daniel. It feels like such a slice of life. Every scene is so grounded, that it gives “Thrill Ride” an (hopefully intentional) ironic name. I’m absolutely enamored with the world this show has created, and I find myself constantly hungering for more. There is nothing extraordinary in the way that the story is told, but what’s extraordinary is how it makes you feel so many things by being ordinary. How very Rust Cohle of me.

Since the Emmy nominations were just released, I HAVE to mention the talented actors on this show. Rectify, being on a less popular network, tends to garner less attention despite rave reviews from critics (myself included). So, I decided to give it a little love myself. Aden Young is one of the best series leads on television right now. Young perfectly embodies the inner turmoil within Daniel. You can see clearly both his desire to leave everything behind and go back to death row, and his desire to be a productive member of both society and family. Abigail Spencer’s Amantha is another who should’ve generated some award buzz. She’s a phenomenal actress, and portrays Amantha with incredible layers. She had very little screen time this episode, but she commanded my attention every time she was there. Clayne Crawford had another great episode. That scene between Teddy and Jared at the end? Heart wrenching. Really, every actor on this show is wonderful. Each episode impresses me more.

One of the best parts of this episode was the imagery. When Teddy unplugged the big inflatable guy, the big deflated guy embodied Teddy’s deflated spirit. The poor guy, while not the most likable character who ever existed, has been through quite a bit. Certain other images hit home as well, like Daniel looking down over the mostly empty pool, or Amantha staring over the boxes at Peanut. In a show that doesn’t do anything flashy, imagery is an important way to get points across, and this show has cleverly mastered visual storytelling. “Thrill Ride,” in particular, had a lot of visual moments that I noticed, but the whole series has done it wonderfully.

All in all, a wonderful follow up to the third season premiere of Rectify. I absolutely cannot wait to see the next episodes. It’s kind of a problem.

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy this episode? Let us know in the comments!

Rectify airs Thursdays at 10/9c on SundanceTV.

[Photo via SundanceTV]

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