'Rectify - The Complete Second Season'
(Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, Adelaide Clemens, J. Smith Cameron, Luke Kirby, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2015 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Overview: Nineteen years ago, Daniel Holden was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of his teenage girlfriend, Hanna Dean. Thanks to newly discovered DNA evidence and the efforts of his sister Amantha and lawyer Jon Stern, Daniel's conviction has been vacated and he's returned to his mother Janet's home in Paulie, Georgia. But not everyone is convinced of his innocence nor is his future as a free man secure.
DVD Verdict: Well, let's start at the very beginning, because that's exactly when I first got hooked on this ingenious, creative, compelling show. Indeed, after just the very first episode, watching Aden Young embody the character of Daniel Holden, I was 100% hooked into the show. Binge watching followed quickly thereafter.
If you were not aware, Daniel Holden was arrested for the rape and murder of his girlfriend at the age of 16. Convicted and sent to live on death row at the age of 18, some 20 years later, and after living on death row in a cell by himself, preparing himself for inevitable death, he has even survived five stays of execution. Which, as it turned out was long enough for technology to catch up with forensic science. Unbelievably, to a lot of people both as characters in the show itself and viewers akin to myself, Daniel Holden is released to his family because it is determined that his DNA was not actually found at the scene of the crime after all. So, the big question was always thereafter, Will the current prosecutor re-try a 20 year old case?
As fans of this TV show already know the answer to that, I shall skip over it and proceed onwards with this second season now before me. Season Two finds Daniel committed to living in the present and making choices that prove frustrating for some of the Holden/Talbot family. Unfortunately, there are many places and faces in Paulie that remind Daniel of the past his incarceration, Hanna, and his role the night of Hanna's murder.
He's forced to the realization that he must understand and accept what really happened if he's ever going to know any peace, a conclusion that shapes his determination to do whatever it takes to finally put his past behind him, no matter how high the price.
The cast of 'Rectify' itself is an odd ensemble that, nonetheless, comes together well. The acting is appropriate to the piece, dramatic but without excesses. Aden Young is haunting as Daniel. Luke Kirby, who plays his attorney, must be the most natural actor in the world. From 'Mambo Italiano,' to 'Say You Love Me,' to 'Rectify,' he just disappears into the character and can be anything at any moment with so much subtlety that you forget you're watching a performance.
For my money though, Clayne Crawford, playing the Daniel's stepbrother, is still the breakout performance here; even in season 2. His character is written as a regular guy. A "bubba". His crumbling middle class life is the polarity to Daniel's. Crawford's "Ted Jr." is a good guy, a regular guy, but he can deliver a compliment and imply a sense of danger at the same time. He is a very gifted actor and a more than substantial counterweight to the emotional tomb of "Daniel".
The show also presents a wonderful portrait of small town, rural American life. Not just in the settings and locations but also in the social environments, the beliefs and prejudices of the people who live there. 'Rectify' is every bit as good as dramas airing on HBO, AMC and Showtime. I can't wait to see 'Rectify' come back for season 3 on Sundance TV. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:78.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
RECTIFY: Season 2 - Featurette