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Rectify “Unhinged” 

Photo Credit: Curtis Bonds Baker/Sundance TV
Photo Credit: Curtis Bonds Baker/Sundance TV

Wow. That ending. Well, the entire episode really. There were quite a few great things about “Unhinged,” but I’m not quite sure where to start. Maybe with the easy stuff? Tawney left Teddy. We’re not sure where she’s headed or what’s next for her, but it seems clear that this chapter of her life is over. And even though she and Daniel had a connection (and are in love with each other), they both know they never could’ve made it work. Amantha encourages Jon to take that job in Boston, but tells him she won’t be going with him. She’s not sure if she wants to be with someone who reminds her of a period in her life she might want to forget. Ted Sr. isn’t sure how they can move forward as a family now that he knows what Daniel did to Teddy Jr. It wasn’t rape, but as Daniel said the purpose was to humiliate him and to make Teddy feel powerless.

I’ve always wondered if Tawney and Teddy were happy before Daniel came into the picture. He thinks they were, but when he asks Tawney about it, she won’t answer him which is very telling. It’s clear that Teddy has a letter or something to give her, but after he finds out Daniel was with her at the motel, he changes his mind – about that and about pressing charges against Daniel for assault. Daniel’s taken everything from Teddy and Teddy’s going to make him pay in the only way he can. Even if the story gets out and ruins his life. Even if it tears his family apart. But is Teddy in time? Has the plea deal already gone through?

Let’s talk about that for a moment. Daniel has to agree to banishment, so in essence he’ll never see his family again. Although they’re upset by that possibility, Daniel is clearly tired of causing them so much pain. Amantha calls him a coward, but I wonder if that’s accurate. It’s true that she’s been dealing with this situation just as long as he has, but he’s been the one accused. He’s the one that did all that time on death row. He’s the one who had to experience untold horrors (seriously, I don’t want to know) while he was in prison. So maybe he’s just tired. Maybe it’s time for all of this to be over.

Photo Credit: Tina Rowden/Sundance TV
Photo Credit: Tina Rowden/Sundance TV

But for the first time, I have to say I might actually understand Amantha’s point of view. Probably since the beginning of the series I’ve been wondering why Amantha let this episode define her life. In “Unhinged,” she tells us why. She fought this fight not only to get her brother out of jail, but to get him exonerated. She wanted to clear his name, and by extension hers. I think Daniel’s a bit callous when he suggests that she just change her name. It’s not that easy and it’s really not even about that. It was about believing in someone for so long and not wavering in that belief. I mean, she kind of devoted her entire life to getting her brother out of prison. And what does she have to show for it?

Did Daniel kill Hanna Dean or was his confession coerced? A lot of people have opinions, but what are the facts? I’m honestly not sure we’ll ever know. It seems like Daniel said what he did in that debrief so he could “go home” this time. We know for sure that Daniel didn’t rape Hanna. We know that it seemed like she was taunting him and he didn’t like that. But Daniel told Trey he couldn’t remember what happened and that’s the story I choose to believe. Like Tawney, I guess I want to see the best in him. Am I disappointed that he confessed? Only if he didn’t do it. Am I surprised he did what he thought he needed to do in order to end this chapter in his life? Not at all. I do wonder if he would’ve gone to Mobile to try to become the person he pretended to be when he introduced himself to Frances Fisher’s Peggy in “Donald the Normal.” Either way, I don’t think Hanna Dean or the events from that night will ever be something Daniel can forget or move on from. And now that George’s body has surfaced and Sheriff Daggett has seen the tape of Daniel and Trey going to Florida in search of him, what’s next?

Season 3 of Rectify returns in 2015.

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