I saw the first episode of this mindful little show earlier.
Touted as a new series brought to us “by the makers of Breaking Bad,” the show is immediately burdened by unspoken expectations. This might be both a blessing and a curse, for many simple-minded viewers might be unable to sieve out their expectations into an orderly and fair manner when considering “Rectify.” Having thus bolstered their expectations to unrealistic levels, they are likely to toss the baby out with the bathwater for the simple fact that Rectify does not involve speeding motor homes or meth-crazed capitalists.
Rectify must be viewed and perceived on its own terms.
The first episode (hour one of two) sets up many questions and plants various genesis’s of an enveloping multi-pronged plot involving Daniel Holden, a prisoner released from death row (having been reprieved from the lethal injection 5 times) after fresh DNA evidence exculpates him of the murder of a young girl (for the time being anyways, as a group of intent prosecutors and lawmen, unconvinced of his innocence, parlay their shared skepticism into a “movement” whose purported aim is to try Holden again). Many promising avenues of conflict are awakened in episode one.
Holden, who practiced Tibetan chanting during his 20-year-stay on death row, is released quietly into the world having apparently undergone a radical transformation into prison mystic.
Having been outside the consumerist, materialist electronic matrix for the last two decades of its hold on society, he is a throwback of sorts, spiritually and emotionally. Spared the ravages of social media and the fast-paced world of instant digital feedback, he appears utterly calm and mindful. But there is a lot going on that episode one suggests obliquely. And we wonder where Daniel Holden will lead us.
Will he embrace distracted and disconnected modernity, or will he maintain his path of penitentiary asceticism?