Founder / Editor


Associate Editor


Assistant Editor











Sundance's 'Rectify' Has Been "Difficult and Gratifying" For All
October 25, 2016  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Don’t expect any neatly packaged ending for Sundance’s Rectify, whose fourth and final season premieres Wednesday (10/26), at 10 p.m. ET.

Not that anyone who has paid attention to this often dark and tortured psychological drama would be expecting neat-and-clean.

“I want the viewers to figure out what will happen after the show ends,” says Ray McKinnon, who created Rectify. “The characters will continue to live their lives after we stop filming them, and I think there will be some interest in where they’ll be going.

“They will have hopeful endings in this sense. As human beings, we all know we won’t get out of here alive. Optimism is built into us so we won’t all just quit. So there will be some sense of optimism.”

That’s not always easy for Daniel (Aden Young), the character around whose story Rectify revolves.

When Daniel was 18, he was convicted of murdering a 16-year-old girl named Hanna. He spent the next 19 years on Death Row before his conviction was overturned on the basis of newly examined DNA evidence.

He returned to his hometown of Paulie, Ga., and a family that included his loyal and loving younger sister Amantha (Abigail Spencer), who had been working all those years to get him released.

His mother Janet (J Smith-Cameron, right) is also there, having married Ted Talbot (Bruce McKinnon) after Daniel’s father died. Ted’s son Teddy (Clayne Crawford) is married to Tawney (Adelaide Clemens), with whom Daniel develops a connection.

The 22 episodes of the three previous season have introduced several other layers of complications, covering some of the same Southern turf where William Faulkner used to roam.

Daniel is quiet, sometimes disturbingly so, as he tries to sort out his life in a world where he’s not comfortable and where a number of people aren’t convinced that he’s really been exonerated.

“I watch him,” says McKinnon, “and I think, ‘Would he be able to be human again? Has too much damage been done?’ That’s part of the question the whole story asks: Why wouldn’t he be lost?”

Season 4 gives Daniel a little breathing room by taking him out of Paulie and moving him to Nashville, where he lives in a halfway house with other ex-convicts. Physically getting away from his family liberates him in at least one sense, that now he can confront himself without their implicit and explicit pressure.

The first episode of the new season is largely a dramatic monologue in which Daniel tries to sort out the questions so he might find a path to some answers.

“Daniel sometimes sabotages himself,” says McKinnon. “He’s hit points where he could just burn the house down.”

For all Daniel’s quiet intensity, Rectify has not been just The Daniel Show, and McKinnon says that was deliberate.

“Every main character should be interesting enough,” McKinnon says, “that we could do a show about them.”

Accordingly, he admits, he has sometimes let Rectify take tangential paths.

“There are a couple of times we’ve taken turns that felt important to me,” he says. “They just offered what I felt was new information.”

And then there’s also this.

“My mother would say there are things we will never know,” says McKinnon, who at 49 was previously best known for acting roles in shows like Deadwood (right) and Sons of Anarchy. “In this world we’ve created, we can make those things make sense. We create a reason for why they happened and what can be done about them.”

McKinnon, who has worked on Rectify largely to the exclusion of other projects for the last four years, says the ending will come more or less at the point he originally had in mind.

“Before we go into production, I’m always feeling the pressure,” he says. “Can you make it work? And at the end, when we do, I feel great relief. Now that it’s ending, I’m not sure how I’ll feel.

“It’s been difficult and gratifying.”

Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 Name (required)
 Email (required) (will not be published)
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
Let's not forget that McKinnon is an Oscar winner...
Oct 26, 2016   |  Reply
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: