The fourth and final season of Southern Gothic drama series Rectify is coming to our screens in October, and before you devour the fast-tracked, slow-burn action on SBS, here are the six things you definitely need to know/remember about what has gone before in the town of Paulie, Georgia.
Daniel may or may not be guilty, but he is definitely changed
Near the end of the season three finale, Daniel told his mum, Janet, that he’s going to give his future – potentially a new start – his best shot. It’s a stirring declaration from a man who spent 19 years on death row for the rape and murder of his girlfriend Hanna when they were both teenagers. The past three seasons have largely been less focused on discovering the truth of Daniel’s innocence or guilt than they have on him as a character. As we head into the final season of Rectify, we see a man who will sabotage a simple pool-painting job, burst into tears, then try to fix it. Damage.
He’s also leaving town, as part of a plea deal
That new start mentioned? It’s because Daniel admitted to being guilty of strangling Hanna and accepted banishment from Paulie as his punishment. So now he’s heading off to Nashville for a fresh beginning that will no doubt lead to an immediate happy ending with no pitfalls or nuanced consequences (a man can dream, can’t he?).
The cracks in the family are only getting wider
When we first joined the Holden/Talbot clan, they seemed pretty decent and tight-knit. Things first began to fall apart when Ted Jr objected to his stepbrother, Daniel, hanging around his wife, Tawney. After Daniel was goaded into choking him into unconsciousness and stuffing his arse with used coffee grounds (if you’re like ??? at this sentence, me telling you that he was showing him what prison was like probably won’t help), things grew understandably fractious. As it stands, Ted Jr and Tawney have split up, Daniel’s mum has backed her son even as her husband has backed his, and there doesn’t seem to be any clear path back to the pre-Daniel equilibrium.
Daniel’s closest person, Amantha, may be as damaged as he is
The strongest believer in Daniel’s innocence is still his sister, Amantha. She has been through the wars only slightly less than he has, largely defining her days by his situation. Back in the day she was carrying on a secret relationship with his lawyer, Jon, but that ended with him saying, “We both know he would have been better off with somebody else, somebody less distracted.” Ooft. Now Daniel’s leaving town, and Amantha’s going to have to find something to fill the fresh gaps in her life.
The investigation is ongoing...
Don’t think the local sheriff is letting things drop. Daggett is like a bloodhound on a cold trail, closing in on the true culprit (or culprits) through his investigation of George Melton’s murder (you may recall he shot himself way back in the pilot). Ooh, and there’s a whole connection to original prosecutor Senator Foulkes, who is covered with a lot of dirt from back in the day. It’s complicated, but Jon is still on the case.
...and there will be answers
So far we know bits and pieces about what actually happened to Hanna all those years ago. Series creator has been coy about whether we’ll learn the ultimate truth of what happened with that two-decade-old crime, saying, “There’s that issue, and hopefully by the end of the season how we deal with that will leave you, in a Rectify way, satisfied. Maybe for some people it will, some people it won’t.”
Rectify returns to SBS On Demand with fast-tracked episodes from Friday 28 October at 5pm. The series returns to broadcast on SBS from Monday 31 October 2016.