At the end of the first season of Sundance’s quiet hit “Rectify,” recently released death row inmate Daniel Holden was beaten to a bloody pulp in his small Georgia hometown. Now, in Season 2, the show picks up almost immediately where we left off, only Daniel’s in a coma and the timeline isn’t quite as straightforward.
“It picks up a few hours later. We do pretty much go right back into the story,” star Abigail Spencer tells Zap2it in an interview at the ATX Television Festival.
The fact that Daniel’s still around isn’t too much of a spoiler, adds executive producer Mark Johnson. “I was telling someone before, ‘We don’t know if he lives or dies,’ but then I guess if he dies, where’s the show? The first season was each day — six episodes, seven days. We no longer are subscribing to that conceit,” he says.
Season 1 focused on the week following Daniel’s release after serving nearly two decades on death row for the rape and murder of his high school girlfriend; DNA evidence helped free him. Season 2 of the show, from creator Ray McKinnon, will follow a different timeline.
“The way that Ray writes, he isn’t bound by any rules,” says Adelaide Clemens, who plays Tawney Talbot, the wife of Daniel’s stepbrother. “He’s really challenging the conventions of TV. There are dream sequences. There are flashbacks. There’s present day. You can spend a whole day with certain characters. I think that’s what’s really interesting — it’s so unpredictable but it’s so well done.”
Interestingly, though Season 2 begins with the main character in a coma, it’ll be more about Daniel than Season 1.
Explains Johnson, “This sounds odd, but in a sense, the first season was less about Daniel and more about the people around him. The second season, strangely, is about Daniel now experiencing the world. The strength of the show for me is the characters. It’s about characters dealing with one another and themselves. We pick that up but in a different way.”
Says Aden Young, who plays Daniel, the pacing of Season 2 will alternate. “As the secrets get to be in some ways released or dealt with, everything has to slow down because it’s suddenly too full again. It almost begins as a very quiet adagio even thought time itself is moving forward, and ends in sort of this crescendo.”
“Rectify” Season 2 premieres at 9 p.m. ET/PT Thursday on Sundance.