Who’s ready for an awkward birthday party?
Let’s bitch it out…
It’s Janet’s (J. Smith-Cameron) birthday and the first that she’ll have with all of her children present. Or rather she would if Daniel (Aden Young) hadn’t ruined everything by showing up late, with Lezlie (Leon Rippy) and a gift that brings to the forefront all of the issues that divide the family Holden. An old gas stove is the stand-in: Teddy (Clayne Crawford) immediately goes for the financial jugular, Janet waffles in uncertainty, Jon (Luke Kirby) and Amantha (Abigail Spencer) approve because it’s rude to suggest otherwise and Ted Sr (Bruce McKinnon) appeases the group to diffuse the tension. Classic Holden family!
Special occasions on TV often serve to bring to the surface long-simmering issues. And so it goes here. For the first time this season, Daniel’s unresolved sexual tension with Tawney (Adelaide Clemens) reappears, prompting Teddy’s very early confession about her pregnancy. As soon as news of Tawney’s pregnancy was confirmed, it was obvious that the news would come out at the least appropriate time. Naturally Teddy uses the term “they” to describe their pregnancy and, like the lovable asshole that he is, he makes sure to stare Daniel down immediately following the announcement just to show him who is boss.
In truth the party is less eventful than I initially imagined (which is in keeping with this series’ stubborn refusal to travel traditional narrative paths). If anything, it’s ‘Mazel Tov’ quieter moments that stand out, even if the episode itself isn’t really a stand-out. My favourite scene: Daniel confronts Jared (Jake Austin Walker) about his stolen walkman, reassuring him that curiousity about the murder is acceptable, but warning him that he needs to be careful. It’s quiet, and brief, but this is the first time that Daniel has really ever addressed the crime with his brother. By the looks of the preview for next week, this foreshadows the return of the case in a significant way as we head into the second half of the season.
- Jon and Amantha try to have a normal date night at the roller rink, but things go sour when a woman confronts them over a PDA. It’s interesting to see how the two react: Amantha appears bitter for the interruption of their fantasy whereas Jon blames them for forgetting their situation. Both are unexpected, especially Amantha’s, who previously seemed to struggle so much with a Daniel-free existence.
- Turns out that last week Daniel actually slept with the diner waitress that Senator Foulkes (Michael O’Neill) “frequents”. Good thing the Senator doesn’t know since he already has such a large vendetta against him, once again criticizing Sheriff Daggett (J.D. Evermore) for not going after him with greater conviction.
- Cry moment of the week: In flashback, Daniel cries when Charlie, the chaplin, plays him music for the first time in years. It’s quietly devastating.
- Finally, there’s a very brief moment when Daniel sees Trey (Sean Bridgers) at the gas station. It’s the first time we’ve seen these two interact, and there’s not much said between them, but Trey’s reaction – he’s almost bemused – is unusual. We’ve long known that there’s more to Trey’s story than he’s telling, so let’s hope we find out more shortly.
- Amantha (protesting Jon’s upset attitude when they’re accosted): “I mean, screw her and the mini van she came in”
- Daniel (to Charlie, the chaplin): “I liked you better in the silent era”
- Tawney (when Teddy toasts Jon with Mazel Tov): “Is that appropriate?”
Your turn: what did you think of Janet’s birthday party? Did you appreciate the quiet moments or Teddy’s big reveal? When do you think the Senator will find out about Daniel’s dalliance with everyone’s favourite waitress? And what else is Trey hiding? Sound off below.
Rectify airs Thursdays at 9pm EST on SundanceTV