Rectify, the six-episode limited series that premieres tonight on Sundance and created by Ray McKinnon (Deadwood), is the story of a man found guilty of the rape and murder of his teenage girlfriend being unexpectedly exonerated of his death row sentence. When new DNA evidence surfaces, Daniel Holden (Aden Young) finds himself suddenly free after 19 years in prison, where he’s been for more than half his life.
Daniel’s sister Amantha (Abigail Spencer) has never believed that he was guilty and has never given up on him. She’s been the leader of the crusade to set him free and has worked closely with his lawyer, Jon Stern (Luke Kirby) to find the evidence that has.
The challenge for Daniel now is to adjust to life in the real world, where technology has far surpassed anything he could have imagined and where he has a “new” family complete with stepfather, step-brother and teenage half-brother that is a painful reminder of the life he didn’t live.
Set in a small southern town, where everyone knows each other and most people are outraged at his release, we watch Daniel try to adjust with the world as it now is and see how his reemergence affects everyone around him.
Co-executive produced by McKinnon along with Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein, who are both executive producers on Breaking Bad, Rectify moves at a slow, deliberate pace and doesn’t answer the question of whether or not Daniel is guilty of the crime for which he was jailed. The series is more concerned with how someone who’s been locked up in a box for two decades adjusts to being back in society and catching up with the world that has continued to move forward without him. Beautifully acted and shot, the slow pace won’t be for everyone, but everyone should give it a shot before they decide.
Rectify premieres Monday, April 22 at 9 p.m. on Sundance (ch. 558).