Last night I watched a couple more episodes of Rectify. What I think about most when I watch this show (and I’m way into the second season) is Daniel’s naivete.
He went into prison at age 18 and came out at 38. He did not experience what most boys experience. He didn’t get to mature from a teen into a man doing what most do.
This shows in his halting and awkward way of saying and doing things, as though he fears everything he does will be perceived as wrong.
Imagine losing 20 years confined while the world you knew goes on without you. Your own limited world consists of a small cell with no windows.
You have virtually no rights. You are at the whim of guards who don’t much like you to begin with.
There’s always noise from other inmates on death row.
And if you make friends on the other side of your wall you often end up losing them to the death penalty that put them all there in the first place.
Last night I watched the episode where he goes to visit the mother of the friend who was executed. It was a very touching sequence of events.
Daniel seems strange to everyone. But then, how could you be at all normal in such a situation? Wondering every day if they’re going to charge you again and throw you back into jail.
I’m waiting to see what happens with that.
I will be sad to see this Netflix series end. It took me a few episodes to warm up to Daniel, but now I look forward to watching what happens with his story.
As his character experiences what we all take for granted.
Falling back into the grass just to feel the sun warm his face. Standing in the rain because he never heard rain or thunder “inside.”
He wants to feel things after decades of trying not to feel or think about the length of his existence.
Yet he’s afraid to. He’s fallen out of the habit of it. He’s learned to simply exist and adjust to the routines others create for him.
He never experienced the sight of a season’s subtle passage. Or see a flower bloom or smell the scent of grass being mowed.
The little things that become important when you no longer have access to them.
He lost all that. There’s no making up 20 years for a crime you didn’t do. The anger would have to be immense and formidable.
And to be set free is almost as hard as staying inside.