The Purge has started and in episode 2, we get a deepening of the mysteries, flashbacks, and are introduced to even more new characters. As the episode opens, we see a man getting ready to go out for Purge Night as if he was getting ready for work. He packs his lunch, readies his weapons, and enters his reinforced SWAT-style truck while wearing a mask. He doesn’t appear again until the end of the episode, after seeing a couple people breaking into a home. Even during his intro, he seems more heroic than villainous, I think he is a do-gooder that rescues people during Purge Night. We will see next week, but my money is on him being a force for good.
Speaking of money: damn Jane! After repeatedly being passed over and hit on by her increasingly slimy boss David, she has in fact hired assassin Bracka (AzMarie Livingston) to take him out during The Purge. When we first start with the flashbacks showing her getting hired and such she is eager and hungry, but David prefers the women who flirt back with him and the relationship crumbles to the point where she decides to take him out. It is interesting that in this world where Purging is an option, it has become so normalized that even those who find the whole idea wrong can’t help but let it creep into their thoughts. Like the awkward Alison says “Everyone has a list of people they would Purge” (I do NOT trust this woman at all. Run Jane!). She was snooping around Jane’s desk while she was paying Bracka for the hit, and we are led to believe she know about Jane’s plan, but I think she has it out for Jane.
Switching gears to our love triangle, Lila and her tryst with married couple Rick and Jenna provide all the fireworks at our NFFA party this week. She meets with each of them separately, and threatens Rick, saying that her father would not give him the money he is looking for if he knew “the truth” about him. Jenna gets no such threats. In fact, we are led to believe if Rick was out of the way these two would run away into the sunset together. They meet a second time by a pool and embrace each other, so something happened after that threesome (those are never a good idea) that bonded these two. I just wish that they didn’t do that thing, where two characters talk to each other, and just elude to something that happened between them, without saying it so that we can know too. That drives me nuts.
In the background of the party, we see Miguel continue on his quest to find his sister Penelope and their crazy cult bus. I now see how they will get around being on cable instead of on a theater screen with the violence: all of the major Purge-level killing and such is shown through Miguel’s night vision goggles, so we SEE it, but we can’t make it completely out. Very cleaver everyone. Anyway, it seems Miguel is just going to keep walking into the most Purge situations, as he literally ends up in some kind of gameshow being beamed onto the internet called The Gauntlet. It isn’t really much of one, but does its job giving us the Running Man-vibe they were going for. It is shot really well too, not a lot of quick cuts and such that are all the rage these days. He wins a kick-ass new muscle car, and the partygoers revel in his carnage (WAY too many cuts to the partygoers and their “awe” at what they are watching. Haven’s they seen this already a bunch of times?).
And Miguel needs to hurry. This cult is rapidly realizing that they are not on a party bus, and are regretting every decision they have ever made that led them there. Except Penelope, who is just excited to say hi to her parents again. That is until they actually see they violence firsthand. Even she is having doubts after the second bus rider is chosen and thrown to two Purgers wearing US Presidents masks. Pour one out for poor Melissa.
Our last major character we are introduced to is Pete the Cop (Dominic Fumusa), who runs a Purge-free bar and Miguel goes to to try and get help finding the location of the cult bus. Some cool easter eggs here, as when you enter the bar by using the password (excelsior!) you have to leave your weapons and Purge masks at the door. We see masks from other Purge films, the killer’s mask from Happy Death Day, and I am not sure but possibly a Michael Myers mask (Blumhouse is producing the new Halloween film if you didn’t know), so that was a neat treat for us Blumheads (feel free to use that everyone). Pete declines to help Miguel, but seeing as this is a TV show, that won’t last. I am sure that will be a major point of next week’s episode.
Two episodes in, they are keeping their promise of diving deeper into the characters than any other time before. Rick and Jenna’s story is annoying, hopefully we get answers soon. Other than that, Jane and Miguel’s stories remain very intriguing and I hope I am right about this mystery man. A superhero during the Purge? Yes please.