USA’s The Purge
Episode 2: “Take What’s Yours”
Directed by Anthony Hemingway
Written by Thomas Kelly

* For a recap & review of Episode 1, “What Is America?” – click here
* For a recap & review of Episode 3, “The Urge to Purge” – click here
Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 2.37.20 AMWhat is more American than the Purge?” Not much, apparently. It’s all about freedom. America’s all about freedom, too, no matter how far it extends. Because any freedom’s good freedom, right? Yeah, sure.
We get a glimpse of Joe (Lee Tergesen), a man suiting up for a big, nasty night— after he’s done packing sandwiches for the ride! He’s got a lot of weaponry and a solid truck, as well. Elsewhere, we see more of Rick (Colin Woodell) and Jenna (Hannah Emily Anderson) at the big Purge party thrown by Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond), one of the New Founding Fathers of America, and wife Ellie (Andrea Frankle). They’ve already had some kind of threesome with Lila Stanton (Lili Simmons), which complicates things.
In the street, Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria) continues his journey to try finding Penelope (Jessica Garza), though it’s not easy. Everywhere he goes there’s carnage and chaos. He runs across some paramedics trying to ted to gunshot wounds. People are anticipating the “worst Purge Night ever” due to high temperatures. Miguel helps the two paramedics who are protected by “unwritten Purge law” as medical workers. He asks about the blue cult bus, finding nothing new, only getting a lead on someone called Pete who happens to know the city well.
Meanwhile, Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) keeps leading her followers towards their ultimate sacrifice, “the Giving,” when they’ll all allow themselves to be Purged. Penelope wants to be next on the list, except a girl she knows is taken instead. Maybe next time, honey.
Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 2.39.38 AMJane (Amanda Warren) has paid her assassin and gone back upstairs. She thinks of David Ryker (William Baldwin), the firm’s CEO, when she was gunning for a job. However, David had his eye on more than her legal talents. This became more clear as time wore on. Wonder what he’s getting up to on Purge Night?!
During the party, Lila finally chats with Jenna. Things are awkward, following their hot and heavy encounter. Something bad or strange happened, no doubt, and we’ve not yet seen everything between these women. Jenna’s clearly only in that bourgeois world for her own ends. No telling how much of herself she’ll give up to do what she wants to do. Same goes for her husband.
We find Miguel in another sketchy situation after running into a gang of armed men. They pull him from his car and bring him to “the Gauntlet“— a bit of Purge Night fun. He’s forced to play, or else be murdered, becoming a reluctant contestant in a sick game show run by Otis (Lance E. Nichols), which gets broadcast live on TV.
This sends Miguel running as bullets are fired and explosions are set off. Other contestants fall dead in his path. Miguel’s besieged by men with crossbows and machetes. His only choice is run, hide, and survive. He rushes into a nearby house fitted with booby traps, putting all his Marine skills to a harrowing test. He makes it past a man with an axe and another with a machete, only to move inside tougher territory. Back on the street, Miguel goes toe-to-toe with more maniacs. Nevertheless, he’s able to cross the finish line. He uses the TV cameras to call out to Penelope. After that he’s off again, having survived more of Purge Night’s horror.
More Jane flashbacks, as she recalls a Christmas party when David was making her stay behind at the office to do last minute work. In current day, she keeps watching her phone, getting updates from the assassin. I’m curious if she’s sending them to kill David, or if it’s other competition at the office. She talks to a co-worker who mentions you don’t even “have to leave your home to Purge” these days. This hits close to home for Jane, uneasy about talk of a “Purge list” and similar things. She pretends it’s of no interest when clearly she’s got secrets.
Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 2.51.04 AMMiguel gets to Pete’s Cantina. He’s checked on the way inside. People generally take it easy there while Purge Night rages outside. Miguel’s told there are rules and everybody follows them. He’s soon introduced to Pete (Dominic Fumusa), but the guy doesn’t have any time for him.
At the party, Jenna and Lila talk alone together, the former barely able to stomach being there and making a sick celebration of Purge Night. The two women have an intimate connection, though Jenna denies it. Lila kisses her and she doesn’t refuse. There’s so much more here we’re going to see unravel.
In his truck, Joe patrols the streets. When he finds vulnerable houses being infiltrated, he takes it upon himself and “the mighty swing” of his weapon to dish out a little justice. At least it seems that way. Lots more of him coming, too.
Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.13.52 AMA solid follow-up, yet I’m curious about things outside Purge Night. I thought the series was going to touch on the other 364 days of the year, so it’ll be interesting to see where the remaining eight episodes head. Definitely keeping me intrigued. Loved the funhouse-like horrorshow Miguel had to wade through, that was a killer sequence!
“The Urge to Purge” is next time.

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Father Gore is first and foremost a passionate lover of film— especially horror. He's also a Master's student at Memorial University of Newfoundland with a concentration in postmodern critical theory, currently writing a thesis which will be his debut novel of literary fiction, titled Silence. He also used to write for Film Inquiry frequently during 2016-17 and is currently contributing to Scriptophobic in a column called Serial Killer Celluloid focusing on film adaptations about real life murderers. As of September 2018, Father Gore is an official member of the Online Film Critics Society. Get in contact (u39cjhn@mun.ca) if you want to chat movies or collaborate!

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