USA’s The Purge
Episode 3: “The Urge to Purge”
Directed by David Von Ancken
Written by Mick Betancourt
* For a recap & review of Episode 2, “Take What’s Yours” – click here
* For a recap & review of Episode 4, “Release the Beast” – click here
We find Jenna (Hannah Anderson) and Lila (Lili Simmons) embracing one another, though the former’s not as keen on it. Lila clearly has a thing for her. She then finds out Jenna’s pregnant, which puts a damper on the whole erotic moment they were getting into together. Jenna doesn’t tell Rick (Colin Woodell) about her quick smooch, assuring him things are going well.
On the crazy blue bus, Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) preaches to her cult. She asks Penelope (Jessica Garza) to help spread inspiration to the others. Although it’s clear the young woman has her doubts, she does what she’s told. She tells others their “gift” is to give their lives so “others can heal.” They’re all convinced by giving themselves over willing it’ll save others from those who choose to Purge. We see a flashback to Penelope and her brother Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria) as kids, a happy family before the Purge took their parents brutally. Afterwards, Tavis tells Penelope she’s next to give her life.
At the office, Jane (Amanda Warren) and her co-workers have closed the big deal, meaning they’ll all get bonuses. Everybody’s celebrating. Except Jane’s got her mind on other things, worried about how her Purge Night assassin is doing out there in the mad streets.
Across the city Miguel’s talking with Pete the Cop (Dominic Fumusa) trying to get some help in his journey. Not easy, seeing as how this cop’s a real prick. When Pete hears this is the guy who beat the Gauntlet with “thousand–to–one odds,” he’s more inclined to offer an olive branch because of the car involved. Miguel gets to take a look at the cop’s surveillance, giving him a glimpse of the blue bus. Pete warns the cult “only delivers death” and lets his new pal in on the route the bus travels every year.
Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond) calls Rick into his office at the party so they can have a private chat. The younger man sits with the New Founding Father, who’s not happy to talk with only the husband, asking for Jenna to be part of the meeting, as well. The couple’s all about social mobility, prepared to do whatever’s necessary to secure the future they want in the bourgeois class. The three get talking about a “$75–million investment,” even if the money’s dripping in blood and the couple have to give over a decent share of their company. A deal with the devil. To seal it, they must Purge. Stanton lets them refuse then shoots a man in the head in front of them. In the aftermath, Jenna doesn’t want to take the man’s money anymore beginning a divide between the couple.
At the office, David Ryker (William Baldwin) calls to chew Jane out about not hearing a final word on the deal. He’s interrupted when the doorbell rings, and we can see more and more Jane’s definitely sent that assassin to see her boss. This isn’t his time to die, it seems, though Father Gore would bet money his moment’s coming. I also wonder if Jane’s co-worker is suspicious of her.
On the street, Miguel gets picked up by a couple guys sent by Pete. They’re “documenting the Purge” in hopes the media can prevent the same thing happening in America from happening in other countries. We discover “O.M.F.” means “Original Martyr Family“— families who were in New York during the initial Purge, when Miguel’s parents were murdered, lured in by the pretence of getting paid to stay inside while it was a way to ensure they’d be home to get murdered. This conversation’s an enlightening one, too. We get a great line about white Europeans, as seen below.
“Have you ever heard of the Congo? The Atlantic Slave Trade? Europeans invented the Purge.”
Turns out Jane’s co-worker Alison (Jessica Miesel) wasn’t suspicious at all. She was looking to do a Purge of her own. She lures another colleague into the offices alone, where Jane finds her stabbing him repeatedly. Looks like Jane isn’t the only one trying to get ahead in the murderous world of corporations.
Penelope’s prepared to walk off the bus and be part of the Giving. Waiting for an offering are a bunch of neon-lighted killer nuns with crazy teeth that may or may not be scavenged from people they’ve murdered. Before Penelope walks out into the street she remembers the Purge in New York and how their apartment was attacked by people releasing the beast. It sounds more like the military/government doing a sweep than random Purgers, which would be painfully ironic, what with Miguel later becoming a Marine.
Then, People goes out to meet the nuns. They take her to their camper, then they’re off to do whatever their sick minds have conjured up. The camper stops down the road where Miguel asks about the bus. They send him away in the direction of the cult, and he’s unaware his sister was right there. Miguel stops the blue bus on the next road, demanding to see his sister. Of course he can’t find her. Tavis tells him the nuns took her, so he’s got yet another search to begin.
We go back to the masked man Joe (Lee Tergesen), who’s inside a house being attacked by Purgers. A woman’s terrorised by several masked men. Joe starts blowing them away and offers the woman help. He’s sort of an unofficial neighbourhood watch on Purge Night looking out for those who can’t protect themselves for one reason or another. There’s definitely a dark story behind his motivations. He’s similar to the Frank Grillo character in the second film, and I’m excited for more of Tergesen, a fantastic actor.
This is the best episode of The Purge so far, really driving the intensity and the character development forward. “Release the Beast” is next time.