USA’s The Purge
Episode 4: “Release the Beast”
Directed by Clark Johnson
Written by Krystal Houghton Ziv
* For a recap & review of Episode 3, “The Urge to Purge” – click here
* For a recap & review of Episode 5, “Rise Up” – click here
In the aftermath at the office, Jane (Amanda Warren) deals with her co-worker Alison (Jessica Miesel) who’s Purged poor unsuspecting Mark. The blood covered woman mumbles: “It‘s my right.” She was totally unprepared for the consequences of what she’s done. Meanwhile, Alison knows all about what Jane’s been up, she got a peek at her computer. And suddenly Jane might not be so thrilled about sending that assassin after her boss David (William Baldwin). She wants to cancel her “order” because it’s immoral after seeing the reality up close. If she can’t get through to the woman it’ll happen anyway. She tries calling David, too, but gets no answer.
At the party, Jenna (Hannah Emily Anderson) reels after seeing Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond) do a little Purging. She’s comforted by Lila (Lili Simmons). Jenna flashes back to a while ago, after her and Rick’s (Colin Woodell) first encounter with Lila. They set down ground rules— rules she’s now breaking herself. They saw themselves as a “more evolved” couple, getting past relationship trouble through a threesome. All that led to them, along with Lila, trying to make a deal with Mr. Stanton, so they could help people while siphoning cash from the New Founding Fathers of America. Problem is, Jenna and Lila get complicated after the threesome.
Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria) goes to see Pete the Cop about the nuns, finding out about where his sister Penelope’s (Jessica Garza) been taken. It’s a horrific place called the Carnival of Flesh, where you can indulge in the worst of the Purge, and you can Purge the way your ancestors might have— and if you’re white, they probably did. The Carnival of Flesh is a tent of madness. There are sections for medieval torture, one for the Salem Witch Trials, and every imaginable horror.
At the “McDonald‘s of Purge,” Penelope can only stand amongst the others in that cage until she’s brought out to be killed like the rest of the martyrs. She saves an old man from being trampled after a woman kills a couple people. The guy initially thinks she’s his granddaughter Katie and tries to help her but a guard puts a stop to it quick.
Gabriel gets a tip from Pete the Cop, turning him in the right direction. A cowboy in the bar apparently knows about the nuns. The Marine hears about the Carnival of Flesh from him. He’ll be shown the way, then he’s on his own to get in/out. The two men do a bit of bonding on the way, as the Cowboy talks about his former job at a call centre, which he quit after making money on Purge Night— not ethically, mind you. The Cowboy’s “a collector” for the Carnival.
Jane can’t get through to the assassin she’s hired. She takes it upon herself to grab a hammer and head into the streets. She runs into a crazy man who knocks her down and forces liquid drugs into her. Lucky for her, a bunch of bad ass women in an RV turn the corner, helping Jane in a desperate moment.
A bit more of a look at Rick and Jenna’s life sees him returning home after a business trip only to discover his wife and Lila together in bed, breaking those ground rules. Things were clearly getting awkward between the three of them. He felt betrayed by her. Jenna and Lila were already falling for one another, leaving Rick as a third wheel in their three-way relationship. At the party, Rick sees the two women coming back downstairs together, which only renders everything more bitter than before. He and Lila begin to get in each other’s faces. Not good, what with them in Stanton territory, and the couple’s falling further apart.
Natalie and the women in the RV – the Matron Saints protecting women against “the gendercide of Purge” – tell Jane a bit about what they do. They tell her statistics about women who are killed on Purge Night every single year, including all the sexual assaults and rapes that occur, and those which aren’t reported. The Matron Saints are a serious group, training four times each month all year for a single night. The terror of women on the streets during the Purge is a serious reality. Hell, it’s the reality already, let alone if this shit were real. The Matron Saints have a phone line, and soon they get a call for help.
At the Carnival of Flesh, the old man is selected as the next martyr, and then Penelope is brought out to be bid on, as well. Someone buys the girl for $2K, and it’s somebody who knows her. Oh, shit.
At the Stanton Purge party, the knives are being brought out— literally. The maid Catalina (Paulina Gálvez) goes to Jenna telling her she must leave. Things are going to get vicious. Rick is being ushered away by Stanton, and Jenna can’t seem to keep her eyes off Lila.
In the street, Joe (Lee Tergesen) is finding more people in trouble. He’s especially upset when he discovers a couple people shot dead in a store. “This was not supposed to happen,” he wails to himself. His story’s unfolding at such a good, gradual pace, it’s going to be so excellent to watch it unravel more.
“You know what the leading cause of death was among cavemen? Other cavemen.”
The Purge has turned out better than expected. Although Father Gore wonders how well things will conclude in this limited series. There are a bunch of episodes left, and things are getting intense. The pacing is good, so long as there’s lots of pay off in the end.
“Rise Up” is next time.