USA’s The Purge
Episode 7: “Lovely Dark and Deep”
Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr
Written by Mick Betancourt & Krystal Houghton Ziv
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Forgotten” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Giving Time is Here” – click here
The title of this episode comes from the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost and the lines, and fittingly it’s all about death:
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
At their door, Rick (Colin Woodell) and Jenna (Hannah Emily Anderson) see Lila (Lili Simmons) begging to be let inside. A masked man is on the woman’s tail, and she barely makes it through the security gate inside the house. The masked man’s able to slip inside undetected before the gate closes. Oh, shit.
Across the city, Jane (Amanda Warren) is being strung up in one of those misogynistic display cases in her boss David’s (William Baldwin) basement. We jump back to Jane in high school, where she was exceeding expectations and called “exceptional.” Sadly, this was the beginning of being passed over for others— particularly men. It was also where her mother ingrained her with some internalised misogyny, teaching her to settle for the role of woman in a man’s world: “You‘ve gotta play their game.” In current day, she has to listen to David talk about “celebrating women” through his sick art gallery.
At the Carnival of Flesh, Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria) and Penelope (Jessica Garza) are finally about to get themselves out of that twisted arena, sneaking into the streets, which are really no less dangerous. From there, they head for the woods.
We see more of Jane’s past, as she modelled onstage in a little bikini. Her mother was behind the stage, cheering her on. It’s clear Jane wasn’t happy, not enjoying being out there flaunting her body to strangers. She didn’t want to be part of a pageant world. Mom was pushing her for the sake of scholarships. And today, June’s stuck in a terrifying pageant, again not by choice. Her co-worker Anya (Alyshia Ochse) is there as a guest, playing her part in the game like Jane’s mother did those many years ago. Will the captive woman be able to convince her work friend to call the Matron Saints? Can she find rescue?
In the woods, Miguel and Penelope argue. She wanted to give herself over to Purge Night, to reunite herself with their parents. Her brother cares only about her and nothing else, not wanting to see her suffer a fate like the one their mother and father were forced to suffer during that initial Purge on Staten Island. The siblings continue working together, so as not to end up like others being murdered in the night.
Lila’s having trouble with what happened at her house, knowing what Catalina and the others were planning and feeling betrayed. She tried hiding while chaos broke out at the mansion, then ran when she was able to get free. Lila gets in the shower after recounting her escape. And none of them realise the masked man is inside the house with them.
Flashback. Jane’s whole life was dictated by mom, who kept trying to, essentially, pimp her out to get the men in the business world to accept her. In a sense, mom understood how the world works, but Jane was never going to settle for a world that didn’t work for her, or for women. This all goes to show how desperate Jane feels, having ended up in David’s creepy gallery as an exhibit for a room full of rapists. David gropes her, telling a story of hitting a deer in the road and how its “eyes filled with fear” like hers while she hangs there in that display case.
“The world’s not going to change just because you want it to”
Out of nowhere, David’s mansion goes dark. Has Joe (Lee Tergesen) arrived? Yes he has, and he’s firing off his shotgun at anybody who moves. He’s got his eye on Jane. There’s more to this, so it’ll be interesting to see how they’re connected, or why he ended up there with the intention of getting her— remember, she popped up on his neighbourhood monitor last episode.
Rick and Jenna put Lila to bed. Then the husband tells his wife something seems strange. He finds a hole in Lila’s story, wondering why she might lie. Jenna thinks it’s just trauma confusing her. Could the masked man be part of a plan? Doesn’t matter, because he’s in the house. But it’s not the masked man, it’s actually their neighbour Ross pissed off about neighbourly disrespect. He’s got a gun to Rick’s chest, calling the couple “yuppie assholes” and raging over them moving in. Before anything bad happens, Lila stabs Ross in the back of the neck, leaving the three of them to dispose of a corpse.
In the woods, Penelope gets caught a rope trap, suspending her above the forest floor. Miguel won’t leave her, though she tells him to go. Someone is out there hunting them. Miguel manages to get his sister out. This begins a gunfight between whoever’s hunting and the protective Marine.
Joe saves Jane, who in turn saves the other women in her boss’s warped showroom. Before they leave, Jane releases the beast on David, Purging him herself with a shot to the head. Why pay someone else to do it when you can do it yourself? As Jane and Joe leave in his truck, they pass the Matron Saints, who’ll surely be cleaning house.
For the rest of the night, Rick, Jenna, and Lila try relaxing. It’s a weird trio, but they’re getting through it together. Rick’s not totally sure of everything, he’s keeping a sceptical eye on Lila, especially around his wife. On TV, the Purge coverage rages, as people continuing killing, raping, and torturing others in mass numbers.
Another great episode. Really loved the backstory for Jane, she’s been a great character, and seeing Joe keep on kicking ass is exciting. Can’t wait for more. It’s going to be compelling to watch how things come to a close, given this is meant to be a limited series of 10 episodes. “Giving Time is Here” comes next week.