USA’s The Purge
Season 2, Episode 3: “Blindspots”
Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr
Written by Jeremy Robbins
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Everything is Fine” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Grief Box” – click here
Tommy’s taken to a court. No jury, only the lawyers and the judge. The prosecution show “NFFA verified” CCTV footage of Tommy coming out of the bank with the money barely a second after Purge Night was over. Tommy tries to plead his case. Doesn’t matter. He’s found guilty of a “Level R” crime and sentenced to death on the next Purge Night.
8 years prior. Ryan and Tommy were cops, dealing with potential “open season” on officers during the annual Purge. The boss advised them all to stay at home. She knew Ryan, Tommy, Doug, and Sara were going out there to take care of business.
In current day, Esme’s seeking a face on surveillance— it’s Ryan, cleverly hiding himself. She’s also calling Darren. She gets back to looking through surveillance with Vivian, and they see Ryan’s truck following an armoured bank vehicle. This gets Esme thinking, then they’re tracking the truck all over the city.
Marcus is having an investigator look into people in his neighbourhood, along with a malpractice suit in which he was involved. Then the investigator asks about his wife and whether she’s “hiding something.” That’d be fucked up if his wife were trying to have him killed.
Poor Ben’s having a tough time coping. He hasn’t told anybody what he went through, and the PTSD makes everything more difficult. He can’t have sex with his girlfriend without thinking of the violence he was forced to commit to prevent being raped and killed. He smokes a bowl to calm down. That won’t take away the flashbacks.
So he goes out to a farm, pays money, and gets to slaughter an animal.
Although he can’t do it. “Not everybody has the stomach for it,” the owner tells him. We hear Ben’s listening to the same stuff we heard in Season 1 that Joe was listening to, as the voice of Bobby Sheridan pours through his car speakers. He winds up at a strawberry stand and gets into a heated argument with the owner, stabbing the guy in a fit of rage. He turns into a rabid animal, smashing the guy’s head in with a rock.
At home, Marcus is looking through Michelle’s phone. Only briefly, before she walks into the room. He might be letting paranoia get to him. Or, he may actually be on the right track. While she’s out of the house, he tracks her phone.
Speaking of tracking, Esme’s keeping watch on Ryan, who’s in a bar. He remembers that night 8 years ago. He got ambushed by a couple people participating in the Purge, then they were dealing with snipers and armed guards. Turns out his boss was working with the dealer they were trying to take down. They walked away. Ryan also walked away from the job. His boss made it her mission to make sure he’d never get work again as a cop. His colleagues followed him. Today, Ryan has Sara and Doug meet him at the bar to talk about one big score, after tracking down where the bank money’s transported.
Marcus goes looking at a place where he sees Michelle headed. He finds out Michelle is going to an anonymous group where she talks about what happened when she and her husband nearly got murdered on Purge Night— people there share their various “Purge traumas,” another instance of the industry created to accommodate this horrific holiday. Seems to put Marcus at ease, believing he was foolish to have doubted his wife.
Father Gore predicted Prof. Adams had those brain scans and recordings because she might’ve been involved with the pre-Purge programs. When Esme brings the info to Darren, it looks more likely Adams was, in fact, trying to help cure people of violent tendencies. Father Gore now wonders if, perhaps, the government found out what she was doing and had her killed— because solving violence, literally curing it in people, would then undo Purge Night and all the other ways the ruling class keeps people in the lower classes subdued. The plot thickens!
Ben comes clean to his girlfriend, partly, about what happened during Purge Night. She asks if it was necessary, and he says it was, so she reassures him he’s a “good person.” Of course he just murdered a man in cold blood, for no other reason than he thought he gave the dude a $20-bill and didn’t get the correct change. Ben’s letting his Purge trauma overcome turn him into something monstrous. When his girlfriend asks if he had strawberries, after they start getting intimate, it sends a chill down the spine.
Ryan confronts Esme. He tells her he’s a “law–abiding citizen.” She doesn’t hide being part of the government. He’s not inclined to play games, considering his friend is going to die because of her work. A tense confrontation. There’ll surely be a little cat-and-mouse throughout the rest of this season potentially.
Elsewhere, Marcus is jogging when a vehicle drives by and swerves to try hitting him. The guy drives off too quick for him to see who it was, but obviously the contract from Purge Night is now extending throughout the entire year. Uh oh.
Interesting to see people release the beast year round.
And also the lingering effects of the Purge, how it psychologically changes people.
“Grief Box” is next time.