USA’s The Purge
Season 2, Episode 7: “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
Directed by Darren Grant
Written by Nick Zigler
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Happy Holidays” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Before the Sirens” – click here
We have a look The Merrymakers Mask Co. They’re the ones who make all those cool neon-lighted, glow-in-the-dark masks, and all kinds of other designs to wear for going out to kill on Purge Night. They want to make a push for LGBTQ marketing with a cutesy rainbow-coloured mask, and they’ll give proceeds over to a charity, all towards the appearance of giving a shit. One guy suggests building a mask based on the Campus Killer, the God mask. Funny to hear them distinguish between “Purge masks” and “murder masks.”
116 days left until the Purge.
Esme and Ryan are sneaking beneath the watch of the NFFA’s surveillance. She’s rerouting her signal to keep herself relatively invisible. They’re still a relatively fresh pair together, so Ryan wonders why she’d come to him. Esme thinks he has honour, which we know he does, though he plays humble. She only uses her NFFA access briefly, enough to keep the all-seeing eye away for a short amount of time. Then they’re back on the road. Now Ryan has the identities of the thieving gang the Jackals.
Things are very awkward with Kelen and Ben. She’s trying to get away from him, after discovering the eerie things he’s been trying to hide. She can’t manage to do that, and they’ll be on the road back to school together for a long ride. Speaking of awkward, Marcus is dealing with the aftermath of everything he’s discovered. He’s keeping a close watch on the neighbours, especially. He walks in on a party of people and demands to know what he did to make them want to Purge him. A guy named Clint claims Marcus killed his wife. She came into the ER one night. Dr. Marcus couldn’t save her. For that, supposedly he’s meant to die. They want him to leave, then they might “take the hit off” his head. If not, Clint vows to kill Marcus himself.
On the road together, Esme and Ryan have to take a detour. His mom’s wandered off from the home where she lives. Elsewhere on the road, Ben comes clean to Kelen about what has been happening with him. He tells her about the strawberry stand. He thinks her reactions mean they’re becoming closer and that she cares deeply about him. More than likely she’s playing along, considering she’s stuck in the car with him, no place else to go. Not to mention, he has a knife. Although he gives it to her so she feels “completely safe.” Oh, man. So fucked up.
At a gas station, Kelen tries to get out from under Ben’s thumb. He takes her phone when she goes to the bathroom, so she leaves a note about the Campus Killer kidnapping her. She’s about to make a run for it back at the car when Ben’s ready to get driving again.
Ryan catches up with his mother, who was found by a couple cops. They want to see his ID, so he gives them a real one. They use their high-tech surveillance gear to check him out. They see he was previously a cop himself. He’s more worried about them walking back to the vehicle. Thankfully, Esme’s hiding. For the moment, she’s left on foot. She has her blond wig, but her face is recognisable. She sees a flyer that ends up connecting her with Vivian, who’s intent on helping her friend under the nose of their boss, even if also reluctant to trust anybody in particular. Later, she makes it back to Ryan’s hideout, revealing she feels guilt for many reasons, one of which is she’s the reason Tommy got nailed for his off-Purge crime. For that, Ryan wants her out.
All of a sudden the road trip for Kelen looks to be getting sinister. Ben found the note she left at the gas station washroom. He questions why she’d do it. She’s terrified. He orders her to pick up the knife: “I want you to cut me.” He believes the only thing holding people back from violence is “guilt and fear.” He nearly gets off trying to make her cut him, then she fully stabs him in the leg, running away. She rushes straight into the road, getting run down by a truck. Ben watches her struggle for life and puts her out of her misery, choking her to death.
Marcus, Michelle, and Darren are all going to get out town together. They pass through a checkpoint, giving over their IDs. Unfortunately, Darren isn’t allowed “across state lines.” He has to tell his father he’s in trouble with the government. He doesn’t want to involve his father, but Marcus won’t abandon him, either. They go back home, and the neighbourhood’s watching, especially Clint. A tough situation for Marcus.
While Esme leaves Ryan’s place she assures she’s going to blow up everything the NFFA is doing. This makes him rethink everything. With that, we skip right up until there remains only 2 days before Purge Night. There are many, many things about to occur. Ben’s ready for a government-sanctioned murder spree, probably. He’s thrilled to see the God mask in stores, making him feel more godlike than ever. Marcus and Michelle are left to wonder if he’s going to get murdered, which is why he’s 100% ready and armed. Meanwhile, Esme’s gearing up to take the system down. She and Ryan have gotten intimate in the many weeks since we last saw them.
Soundtrack: “Monster (Under My Bed)” by Call Me Karizma plays in this last scene
“We’re gonna make a killing”
One of Father Gore’s favourite episodes this season.
Tense as hell, thrilling, disturbing, and more!
“Before the Sirens” is next.