Episode Two “Take What’s Yours”
Written by Thomas Kelly
Directed by Anthony Hemingway
[All images courtesy Patti Perret/USA Network. The Purge: Anarchy image courtesy The Purge Facebook page ]
After taking deep dives into Bates Motel, The Exorcist, and most recently Channel Zero (here at F&S and at SciFi4Me.com), I’m plunging into a weekly look at the symbolism, clues, and connective tissues of The Purge series on USA Network. The first chapter of this ten episode “TV event series” premieres September 4 on USA, with the first and last episodes simulcast on Syfy.
Now, on to the All American Carnage of Episode Two, “Take What’s Yours”.
*Miguel (Gabriel Chavarra) & Penelope Guerrero (Jessica Garza) – Miguel interrupts his search for his sister Penelope and the Blue Bus of Death to help a history teacher and insurance adjuster treat a gunshot victim at a minivan triage station. In return for his battlefield wound-finding expertise, the pair direct him to “Pete the Flop Cop”. If anyone knows about the Blue Bus of Death, it’s him. Enroute to Pete’s, Miguel is trapped into competing in “Otis’s Autorama Annual Gauntlet” (bad thing), but survives the Worst Escape Room Ever and wins a sweet muscle car (good thing). He hits the road again in search of Penny, finding Pete the Flop Cop (Dominic Fumusa), but no answers about the Blue Bus of Death.
On said BBoD, Penny tries and fails to calm her fellow cultist Melissa (Emmanuelle Nadeau) before Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) selects Melissa as the next “volunteer”. This sends the poor girl into total meltdown mode. Penny asks to take Sister Melissa’s place, but can only watch in horror as two masked mend drag her friend, begging for her life, into the darkness.
* Jenna (Hannah Anderson) & Rick Betancourt (Colin Woodell) – Both try and fail to avoid awkward small talk with Lila (Lili Simmons). In separate encounters, Lila presents a comforting (“My dad will take care of you.”) and seductive face to Jenna (initiating a make out session by the pool), and a veiled blackmail threat to Rick (“My dad doesn’t know anything about you.”). Plot threads begin to intertwine – Miguel’s winning Gauntlet run is broadcast on TV screens in the Stanton’s ballroom.
*Jane Barbour (Amanda Warren) – On the 38th floor of Ryker Moore Equity, Alison snoops in Jane’s office and sees something on Jane’s laptop that freaks her out. Later, she not so-subtly asks Jane who’s on her “Purge List”. Jane snoops in her boss’s office in-between flashbacks of David Ryker’s (Billy Baldwin) hiring her, harassing her, then passing Jane over for promotion in favor of Anya (Alyshia Ochse). She also recalls hiring Braka (AzMarie Livingston) for a Purge Night hit on somebody who is probably named David Ryker.
*Sandwich Guy (Lee Tergesen) – He may be credited as “Joe” (I think), but to me this masked man is now and always Sandwich Guy. Is he on a Purge Night to hurt or help? After preparing an all American white bread & bologna with French’s mustard sandwich, this masked man hits the streets. But en route to an address, he sees two men breaking into a house and stops. Is he going to prevent a crime, or participate in it? Is he going to kill someone, or save them?
Notes on “Take What’s Yours”
*Lila, slithering around the Purge Party in her green sequined dress, reminds me of a snake sliding through the grass. Green is the color of envy – does she covet control over the Stanton fortune?
*As the episode begins, the clock display is counting down from 11:54; looks like The Purge commenced five minutes earlier.
*Miguel’s commentary while he’s driving through the streets – and the audience watching the simulcast of his run through the Most Lethal Escape Room Ever – feel very “first person shooter-video gamey”, at least to me.
*At first I wondered if the mobile recue unit referring to Ray as a “Flop Cop” meant that he was, well, an actual cop. But this is a poker reference, not anything law enforcement related.
*The female member of the triage unit Miguel encounters says that they are protected on Purge Night because of “unwritten Purge law” and claims that human nature tends towards order. In the words of Henry Adams, “Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.”
*This week in Purge Product Placement – Alison uses an HP laptop.
*David Ryker reference to the “promise of America – opportunity for all” could be a tell that he buys into the idea of America as the “Land of Opportunity”. This concept is one of the founding ideals of America – although there’s debate as to it’s validity.
*This week at the Stanton party, Jenna tries a delectable NFFA-themed Parfait.
*Could Jenna be dealing with alcohol dependency issues (or possible expecting?) – she is sticking to seltzer water, and again mentions her upset stomach.
*Miguel’s winning run through Otis’s Autorama “Otis’s Annual Purge Night Gauntlet” (7th annual) clocked in at about five minutes – 5:06:02.
*Does Janes flashback occur before the NFFA comes to power? I can’t see how the America of the New Founding Fathers would consider saying “Merry Christmas” as a taboo. No more “War on Christmas” under their rule, I’m sure.
*I would be pleasantly surprised if Jane’s target wasn’t her boss David. The show could surprise us an make Janes target her rival Anya. But I’m probably wrong.
*Pete the Flop Cop must be a Marvel comics fan – the password to his lair is “Excelsior“.
*LOVED Braka telling Jane to “save it for your shrink” in response to Jane’s self-pitying justifications for her decision. I was getting irritated with Jane’s “woe is me” justification story just before Braka said that.
*Otis (Lance E. Nichols) has his Purge Night racket – what about Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) ? Does she pay for those periwinkle blue robes & lovely flowers with “donations” that pay for delivery of Purge Night victims?
Next week, Episode Three addresses the “The Urge to Purge”.
Until then citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”
The Purge airs Tuesdays on USA at 10/9c.
More official images, information, and other goodies can be found here.