F&S Deep Dive – THE PURGE Ep. 4 “Release the Beast”

thepurge_castinfo_joe_desktop_2880x900Episode Four “Release the Beast”
Written by Krytal Houghton Ziv
Directed by Clark Johnson

[All  images courtesy Patti Perret/USA Network]

For a full recap of episodes of The Purge on USA (and all the other cool recaps he’s got there), check out Father Son Holy Gore!

Now, on to the All American Carnage of The Purge – Episode Four, “Release the Beast”!

Plot Threads

*Miguel (Gabriel Chavarra) & Penelope Guerrero (Jessica Garza) – Miguel spends most of this episode finding out where the Neon Nuns took his sister, begging Pete the Cop for a ride, then riding shotgun with the affable-with-an-undertone-of-sleazy “Cowboy” Rex (Christopher Berry) to an indoor Purge Night theme park called Bygones. Along with some homespun “live your dreams” advice, Rex is delivering  supplying Purge Night victims to Bygones, because actually “living your dreams” does not come cheap.
Miguel does not arrive in time to prevent his sister’s purchase by Henry, the oft-mentioned by never before seen lowlife who checked Penelope out of rehab.

The Purge - Season 1
Jane, walking down the middle of the street on Purge Night? Really?

* Jenna (Hannah Anderson) & Rick Betancourt (Colin Woodell) – Rick & Jenna get the backstory this episode. Which consist of  Morning After flashbacks of their three-way with Lila, Lila and Jenna’s continuing relationship, and Rick’s discovery of said adulterous relationship.  In the present, Lila continues to flatter/sympathize with Jenna and antagonize Rick. Jenna rebuffs Lila’s plea to make their own family with the baby, only to see Rick joining Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond) for “festivities” at the episode’s end. 

Since the celebrations feature razor sharp golden daggers, some blood will be shed. Will Jenna heed Catalina (Paulina Galvez) and flee, or try to rescue her husband?

The Purge - Season 1
Dear Purge – Please stop telling me Lila is dangerous and unstable, and start showing it.

*Jane Barbour (Amanda Warren) – Poor Mark (Adam Stephenson) lies dead on the floor in a pool of his own blood as Jane flips out, berating a shell-shocked Alison (Jessica Miesel). Alison, stunned by her own actions, realizes “I don’t feel better, I feel worse” and reminds Jane she’s not one to be so high and mighty; Alison saw Jane’s Purge Night plans on her laptop and knows who’s on Jane’s Purge List.

Jane can’t connect with Braka to cancel her “order”. Fleeing into the city streets, she’s set upon by a Purge Night celebrant (James Ricker II) who is a really big fan of the 1961 hit “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”. He assaults and attempts to drug her, only to be foiled by a gang of well armed and determined women calling themselves the Matron Saints. They take Jane into their deluxe RV, providing her asafer ride to save her jerk boss from getting murdered than WALKING DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET ON HER OWN.

*Joe the Sandwich Guy (Lee Tergesen) – He has  the least screen time this week, but is put through the wringer nonetheless. He arrives at a barricaded grocery store. But he’s too late to save a man and woman who lie dead of multiple gunshot wounds. He screams with rage, and we finally see his face as he weeps.

The Purge - Season 1
The Night DOES Have 1,000 Eyes – all on this guy’s face.

Notes on “Release the Beast”

* Dear Purge Writers – We keep hearing that Lila isn’t stable, but so far all we haven’t seen it. Being a willful, spoiled manipulator may be unpleasant, but doesn’t make me think Lila is dangerous. I hope the next few episodes actually show us some of the instability we’ve only heard about so far.

*I thought the series would spend a few episodes on the Purge Night, then move on to a post-Purge story. Instead, we’re seeing the pre-Purge night existences of our characters. What led them to this Purge Night, not what follows afterwards.

*Episode Four & we’re four hours into this “annual blood holiday”.

The Purge - Season 1
I don’t think Penelope is going to enjoy any Cheese Fries at Bygones tonight.

*I may have figured out the identity of the third female mask at the Stanton party (after Lizzie Borden and Susan Atkins). 16th Century One Percenter   Elizabeth Bathory, the infamous “Blood Countess,” followed a beauty regimen of bathing in the blood of roughly 650 of  her servants and serfs. Eventually her behavior became such a scandal, and she ended her days locked up by her fellow Hungarian nobility.

*The portrait commonly identified as Elizabeth, and used as a mask here, may actually be that of Italian Renaissance noblewoman Lucrezia Panciatichi.

*Those wickedly sharp golden daggers on parade for the “festivities” at the Stanton party reminded me of “Hotel California”, the 1977 signature hit from The Eagles. A look at the lyrics supports a view that Don Henley, that the song was about “the excesses of American culture.” Jane is warned by Catalina to leave the Stanton house; for her it  may be a case of, “You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave.” Rick did tell her last week, “this is the world we’re living in.”

The Purge - Season 1
At least Jane’s wearing practical shoes to STROLL DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET!

*Purge Product Placement(s) of the Week – Shasta brand soda in the vandalized grocery store and Verizon, former employer of Rex the Collector.

*Bygones, the Carnival of Flesh, ties in to the themes of celebration occurring before the beginning of the Christian observance of the Lenten season.

*Some of the historical reenactments at Bygones include –

*Execution by Firing Squad

*Decapitation a la Guillotine, made infamous by the French Revolution

*Tormenting an innocent victim in a Witch Trial of the Salem, Massachusetts                  variety

*Celebrating the Fall of Saigon during the Vietnam War (no My Lai Massacre?)

*Medieval history buffs can torture their victim on a Catherine Wheel from the     Spanish Inquisition.

*Or you can just enjoy some Italian or Polish sausage, Cheese Fries, and Pretzels!

*Is there an “Official Handtruck Provider” for the New Founding Fathers of America? The Purge: Anarchy (2014) also used this warehouse staple to transport Purge Night sacrifices from Point A to Point B.

The Purge - Season 1
Gee, Lila looks pretty stable, why does the show keep warning me she’s not?

*Jane’s attacker may be a big fan of either the 1948 Film Noir or 1962 Bobby Vee pop hit, both entitled The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.

*Jane’s attacker used “a sedative” but not (apparently), the notorious rohypnol.

* While there are female patron saints, the Catholic Church doesn’t refer to them as “Matron Saints”.

*St. Mary Magelene is the patron saint of women, but not (officially at least) of female vigilantes.

*Madelyn’s list of crime statistics are based in real world numbers regarding violence towards women, and in the value (or lack thereof) placed on female lives around the world.

Next week,  we’ll find out who will”Rise Up” in Episode Five.

The Purge airs Tuesdays on USA at 10/9c.

More official images, information, and other goodies can be found here.

For more of my deep dives into Bates Motel, The Exorcist, and Channel Zero, check here at F&S and at SciFi4Me.com.

Until then citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”

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