Season Two, Episode Six “Happy Holidays”
Written by Nina Fiore & John Herrera
Directed by Jen McGowan
[All images courtesy Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network]
Now, we continue the NFFA sanctioned All-American Carnage with The Purge Season Two, Episode Six, “Happy Holidays”!
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Plot Threads of the Dammed
*Ben (Joel Allen) continues developing his sociopath skills; he dupes the cops investigating Andy’s brutal stabbing with a sob story that apparently trumps any physical evidence or lack of corroborating witness. Then Ben whisks Kelen (Danika Yarosch) off to spend Winter Break at home in update Louisiana. Also with his bloody clothes and his trusty God mask.
*Marcus (Derek Luke) dupes Sam Tucker (Jay Ali) into coming over to talk things over. Sam brings his wife, April (Rachel G. Whittle) along, Marcus brings his Colt’s Manufacturing Series 70 Competition handgun out of the gun cabinet, and Michelle provides a lovely spread of Camembert and wine.
*Esme’s (Paola Nuñez) storyline crashes into the ongoing heist planning of the Ryan Grant (Max Martini) Robbery Crew. Not that Esme has much a choice: her unsanctioned murder investigations earn her status as a fugitive, hunted down the street of New Orleans by the NFFA Security State in real-time.
* The cold open features more worldbuilding! The title card for “The Bobby Sheridan Show” appears on the screen. As an American eagle spreads its wings, an American Flag flows in the wind, accompanied by an electrified, Jimi Hendrix-esque version of “America the Beautiful”.
*A nice bit of detail. At the bottom of the Bobby Sheridan title card, we see “NFFA Approved” in small but noticeable letters.
*“Fear is the first step on the long road to respect.” Bobby Sheridan (Dermot Mulroney) puts an NFFA spin on Machiavelli’s famous quote from his 1532 masterpiece of political philosophy, The Prince (“It is better to be feared than loved if you cannot be both.”)
*For all his love of the Purge, Bobby Sheridan sees the masked Campus Killer as a coward.
*Turns out the Anti-Purge student (Hayden Guthrie) Ben stalked at end of Episode Four, “Grief Box“, was murdered off-screen.
*Frequent guest Lena Dash (Amye Goussett) “of the NFFA” thinks the murders are “overblown” and the CCTV footage of Ben wearing the God mask could be a hoax.
*Is journalist Sydney Rivera (Hannah Alline) an “America Unplugged News” correspondent, or “America Unplugged” news correspondent?
*Sydney perceptively asks, regarding the body of the dead grifterfarmer killed by Ben in Episode Three, “Blindspots“, “How does a corpse bury itself?” and these three off-Purge murders may be the product of NFFA policies.
*Bobby reads an ad for Insta-Glue, “the only glue FDA approved to treat gunshot wounds and stabbings. Insta-Glue, the glue that clots.”
*Sydney is already unnerved by Stacy’s offer to help Syd experience the Purge “up close and personal”. Finding out she now has 201 active death threats on “The Urge to Purge” doesn’t help. Stacy brags about her app total of 1,284715 active threats, it’s been “great for her brand.”
*Bobby Sheridan gets the line of the episode: “You’re nobody in America unless somebody wants to Purge you.”
Welcome to the Ryan Grant Robbery Crew, Esme Carmona!
*Since the end of last week’s episode, Esme’s apparently gone on the lam. She’s using an old-fashioned paper map of CCTV camera placement around Olivia Hughes’s apartment.
*Esme takes photos on the same angle as the dashcam in the NFFA Mail (no USPS?) van parked in front of Olivia’s building. She thinks their system may have some clues. Given how thoroughly the NFFA wiped the Surveillance Center footage, it seems unlikely they’d forget about other sources of footage.
*The NFFA uses Darren Moore (Denzel Whitaker ) to lure Esme into the open. Drawing her into an embrace, Darren shows Esme he’s wired. Darren hands her a wad of cash and silently forms the words “I’m sorry” as they exchange misleading small talk.
*Esme escapes tazing, but her boss (Connor Trenneer) at the Surveillance Center uses temporary “Priority Access” to tap into every cell phone in her vicinity and identify her location using facial recognition technology.
*Esme flees to the area of Ryan Grant’s garage. If she knows where it is, wouldn’t her boss? Esme and Vivian (Charlotte Schweiger) tracked Ryan Grant’s movements a couple episodes back; we didn’t see Esme or Vivian deleting that data.
*According to Ryan’s fake Louisiana driver’s license information, he is Graham Dixon, DOB 12-11-1969. LIC # LA3742398, Exp. Dt. 12-11-2036
*Christine Dunford’s corrupt Captain gets ana. Andrea Ziv, same as Ryan’s partner in the articles Esme researched a few episodes back (and same last name as series Producer Krystal Houghton Ziv).
Kelen Stewart Goes on Vacay with the Campus Killer!
*Young Cop (Nicoye Banks) and Old Cop (Mike Harkins) like to brag about their skills, but are they really so gullible as to believe Ben’s story? What about stuff like “fingerprints”, “analyzing the crime scene”, and “evidence”?
*Another Level Y offense in the NFFA’s America? Underage weed purchases. Ben may be a sociopath, but he sure doesn’t want to get expelled.
*At this point in the episode, it’s “117 Days to Purge Night”.
*Turner (Matt Shively) had to his “Molly” in the tongue of his shoe to get it off-campus.
*Ben again proves he is no criminal mastermind by taking the God mask with him and making the torn lining of his suitcase he hides the mask in very obvious to anyone who might look – like his suspicious girlfriend.
*Kelen might not feel “so lucky to be staying with you” when she figures things out.
*At Gardner home, older brother Logan (Joshua Mikel) verbally needles Ben, who verbally explodes, brandishing a knife at his brother as he almost screams, “I’d love to see what the Campus Killer would do to you!”. Ben and Logan’s mom (Shelley Calene-Black), does not seem surprised at their hostility towards each other.
*How good is the economy? If NFFA manipulates crime statistics, why not “cook the books” regarding the economy? Logan has an economics degree, yet his mother tries to boost his ego by noting “you had a great interview” for a loading dock job.
*That night, Ben sneaks out of the house to burn evidence in an improvised fire pit. Too bad he saves the God mask. Kelen, of course, lets curiosity get the better of her and in searching the suitcase, finds the ripped lining – and the bloody God mask.
*Kelen has her Sleeping With the Enemy moment as Ben settles in beside her and she stares into space, at the viewer.
* To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, “Give a man a mask, and he’ll show you his true face.”
Marcus and Michelle: Who Are the People In Our Neighborhood Who Want to Kill Me?
*There weren’t quite as many F-Bombs dropped this week, but Marcus did note that Sam must’ve considered Michelle a “volcanic f*ck” if she was worth Purging over.
*It looks to me like Marcus commits (at the least) off Purge, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Attempted Murder (slamming Sam’s face into the surface of the oven, lighting the gas), and with Michelle as an accomplice, False Imprisonment.
*After all that “persuasion”, Sam cancels his hit, but … that only reduces the bounty by $10,000.00 – to $65,000.00.
*Who put up the rest of the money? Sam turns back to Marcus and Michelle as he and April walk across the street, and spreading his arms wide, says “Look around you.”
*Suddely, Marcus and Michelle notice that their neighbor’s glances seem hostile, veiled with menace. Looks like the entire street chipped in to Purge Marcus.
The Purge Season Two, Episode Seven, “Should I Stay or Should I Go” airs Nov. 26 at 9/8c on USA.
Official USA network images, articles, and other Purge related goodies can be found here.
My deep dives into Bates Motel, The Exorcist, and Seasons 1 & 2 of Channel Zero reside at SciFi4Me; Fang and Saucer is home to my deep dives into Season One of The Purge TV, and Channel Zero Seasons 3 & 4.