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Seasonn Two, Episode One “This Is Not a Test”
Written by Krystal Houghton Ziv
Directed by Tim Andrew
[All images courtesy Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network]
Visit Father Son Holy Gore for great recaps of The Purge TV, and follow for tons of in-depth TV/movie reviews!
We begin a second season of Officially Sanctioned, All-American Carnage with The Purge TV Season Two, Episode One, “This Is Not a Test”!
The Purge TV follows four storylines this season.
*Esme Carmona (Paola Nuñez), a “tagger” working the last two hours of her Purge Night at the New Orleans NFFA Surveillance Center.
*Ryan Grant (Max Martini) and his robbery crew pulling a heist at the “First Parish Bank”
*Emergency room doctor Marcus Moore (Derek Luke), hunkered down at home with his wife Michelle (Rochelle Aytes).
*Cooke University student Ben (Joel Allen), venturing out on Purge Night to take pictures at “Suicide Bride” on a frat house dare.
NFFA Surveillance Center Notes
Teaser of the Dammed
*After four movies and 10 television episodes, we finally get to match a face to the (in)famous Purge Announcer voice; veteran voice artist Cindy Robinson has been with the series since The Purge (2013).
*Very meta moment ( of the dramatic irony variety) as Megan innocently asks, “So what is this going to be, a movie or something?”
*TV watchers of a certain age remember well the solemn, golden tones of the Emergency Broadcast System announcements. Kids today don’t know what they’re missing!
*We see a map of New Orleans in the opening title sequence, as well as on-screen ID of Esme’s workplace the New Orleans NFFA Surveillance Center.
Esme’s Long Two-Hour Shift of the Soul
*Pre-shift, Esme and her co-workers relax in those icons of 1970’s design, Lee West Alpha Chamber Egg Pod Chairs. Seems weird that they’re facing away from the healthy lights in the center of the chairs. Wonder if they’re SAD -specific lights, or garden variety light therapy?
*Is that Star Trek: Enterprise veteran Conner Trinneer I spy as Esme’s supervisor?
*Series formally begins with 2:02:46 remaining on Purge Night.
*Even on Purge Night, some crime (like the Purger seen toting a bomb) prompts a question “How would you like to tag this?” as an Infraction, Misdemeanor,
Minor Felony, or Major Felony.
The real-world examples I found referred to its use in electronic monitoring of people already convicted of a crime, or alternately (at number 25 on Dictionary.com, “to accuse of a violation, especially of a traffic law; to hold answerable or accountable for something; attach blame to”.
*The Great Seal of the NFFA reads “Per virtutem pax”,which roughly translates as “By virtue, peace”. According to the seal, the NFFA was founded in 1984.
*It can also refer to “Peace Through Strength”, featured in Ronald Reagan’s 1983 State of the Union message. Interestingly, Reagan won a second term in 1984, the year the NFFA was founded. His campaign slogan – “Morning In America“.
*Vivian (Charlotte Schweiger) notes a Level 10 official in distress. In The Purge: Election Year (2016), the NFFA “revoke(s) the rule that level 10 government officials are untouchable during the Purge” specifically to target Presidential candidate Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) for assassination.
*Vicks Vapo Rub to mask unpleasant odors is familiar to fans of both crime investigation dramas and true crime documentaries.u
*Esme’s over-arching plot thread begins when she sees a Dr. Drew Adams, someone who “helped her out of a really dark place” outside her home. Adams shot by persons asking “Professor Adams, where’s the file? and referring to “File 64”.
*Hard-working, dedicated to the ostensible justification for Purge Night, Esme embodies a uniquely NFFA version of Hannah Arendt’s “Banality of Evil“. She condemns a man to summary execution, using the technology and authority of the state to decipher Tommy’s photo-finish half-step over a property line as the last notes of the Purge siren fade. She’s just following orders, after all.
*Is the Liquidation Protocol for a Major Felony (Armed Robbery) in place every other day of the year?
*One wonders how much the as-yet fictional NFFA Surveillance State resembles its most advanced real-life example in China, where, as reviewer JohnLancester notes, “the ultimate goal is to make people internalise their sense of the state: to make people self-censor, self-monitor, self-supervise.”
*The NFFA Surveillance State, or at least what we’ve seen through four movies and the television series, mixes the lethally absolutist absurdity of Brazil, the arbitrary absolutism of Stalin’s purges, the above-mentioned technical sophistication of China, and the Sons of Jacob in The Handmaid’s Tale and the Dominonism of The Family.
*Esme now has a quest for the next nine episodes; discover what happened to Professor Adams, who wanted her dead, and what the heck is in File 64.
The Ryan Grant Robbery Crew
*FINALLY, so good, old-fashioned, non-lethal criminal activity on Purge Night!
*Ryan’s crew is robbing the “1st Parish Bank”. A parish is the Louisiana equivalent of a county, so this is the Purge version of “1st County Bank”. Still a bit weird, since we’d expect to see a “1st National Bank” or “1st Federal Bank”.
*While Ryan’s second in command, Sara (Chelle Ramos) has a cool head, Tommy (Doug Vargas) takes an almost Joker-like glee in his job, and will pay the price for his impulsiveness and greed by episode’s end.
*The main vault seems to be stocked with singles, no Benjamins ($100.00 bills). Which makes sense; wouldn’t a bank prepare for Purge Night and move large bills to a safer location? For that matter, wouldn’t electronic bank robing make more sense? Cyber crime is just as legal on Purge Night as old-fashioned robbery.
*The human jackals in tonight’s episode are a bit more proactive than their four legged namesakes; jackals in the wild usually let other animals do the work of finding prey, then feast on the unwanted scraps.
*The “honor among thieves” code the Jackals violate may be just as fictional as they are.
*Ryan’s post-Purge storyline – is it connected to Tommy’s? Will Tommy survive the Liquidation Protocol?
Marcus and Michelle: Purge Night and Chill
*Marcus (Derek Luke) and his (fiancée? wife?) Michelle (Rochelle Aytes) fall victim to a classic crime harkening back to the first Purge movie – a home invasion.
*Their security system (from Sandin Security?) unlocks itself at 5:43 in the morning.
*Michelle – hiding in the closet from a masked killer whose seemingly dead corpse later vanishes – calls back to Laurie Strode’s fight against the Bogeyman Michael Meyers in at the finale of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978).
*Marcus pleading for help at his neighbor’s house reminded me of the first appearance of the Bloody Stranger (Edwin Hodge) in The Purge (2013).
*Marcus refers to Darin and Tonya (reference to his previous family?) in “another zip code” and their experiences during Purge Night.
*Marcus’s post-Purge storyline: find out who wanted him and Michelle dead. He has a clue in the scar seen on the assailant’s hand – and the man’s phone.
Ben and the Very Bad, No Good, Rotten Purge Night
*Ben and Turner (Matt Shively) leave their fraternity house (looks like Alpha Tau Gamma) to visit “Suicide Bridge”, which people hang themselves from instead of jumping.
*According to Greater New Orleans, Inc., “there are currently eight private colleges and universities, three public institutions, and two seminaries that serve the Greater New Orleans region.” “Cooke University” is not one of them.
*I thought I spied a woman in a blue robe hanging from the bridge – a member of the cult from Season One?
*Ben’s impulse towards compassion gets him caught in a snare trap.
*The “God Mask” worn by Ghoul Face (Lakeith Stansfield) in The Purge: Anarchy (2014) returns. Ironic that that characters saw himself as merely a procurer, while this mask wearer is much more violent.
*According to the CDC, “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape and 1 in 14 men was made to penetrate someone (completed or attempted) during his lifetime.”
*Ben’s reaction, his revenge on the wearer of the God Mask, killing him deader than dead, will define his journey for the rest of this season. Will it lead him into a downward spiral, an embrace of The Purge?
Next episode, we’ll find out if “Everything Is Fine” for Esme, Ryan, Marcus and Ben. It airs October 22 at 9/8c on USA.
Until next week citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”
Official USA netork 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.
The Purge TV
Season Two begins Tuesday, October 15, 8/9c
[All images courtesy Astrid Stawiarz/USA Network]
Back in August, I looked at the teaser for The Purge TV Season Two, hunting for clues and hints regarding the new season of the dystopian horror franchise. I made some educated guesses and advanced my hopes for what Season Two might bring.
“It’ll be interesting if Season Two both follows and reinterprets last season’s format. Season One flashed back to the choices made by characters leading up to Purge Night. I’d love to see this season mix it up a bit, mixing Purge Night events with flashforwards, showing this season’s characters dealing with the consequences in the following days, months after the Purge.”
It looks like some of my wishes are coming true in The Purge Universe in this new season, premiering Tuesday, October 15 9/8C on USA Network.
Instead of flashforwards, Season Two begins in the final hours of Purge Night, and as I hoped, follows our new cast of characters from the day after the Purge through the rest of the year. The standard Purge formula – follow a group of disparate characters through one Purge Night – is undoubtedly thrilling, involving, and hooks me in every time. But it’s wonderful to see the creative Powers That Be shake things up a bit.
At the New York Comic-Con, the cast, writers, and creator James DeMonaco gathered for a screening and panel discussion. According to DeMonaco and series writers and Executive Producers Krystal Houghton Ziv and James Roland, Season Two will include some interesting tweaks on the franchise formula.
*World Building. The framework of the original Purge movie was simple (a home invasion thriller), but within that simplicity was room to expand and grow a fictional world. As DeMonaco noted,”Season 2 is committed to illuminating “slices of the [Purge] world” and “the repercussions of the Purge” outside of Purge Night. “The real estate of the 10 hours of TV allows to explore the world.”
*When I dove into the Season Two trailer, analyzing the music, symbols, characters for clues. In particular, I wondered about the prominence of the “God Mask”, worn by “Young Ghoul Face” (LaKeith Stansfield) in The Purge: Anarchy (2014). Kristen Houghton Ziv, notes “the writers wanted to incorporate something similar to the God Mask that appeared in The Purge: Anarchy, and ended up deciding to bring back the God Mask in all its terrifying glory.”
*Houghton Ziv clarified the Purge chronology, stating that the new season takes place 15 years after the first Purge on Staten Island” In my write up for the first season’s premiere episode, “What Is America”, DeMonaco identified just when in the Purge timeline the new series took place.
*When is The Purge series set? Creator/Executive Producer/Writer James DeMonaco told Vulture, “The TV show takes place between the first Purge and the last movie. We’re kind of right in the middle of all the Purge timelines, so it’s before Charlie Roan … if 20 Purges have taken place, or 15, we’re probably on the seventh or eighth in the TV show.”
*According to ScreenRant’s very helpful timeline, the New Founding Fathers of America attain power in 2014 and the first Purge takes place in 2017. Based on DeMonaco’s comment, that probably sets this season in 2024/2025.
So if Season One took place during the seventh or eighth Purge, and Season Two is set fifteen years after the first Purge, we’re probably looking at a seven to eight-year time leap between seasons. Which would be 2032?
Season Two of The Purge TV premieres Tuesday, October 15 at 9/8c on USA Network with “This Is Not a Test”.
Until then fellow citizens,“Just remember all the good The Purge does.”
Official images, information, and other Purge related goodies can be found here.
My Deep Dives into The Purge Season One are here. Click the links for more of my deep dives into Bates Motel and The Exorcist. Channel Zero recaps and deep dives can be found here at F&S and SciFi4Me.com.
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