F&S Deep Dive Starring Joe the Sandwich Guy, “The Forgotten” Man of THE PURGE!

thepurge_castinfo_joe_desktop_2880x900Episode Six “The Forgotten”
Written by Jeremy Robbins
Directed by Nina Lopez Corrado

[All  images courtesy Patti Perret/USA Network]

For a full recap of episodes of The Purge on USA (and all his other cool recaps), check out Father Son Holy Gore!

Now, on to the All American Carnage of The Purge, Episode Six – “The Forgotten”!

The Purge - Season 1
RIP, Boho Abusive Junkie Henry

Plot Threads – 

*Jenna (Hannah Anderson) & Rick Betancourt (Colin Woodell) Running for their lives from costumed, skateboard-riding Purgers, Rick and Jenna make it home alive. They proceed to bicker away the evening over – what else – Jenna’s fixation with Lila and (according to Jenna), Rick’s failure to reject the NFFA and everything they stand for.
Of course, their post-argument Moment of Bonding, discussing what their unborn daughter would like to eat (eggs over easy), is interrupted by the arrival of the bloody yet Indestructible Lila Stanton,  banging on the door and begging for her life.

*Miguel (Gabriel Chavarra) & Penelope Guerrero (Jessica Garza) Tied up to witch burning stakes, Miguel and Penny endure a seemingly endless round of taunts and threats from Henry (Dylan Arnold). Mr. Abusive Boho Junkie  gets so wrapped up in talking about how he’ll torture them to death that he fails to anticipate Miguel’s knockout headbutt.
Miguel chokes Henry to death, frees Penny, and the pair escape via a corpse laden cart carrying leaving the Carnival of Flesh.

The Purge - Season 1
David Ryker is a bit too calm about Jane ordering his murder.

*Jane Barbour (Amanda Warren) Jane’s boss David Ryker (William Baldwin) reacts with remarkable nonchalance to the news that she targeted him for murder. He congratulates Jane on her out of the box thinking, offering her a drink and a guided tour of his home.
Said tour includes a lecture on the restored building’s history, a viewing of his expensive art collection – and the sight of a shot in the forehead Bracka (AzMarie Livingston) laying dead in Ryker’s oh-so-expensive bathtub.
Jane’s tour concludes in a Party Room. Filled with women tied up in lit alcoves, fondled by David’s all-male guest list. Ryker explains it’s all ok because the men  “look and touch but nothing more. Everything happens over the clothes … if the women behave and keep quiet, they get to go home in the morning” before two of his hired goons drag Jane away.

*Joe the Sandwich Guy (Lee Tergesen) Joe gets the flashbacks this week. In November 2018, Joe loses his job at Saticoy Supply Company due to the endless quest for corporate profits; Saticoy is making money, just not enough to avoid getting shutdown without warning or severance. In the present, Joe easily dispatches the three thugs beating a man to death. The man credits Joe as “a lifesaver” while the Purge radio voiceover urges citizens to “become the person tonight you want to be tomorrow.”

The Purge - Season 1
Penelope discovers a reason to live at death’s door.

Notes on “Rise Up”

*Is Jenna projecting on to Rick, or just unable to see her own faults? Rick may want to do business with the NFFA, but she’s the one committing adultery with the daughter of one of the most powerful families in the NFFA power structure.

*The gruff male voice telling Jenna “She’s dead” reminded me of the ending of the classic of the short story/radio drama/movie Sorry, Wrong Number. This 1943 radio play by Lucille Fletcher was adapted by her for 1948 movie starring Barbara Stanwyk and directed by Anatole Litvak. The story of a husband desperately trying to prevent the murder of his wife after he changes his mind about arranging her death also echoes in Jane’s storyline.

*Jenna does show some practicality in ditching her high heels to run for her life (I’m looking at you, Jurassic World), but she continues The Purge TV tradition of RUNNING FOR YOUR LIFE DOWN THE MIDDLE OF A WELL-LIT STREET.

The Purge - Season 1
Jane realizes she’s caught in a trap set by her boss.

*Do Pixar movies exitst in The Purge Universe? Boho Junkie Henry fell into the trap of monologuing, made famous in The Incredibles (2004) villain Syndrome’s taunt to Mr. Incredible, “Oh-ho-ho-ho, you sly dog! You got me monologuing!

*Henry also worked the classic Bond villain cliché “We’re not that different, you and me into his busy night of talking instead of getting down to business.

*MedlinePlus.gov didn’t have  “almost being beaten to death” in their list of  “Causes of Corneal Injury”.

*Penny, who longed for death, undergoes a rebirth of sorts escaping in a cart full of death bodies.

* “Please exit the Witch tent now.” Hands down, this is funniest line of the series so far.

*I couldn’t find any record of a artist named Le Mercier – the French painter of the Dali-esque work David Ryker paid $600,000 for.

*Sandin Security gets another mention as the security system installed by David Ryker.

*According to this episode’s security cam, it is 1:03 am on March 22nd.

*Jane reenacts the “flee from the obvious danger only to wind up in a worse situation” horror trope when she avoids getting in the elevator with David – only to find Bracka’s body in the bathtub.

The Purge - Season 1
The most interesting character on The Purge series, ladies and gentlemen!

*David’s disgust for women who “run to the Times” with allegations of sexual misconduct echo real life event in the MeToo era.

*To David, Jane’s humanity – calling off the hit on him – only reveals her weakness.

*Now, let us examine the lunch of the Forgotten Man himself –

Sandwich consisting of Oscar Mayer Bologna on White Bread (probably Wonder Bread brand), with French’s Yellow Mustard. (Extra points for artistically dabbing in on the knife beforehand) Along with (probably) Sargento sliced cheese ( it doesn’t look like the classic Kraft Singles package). Add in a  Coca-Cola, a package of Lays Potato Chips and some Lifesavers for dessert and you have yourself a meal.

*Saticoy Supply Co. derives it’s name from a community in California, and the language of the Chumash Native American tribe of that region.

*The Saticoy calendar is open to November 2018. Joe watches a People’s Court type program that refers to a 2015 dispute.

*Joe’s unseen narrator state that the Statue of Liberty “hands you a torch. Now come and take it.”

*Given the stark us vs them economic message of the episode, “The Forgotten” probably refers to FDR’s use of the phrase in 1932  “… the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”

“We’re dinosaurs and meteor’s coming” – John Owens (Steve Coulter)

*I watched the episode twice and had no idea that Joe and his co-worker John Owens were related as in father and son related. At least that gives us a last name for Joe.

???When Joe was searching for work, did he find a new calling rescuing people? Who provided the GPS and ID of people to save? This is the most interesting thread on the show right now.

Next Week: The Purge heads for “Lovely Dark and Deep” territory in Episode Seven.

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 next week citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”

F&S Deep Dive – Who Will “Rise Up” on THE PURGE’s Night of the Long Knives?

thepurge_castinfo_joe_desktop_2880x900Episode Five “Rise Up”
Written by Jamie Chan
Directed by Julius Ramsay

[All  images courtesy Patti Perret/USA Network]

For a full recap of episodes of The Purge on USA (and all his other cool recaps), check out Father Son Holy Gore!

Now, on to the All American Carnage of The Purge, Episode Five – “Rise Up”!

Plot Threads – Two plot threads saw our characters arriving at their destinations (Jane and Miguel), while the third had them making a frantic escape (Jenna and Rick).

The Purge - Season 1
Meanwhile, at Stately Stanton Manor …

*Jane Barbour (Amanda Warren) – The Matron Saints make a stop to rescue a woman from her abusive partner, then branding the offender on the forehead with PIG in large, sans-serif letters. Jane can’t participate in the branding. Grabbing a set of keys, she heads off to save the life of her boss David Ryker (William Baldwin).

*Miguel (Gabriel Chavarra) & Penelope Guerrero (Jessica Garza) – In the present, Miguel commandeers Rex’s (Christopher Berry) truck, chokes Rex into unconsciousness, and frees his prisoners. Said prisoners (Rex’s landlady & her son), slowly make their way  DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET after the son tries and fails to steal Miguel’s stolen truck.

Miguel uses Rex’s passkey to enter Bygones, sells Rex as a sacrifice, and finds Penny. Unfortunately for Miguel, he finds his sister after Rex comes to and warns the guards, who promptly find and subdue him. Since they knock him down in front of Henry’s Torture Tent, Penny’s druggie ex-boyfriend buys Miguel to enjoy a night of revenge on the pair.

The Purge - Season 1
For a dissolute junkie, Henry sure has a lot of money to spend on Purge Night.

The siblings get the flashbacks for the episode. Innocent Penelope, perhaps tired of covering for her hot-headed brother, takes up with charming boho artist/drug dabbler Henry (Dylan Arnold). After Henry adds physical abuse to the mix, Miguel delivers a beat down that results in the scarring and discoloration we see in Henry’s right eye.

Oh, and Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) moonlights as a Caring Social Worker at Penny’s rehab facility. It’s weird that being a Purge Death Cult Leader isn’t more of a full-time gig.

* Jenna (Hannah Anderson) & Rick Betancourt (Colin Woodell)Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond) leads Rick into a section of the house that’s been covered in plastic sheeting. Three sacrifices are led into the area as the guests receive hand crafted daggers. Rick pockets the dagger, but Albert inadvertently saves Rick’s life, asking the young man to find Jenna so she can enjoy the “festivities”. Catalina (Paulina Galvez) observes Rick leaving and nods to fellow member of the waitstaff.

Rick find his wife just as shots ring out downstairs. Jenna figures now is the time to heed Catalina’s warning to head for the cellar. Amid a full-scale home invasion by anti-NFFA revolutionaries, Catalina unlocks a cellar door for Rick and Jenna, tells them where to head for safety, then heads back upstairs.

The Purge - Season 1
Jenna and Rick decide to skip the Violent Revolution portion of the evening.

*Joe the Sandwich Guy (Lee Tergesen) – Joe stops his van in sight of three men beating someone to death. He steps out of his vehicle and charges the trio holding a billy club.

Notes on “Rise Up”

*I wonder if Armed Home Invasion/Violent Overthrow of the Existing Order is ok on Purge Night? If the Anti-NFFA revolutionaries are only active one night of the year, they should be ok legally.

*Matron Saint Marge may be off a few months in her claim that the early-Spring Purge Night has “the second highest conception rate after New Year’s Eve”. January usually runs second to December as the leading months for conception of babies born the following August and September, the months with the highest average birthrates.

*The Matron Saints follow in a long historical tradition of using branding as punishment for various crimes.

*The setting of The Purge series isn’t explicitly stated, but judging by the beautiful wrought iron balcony on the house next to David Ryker’s place, I’d bet on New Orleans.

*Madelyn (Sabrina Gennaro) echoes the words of Malcom X when proclaiming the Saints will use “any means necessary” to protect women on Purge Night.

The Purge - Season 1
Catalina repays Jenna’s kindness with mercy – and an escape route to safety.

*We hear a bit more of the New Founding Fathers of America’s profession of faith during distribution of the golden daggers –

“Blessed Be America

 A Nation Reborn

 Blessed Be Us

 A Future More Prosperous”

* Catalina is a firm believer in the   power of violent revolution; “sometimes revolution is the only way to make the world a better place.” She certainly agrees with Mao that “power flows from the barrel of a gun.”

*The Purge Home Shopping Network is a big sponsor of radio programming on Purge Night.

*The “FUBAR” emblazoned on the Vietnam War Atrocity tent at Bygones is but one of many colorful, NSFW military acronyms.

*The post-9/11 mantra “If You See Something, Say Something” gets a NFFA retooling; Joe’s radio announcer advises his listeners, “If You See Something, Do Something“.

*Last week, I noted the golden daggers brought the horror hotel of  “Hotel California” to mind. Their ceremonial use at the Stanton party also suggests The Night of the Long Knives – Hitler’s 1934 purge of the paramilitary SA “Brownshirts” that consolidated his power in the Nazi party. In The Purge universe, the NFFA uses The Purge to maintain their power, both through indoctrination of the elite 1% – and winnowing the 99% they see as “undesirable”.

*Thank you, Security Cam 1 at David Ryker’s house, for giving us a definite timestamp for the series – 3/22/2027 12:07 A.M.

*Rex’s (Christopher Berry) advice to Miguel, “That’s the game, kid,” recalls Jane’s mother admonishment to her daughter –  “if only you’d played the game …” back in Episode One.

The Purge - Season 1
Henry makes the leap from Boho Junkie to Unrepentant Jerk.

*The damage – destruction really – of Henry’s eye is by my estimation the most overt graphic violence we’ve seen on The Purge series to date.

Next Week: Who are “The Forgotten” in Episode Six? 

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 next week citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”

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.”

F & S Deep Dive – “The (Urge to) Purge” Takes a Bloody Turn

thepurge_castinfo_joe_desktop_2880x900Episode Three “The Urge to Purge”
Written by Nick Betancourt
Directed by David Von Ancken                                                      [All images courtesy Patti Perret/USA Network]

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 in each episode of The Purge series on USA Network.

For a full recap of Purge episodes, check out Father Son Holy Gore! I agree with his assessment that this episode is a step up; the intensity, storytelling, and worldbuilding all develop in fascinating ways.

Now, on to the All American Carnage of The Purge – Episode Three, “The Urge to Purge”!

The Purge - Season 1
Miguel and Pete search for the Blue Bus of Death.

Plot Threads

*Miguel (Gabriel Chavarra) & Penelope Guerrero (Jessica Garza) -Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) manages to regain her hold on her flock, and Penelope is delivered to the next sacrifice stop. A group of garish, neon-coweled nuns put a sack over Penny, and toss her in their souped up Lance Camper.
Miguel earns the trust of Pete the Flop Cop (Dominic Fumusa);  in exchange for his newly won car, Miguel gets the location (and a ride) of the Blue Bus of Death.  Just one problem, though. Good Leader Tavis informs Miguel that Penelope was just delivered to “the nuns” who pointed him towards the BBoD!

* Jenna (Hannah Anderson) & Rick Betancourt (Colin Woodell) – Jenna breaks off the make out session with her Lila (Lili Simmons) to deliver some important news. She and Rick are expecting a baby.

Later, Jenna is summoned by Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond) to join Rick and himself in the study. After securing funding from Stanton,  his assistants dragg a bloody, bedraggled man into the room. The man begs for his life through a gag as Stanton accuses the him of stealing and reselling copper wiring from a Stanton construction sites. Always a gracious host, Albert hands Rick a pistol to kill the dishonest ex-employee. A stunned Rick declines (at Jenna’s insistence), Albert shoots the man. Afterwards, Jenna insists they pull out of the deal and Rick reluctantly agrees. He conveniently goes to find something for them to drink while Lila approaches Jenna.

*Jane Barbour (Amanda Warren) – Amid celebratory champagne, David Ryker (Billy Baldwin) interrupts the celebration at Ryker- Moore Equity with a scolding phone call with a tiny little congratulations at the end for her, Jane goes looking for Alison (Jessica Misel), Mark (Adam Stephenson) – and a good Wfi connection. Away from the safety of the 38th floor, Jane doesn’t find a good Wi-Fi connection – but hears noises that are not a couple enjoying themselves – but Alison braced over a prone Mark stabbing him repeatedly with a pair of scissors. “So, do you notify HR about my promotion or is that up to me?

*Joe the Sandwich Guy (Lee Tergesen) -To me, this was the most intriguing plot thread of the episode. Joe the Sandwich Guy stops the two Purgers he witnessed breaking into a home last episode, and shoots them dead before the terrified homeowner. Instead of harming the woman they wanted to rob, he says “Your house has been compromised. You’re not safe – Come with me.”

The Purge - Season 1
Good Leader Tavis bids farewell to another Purge Night sacrifice.

Notes on “The Urge to Purge”

*Pete the Cop gives us some specs on that sweet ’71 Chevelle SS – 502 cubic inch engine and 461 HP!

*We see some graffiti on a wall – “NFFA Must Be Stopped”.

*There are active revolutionary groups opposing the NFFA and The Purge.

*The British journalist who interviews Miguel mentions some real life predecessor of The Purge from the 19th Century “Scramble for Africa”. The exploitation of Congo under the direction of King Leopold, and the infamous Atlantic Slave Trade.

The Purge - Season 1
Neon Nuns on the Run.

*Braka said Jane’s assignment was third on her list, and wouldn’t exchange payment until  7 pm on the dot. When did Braka get payment for jobs 1 &2? Did they pay with an online currency transaction that went through until 7 pm?

*At least we know Alison is a self-starter who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. Unlike Jane, she doesn’t “arrange for someone to do your dirty work”.

*Like the Army of the 12 Monkeys, Purgers have let all the animals out of the zoo.

*Spied a mask at the Stanton party that could maybe be a Renaissance woman, but did not look like Lucrecia Borgia – which is too bad, since the popular legend of Lucretia would fit the Stanton family dynamics perfectly.

*Lila Stanton knows Jenna is pregnant (I guessed right about that). Albert Stanton would give up all his material wealth “for a grandchild.” Is Lila concerned at the end of the episode for Jenna, or plotting something involving the unborn child?

*Albert Stanton is a self-professed feminist – who doesn’t pay taxes.

*I keep coming back to Lila’s Lizzie Borden mask.  Which brings me back to the infamous rhyme commemorating Ms. Borden’s alleged murder of her parents.

*Whatever the Neon Nuns have in store for Penny, it promises to be beyond awful. They’re carrying a deluxe crossbow, a large knife with a serrated edge, a length of chain

The Purge - Season 1
At least the Paper Towel dispenser behind Pig Assassin Guy looks happy.

*We learn what the blissed-out cultists meant by “OMF Penny” in Episode One. Miguel and Penelope are an Original Martyr Family – survivors of the first Purge on Staten Island. Their flashback story ties the series to the fourth movie in the Purge series The First Purge (2018).

*The Purge Cult follows a “peace sign” route every year. Either they really believe their dogma, or have a great sense of irony.

*The “Devil Dog” term used by Miguel dates from the First World War.

*Both Miguel and Penelope are told “their parents would be proud” of their actions on Purge Night

* Pete, Rick, and Joe the Sandwich Guy offer three different ways of dealing with The Purge. Rick wants to succeed in without being a part of it – “this is the world we’re living in,” Pete’s bar offers a way station, “giving people a safe spot to think it over
Joe the Sandwich Guy apparently has taken a different message from the talk radio host he’s listening to. “Fear is the great thief … not everyone has the courage to rise up … to achieve their dreams.” He deals with the Purge by living his dream – not of killing, but for being the hero.

The Purge - Season 1
Joe the Sandwich Guy may be the most interesting character on The Purge.

Next week, how will our characcters “Release the Beast” in Episode Four?

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.

F & S Deep Dive – THE PURGE Urges Citizens to “Take What’s Yours”

 

thepurge_castinfo_joe_desktop_2880x900

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”.

The Purge - Season 1
Oh Alison, what did you see?

Plot Threads

*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.

The Purge - Season 1
Sure, she looks serene now, but Penny is in for a surprise.

* 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.

The Purge - Season 1
Wonder if David Ryker is actually in the building on Purge Night?

*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’s Lizzie Borden mask may be a clue to her plans for Purge Night. Non-participation waiver or not, it would be interesting if she plans to deal with Mom and Dad as Lizzie allegedly handled hers.

*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?

The Purge - Season 1
I can’t read the slogan below Otis’s Autorama sign on the right, & it bugs me.

*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.”

The Purge - Season 1
Braka has no time for Jane’s pre-Purge Pity Party monologue.

*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 prize for surviving the Gauntlet?  Looks like a  classic American Muscle car – a mint condition Chevy Chevelle.

*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.

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Again, a shocking waste of prime Purge Night sponsor opportunities.

*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.

*Melissa’s attackers wear the faces of our 37th and 42nd Presidents – Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. They aren’t the first icons of American history featured in The Purge series (see below).

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Presidents Lincoln and Washington – along with Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty – appeared in The Purge: Anarchy (2014).

*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.

F & S Deep Dive – THE PURGE Event Series on USA Asks “What Is America?”

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Episode One “What Is America”
Written by James DeMonaco
Directed by Anthony Hemingway
[All images courtesy Patti Perret/USA Network ]

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.

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Jane tells her Mom she loves her – but not her plans for Purge Night.

From a micro-budget 2013 home invasion thriller from Blumhouse Studios and writer/director James DeMonaco, The Purge series has grown into an interconnected universe of four movies. Each has been immensely profitable: The Purge grossed over $89 million dollars (US) on an estimated budget of three million. The Purge: Anarchy (2014), The Purge: Election Year (2016), and The First Purge (2018) followed in the original’s profitable footsteps to a total worldwide series total to date of over $454 million dollars (US).  Bucking the usual trend from sequels, each successive movie has both improved on the box office of it’s predecessor, and widened the scope of the five-minutes-into-the-future dystopian world of The Purge.

I’m going to go through the plot developments of each particular episode as I discuss the symbolism, references, and clues I find.  Admittedly, I’m a bit of newbie to The Purge Universe. I saw the first movie after catching Anarchy at our local budget theater, caught Election Year it’s first week of release, then saw The First Purge at the budget last week before watching “What Is America?”.

As a relative newcomer to the intricacies of this world, I’m impressed at the flexibility of the structure James DeMonaco, writer of all four movies and director the first three, has built into the story. The dystopia of The Purge has enough “give” in it’s basic structure to make the world expansion seem organic. Once you accept the premise, it’s as believable as the setup of similar genre films like Soylent Green, Logan’s Run, and Death Race 2000.

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“We Stand On the Shoulders of Giants” in the NFFA’s America.

Now, on to the All American Carnage of “What is America?”

The Setup

*Per Jason Blum, The Purge series will examine “What happens the other 364 days of the year and how the law affects people.” “What Is America?” follows three storylines as Purge Night begins.

*Miguel (Gabriel Chavarra) & Penelope Guerrero (Jessica Garza) – Former Marine Miguel searches for his sister Penelope through the chaos of Purge Night. Will he find her before she becomes the next sacrifice of a cult devoted to providing willing Purge victims? Will Penelope wake up to the reality of The Purge and try and escape before she is chosen by Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) as the next offering?

* Jenna (Hannah Anderson) & Rick Betancourt (Colin Woodell) Invited to a Purge Night gala at the home of NFFA power couple Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond)and his wife Ellie (Andrea Frankle), Jenna and Rick hope to “use the Devil’s money” for the greater good. Their very intimate connection to the Stanton’s daughter Lila (Lili Simmons), and the “serial killer” party theme may unravel their plans.

*Jane Barbour (Amanda Warren) – Arrives at Ryker Moore Equity ready to guide her team in negotiating (and completing for a hefty bonus) a major international deal. Just before Purge Night begins, Jane slips away from the safety of the 38th floor – and the long-distance electronic eye of her boss David Ryker (William Baldwin). In a parking garage sub-basement, we find out why she’s been so jumpy all evening as Jane  hands over payment to hired killer Chaka (AzMarie Livingston) for a Purge Night hit.

The Purge S1 E1 Penelope and Good Leader Tavis
Purge Death Cult perks includes matching robes & hair braiding!

The History 

*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 sets The Purge series in 2024/2025.

*By the time of the first movie, Purge Night has become the NFFA’s version of the Military-Industrial Complex Eisenhower warned us about. As ScreenRant puts it,  “the event has become an accepted holiday, with much of the US infrastructure rebuilt to account for it: insurance, security and, yes, plotted murder.”

*Of course, we already know the entire premise of The Purge is a lie. Officially, The Purge exists “to push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year.” From The Purge: Anarchy onwards, viewers know The Purge exists to keep the NFFA elite loyal to the regime (through a Heaven’s Gate cult-like belief of The Purge as a tenant of faith and loyalty), to cull the population of those the NFFA views as a drain on society, and as noted above, to drive the US economy.

*The Purge can also be seen as an extension of the struggle between the 1% and the 99% that takes economic inequality to a nightmarish, grindhouse conclusion.

*You have to stay for the credits sequence in The First Purge (or visit the Purge TV section of the series website) to see it, but there is a nice reference a classic Political Science theory – “You pay taxes. You obey the law. That is the social contract you follow.”

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For Jane and Rick, fake smiles hide real anxiety.

Notes on “What Is America?”

*The first episode lets me know where it starts on a micro level –  “5:23 97 minutes before The Purge”. I had find out from Screen Rant and Vulture when exactly the series is set in terms of what year. Some kind of establishing info would be helpful

* The ride share business has adapted to the new order with “Purge Surge” pricing.

* As Miguel drives to find his sister, a McDonalds billboard lets us know the Golden Arches exist in this dystopia.

*There’s an app for that – even if “that” is following the progress of your Purge Night hired assassin.

*Good to see Jane thinking ahead and putting on some practical shoes at work. She’ll need them after Purge Night starts.

*I wonder if the rivalry between Jane’s underlings will devolve into a Belko Experiment-esque bloodbath?

*Does Purge Night start in stages, based on time zones? It seems like a national event in the movies. Did the NFFA got rid of time zones?

*Rick hopes mentions to Jenna that “Billy Sabien” secured a deal with Stanton. Could Billy be related to Chief of Staff Arlo Sabien (Patch Darragh) from The First Purge?

*From delicious macaroons to expensive floral displays, we see the NFFA power color – powder blue – throughout the Stanton mansion. Though from Ancient Egyptians to Buddhists, it is the lotus flower, not blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) blooms, that serve as the symbol of rebirth.

*The serial killers/notorious murders chosen as masks is intriguing, speculating on why they were chosen (besides recognizability to the average viewer). Only three of of them are on this list of notorious serial killers. Jeffrey Dahmer, Lizzie Borden, David Berkowitz, Susan Atkins, the Zodiac Killer, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy.

*Jenna and Rick try to convince themselves that their “deal with the devil” serves a higher purpose. Throughout the episode, they try to convince themselves (and us, and their rideshare driver) they aren’t part of the system. Yet as we find out at the end, they are literally in bed with it. Like the venial heirs in The Twilight Zone episode The Masks, are they putting on masks to blend in, or reveal their true selves?

*The Stanton mansion is a modern day version Prince Prospero’s castle impregnable castle in The Masque of the Red Death. Prospero’s fortress turned out to be very easy for the pestilence to enter; I suspect the Stanton lockdown will prove to be equally inept at keeping the world at bay.

The Purge - Season 1
Lila certainly knows how to make an entrance.

Next week, Episode Two advises to “Take What’s Yours”.

Until then,  “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.