Season Two, Episode Nine, “Hail Mary”
Written by Nina Fiore & John Herrera
Directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero
[All images courtesy Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network]
Now, we continue the NFFA sanctioned All-American Carnage with The Purge Season Two, Episode Nine, “Hail Mary”!
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Plot Threads of the Dammed
*Marcus (Derek Luke) and Michelle (Rochelle Aytes) and Tonya (Devyn A. Tyler) and Andre (Damien D. Smith) prepare for a visit from the Homeowners Purge Association, led by Clint (Dave Maldonado).
*Ryan (Max Martini), Sara (Chelle Ramos), and Doug (Jaren Mitchell) head over to the imaginatively named “City Park”, hell-bent on saving Tommy from a Purge Night execution.
*Esme (Paola Nuñez) joins up with an all-female cybercrime crew to infiltrate the NFFA Surveillance Center.
*Ben (Joel Allen) continues his Purge Night reign of terror.
*The significance of the Hail Mary as a prayer of the Catholic Church was covered in the Deep Dive for S2E5, “House of Mirrors“. It’s also a last-minute, desperate, last-chance pass play in American football.
*This week’s teaser begins with “Ms. Lorelei’s Corner”, a bit of NFFA propaganda (notice the small NFFA seal in the lower left-hand corner), disguised as a “Mr. Rogers meets Pee Wee’s Playhouse in the Twilight Zone” children’s programming.
*One of the children being indoctrinated – a young Ben Gardner (Carson Minniear), watches in his living room while playing with 50’s-esque toy robots.
*Ms. Lorelei (Mary K. DeVault) starts by explaing that because “Worries can be hard to talk about“, the Purge “helps people get their worries out“, and gives their parents the “freedom to accomplish things they never thought possible!”
*Lorelei’s costume – a demented neon-hued funhouse combination of red, white, and blue, along with deliberately harsh makeup – contrasts with the children’s pastel-toned Sunday School best outfits.
*A young girl named Zoe (Emily Criss Rives) asks if it’s ok to kill on Purge. Would something bad happen to her and her brother?
*Lorelei assures Zoe “you and your brother will be perfectly safe”.
*How does Lorelei know this? According to showrunners Krystal Houghton Ziv and James Roland, Purge creator set a few ground rules for the series. One of them setting 18 as the minimum age to participate in the Purge.
*Maybe the NFFA doesn’t need fancy subliminal mind control to indoctrinate the youth of America; just parent’s reliance on television as an electronic babysitter.
* Instead of the Pledge of Allegiance, Ms. Lorelei’s Corner ends with the NFFA Pledge; “Blessed be America, a nation reborn!”
Marcus and Michelle Host the Neighborhood Purge Committee Home Invasion
*Clint (Dave Maldonado) uses his big old pickup truck to tear the security screen off the Moore’s front door. WHILE MARCUS AND HIS GROUP JUST STAND IN THE FRONT HALL WATCHING.
*It seems puzzling that the group is just waiting for their neighbors to barge in instead of taking defensive positions.
*As the home invasion begins, Marcus turns to Michelle, “Promise me we won’t turn into them.”
*Turns out April Tucker (Susan G. Whittle) didn’t tell husband Sam (Jay Ali) that she Purged in college.
*Clint brought some Molotov Cocktails to “smoke out” and/or burn alive everyone in the Moore house.
*How could any company advertise their homes as “fireproof” – wouldn’t “fire-resistant” be as far as they’d go? They’d still be liable for any off-Purge fire damage caused by their falsely advertised product.
*Clint sneers at Sam’s objection to burning down the Moore’s house, calling him a “bleeding heart“.
*Since Sam gets a nasty laceration in the upper chest area when another front door security screen descends on him, it’s a fitting putdown.
*We see a bit of Marcus’s plan when he won’t Purge Sam. He had to once, and “that shit sticks with you“. Marcus insists there “has to be another way”.
*After Sam gives up Clint’s plan, Marcus swaps Sam for Clint and sits Clint down in for heart to heart to heart/man to man talk, complete with cliches including “get past this”, “violence doesn’t solve anything”, “clean slate”, and “Purging was supposed to make me feel better“.
*We find out why the resolution feels false when Clint pulls out a knife Andre’s (Damien D. Smith) pat-down/frisk missed and stabs Michelle in the chest.
*Michelle’s lung’s collapsed and she’ll die without medical care including a dedicated ”air valve”
*Good for his wife Marcus knows the location of a Purge triage center; he’s asked every year to help – and has always refused.
*Marcus takes Clint’s keys and sets out with Michelle, Tonya (Devyn A. Tyler), and Andre, leaving Clint to the dubious mercy of his former lynch mob.
Esme’s Lonely Road to Revenge
*Although Skye’s (Tyner Rushing) Secret Hacker Lair doesn’t require a secret knock, the door does have a sliding peephole – just like an old-time speakeasy.
*Is this hacker group “The Foundation”, or just allied with them?
*Even underground hackers have to keep their “event logs” current.
*Skye’s team created a “deepfake” version of Esme to lure NFFA security away from the headquarters so Esme can sneak in.
*Is Esme’s plan any more specific than a Wikileaks-type information dump?
*Esme survives a crash that (apparently) kills Skye to make it back to her old job, activate the backup jammer Sara prepared, and make it into the building while the system reboots.
*During any power outages, NFFA personnel are asked to “Please proceed to the nearest safe room”.
*Esme’s plan to meet up with Vivian (Charlotte Schweiger) is delayed by a very long access ladder.
I Sure Hope This is Ben’s Last Purge Night, but …
* Ben (Joel Allen) ignores Turner’s (Matt Shively) pleas to let Scott (Peyton Wich) go.
*Ben offers Turner has two “choices” that are not choices at all; either Turner will “pop his cherry” and kill Scott, or Turner and Scott will both die
*Beb duct-tapes machete-like blade in Turner’s hands, then forces Turner to plunge the knife into Scott’s chest.
*Going with the losing virginity theme, Ben’s reaction is almost orgasmic,
*After Turner loses his innocence, Ben turns buddy-buddy and offers Turner glass of water to “stay hydrated”. They need to prepare for hunting.
*Turner may be terrified and disgusted with himself, but he does have the wherewithal to distract Ben by requesting a mak asks for a mask, then escaping the house.
*Ben follows; both encounter a “Purge Night Tours” bus, girls partying on the roof, a Purge Night version of a Mardi Gras parade float.
*Ben’s taunting call of Turner’s name – reminded me of “Warriors, come out and plaaaay” from Walter Hills 1979 movie The Warriors.
*B follows Turner into a New Orleans cemetery, with it’s famous raised burial plots, before being surrounded by a gang of Purgers wearing “his” God mask.
**I thought I heard a bell tolling 6 times in this scene, indicating one hour remaining in the Purge; yet a later scene display reads “4 hours Until End of Purge”?
*Plot threads converge when Ben escapes cemetery, only to be hit by Andre/Marcus/Tonya/Michelle’s truck. Oh, the irony – just like his late girlfriend Kelen (Danika Yarosh)!
*If Ben ends up surving Purge Night because Marcus decided to take him to the triage center, I will be very displeased, Show!
The Ryan Gets the Robbery Gang Back Together
*Ryan, Sara, and Doug join a festive crowd assembled at City Park, participants in canned hunt sponsored by the Daughters of the New Founding Fathers of America.
*As the Purge Night bus pulls into “The Most Dangerous Game” Field (oh, pardon me, I mean “City Park”) Jimmy (Jonathan Medina) convinces a few fellow prisoners to adopt “Gladiator” strategy, i.e. stick together in an organized cohort to increase chances of surviving a rigged game.
*“Daughters of the NFFA” is a pretty obvious spoof of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In 1939 the DAR refused to allow African-American opera singer Marian Anderson to sing at their Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. She later performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
*Accompanied by Vivaldi-esque music, waitstaff provides each guest with “weapons used by our ancesestors”; Revolutionary War-era Flintlock rifles, compound bows,, and hunting knives.
*Ryan and crew do such a bad job blending in,, it’s easy for Silas Barker (J.D. Evermore) to spot the trio who tried (he thinks) to rob his McMansion.
*Jimmy and his band are freed fairly easy by Ryan, Sara, and Doug.
*The homoerotic tone of the episode continues with Ryan and Jimmy’s suggestive, jokey banter, from Jimmy’s surprised “F*ck Me!” and Ryan’s “No, thanks” capped with Sara’s “Get a room.”
*Since Silas broke the rules of the hunt and kept a modern weapon – a tranquilizer gun that he promptly uses to immobilize Ryan.
*For some reason, Silas decides on the spur of the moment, to bury Ryan alive, a plot point that, for me, came across as silly and contrived.
*In the hours remaining, the reconstituted Ryan Grant Robbery Crew resolves to rob the Jackals who took the bank’s money from the airstrip last epsiode. Then Ryan, who also killed one of Ziv’s goons before Purge last week, needs to get out of the country.
*How would anyone else but Ryan know if he killed someone pre-Purge? Is this like the Hunger Games, where everyone has a tracker monitoring their vital signs?
The Purge Season Two, Episode Ten “7:01am” airs Tuesday, Dec. 10 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.