The Purge concluded its run on USA Tuesday, and thankfully it finished way stronger than it should have. Ending with what amounted to a two-part finale was a great idea, and one they executed as well as they possibly could have. Our hero that was not really a hero Joe held trials on people who have slighted him and…
SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT! You have been warned!
Jane and Rick lost their lives in Joe's rigged school, and surprisingly Penelope lived, as did Jenna. In what has been every villain's downfall on this show, Joe spent too much time monologging and his entire plan fell apart. After executing his old high school bully, he then moved on to Jane who it turns out went on a blind date with Joe. After being outright racist to her, she left and Joe saw this as her "not giving him a chance". During a struggle, Joe choked the life out of Jane in a very uncomfortable moment of television. Jane's story was so up and down, but this was not the ending she deserved.
Rick and Jenna were up next, and Joe had a legitimate beef with Rick. Rick had hired him to install Purge security systems in some properties, with a signed contract, and then when he deemed the world shoddy, refused to pay Joe. Jenna had no idea, and that doesn't fit Joe's plan at all, but whatever at this point. He actually tells the pregnant Jenna he will let her go, if she shoots Rick. To save their unborn child, he tells her to do it, and when she pulls the trigger, nothing happens, as there were no bullets in the gun.
While all this is happening, the all of a sudden resourceful Penelope retrieves a long bolt from the cell that was not screwed in all the way, takes a woman hostage (I for the life of me cannot remember her name…) and gets Joe to come into the cell. She stabs him in the eye, and everyone makes a run for it. There is a truly gnarly scene where Joe yanks the screw out of his eye, and he is back in pursuit.
Meanwhile, Miguel and Pete the Cop are running from Rex and his people collectors. They of course end up at the school to try and rescue Joe's hostages. A bunch of tactical mumbo-jumbo later, and they take out Rex and most of his crew and get into the school. Pete takes one to the leg, and they run into Rick and Jenna. The leftover Rex thug shoots Rick a couple times, and he's a goner. It all happens quickly, and we don't really get a chance to mourn Rick at all. Which is fine, Rick was not a likable character at any point.
Joe catches up with Penelope, and right as he starts talking instead of Purging again, Miguel walks in. They beat the hell out of each other, and the sirens go off, signaling the end of the Purge. Joe backs off, saying he will catch up with them next year, and Miguel basically says eff that and kills Joe. I still wish Joe had not turned out to be a bad guy, but they really would not have had any other way to wrap the show up so I get it.
We then get a epilogue. One year later, Pete still runs his bar, Jenna had the baby and lives overseas now, and Penelope and Miguel head out into ta new Purge night to help rescue folks. I gotta be honest, I was waiting for Joe to walk into the bar, somehow surviving. That did not happen however.
Overall, the series was able to dive a little deeper into the concept of the Purge than the films were ever able to. Trim a couple episodes and tighten up that editing, and this would have been a very strong show. Unfortunately, they didn't do that. The show dragged heavily in the middle, and many of the characters storylines just didn't need to last the entire length of the show. For the already announced second season, let's tighten that up.
Joe was the clear standout character, falling hook, line, and sinker for the Purge propaganda he exposed himself to. Lee Tergeson did a great job throughout the series making us root for him, only for it all to go horrifyingly wrong in the end. The other members of the cast were a little more up and down, but overall nobody did themselves or the show a disservice. While Rick was not a strong character, Colin Woodell did a good job in the role. Same can be said for Amanda Warren as Jane and Gabriel Chavarria as Miguel. I would not be upset to see those that lived return next year.
Thanks for taking the journey with us Purge fans! We will return with you next year. Will you hide, or will you seek?