The Purge really took a big swing at exploring how society at large deals with the holiday last night, to mixed results. The show was always about expanding the scope of the films, and through three episodes it still felt a little contained to some tighter spaces. Well, except our hero Miguel, running around everywhere.
This week saw him right off the bat running back to Pete the ex-cop's Purge Night bar for info on where those creepy nuns took Penelope at the end of last week's episode. Turns out it was nowhere good. They have taken her to the Carnival of Flesh, a place where Purgers can kill victims in different historical settings. Victims are auctioned off and bullied the whole time (I see you Brodus Clay! Somebody call his mama!). Penelope is sold to someone she is clearly not excited to see named Henry for $2000, and strapped to a dolly. Looks like Miguel is going to just miss her again, he is being driven by the slowest driver I have ever seen on a television show. That would be former Verizon call-center worker Rex "The Cowboy" (Christopher Berry), who teaches Miguel tho look forward instead of backwards as they take a very slow trip down memory lane. All is well and good until Miguel finds out The Cowboy is delivering victims to the Carnival as well. And after they bonded too. Poor Miguel, he is destined to make zero friends on this Purge Night.
Through Miguel and Jane (more on her in a second) we meet two groups of avenging Purgers. Miguel and The Cowboy run across red-armband wearing vigilantes who only want to take out rich NFFA people, to try and even the score since The Purge targets the poor and minorities. The other are The Matron Saints, a group of women who are trying to "protect women from the gendercide of The Purge". Women would be the biggest group victims of Purge Night, and the stat that there are three women killed for every man on Purge Night is disturbing to hear.
You might ask "How did Jane meet these people in the office"? The answer is: she didn't! Horrified by Alison's murder of poor Mark last episode, she decides very stupidly to leave the office and walk to David's to see if he's dead. Its a dumb plan, that predictably goes 100% wrong. A man tries to drug and take advantage of her when she is saved by The Matrons. Now on their bus, and on their way of driving her to David's, they get a distress call and tell Jane to "stay close to one of them, things can get messy". Umm, Jane should just stay in the car guys. She's good at outsourcing her dirty work, not getting her hands dirty. She even calls the hospital and tells a nurse to tell her mother she forgives her and loves her (that poor nurse is just not equipped/doesn't care enough to deliver this message).
The focus of the episode's flashbacks tonight were Lila, Jenna, and Rick. We finally know why Jenna and Rick had the threesome: to save their marriage of course! That never works, even though they agree to not spend time alone with Lila going forward. Jenna finds herself spending lots of time both in bed and out with Lila, and is discovered in bed with her one day when Rick comes home. He's mad for all of 45 seconds before Jenna swears it really is over. As we have seen at the Purge Party however, it is not. Lila is in love, and Jenna is too but is unwilling to break up her new family with Rick. Lila bares her soul, offering to help raise Jenna's baby and everything, which Rick deems "acting unstable". Its actually really well done, Lila and Jenna have great chemistry and Rick is a boring dude who seems to be adjusting a little too well to the NFFA way of doing things. We leave them with Catalina the Maid warning Jenna to get out of the house, so hopefully her and Lila can use a secret tunnel to get out or something.
Finally, we check in again with the Purge Punisher on his way to rescue more Purge victims (what happened to the lady he saved???), only this time he was too late to save a couple at a grocery store. He drops to his knees and removes his mask to reveal…a normal dude. Hopefully we start to get more than 90 seconds with this guy in the next couple episodes. Who wants to bet he saves Penelope?
This episode was not as strong as last weeks, but they did a great job on delivering on the promise of the show over the films. We are slowly getting the promised look at how people and society deal with the yearly Purge, and the damage it actually causes. As we keep diving deeper, let us hope that those glimpses become a little more frequent.