The Purge has been much improved this year. I have to admit, I went into the second season pretty sceptical, especially after the news that this one would be set post-Purge. There was always a danger this would devolve into a familial, soapy drama but thankfully The Purge has managed to steer clear of this. Although the ending does feel a tad rushed and a few of the storylines aren’t wholly resolved in a satisfying manner, the second season has been a surprising change of pace, one that leaves things with plenty of scope for a third season if this is renewed.
We begin with a meeting at the NFFA 1 week before the very first purge. It’s a simple affair and it sets the scene nicely for us to cut 3 hours from the end of this year’s Purge. Ryan and the others continue to track down the vans, listening to radio broadcasts to find their position. Eventually the team make their move, trapping one of the vans and managing to blow the boot open, thwarting the threat of random purgers and taking the money.
Esme meanwhile sneaks into the office and sees first-hand the footage of the NFFA carrying out hits on people. With the files protected, Esme’s unable to record or transfer the video so instead, she decides to play it in the broadcast room. Unfortunately Director Anders corners her on the stairwell. Esme tells him the truth about what’s happening with the NFFA and after some deliberation, he fires. Vivian stands in the firing line though and is shot down before Esme shoots the Director in retaliation.
With Ryan’s heist complete, he makes a big decision after hearing radio broadcasts about Esme’s precarious situation. A hit squad is en-route to her location so he rushes off on a suicide mission to save her. A slick gun-fight ensues as Ryan finds Esme and fights off a squad of officers.
Meanwhile Marcus drives to the hospital with Ben and Michelle, both of which in need of medical attention. While Ben awakens and contemplates stabbing his nurse, Marcus accepts the help from another in patching Michelle up. Unfortunately Ben’s murderous rampage continues and after killing several doctors and throwing them in a room, Marcus arrives and finds himself cornered. After a bit of a fight, Marcus injects Ben and knocks him out, taking him outside and leaving him on the pavement.
With 3 minutes until the end of this annual Purge, Esme broadcasts the corrupt NFFA footage as Ryan fights off the officers outside the room, buying her precious time. As the seconds tick by, Ryan is shot and killed before officers break in and grab Esme. Even though it’s after-purge, they shoot her in cold blood, unbeknownst to them that it’s still broadcasting.
2 months later, Tommy and the others share a drink in tribute to Ryan’s memory. Vivian survived her ordeal and along with Marcus, Michelle, Turner and a lot of other people, band together to form a Purge resistance. As the episode closes out, Ben dons the God mask while the others prepare to resist leaving plenty of scope for a third season.
Well there we have it folks, season 2 of The Purge comes to a close with plenty of promise for the future and a show that finally makes good on its promise of delivering a compelling Purge series. Compared to the first season, The Purge does a wonderful job capturing the tension and suspense of the Purge, coupled with the different characters growing over the season. If I’m honest, Ben and Marcus’ lack of screen-time here is a little disappointing and seeing the former still alive and with no comeuppance for his actions is a bit of a kick in the teeth; I was really hoping he’d meet a grisly end.
Despite the gripes, The Purge bows out with a pretty good finale and Ryan’s gun-fight at the NFFA headquarters is probably the highlight of the entire season. The idea of a Purge resistance is a good one, and if this is renewed again I’d imagine this will be elaborated a little further going forward. For now though, The Purge redeems itself after a lackluster first season and although it’s far from perfect, there’s enough here to whet the appetite in the hope that this one is renewed.