Calm Before The Storm?
After the explosive opening episode of The Purge, the early excitement of the season has started to fizzle out as we return to normality. While there’s enough drama here to keep things moving at a consistent pace, this episode pales in comparison to what we’ve seen before, despite building the foundation for future drama to follow.
Having been arrested, we begin with Tommy standing before the court after his post-Purge crime. He pleads guilty but despite pleaing with the Judge for mercy, he’s sentenced to death. That death happens to be scheduled for the next Purge night.
We the cut back 8 years ago with Tommy and Ryan working for the police and being strongly advised not to go outside on Purge night. Along with a couple of other officers, Ryan decides they use this as an opportunity to go after a mob boss and make their life easier. However, there’s more to this story than meets the eye as it turns out the police are working with the criminals.
The day after Purge night Ryan confronts the officer about what she’s doing with the criminals but she smiles, telling him there’s no choice and he needs to play ball. However, the rest of his group join him and hand in their badges, unable to commit to the corruption rife in the police.
In the present, Esme checks through the CCTV footage, tracking down an armoured truck with a questionable licence plate. This truck happens to be Ryan’s and he meets with the others, telling them the money shouldn’t have been in the bank and suggests another heist. Unbeknownst to him, Esme has been tracking their armoured truck for a while and finds herself snapping photos and listening to his conversation in the bar the whole time. This winds up coming back to bite her though, as Ryan catches up with her some time later and outright asks why she was following him.
Marcus continues to draw evidence together to try and figure out who wanted to Purge him. It turns out Michelle may be hiding something and know more than she’s letting on. Putting a tracker in her phone, Marcus decides to find out if this rumour holds some weight. He follows his wife to an unknown location where he finds out she’s actually at therapy talking about him and his paranoia. Feeling guilty, he heads back home and decides to do something nice for her as a surprise.
Ben runs into problems early on too, flashing back to that fateful Purge night midway through having sex with his girlfriend. She gives him some weed to calm down and suggests punching Turner, given he left him alone. Instead, Ben heads up to a farm to get his aggression out but is unable to follow-through and slaughter the animals. However, on the way home he winds up killing a man selling strawberries after an altercation about loose change. Heading home, he talks to his girlfriend again and tells her he Purged but she remains supportive. For how long though, remains to be seen.
As the episode closes out, Marcus heads home and narrowly avoids being hit by a car – whoever wants him dead will seemingly stop at nothing to do just that.
Aside from a few dramatic spikes through the episode, there isn’t a whole lot else to write home about this week. The different stories starting to intersect and merge is a nice touch but Esme’s story really dosn’t have a whole lot riding on it and is arguably the weak link here. With no horror to speak of and a more pedestrian slice of drama, The Purge feels in danger of fizzing out like its first season. Still, it’s early days and there’s still time to turn this one around. For now though, The Purge delivers its weakest episode of the season but is still a far cry above the quality we received last week.