“Hey Guys, I’m One Of You!”
So this is it. Purge night is finally upon us and our quartet of characters find themselves struggling to survive across the 42 minutes of blood-soaked action. As we fly through the hours, counting down to the end of the Purge, the stories begin to intertwine, ending with a juicy cliffhanger ready for next week’s finale. It’s not perfect, and especially for the Marcus storyline some of the motivations here are weak, but for the most part The Purge does well to keep things interesting, delivering a suitable pay-off after 8 weeks of build up.
We begin with Ben as a child watching a woman on TV talk to children about the Purge. As he slams a toy into the ground, we cut back to present day in the midst of Purge night. Ben has Turner tied up along with the other boys and here he offers his friend a choice; he can live if he purges and kills Scotty. Not giving him much of a choice, Ben ties Turner’s hands together and plunges the knife into Scotty’s chest. The ritual is a success and as Ben heads off to get Turner a celebratory mask, his friend runs out the house. As Ben chases after him, they run straight into a graveyard where he’s ironically ambushed by a group wearing his God mask. Despite killing one of them, he rushes away before the rest can swarm him.
Marcus and Michelle strap in and prepare to defend their house. With the doors knocked off the hinges, one of the men throws a molotov, subsequently blasting the glass out the windows. Flames lick up the side of the curtains as Marcus scrambles to extinguish the fire. Clint however, turns the gun on Sam until he’s caught by the door, subsequently pulled inside the house. He tells them things have got way out of hand and as blood oozes from his open wound, Marcus decides to stitch him up.
Heading out unarmed, Marcus tries to rationalise with Clint and eventually trades him for Sam, which the neighbours gladly accept. After some back and forth and seemingly coming to a mutual agreement, he cheap-shots Michelle and stabs her, forcing Marcus to scramble to try and save her life. He heads outside, walking past the neighbours peacefully, and drives off.
Meanwhile the prison bus stops in the middle of nowhere as the men are lined up. Tommy tells the others they need to stick together as Ryan infiltrates the estate, a place intent on using Tommy and the others for their annual Purge hunt. Unfortunately, one of the men at the party happens to be the same guy from the house Ryan broke into and instantly spots him. As the hunters line up at the starting line, the two men hold back while eyeing Ryan suspiciously.
A red flare blasts into the sky as the prisoners realize they’re now being hunted. Despite freeing Tommy, Ryan is hit with a tranquiliser dart. When he awakens, he’s covered in dirt and buried alive until Tommy and the others arrive and save him. As they drive away, Ryan explains where their next target is.
After fooling the NFFA with a decoy surveillance of her, Esme heads out in a truck but unfortunately is hit by a masked gunner. As a blackout plunges the city into darkness, she manages to infiltrate the facility, just as the power comes back on and locks her in. As the episode closes out, Marcus and the others accidentally hit Ben out on the road, prompting them to snatch him up and take him to the hospital.
With Purge night in full swing, The Purge looks set for a dramatic showdown in next week’s finale. Will Ben purge inside the hospital when he regains consciousness? Will Michelle make it through the night? And will Esme singlehandedly shut down the NFFA operation? There’s a lot of questions left unanswered here and although the show hasn’t always been the most riveting horror series out there, this second season has done well to add a different flavour to the familiar Purge recipe.