We’ve reached the halfway point for season two of THE PURGE. This week’s episode is titled “House of Mirrors” and in this episode each character reaches various points of no return.
In another time jump, “House of Mirrors” begins with only 136 days left until the next annual Purge. Ryan and his crew have found a way to get to the vault money on Purge night. When part of their preparation fails, they have to take extreme measures to make sure they can get their hands on the goods. The only problem is, it involves doing something illegal on a non-Purge night. Marcus finally finds someone who can get him the name of who wants him dead, but there is a price for this information. What Marcus learns threatens to destroy his world.
Ben gets even closer to his fellow Purge-enthusiast Andy. When he gets a little too comfortable and reveals a dark secret, Ben realizes there are some things you can’t take back. Esme finds herself becoming more disillusioned with the NFFA. She becomes determined to prove one of her friend’s test subjects was murdered and enlists the help of a skilled hacker to find out more.
This episode of THE PURGE also gives viewers a glimpse of Esme’s past. We go back in time 10 years before she began working for the NFFA. Her father and her younger sister were living together after Esme’s mother died. When returning home to visit, Esme discovered that not only was her sister doing drugs, but their father was also abusing her. This drastically altered how Esme viewed her family, as well as how she viewed Purge night. Esme’s future was clearly affected by these events and lead to her working for the NFFA doing surveillance.
While the various plot lines and learning about Esme’s past is both intriguing and entertaining, there is another aspect of this episode that stands out. In both more overt and subtle ways, this episode of THE PURGE addresses how simple things like dating are greatly altered by Purge night. The films and show have shown how everyday slights can turn into deadly vendettas. “House of Mirrors” shows how a bad date or failed relationship can be just as deadly. One of the more subtle scenes involves a double date with Ben, his girlfriend, Andy, and a girl named Bonnie. After Andy talks a lot about Purge night and the NFFA, Bonnie expresses concern about turning him down because she doesn’t want to end up on his “hit list.” In this day and age, women already have to be concerned for their safety when they turn a guy down, whether it is a random guy hitting on her or someone she’s been dating for years. Imagine if the men they already have to fear had free license to do whatever they wanted to those women for one night of the year and the terror these women would have to live with leading up to that night.
As usual, THE PURGE has great performances from the four leads. This week Ben and Ryan had particularly interesting storylines that are left in ways that will leave viewers excited to see what happens next week. It’s clear that events will be picking up pace as the annual Purge gets closer and closer. Will these characters make it until then? Only time will tell.
THE PURGE airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on the USA network. For more on the series, check out our review of the previous episodes here.