TV Recap: THE PURGE (Episodes 8-10)(2018)

You’ve followed the first episodes of THE PURGE (Ep 1-3, 4-5, and 6-7), now the final three episodes have come and gone. As the show came to an end the stakes were raised to new heights, and viewers finally got to see the characters come together in an unexpected way.

In episode 8 of THE PURGE, “The Giving Time is Here,” viewers saw flashback sequences focused on Lila (Lili Simmons). Viewers learned about a dark side to her, while at the same time Jenna (Hannah Emily Anderson) finally ended their relationship for good. This put Lila on a downward spiral. Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria) and Penelope (Jessica Garza) finally made it back to Pete the Cop’s bar. Penelope learned the truth about the cult she joined, and decided to confront the leader. Joe (Lee Tergesen) intervenes, but ends up taking Penelope away to his truck where viewers learned he had several people, including Jane (Amanda Warren), tied up. By the end of the episode he also rounds up Jenna and Rick (Colin Woodell) from their home.

Episode 9, “I Will Participate,” we learned the truth about Joe. In the previous episodes, viewers were lead to believe Joe was rescuing people, but in reality he was rounding up people who wronged him to face his own twisted trial. Miguel and Pete the cop (Dominic Fumusa) attempted to hunt down Joe to save Penelope, but Rex (Christopher Berry) and a group from the Carnival of Flesh attacked. Viewers watched as Jane went through her “trial,” where she was able to stand up to Joe. Unfortunately, there were dire consequences for Jane.

In the finale of THE PURGE, “A Nation Reborn,” we watched the final minutes of Purge night. Jenna and Rick were the next to be put on trial in Joe’s twisted game. Penelope found her strength, and her will to live, in order to escape and try to save her fellow captives. Miguel and Pete found where Joe took his victims, but Rex and his gang were hot on their heels. Not all of Joe’s victims survived the night, and it all came to a head when Joe faced off against Miguel as the siren signaled the end of Purge night. The finale ended by showing the surviving characters as Purge night approached one year later; Miguel and Penelope decided to help people, while Jenna and her new baby were safe far away in France.

The final two episodes of THE PURGE were, in my opinion, the best of the entire season. The shocking surprise of Joe’s true nature definitely threw viewers for a loop. He is truly a representation of what is wrong with America in this current climate; he is a blue-collar, middle-aged white male who is racist, sexist, and feels a strong sense of entitlement. The moment in episode 9 when Jane stands up to Joe and calls him out on all of his bull is such a strong scene and in that moment Jane was my hero. These episodes are also strong because it highlights who would likely be participating on Purge night, and the array of reasons they would believe it is their “right.”

While these episodes end the season off on a high note, they are not without issues. In a show that focuses on so many different characters, it can be difficult to make sure each one is getting highlighted. In the last two episodes there are main characters that viewers have been following since the beginning who get killed off. Their deaths seem a bit unceremonious, being fairly quick and without any true resolution. There isn’t any powerful reaction from the other characters, and there isn’t any real chance to process or mourn these deaths. The death in episode 9 felt especially abrupt to the point where I wondered if the character wasn’t really dead. It wasn’t until the final episode ended that it was clear.

It is very fitting that the finale of the show aired on election night. The Purge franchise is not afraid to be political in its message, and the show was no different. Before the finale aired it was also announced that THE PURGE has been renewed for a second season. It will be interesting to see if the showrunners decide to follow the same cast of characters for season 2, or if they will introduce new characters. There is also a chance that we could see THE PURGE go international, as the finale hinted that European countries were considering trying Purge night as well. My hope for the next season is that the showrunners learn what worked and what didn’t in season 1. I also hope they chose to move away from the more outlandish aspects of Purge night, such as the Carnival of Flesh, which take the relatively serious tone of the show to a more ludicrous place. There should be more villains like Joe, more strong females like Jane, and I would love to see a return of the Matron Saints in order to focus on their role on Purge night. THE PURGE TV show acts as a warning to what this country is becoming. While the show has its drawbacks, it is still highly entertaining and takes viewers on a twisted journey.

THE PURGE season 2 is expected to premiere in fall 2019.

Molly Henery
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