[Episode Recap] THE PURGE S2 EP10

The time has finally come. It’s the season 2 finale of THE PURGE. The showrunners hold no punches in the final episode, “7:01 AM.” 

The episode opens by flashing back to before the first Purge in New Orleans. It’s a short scene that takes place in the building that will become the NFFA surveillance headquarters. What makes this scene stand out is the appearance of a familiar face. Fans of the franchise will immediately recognize Ethan Hawke, reprising his role as security system salesman James Sandin from the first film in the franchise. It’s a quick fun nod that fans are sure to love.

Jumping to the present, THE PURGE starts with just three hours left on Purge night. Ryan (Max Martini) and his team have rescued their friend, Tommy. Now it’s time for them to change their focus back to the heist. The only problem is, they’ll have to face the Jackals again in order to get their cash back.

Marcus (Derek Luke) is rushing to get his wife to a triage center after being stabbed. On the way they hit Ben (Joel Allen) with their truck, knocking him unconscious. They arrive at the triage center to get medical help. Unfortunately, Marcus will likely come to regret saving Ben. 

Esme (Paola Nuñez) is in the final stages of her plan to expose the NFFA and the truth about the Purge. She’s in the belly of the beast with little help or resources. The closer she gets, the more dangerous her mission becomes.

This episode of THE PURGE had some of the strongest performances of the entire season. The two biggest standouts are Paola Nuñez (The Son, Sin ella) and Joel Allen (Never Goin’ Back). Allen gives a truly chilling performance as Ben. We have watched his descent into madness throughout the entire season, but this episode sees him go to an extreme that is truly disturbing. Just the look in his eyes is the look of pure, soulless evil. Nuñez has been one of the stronger actors during this season in her portrayal of Esme. In the final few moments of Purge night, Nuñez really shines and delivers an emotional yet defiant performance. 

“7:01 AM” is what I have always wanted from THE PURGE. It has the political intrigue as well as the murderous violence that comes from Purge night. The finale brings everything together so perfectly. From the moment the episode began to the final moments of Purge night, I was on the edge of my seat. I was shocked to find myself almost in tears in the final moments of this episode; something that has never happened to me in any of the past films or the first season of THE PURGE. I cared about the characters and what their fates would be at the end of the season. The season also ends with a sense of hope that was lacking in the previous installments. What that tells me is the showrunners finally achieved a balance between great storytelling and exciting entertainment.

It felt like this season gave the franchise a much-needed boost. Fans finally got to see a side of the Purge they hadn’t seen before without losing the bloodthirsty edge they have come to expect. The franchise had forward motion that makes me excited about what the next film will hold, and it makes me hope there will be a third season of THE PURGE. One thing to note is the characters from season one do not appear in season two. I think it would be wise if some of the season two characters were the focus of a third season, even if they aren’t the main characters from this season. 

Don’t miss this must-watch season finale of THE PURGE, Tuesday night at 9/8c only on USA network. And for those who need a refresher, check out our previous reviews of Season 2 here

Molly Henery
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