Episode Three “The Urge to Purge”
Written by Nick Betancourt
Directed by David Von Ancken [All images courtesy Patti Perret/USA Network]
After taking deep dives into Bates Motel, The Exorcist, and most recently Channel Zero (here at F&S and at SciFi4Me.com), I’m plunging into a weekly look at the symbolism, clues, and connective tissues in each episode of The Purge series on USA Network.
For a full recap of Purge episodes, check out Father Son Holy Gore! I agree with his assessment that this episode is a step up; the intensity, storytelling, and worldbuilding all develop in fascinating ways.
Now, on to the All American Carnage of The Purge – Episode Three, “The Urge to Purge”!
*Miguel (Gabriel Chavarra) & Penelope Guerrero (Jessica Garza) -Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) manages to regain her hold on her flock, and Penelope is delivered to the next sacrifice stop. A group of garish, neon-coweled nuns put a sack over Penny, and toss her in their souped up Lance Camper.
Miguel earns the trust of Pete the Flop Cop (Dominic Fumusa); in exchange for his newly won car, Miguel gets the location (and a ride) of the Blue Bus of Death. Just one problem, though. Good Leader Tavis informs Miguel that Penelope was just delivered to “the nuns” who pointed him towards the BBoD!
* Jenna (Hannah Anderson) & Rick Betancourt (Colin Woodell) – Jenna breaks off the make out session with her Lila (Lili Simmons) to deliver some important news. She and Rick are expecting a baby.
Later, Jenna is summoned by Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond) to join Rick and himself in the study. After securing funding from Stanton, his assistants dragg a bloody, bedraggled man into the room. The man begs for his life through a gag as Stanton accuses the him of stealing and reselling copper wiring from a Stanton construction sites. Always a gracious host, Albert hands Rick a pistol to kill the dishonest ex-employee. A stunned Rick declines (at Jenna’s insistence), Albert shoots the man. Afterwards, Jenna insists they pull out of the deal and Rick reluctantly agrees. He conveniently goes to find something for them to drink while Lila approaches Jenna.
*Jane Barbour (Amanda Warren) – Amid celebratory champagne, David Ryker (Billy Baldwin) interrupts the celebration at Ryker- Moore Equity with a scolding phone call with a tiny little congratulations at the end for her, Jane goes looking for Alison (Jessica Misel), Mark (Adam Stephenson) – and a good Wfi connection. Away from the safety of the 38th floor, Jane doesn’t find a good Wi-Fi connection – but hears noises that are not a couple enjoying themselves – but Alison braced over a prone Mark stabbing him repeatedly with a pair of scissors. “So, do you notify HR about my promotion or is that up to me?”
*Joe the Sandwich Guy (Lee Tergesen) -To me, this was the most intriguing plot thread of the episode. Joe the Sandwich Guy stops the two Purgers he witnessed breaking into a home last episode, and shoots them dead before the terrified homeowner. Instead of harming the woman they wanted to rob, he says “Your house has been compromised. You’re not safe – Come with me.”
Notes on “The Urge to Purge”
*Pete the Cop gives us some specs on that sweet ’71 Chevelle SS – 502 cubic inch engine and 461 HP!
*We see some graffiti on a wall – “NFFA Must Be Stopped”.
*There are active revolutionary groups opposing the NFFA and The Purge.
*The British journalist who interviews Miguel mentions some real life predecessor of The Purge from the 19th Century “Scramble for Africa”. The exploitation of Congo under the direction of King Leopold, and the infamous Atlantic Slave Trade.
*Braka said Jane’s assignment was third on her list, and wouldn’t exchange payment until 7 pm on the dot. When did Braka get payment for jobs 1 &2? Did they pay with an online currency transaction that went through until 7 pm?
*At least we know Alison is a self-starter who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. Unlike Jane, she doesn’t “arrange for someone to do your dirty work”.
*Like the Army of the 12 Monkeys, Purgers have let all the animals out of the zoo.
*Spied a mask at the Stanton party that could maybe be a Renaissance woman, but did not look like Lucrecia Borgia – which is too bad, since the popular legend of Lucretia would fit the Stanton family dynamics perfectly.
*Lila Stanton knows Jenna is pregnant (I guessed right about that). Albert Stanton would give up all his material wealth “for a grandchild.” Is Lila concerned at the end of the episode for Jenna, or plotting something involving the unborn child?
*Albert Stanton is a self-professed feminist – who doesn’t pay taxes.
*I keep coming back to Lila’s Lizzie Borden mask. Which brings me back to the infamous rhyme commemorating Ms. Borden’s alleged murder of her parents.
*Whatever the Neon Nuns have in store for Penny, it promises to be beyond awful. They’re carrying a deluxe crossbow, a large knife with a serrated edge, a length of chain
*We learn what the blissed-out cultists meant by “OMF Penny” in Episode One. Miguel and Penelope are an Original Martyr Family – survivors of the first Purge on Staten Island. Their flashback story ties the series to the fourth movie in the Purge series The First Purge (2018).
*The Purge Cult follows a “peace sign” route every year. Either they really believe their dogma, or have a great sense of irony.
*The “Devil Dog” term used by Miguel dates from the First World War.
*Both Miguel and Penelope are told “their parents would be proud” of their actions on Purge Night
* Pete, Rick, and Joe the Sandwich Guy offer three different ways of dealing with The Purge. Rick wants to succeed in without being a part of it – “this is the world we’re living in,” Pete’s bar offers a way station, “giving people a safe spot to think it over”
Joe the Sandwich Guy apparently has taken a different message from the talk radio host he’s listening to. “Fear is the great thief … not everyone has the courage to rise up … to achieve their dreams.” He deals with the Purge by living his dream – not of killing, but for being the hero.
Next week, how will our characcters “Release the Beast” in Episode Four?
Until then citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”
The Purge airs Tuesdays on USA at 10/9c.
More official images, information, and other goodies can be found here.