Season Two, Episode Two “Everything Is Fine”
Written by James Roland
Directed by Jessica Lowrey
[All images courtesy Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network]
Now, we continue our second season of All-American Carnage with The Purge Season Two, Episode Two, “Everything Is Fine”!
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Plot Threads of the Dammed
Athough Esme (Paola Nuñez), Ben (Joel Allan), and Marcus (Derek Luke) are starting to cross paths, they, along with Ryan (Max Martini), are still following their separate plot threads.
*Esme can’t let go of her suspicions regarding the death of Professor Adams (Avis-Marie Barnes), and continues her investigation despite her supervisor’s (Connor Trinneer) warning.
*Ben falls further into his post-sexual assault PTSD, despite claiming (like the episode’s title) “Everything Is Fine”.
*Marcus solves one mystery, but stumbles on another.
*Ryan hunts for clues regarding the First Parish Bank’s pre-and-post Purge money shifting strategy, along with a bit of personal business involving his mother (Geraldine Singer).
*Big thanks to James Roland, writer of this episode, for the title of the insanely catchy song playing over the Zippy Maids cleanup. It’s “On the Move” by Vinyl Pinups ft. Whissell.
*While there is a non-nightmarish 2008 country song by Josh Turner called “Everything Is Fine”, my mind went to the nightmare fuel version from David Lych’s 1977 movie Eraserhead, “In Heaven (Everything Is Fine)”. It features one surreal lyric –
Everything is fine
You got your good things
And I’ve got mine”
*Much more soothing is this family’s post Purge luncheon sountrack, Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Natchmusic“, which wafts through the home while the former man of the house gets tossed to the curb with the other Purge Night trash. It’s picked up by “City of New Orleans Waste Management – Body Recovery Unit”
*The suburban McMansion serviced by the Zippy Maids features accents of NFFA blue throughout, a statue of the Virgin Mary robed in blue in the hallway, yellow roses at the curb, and, in a bit of color symbolism used through out the Purge franchise, a pot of blue flowers by the mailbox, flanked by US and NFFA flags.
*There are a surprising number of companies worldwide using the word “Zippy” for their cleaning service, but not in combination with Maids. In the US, we’ve got Maids.com, Merry Maids, and Molly Maids.
*The Zippy Maids concept resembles an NFFA version of the 2009 Amy Adams and Emily Blunt feature Sunshine Cleaning, which focused on the kind of biohazard and disaster recovery cleanup offered by ServPro. Their regular cleanup service motto? “Like It Never Even Happened“.
Esme Carmona, Plucky Detective
*The opening credits confirm it Connor Trinneer IS NFFA Surveillance Center Supervisor “Curtis”!
*Curtis reports some statistice to a distracted Esme; a 30% uptick in every district from last year’s Purge making this the “biggest Purge in city history” with “way more finish-line f*ck ups” – like Tommy’s.
*Esme wears super-sleek wireless ear buds/air pods – which tend to fall out and are not great for everyone’s ears.
*At least Esme’s boss didn’t say “have a seat” when she got the dreaded visit to your supervisor’s office.
*We learn Professor Adams supported Esme after sister Sophia’s death; Adams was “the only person who listened” to the grieving sister.
*Esme downloads the data from the Professor’s cell phone and “registered smart tv”, then takes the data with her.
*Cell phones, “smart TVs“, and “voice controlled virtual assistants” like Amazon’s Alexa all have the capability to monitor your activities. Basically, voice command features are not your friends.
*The data Esme has on her personal laptop/flash drive is property of the NFFA. In taking NFFA property off site, is Esme guilty of non Purge cybercrime? Does her boss already know? Do white-collar criminals get the same treatment as bank robbers like Tommy?
*After a couple jump scares and interruption from a real estate agent (Eric Cepeda) and home inspector (Rob Roy Cesar) duo eagerly getting the former Adams residence ready for sale, Esme uses a Purge Night sound recording to track Professor Adams’s path through her home. She takes a tan mailer envelope from a secret staircase compartment.
*Esme disables her home devices – TV unplugged, phone off, music turned on – and examines the envelope’s contents, a CT scan transparency and microcassette recorder.
*The xray presents two views of a cranium, with “Englarged P. Cent.” written in yellow, alongside a circled section of brain.
*We (and Esme) hear the following –
Professor Adams voice: July 5 9:03 test subject 83
PA: Do you think about violence?
Voice: All I think about violence.
PA: Aare you thinking about it now?
*If “Enlarged P. Cert.” means what I think it does, we’re in for some Lovecraftian Pineal Gland madness! For the uninitiated, Stuart Gordon’s 1986 epic From Beyond is a WTF exploration of, as TV Tropes calls it, Pineal Weirdness.
The Ryan Grant Robbery Crew
*Are the “ladies” Ryan walks past on the street some of the Matron Saints we met last year in S1E4, “Release the Beast“?
*The camera pans up from Ryan to showcase a wide shot the post Purge New Orleans downtown with skyscrapers on fire and a voice over warning citizens to not touch corpses.
*Sara (Chelle Ramos) gave Doug (Jaren Mitchell) codeine to numb the pain of his injuries. For Sara and Doug the high risk of the Purge is no longer work the declining reward; she has amortgage, and Doug has kids.
*Ryan persuades Sara and Doug to hold off on quitting. His share of the bank robbery haul is enough to pay for his dementia-afflicted mother Alice (Geraldine Singer) to live at the Layfayette Assisted Care facility. Good thing they accept cash payment in bricks of one dollar bills.
*Ryan wonders if he faces any good choices anymore (aka a “Hobson’s Choice“).
*Tommy Ortiz (Jonathan Medina) arrives at the rendezvous point, only to give himself up to the police who show up a few minutes later.NOPD cops viciously beat Tommy as they read him his Miranda rights.
*Why do they bother? According to Ryan Tommy won’t be bound over for trial; “They’ll hold him over until the next Purge, then kill him.” What is the Judicial system under the NFFA like? Are all prisoners tagged with “finish-line f*ck ups” (aka major felonies) just murdered at the next Purge? Are they sold to the wealthy for Purge Parties?
*Ryan tracks the 1st Parish Bank’s money post Purge. First transported by Eastin Protective Services to a warehouse, then delivered by General Laundry Service truck to a private jet at an airport.
Marcus and Michelle: Purge Night and Chill
*Marcus begins his morning after Purge Night with some fresh French Press coffee – and another jump scare.
*Marcus notes that “the Cartwrights” hired someone to track whoever targeted them on Purge Night and “returned the favor” the next Purge Night.
*As Marcus arrives at work, we learn two things: Marcus works as an emergency room physician, and healthcare rationing still exists under the NFFA.
*Marcus and the other E.R. staff have to make spilt-second decision regarding triage treatment for amputations, lacerations, stab wounds, fingers blown off, and more in a facility crowded with patients desperate for care. This is one of the more graphic scenes in any Purge story, movie or television.
*The hospital is out or running low on Type O Negative blood; According to the American Red Corss, “Type O negative is the universal blood type”, present in only 7% of the population, and vital for emergency room medicine.
*Marcus uses Narcan to temporarily revive the Scarred Hand Man who tried to kill him Purge Night and pump him for information.
*Scarred Hand Man says “Ivory Road” before dying in the ER. Marcus, armed with that phrase and the dead man’s cell phone, goes to see his tech-savvy son Darren (Denzel Whitaker).
*Darren Moore is, like Ben, a student at Cooke University and Professor Adams was his thesis advisor. He isn’t hostile towards Marcus, but their interaction makes it clear their relationship is polite but distant.
*Darren not only knows what “Ivory Road” refers to, he can unlock the disguised Ivory Road icon on the dead man’s phone, AND show his Dad the $75,000.00 bounty for Marcus’s life that’s active on the Dark Web site, and will be until it’s fulfilled.
*The Purge’s Ivory Road is an obvious Purge themed version of the real life Dark Web marketplace Silk Road; the Dark Web browser Tor exists in this universe as it does in ours.
Ben and the Very Bad, No Good, Rotten Day After Purge Night
*Ben’s behaviors after Purge Night reflect Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms experienced by victims of violence and sexual assault.
- Flat Affect – Emotionlessly telling his girlfriend Kelly (Danika Yaroh) “I’m fine” before taking a shower fully clothed while flashing back to the assault by God Mask. Later, Ben’s only reaction to Professor Adam’s death is wondering if they’ll have class this week.
- Self Harm – Gouging his palm with a penknife during another flashback.
*All the storylines so far are interesting, but Ben’s has captured my interest the most. I’m concerned that instead of a series-long exploration of the effects of his Purge Night trauma, Ben will take a flying leap off Travis Bickle Cliff to Taxi Driver Town.
Eyes, Eyes Everywhere
*There are sets of eyes graffitied outside the bank and the warehouse Ryan cases while following the bank’s money to the airport. Last week Ryan asked Tommy if he’d avoided the “eyes in the sky” on his way to their rendezvous point. Tommy claimed he’d crossed three “dead zones” to avoid detection.
*When Ben plays a Purge themed first person shoot VR game, the man complaining about the wait outside wears a t-shirt festooned with sets of eyes.
Episode Three, “Blindspots” airs Oct. 29 at 9/8c on USA.
Until next week citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”
Official USA network images, articles, and other Purge related goodies can be found here.
My deep dives into Bates Motel, The Exorcist, and Seasons 1 & 2 of Channel Zero reside at SciFi4Me; Fang and Saucer is home to my deep dives into Season One of The Purge TV, and Channel Zero Seasons 3 & 4.
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