Season Two, Episode Five “House of Mirrors”
Written by Lindsey Villarreal
Directed by Christoph Schrewe
[All images courtesy Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network]
Now, we continue the NFFA sanctioned All-American Carnage with The Purge Season Two, Episode Five, “House of Mirrors”!
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Plot Threads of the Dammed
*Esme Carmona (Paola Nuñez) ditches her loyalty to the NFFA and gives Professor Adams’s data to La Resistance – oops, I mean “The Foundation”.
*Things go south in a big way for the Ryan Grant (Max Martini) Robbery Crew, thanks to inept inside man Carl (Christopher Redman).
*Marcus (Derek Luke) finds out who wants him dead – or does he?
*Ben (Joel Allen) commits his fourth murder in five episodes. Spoiler Alert – don’t get too attached to Andy (Lawrence Kao).
*Tonight’s mini-episode teaser opens in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fun fact: “Rio de Janeiro” translates to “River of January” in Portuguese.
*Continuing the “Murder Tourism” first seen in The Purge: Election Year (2016), we meet Bride-to-Be Fernanda (Paula Perra) and her Maid of Honor Juliana (Luisa Morales) visiting Los Quatro Ventos, Agencia de Viages (Four Winds Travel Agency).
*Fernanda wants a Purge Bachelorette Weekend in the New Orleans, the “Big Easy“.
*The travel agent (Erik Marmo) recommends the Dirty Harry package tour; featuring six shooters, Purge approved Kevlar, and individual bodyguards for each member of the group.
*One brochure urges, “Estilo Purge Big Easy!” (Purge Big Easy Style!), other blare “Purgar Miami”, “Purgar Las Vegas”.
*After Fernanda finishes ordering her Maid of Honor to make all the arrangements and goes to visit the ladies room, Juliana asks the travel agent if refunds are available if not everyone makes it back.
Esme Carmona, Rebel With a Cause
*Esme’s still using her work PC for personal issues. Is her boss (Connor Trineer) still spying on her like last week?
*Any record of Esme’s sister Sofia (Marianly Tejada) has been wiped from the system.
*The NFFA search categories available on citizens include Report, Photo/Video, Communication, Records, and Associates.
*Ten years ago – Esme visits her father Hector (Jay Santiago) and sister. In the wake of their mother’s death, Sofia’s self-medicating to cope with their father’s physical (and sexual?) abuse. We see bruising and abrasions on Sofia’s wrists and breasts.
*Esme removes Sofia from her father’s clutches and sends her to therapy with Professor Adams. Triggered by repeated calls from their father, Sofia steals money from her sister and runs away.
*On Purge Night, Esme goes to her father’s home and locks him out in revenge for his abuse of the still-missing Sofia. Esme recites the Catholic prayer Hail Mary in Spanish as her father is beaten to death.
*In the present day, Esme unplugs all electronic devices in her apartment before welcoming in a computer hacker (Tyner Rushing) from “the Foundation”. I don’t recall hearing about this group last season, or in any of The Purge films.
*Esme gives the woman the Olivia Hughes files, along with the hard copy files Darren found regarding Professor Adams’s research “her family deserves to know the truth”.
*Turns out the NFFA used a bug in Esme’s purge to get around her anti-surveillance precautions.
*WHAT happened to convince Esme to so suddenly turn against the NFFA? At the end of E4, she’s staring at her computer monitor in shock; this week she’s inviting an anti-Purge hacker into her home and determined to bring the truth to light no matter the cost.
Situation Normal, All F*cked Up for the Ryan Grant Robbery Crew
*Ryan and Sara (Chelle Ramos) monitor via a Getac monitor and spycam pen as Carl O. (Christopher Redman) heads to the Barker plantation in Madisonville, LA. to plant an electronics-suppressing trigger in the wealthy family’s valuables before it’s loaded on a private jet on Purge Night.
*If that’s actually Carl’s own car, the window decals indicate he has a wife and two kids.
*Carl’s obsequious comment on the hunting scene hanging in the Barker’s hall (“Was the painter “En plein aire”?) doesn’t help him get access to the safe upstairs.
*Silas and Deb Barker (J.D. Evermore and Rebecca Wisocky) hand Carl an inventory and send him on his way. They go to the golf club, tailed by Doug (Jaren Mitchell).
*No access to safe means Ryan goes to Plan B. Namely, a bit of off-Purge Breaking and Entering to plant the trigger. If they’re unarmed, it’s only a Level Y offense!
*Too bad for Ryan and Sara, Carl brought a gun. Ryan takes it and ups their crime to armed breaking and entering, as well as leaving a ton of fingerprints.
*Carl takes a break from lookout duty to steal a gold pocket watch from sideboard and study that hunting scene again. As we see the hounds and riders are not chasing a fox, but a ghostly human figure, Carl’s brains splatter on the canvas. The Barkers are home!
*The Barkers lock their house down, arm themselves up and prepare to play The Most Dangerous Game, because Man is the Deadliest Animal of All.
*In the world of The Purge, do Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine laws still exist?
*Ryan makes a deal with the devil, in the form of their old Captain (Christine Dunford), to escape the immediate danger. Her crooked cops haul Ryan and Sara away, but in return she demands cut of their score and control over any decision Ryan makes.
Ben Gardner: Full Time Student, Part-time Serial Killer
*Dear The Purge USA writing staff – WHAT happened to the anti-Purge activist (Hayden Guthrie) Ben stalked at the end of the last episode? If Ben murdered her, his body count is now up to four in the space of five episodes.
*How cute Kelen (Danika Yarosh) and Ben dressed up in matching Harry Potter costumes for Halloween.
*Andy is reading up on the NFFA classics, including “Foundations of the Experiment: Unauthorized“, allegedly written by the late Dr. May Updale (Marisa Tomei).
*Since Dr. Updale was murdered at the end of The First Purge (2018), did she even “write” this history? Both stories about her ultimate fate – she committed suicide after the First Purge (according to Kelen), or died Purging (the “true” story according to Andy), are false. Viewers of The First Purge know what these characters do not; Dr. Updale was murdered by the NFFA after suffering a “My God, What Have I Done?” moment.
*Some choice quotes from Dr. Updale’s book: “Giving in to your worst urges as a form of military service” and “humans are animals, born to hunt.”
*Kelen says talking to Andy is like listing to Bobby Sheridan, “everything is about the Purge.” The link above has some very interesting information about Bobby Sheridan, the as yet unseen radio proselytizer of the Purge. According to Producer Krystal Houghton Ziv,
“We will see one character who we only heard last year,” Ziv stated. “In Season 1, our Joe character listened to those Bobby Sheridan tapes – the motivational speaker. And we’ll get to meet that character this year. And he was voiced by Dermot Mulroney so we were super excited to get Dermot Mulroney to play Bobby Sheridan.”
*Kelen’s friend Bonnie (Ahmarie Holmes) would’ve left the Double Date from Hell, but for fear of ending up on Andy’s “Kill List”.
* Sometime later, we see Ben and Andy playing video games & drinking in Andy’s dorm room.
*Andy wonders why Ben acts ashamed of Purging, since they’re just “Doing what man was meant to do” and shouldn’t let girls guilt trip them into hiding it. MRA rhetoric? Girls make them feel ashamed; sounds like the NFFA’s borrowed rhetoric from the MRAs.
*Ben wonders why the Purge is only one day out of the year. “How can something be good one day and wrong the next?” Misreading Andy’s enthusiasm for the Purge, Ben confesses to murdering the hapless grifterfarmer who supposedly died of heatstroke.
*Both Joel Allen and Lawrence Kao (along with the editing, sound, etc.) do a great job with Andy’s pretending to accept Ben’s denial, and Ben’s dawning realization that Andy doesn’t believe Ben’s hasty walk-back.
*Ben again stabs a victim in the stomach. Repeatedly.
*While leaving DNA and fingerprints EVERYWHERE. If the NFFA was still interested in, you know, solving crime, Ben might be in some trouble.
*Ben also forgets his wallet. He manages to sneak back into the dorm, but we see –
*A wonderful contrast between Ben frozen before a set of elevators doors, watching the lights flash downwards, and the overcranked shot of students walking back to those same elevators after a false fire alarm.
*The doors open to reveal Andy’s bloody corpse. This will be hard to classify as suicide or heatstroke.
Marcus Moore Thinks He Knows Who Wants to Kill Him (Or Does He?)
*Smoothly sinister Albert (Robert Catrini) responds to Marcus’s Ivory Road posting. He’ll give Marcus the name of whoever wants him dead; instead the usual Ivory Road currency (Oxycontin), Albert places Marcus on retainer.
*Much to Marcus’s chagrin (what will the neighbors think?), Albert brings a bloody, wounded man to the Moore house.
*Marcus adapts quickly to life as a Mob Doctor, treating the man’s leg wound and his acute “CompartmentSyndrome” in a graphic dinner table surgery scene.
*Oops! Michelle comes home, and is none to please to see what’s happened to her dining table. She’s even less happy when Albert gives Marcus the name he’s seeking; Sam Tucker, a neighbor down the street Michelle was sleeping with.
*I was a bit dubious that the answer to “who tried to kill Marcus” would be something so seemingly trite as “the neighbor Michelle was having an affair with”. But since Sam Tucker (Jay Ali) appears in next week’s episode, I guess that’s the answer to the mystery.
*Or is it?
The Purge Season Two, Episode Six, “Happy Holidays” airs Nov. 19 at 9/8c on USA.
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.