Episode Eight “The Giving Time Is Here ”
Written by Thomas Kelly
Directed by Michael Nankin
[All images courtesy Patti Perret/USA Network]
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Now, on to the All American Carnage of The Purge, Episode Eight – “The Giving Time Is Here”!
WARNING! Converging Plot Threads (and Spoilers) Ahead!
*Miguel (Gabriel Chavarra) & Penelope Guerrero (Jessica Garza) reach Pete the Cop’s hangout. Pete (Dominic Fumusa) gives Penny a quick history lesson cribbed from The Purge: Anarchy (2014). She learns that not only did Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif) get her funding from the NFFA, she specifically targeted members for her cult from those the government thought of as “disposable”.
Miguel saves Pete from a disgruntled criminal’s brother, while Penny summons the Blue Bus of Death to confront Tavis over her lies.
*Jenna (Hannah Anderson) & Rick Betancourt (Colin Woodell) At Chez Betancourt, Rick and Lila attempts to make nice for Jenna’s sake don’t last past a meal of grilled cheese sandwiches. Lila reaffirms the offer her father made to invest in the Betancourt’s company. Rick demurs; it’s not just his decision to make and he’ll have to talk it over with Jenna.
Jenna overhears this discussion and asks to speak to Lila alone. She explains to Lila that whatever existed between them, professionally or personally, “we’re through”. Undone by Jenna’s decision, Lila attempts to murder Rick, only to be stabbed to death by Jenna.
Oh, and their dead neighbor’s wife (Amy Parrish) is murdered on their doorstep after Lila informs her that Ross is dead and totally deserved it.
*At the end of this episode, we come to the Converging of the Plot Threads, courtesy Joe the Sandwich Guy Who Turns Out to Be Quite a Jerk (Lee Tergesen). Penny greets the Blue Bus of Death, confronting Tavis and begging the remaining cultists to leave. Just as the bus driver grabs Penny, Joe shoots him and Tavis. He grabs Penny and forces her into the back of his van. Miguel sees the van speed off.
Rick and Jenna are jarred from their shock over Lila’s death by their security system deactivating. We see them dragged out the front door in chains, moths gagged with duct tape. As they’re tossed into Joe’s van, we see – Surprise! Jane Barbour (Amanda Warren), Penny, Joe’s old boss Eileen (Allison King), Lifesaver Guy (Garrett Kruithof)and another woman. Like Rick and Jenna, they are chained, with duct tape across their mouths.
Notes on “The Giving Time Is Here”
*Joe the Sandwich Guy – it’s not that I’m mad, I’m just very disappointed … ok, I am really mad at your departure from “rescuing the helpless” to “imprisoning people in your van” this week.
*Joe remarks “It’s a little personal tonight.” How? Joe blames Eileen for the closure of the Saticoy Supply Co. factory. What’s his connection to the others held prisoner in his van? Where is he taking them?
*Checkov’s Fraternity Paddle comes into play this week as the blunt instrument Lila bludgeons Rick with, after weeks of hanging on the wall. As Russian playwright Anton Chekhov noted,”If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.”
*But the fraternity on the paddle, Psi Theta Gamma, doesn’t actually exist (that I could find) as a recognized fraternity.
*The voice or voices Lila heard after her conversation with Jenna could’ve been more distinct; it was difficult for me to understand what they were saying to her. Seeing the spirit of Albert Stanton (Reed Diamond) counseling his daughter would’ve tied the moment more closely to Lila’s flashback.
*Lila offers Rick 5, then 10, and finally 20 million dollars to leave Jenna.
*Lila’s initiation ceremony takes place just before her 18th birthday
*She is offered a choice between a curved dagger and a gun (and what looks like a crystal salt shaker).
*Lila’s ceremony looks like it’s about to begin way before 7 pm. Since the actual ceremony is in a windowless room, it’s possible it didn’t actually start until after commencement of The Purge.
*LOVED how the beginning of Lila’s flashback called back to Shirley Jackson’s story The Lottery; using the language and symbolism of a wedding (something borrowed, wearing a white dress, references to “cold feet” and a “big day”) to misdirect the viewer before the big reveal.
*Lila’s ceremony shares two classic tropes with The Lottery – Regularly Scheduled Evil and a Tomato Surprise.
*Ross’s wife Carol might’ve survived if Rick and Jenna had NOT made the mistake of “trying to warn somebody to look behind them but you’re all screaming at each other so they don’t understand what you’re saying”.
*The furry bunny gang from Episode One shows up at Pete’s Cantina.
*There’s a bit of meta discussion between Penny and Pete regarding why people commit crime and if the crime rate is actually as low as claimed. As Pete knows (and Penny will soon learn), the actual reason of the Purge has nothing to do with controlling crime.
*Counsellors helped re-enforce the NFFA “party line” about The Purge after the deaths of Penny & Miguel’s parents.
*I’m surprised that more people don’t try to circumvent the metal detectors used on Purge Night with 3D printed guns.
*If you want a class A liquor license like Pete, here’s a primer (though it’s links aren’t current).
*Pete accuses the NFFA of playing “the long con”, using The Purge to consolidate power. The role of winning a person’s trust to lure them into committing a crime also reminded me of sting operations in movies like American Hustle.
*TPS reports, made famous in Office Space (1999) are a real thing. But why is Pete hanging on to reports from 2016 & 2017?
Next Week: Episode Nine “They Will Participate” Who is participating, and how unwillingly are they doing so?
The Purge airs Tuesdays on USA at 10/9c.
More official images, information, and other goodies can be found here.
For more of my deep dives into Bates Motel, The Exorcist, and Channel Zero, check here at F&S and at SciFi4Me.com.
Until next week citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”