THE PURGE TV “House of Mirrors” S2E5 – F&S Deep Dive

The Purge TV logoSeason 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”!

Be sure to visit Father Son Holy Gore for The Purge episode recaps, and follow FSHG for tons of in-depth TV and movie recaps, analysis, and reviews!

WARNING!

thX56VT529

Spoilers Ahead!

 

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).

The Purge - Season 2
Well, they do say that fences make good neighbors!

EPISODE NOTES

Teaser Tidbits

*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.

The Purge - Season 2
Sara knows this heist idea is dumb, and so does Ryan.

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.

The Purge - Season 2
Doug pulls surveillance duty at the golf club.

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.

The Purge - Season 2
Yeah, Ryan, we miss Tommy too. Hope you can bust him out of jail!

 

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.

The Purge - Season 2
No pictures of Ben, Esme, or Marcus this week. It’s all robbery, all the time!

*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.

The Purge - Season 2
I don’t know if I buy the whole “keep valuables in the air during the Purge” idea. Isn’t hijacking legal on Purge Night too?

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.

Until next week citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.

THE PURGE TV “Grief Box” S2E4 – F&S Deep Dive

The Purge TV logoSeason Two, Episode Four “Grief Box”
Written by Desta Tedros Reff
Directed by James Reynono
[All  images courtesy Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network]

 

Now, we continue the NFFA sanctioned All-American Carnage with The Purge Season Two, Episode Four, “Grief Box”!

Be sure to visit Father Son Holy Gore for The Purge episode recaps, and follow FSHG for tons of in-depth TV and movie recaps, analysis, and reviews!

WARNING!

thX56VT529

Spoilers Ahead!

 

Plot Threads of the Dammed

*Esme (Paola Nunez) continues investigating Prof. Adams’s death, using NFFA resources.

*Marcus continues investigating into who tried to kill him.

*Ryan (Max Martini), Sara (Chelle Ramos), and Doug (Jaren Mitchell) continue planning their big heist.

*And Ben (Joel Allen) continues to get away with murder due to the NFFA’s obsession with keeping crime statistics down by manipulating crime statistics and reclassifying murders as heatstroke fatalities and suicides.

The Purge - Season 2
Full shot of the header image – note the reversed writing below the handcuffs on left.

EPISODE NOTES

Teaser Tidbits

This week, the teaser takes the form of an NFFA public service announcement celebrating “Remembrance Day”, celebrated on June 21, three months after the annual Purge. We follow a formally dressed man (Choppy Guillotte) delivering “Grief Boxes” to families of Purge fatalities.

*The driver/delivery man wears formal mourning clothes, with a sprig of Blue Baptisia in the buttonhole and a yellow handkerchief in the breast pocket.

*The Star-Spangled Banner plays softly in the background.

*The soothing words of the female narrator urges viewers to “Wish a safe and happy holiday to every citizen who has a loved one sacrificed for the Purge … celebrate these great martyrs who gave their lives for our county …no greater act of service than to give your life for our great nation. We celebrate the mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice … it’s the American thing to do.

*Giving one’s life for one’s country … an idea going back to Roman poet Horace. His Odes (III.2.13) exclaim,

“It is sweet and good (or right) to die for your fatherland,” wrote the poet Horace (Odes III.2.13), and echoes of this idea are seen in requiems and memorials throughout history. “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori,” translated “What joy, for fatherland to die!”

*Thanking the families of Purge Night victims can be seen as the NFFA version of thanking veterans for their service, a rote phrase often accompanied by giving veterans discounted sports tickets or a lower interest rate on their new home.

*While many things have changed in the NFFA’s America, the American Way of Death is still intimately entwined with commerce.

*The driver eventually returns to an Amazon-like warehouse where an enormous assembly line puts together Grief Boxes. Each box appears to contain some items unique to each victim, a portrait of said Purge victim, and a miniature brass urn.

*As the camera pans away from the assembly line, we see wheelbarrows toting mounds of ashes from massive containers. Are the bodies we saw picked up from the curb in Episode Two taken to industrial-scale crematoriums? Where have we seen that before in human history?

The Purge - Season 2
Michelle again takes second place to Marcus’s investigation obsession .

Esme Carmona, Plucky Detective

*Esme gets her jump scare quotient for the episode when Darren visits with hard copies of Prof. Adams’s test subjects. She’d deliberately misfiled them to keep them safe.

*The subjects have no names, only numerical identification. Esme plans to get around that by using NFFA facial recognition software.

*Darren said Prof. Adams was studying the addiction to violence, theorizing that those violent acts light up the pleasure centers of the brain like a drug. Which isn’t too far off the mark in real life.

*Darren speculates something the audience already knows from the Purge movies; the whole premise of the Purge is a lie. Instead of reducing crime, the Purge “makes people want to kill more, every day of the year.”

*The First Purge (2018), revealed the original Purge’s origins as a dodgy social science experiment. The Purge: Anarchy (2014) exposed the 1%’s practice of using the Purge to reduce the population of the other 99%.

*According to Esme, blowing a stop sign marks citizens as a “Level G”, and enables government tagging. Last week, we learned that Tommy’s crime marked him as a Level R offender.

*Esme learns that every test subject but one is dead.  Deceased subjects include Jeremy Cain, Alex Wade, Ian Grossman, (Candace?) Remante, Sam Bogh, Dara Kurvitch, Serge Paloulian, Trent Sarreal.

*Esme finds the last test subject, Olivia Hughes, dead, and a broken window latch in the woman’s home. Detective Estrada (Gerardo Davila) is surprised. He hasn’t had a “B & E” (breaking and entering) in six years, much less a murder.”

*Back at work, Esme again uses work computers to search for video footage around Olivia’s home. Oddly, all she finds is an error message: “Media Offline: error code: 987aba468_23”.

*Det. Estrada is not pleased to get a call from Esme about this. Olivia’s death has been ruled a suicide. He understands that may upset Esme, given her sister’s troubled history.

*Except Esme didn’t tell Estrada about her sister.

*Aaaanndd her Supervisor (Connor Trinneer) is monitoring Esme’s reaction to this call – through her computer monitor.

The Purge - Season 2
Esme continues to use easily monitored work computers for her private investigation.

The Ryan Grant Robbery Crew

*Ryan’s crew plots the bank/airport heist at his mother’s rest home.

*Their problem with their plan; using jamming devices to disable the money plane’s electronics would be illegal, along with putting the triggering device in the money before it’s loaded on plane.

*Visiting Tommy (Jonathan Medina) in jail gets Ryan the name of a possible bank connection.

*Tommy’s been in the clink for three months and appears to be getting beaten regularly.

*Wonder what Ryan’s gift of The Count of Monte Cristo to Tommy signifies? The future storyline for Tommy?

*Turns out you can use Grief Boxes to get free lap dances at strip clubs!

Marcus and Michelle: I Don’t Know Who Wants to Kill Me

*Turns out Marcus didn’t lose his wife Tonya (Devyn Tyler) to a Purge related event but just having different visions of life. Tonya wanted to stay in their neighborhood, Marcus wanted to move up and out to the Garden District. (Interesting. Click that link and you’ll see a house that looks very familiar from Season 1.)

*The P.I. Marcus hired last week discovered that the assassin, name of  Heywood Diedrick, lived on the same street Marcus grew up on.

*14 yrs ago on Purge Night, Marcus and Tonya gathered their neighbors inside their house, with the children in the center of the room for safety. A masked Purge gang bursts in. One holds a knife to Tonya’s throat. She recognizes the teen, Eli, (Joshua Rivera), by his voice and Nike Air Force 1 shoes.

*Tonya, with help from Marcus and Andre Damien D. Smith) talks him down to put the knife down.

*Eli uses a hunting knife as his weapon of choice; an up-close and personal weapon we’ll see Ben wield fourteen years in the future.

*Present – Andre arrives at BBQ in a GMC Denali truck that tried to run Marcus over. M assaults Andre, but D points out A’s car has a Jamaica front plate cover and a roof rack with spotlights

*Marcus learns from Tonya that someone had come around last summer asking about him. Marcus goes home and again abandons Michelle (Rochelle Aytes) to rework his suspect board (aka String Theory Wall of Crazy) and visit the Ivory Road message boards.

The Purge - Season 2
Marcus is about to leap on the Dark Web.

Ben and the Really Bad Strawberry Road Trip

*Ben relives killing last week’s grifterfarmer (ops, I meant “beloved berry farmer”) as he punches a boxer’s training dummy. He’s even more relieved when Kellen shows him a news report revealing the farmer’s body was discovered. The cause of death? Heatstroke!

*Interesting NFFA news blurb on tv “NFFA Cancels Iowa Event So Level 10 Officials Can Remain With Their Loved Ones”. Is this plot-related or just Remembrance Day Weekend scheduling?

*Ben’s visit to the “Purge USA Store” “Remembrance Day Sale” is the visual highlight of this episode, featuring more of the Purge Commercial Industrial Complex.

*Along with signs advertising “New and Used Purge supplies at 20-80% Off!” we see this gem –

“Lost a Loved One?

Purged  a Pal?

Present a new

Grief Box

For 25% Off!”

*Items on sale run the gamut – Chain saws, heavy-duty flashlights, along with what looks like WW2 hand grenades and Civil War minne balls. Crossbows, Throwing Stars,  hunting knives with wicked serrated edges, handguns, and shotguns.

*I didn’t see semi-automatic weapons; they must be above the “Class 4 and lower” allowed during the Purge.

*Get your Purge All-Purpose Bleach in the Purge Cleanup Section, featuring products to remove “blood, urine, fecal matter, odors – Guaranteed – Natural Ingredients!”

*The store PA system announcesWe Blow Out So You Can Blow ‘Em Away!

*Ben meets a Purge True Believer at the store. Andy Tran (Lawrence Kao) loves the Purge, and loves to drink, so Ben invites him to Remembrance Day Frat Party.

*Andy would add his roomie to his Purge list, but needs him for answers to Organic Biology tests.

*Ben picks out a knife, Andy perceptively notes, “You like that up-close kind of sh*t, huh?”

*Are the hooded, bound young men at the party frat pledges, or something more sinister?

*Instead of putting his turncoat friend Turner (Matt Shively) on his Purge list (or killing him right there), Ben ends his evening stalking of the annoying Anti-Purge activist (Hayden Guthrie), wearing the blood-smeared God Mask.

The Purge - Season 2
I’m sure the police would say Ben’s latest victim fell on the hunting knife!

The Purge Season Two, Episode Five, “House of Mirrors” airs Nov. 12 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.

Until next week citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.