TV Review: The Purge: Everything Is Fine (S2, E02)

Did I just see a drag queen with a shopping cart of weapons? Those curves were definitely padding. Now there’s a storyline I want.

It’s the morning after the annual Purge, and walks of shame occur at every turn. Now that the siren has sung, Zippy maid cleanup services are hard at work returning homes to normal. The maids gather the dead and set them on the curb for the Body recovery unit (like trash bags, get it?). It’s a semblance of sanity, where breakfast is served with only one blood stain in sight. This season of The Purge is certainly cheekier than the last, with lots of delirious smiles to go around, juxtapositions between carnage and cute.

the purge season 2

Esme (Paola Nunez) has a full schedule closing up cases for the NFFA. She’s looking for reasons to pursue the death of her friend, the community-loved Professor Adams. Using cam footage, she pieces together clues, but her boss has issues with Esme’s personal crusade (it’s against protocol, dammit). She pleads her case, that her friend’s death wasn’t lawful. For her troubles, she’s sent home for a break. I’m sure she’ll comply.

Marcus (Derek Luke) wants to uncover his stalker’s identity. He doesn’t feel safe, but life goes on. He pushes past gore effects on his way to work, which happens to be a hospital. “Why are you late?” a nurse asks. Probably the same reason so many people are here missing limbs? But it’s not all bad—one of the injured touts a scarred hand—same as Marcus’s attacker! Just before dying from wounds, the man gasps, “Ivory road.” We have us a mystery, folks.

Bodies are strung across campus like this is Seventies Ohio. Ben’s presumed dead by Turner (Matt Shively), the man who left his friend behind the night of. “Thanks for breakfast,” Ben says, stealing Turner’s bag o’ food upon entrance. Ben’s alive, but covered in blood. I don’t think they’re going to be friends anymore.

Heist man Ryan Grant (Max Martini) pays for another assisted living stay for his mum. Tough guys love their mommas, enough to gather up that blood money. “I’m sure you did the best you could,” she says, before asking who he is. She appears to have dimension. Back at the gang hangout, the robbers realize they’ve come up short on their estimated haul. The cops arrive, and Tommy takes one for the team. The police rough him up, despite his cooperation. “They’ll hold him over until the next Purge, then kill him,” Ryan explains.

I’m a bit confused here—the police just kills whoever’s in custody? I hadn’t thought of it before, but I suppose that’s not a stretch in terms of reality.

A memorial for Professor Adams takes place, arranged by Marcus’s son, Darren (Denzel Whittaker). I’d like to mention that Whittaker has a fascinating face for the screen, and I’m hoping he has a meaty role. Say what you will about The Purge, but the stories often center around people of color, which is great. Anyway, Ben attends the memorial but shows no emotion despite the tears around him. He’s in his own world, sketching pictures of the god mask. He seems to be fetishizing what happened to him, as if he’s going to take up the mantle himself. Later he’s shown playing a VR Purge game (no doubt created by EA. I wonder if it has microtransactions?) When he returns to the scene of his kill, the bloody mask is there waiting for him. He dons it.

TV Review: The Purge: Everything Is Fine (S2, E02)

Marcus stops by to check on his son, Darren (ah, here’s the story connection). Adams was Darren’s thesis director, and the kid is clearly upset, which manifests in tension between the estranged father and son. Marcus asks for help and learns that Ivory Road is a dark web site, one that isn’t approved by NFFA. Darren finds the hidden account to reveal that Marcus has a bounty on his head for 75k. The next Purge is a year away, and Marcus isn’t looking forward to it.

the purge

Rebellious Esme returns to the office to inspect a new audio sample from Adams’ home. I couldn’t make the noise out, but clearly it means something to Esme, who goes on-site to match up creaks and noises. Adams lived in a very rundown area—not so different from Dragula’s house of horrors. Esme finds a hidden package in the stairwell, an audiotape of “Subject 83,” being interviewed by Adams. “All I think about is violence,” the patient says.

Side note: “Zach Rogers as ‘Douchebag’” might be the greatest TV credit we’ll see this year. No, I’m not making that up. I also have no idea who that was this episode.

“Everything is Fine” is directed by Jessica Lowrey, who worked on Mad Men and recently directed an episode of Fear the Walking Dead. There’s an enormous amount of plot to follow here, but Lowrey does a good juggling of the info. This “days between” approach continues to be a fresh coat of paint for The Purge.

363 days left until the next one. We have lots of motivation for what’s coming up, don’t we? Maybe Douchebag will make his presence known?