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The Purge Episode 8 The Giving Time Is Here: Recap and Review

With a shocking twist and bus-load of Pete’s Cantina this week, The Purge episode eight hit all the sweet spots.

The Purge Episode 8 Pete the Cop and his Cantina

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Visually, this episode started out very strong.  The old school horror movies were thrown a bone this week with fog-filled backlighting and slow motion escapes.  Tonally, this episode knocked it out of the park.  Finally the big reveal we have all been waiting for.  Lunchbox Joe is more than just a random hero, he’s a terrible Purger just like all the rest.  He’s just much more creative about his killing.  Lee Tergesen(Joe) is being put to full use as a character that is mysterious and tragic all while being abhorrent.  He’s the worst kind of monster, the one that looks like your savior.  Unfortunately for him, he has unwittingly pitted himself against a more than formidable Miguel who has already bested many a goon to get Penelope to Pete’s.  Joe is strong, but Miguel is younger, stronger and driven by a more noble instinct: love. 
Pete got another moment to shine this week as he was the one to out Tavis and her blue cult as just one more government machination by the NFFA.  That Tavis is simply playing a role she auditioned for makes her far more dangerous and interesting than any devout figurehead.  The fact that she uses her social work at rehab as an instrument to attract followers is disgusting but apparently very, very effective.  If she can coldly send people to their deaths knowing it doesn’t mean anything but a paycheck is chilling, to say the least.  It is an interesting parallel to the concepts of socioeconomic divide and the role religion plays in that.  As one might imagine Penny is surprised to hear the truth but through her own recollections of her youth, we learn the systematic desensitization of purging took place in every therapy session early on.  This is manipulation at its best and these poor people never had a shot.  Pete also explains fake news and how propaganda was used to stir the pot of discontent making the climate ripe for the new regime.  It’s scary stuff when examined through the lens of our current worldview.  China and North Korea have regularly used highly massaged news to control the masses and an argument could easily be made about Breitbart, Buzzfeed, Kathie Lee and Hoda….the list goes on.  Finally, poor Pete lays bare the scars he himself has at the loss of his brother by beheading no less.  It was a lot to take in while biding our time in the safety of the bar.
Jenna, Rick, and Lila were not fairing well together as the most awkward threesome in history.  This is why menage a trois’ don’t work, people.  Someone will always be the guest star and someone gets nothing but a cameo.  Through a series of flashbacks, we see Lila go through a First Communion Purge-style where she was asked to make her first kill.  In her ultra-rich world, it is a rite of passage and one to be celebrated.  She is nervous and upset but ultimately when her money and prestige is on the line she pulls the trigger.  It should come as no shock that her ability to detach from the morality of any situation to survive spells trouble for Jenna and Rick. 
Lila orchestrates a private sit down with a distraught Jenna who admits she has been a bit of a tease and apologizes but “it’s not me girl, it’s you.”  With true delusional bravado Lila just keeps trying to win Jenna over who is quite frankly sick of the whole affair.  Still smarting from Jenna’s rebuke Lila unleashes on the neighbor’s wife who has literally come knocking looking for her hubby.  Someone should have told her it was a terrible idea to stand around outside making that much racket though because soon enough she gets whacked by a random hooligan.  I guess that’s one way to eradicate a bad neighbor.  Proving safety is just an allusion Lila and Rick argue about his balls, Jenna, and money.  She crosses a line in a big way when she says she will go f#@k Jenna like he never could.  Surprisingly, it is Jenna who ultimately finds the strength to end the mess with Lila and save Rick.  Stabbing through the rib cage does not look like a great way to go as Lila jerks and gasps on the floor.  She may have departed just in time though.  The security system unlocks right as Lila dies.  It’s Lunchbox Joe who among his other talents has hackers at his disposal and evidently, Jenna and Rick were marked for death/rescue.  It’s hard to tell with this guy.

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 The meeting between Pete, Miguel, and Joe was less than I hoped it would be, but now I know why.  With Joe firmly entrenched in the land of crazy purgers his actions and emotional affect all take on an entirely different meaning and the covers were allowed to be thrown back this week to reveal a gaping, bloody wound.  This man is seriously unhinged and the once kind supervisor is now a craven killer.  Filling in the blanks of this man’s descent into depravity will make for some supremely fascinating television.  I’m guessing like Tavis, he is just looking for a payday and the chance to get some of his aggression out in the process is a bonus.  Maybe it’s as simple as thinking he can protect those who are worth protecting and the ones that aren’t “worthy” he can save by putting them down.  Similar to Netflix’s The Haunting Of Hill House he may be convinced that death is in and of itself a form of rescue.  All of our main players are in one place now and the table is set for the showdown between good and evil, right and wrong.  Hopefully, Pete plays Doc Holiday to Miguel’s Earp and Hell is coming for Lunchbox Joe.  Let’s just hope they get there in time.
Stray Thoughts:
1.  When asked about what comes next, Rick suggests firing the staff.  It just proves how out of touch he is to the situation and Lila’s mood.  
2.  If this turns into an episode of This is Your Life next week in Lunchbox Joe’s pit of justice, I’m out.
3. How many times is Penny going to put her brother in danger?  It’s one thing to run willy-nilly into danger yourself but quit sacrificing him too.
4.  Even the sanctity of Pete’s Cantina can be invaded by a guy with a misguided chip on his shoulder and a 3D printer.

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