The Purge Season 2 Episode 2: Everything Is Fine-Recap and Review- The Ivory Road Is Sort Of Real
Things are far from fine in the second episode of The Purge season two. Just as we have long suspected, the Purge is not what it is reported to be. There are consequences for extreme violence with no boundaries, aside from getting caught when the siren stops. Turns out that kind of thing leaves a stain. As each of our four main storylines begin to gel, their reaction to the government holiday is revealed.
The consequences, as well as the opportunities that arrive from this hideous annual event, are felt this week. It is one thing to watch the Purge events as they happen. It is another, and oddly, more horrific thing to see the results. There are blood shortages, Emergency Room wait lines verging on inhumane, tearful tributes to beloved teachers, and entrepreneurs cropping up all over to handle the needs that arrive from chaos. If you have a strong stomach and attention to detail, there is a place for you in the thriving economy. It is a fascinating look inside capitalism without regard for ethics. When dead bodies are placed alongside household trash for the Body Recovery Unit to retrieve, you know morals have been checked at the door.
The city is a disaster zone. It does beg the question, who pays for the recovery efforts? That kind of destruction must cost a fortune to repair. In addition, how does insurance work in this world? Do people have Purge insurance just as you would homeowners insurance? If not, is it completely on you to rebuild, just as the poor people from New Orleans were told after Hurricane Katrina? The franchise has always been very sociopolitical forward. How the country recovers from wholesale war is something that has never been explored.
The NFFA wants only to control the masses and root out those they consider undesirable. The most recent film, The First Purge explained just how that thought experiment came to be. Aimed at diminishing the urban masses, poor people of color, in particular, the conservative government understood humans are flawed and if given the chance, they will more times than not, take the low road.
The Purge season two is shining a spotlight on the apathy that has taken over that America. As madness takes over and more and more succumb to the violence it is only a matter of time before full anarchy reigns. The increased Purge numbers the law enforcement office touts is proof that things might soon spiral out of control. The NFFA can tap phones, smart televisions and anything else wired into the network, but that iron control only works for so long. When freedom is given up it is a slippery slope to complete tyranny. The America of The Purge is just a match strike away from mayhem.
Marcus has made a good living for himself. He is educated and successful. As an ER doctor it is inconceivable to him and the viewer that he is capable of making someone so angry they want him dead. Such is their world, however. A normal, good guy can be a target for any reason. Lunchbox Joe killed out of disillusionment. Tired of being stepped on and put down he wanted to take some of his power back. Whoever has put the bounty on Marcus’ head is probably seeking to get revenge for a life not saved. In this alternate world, there can be no mistakes, no apologies, and for some, no tomorrows. For now, Marcus is safe, at least for 363 more days. There is a very real ticking clock over his head though.
Thanks to the assist from his son he understands the man he worked on in the ER did not have a vendetta against him specifically, he was just answering the call for Marcus’ head placed on the Dark Website Ivory Road. Sites like this and the associated hidden apps are not a thing of science fiction but a reality now. There is no stretch needed to apply this to Marcus’ world.
His son attends a university with Ben the humanitarian turned killer. He also knew Drew Adams the professor our friendly NFFA agent cared for. Ben’s descent into bloody memories is Professor Adams’ research comes to fruition. Before the preceding events, we were led to believe he was passive and kind. The sort of boy you could trust with your daughter. He inherently understood the wrongness of taking pictures of those who took their own lives and wanted to help those in trouble, even at his own peril. Following the holiday, he is aggressive, shut down, and deeply troubled by what he did.
Esme has been caught copying evidence to her personal computer and is forced to take an unplanned vacation. How her boss found out is a nagging question. Is her computer being monitored? Did the surveillance camera catch her, or did her co-worker rat her out? It’s a question she better answer sooner rather than later now that her Professor Adam’s proof is in Esme’s hands. How the knowledge will change her view of her agency and what they do will be interesting to watch. Esme is smart and highly connected. She is in a position to make a lot of noise.
Lastly, our bank robber with a heart of gold uses his funds to pay his Mother’s medical bills. Max Martini’s Ryan is a thief will a strict moral code and heavy conscience. His mother fades in and out of reality when he goes to visit her. He is burdened with a lot of responsibility. He must provide for his family, his friends, and himself. His crew is fracturing from the smaller payday, and Tommy gave himself up to the police to protect his group. As interesting as the concept of violence on the brain is, the instant view of unchecked power is more compelling. The police who serve and protect the NFFA are brutal. They are the final word in punishment and as such have no checks on their decisions. After being beaten and restrained for no reason, Tommy is taken into custody where he will wait until the next Purge. Murder, after all, even capital punishment is forbidden in this world. Knowing that Tommy will likely be killed during the next Purge, I wonder if Ryan will risk it all to save his friend?
There is a lot of talk about change. Each of our players has changed. Some more profound than others, but all have been affected by the events. Games even more violent than our current first-person shooters entice young minds to give in to their darker impulses. Currently, we don’t know conclusively what the long term effects are. Some children grow up warped and others do not. In the hyper-escalated world of The Purge where it is encouraged to beat, maim, steal, and kill there is no longer any rules who sets boundaries? Esme’s friend and Marcus’ kid’s professor was studying the Purge and how exposure to violence can alter your brain. It is a dangerous time to challenge the government as she found out. Esme may learn that lesson the hard way in the weeks to come.
1. There isn’t a Purge game yet, but it is probably only a matter of time. That should scare us all.
2. Ryan Grant and Pete the Cop need to hook up.
3. Ben’s needs therapy NOW!
4. You can find anything on the Dark Web if you know where to look and that should be proof that the Purge does not completely stop crime. The Silk Road is a similar site that has since been shut down, but new ones pop up all the time.
Tyler has been the editor in chief of Signal Horizon since its conception. He is also the Director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University a class that pairs horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he is not watching, teaching or thinking about horror he is the Director of Debate and Forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.