The Purge Season 2 Episode 6: Happy Holidays- Recap And Review
The Purge proves you are nobody in America if somebody doesn’t want to Purge you. Careful what you wish for.
A look behind the scenes at The Bobby Sheridan show, a shock jock Sean Hannity style show intent on selling opinion news to the masses. The whole point is entertainment and rabble-rousing. I can hear the dinner conversations now….rabble, rabble, rabble. Dermont Mulroney has just the right amount of cavalier depravity that sells his character’s influence on the greater world of the NFFA. Obvious truths are denied alongside outlandish claims so wacky you would think no one would believe them.
The NFFA don’t just believe, they also create apps designed to highlight the worst of society. A Black Mirror concept of social media clout that wicked smart. It is a look at a possible conclusion to decreased news reporting and increased entertainment news. Taken with what happens in the remainder of the episode and Lumchbox Joe’s origin it is terrifying. Words matter.
Sometimes you have to dance with the Devil to accomplish your goals. That’s the true message of this season. No one is blameless in the America that exists on the screen. Everyone’s hands are dirty. Either literally, figuratively, or passively, the result are the same. The taint of The Purge is a stain that can’t be downplayed or ignored. Violence begets violence, not prevention.
The most profound of the changed characters is Ben who has become a baby faced monster. He has become adept at killing and lying to everyone. Ben’s girlfriend continues to be clueless about her boyfriend’s violent ways. He has become so good, fake emotions spring forth as easy as breathing. A visit to his childhood home to check in with his Mom and brother changes all that. A slip at dinner, followed by a late-night romp is enough to make those closest to him doubt his stability. When Kellen, a likable Danika Yarosh(Heroes Reborn) discovers his hidden mask she inadvertently removes Ben’s own mask. He has already killed a friend, would he be able to kill her to protect his secrets? Joel Allen continues to shine as a psychopath is born. His Ben has been both believable, and terrifyingly plausible. This would normally be a herculean task in a series format. His haunted eyes and razor-sharp emotional turns breathe life into what could be a whiplash-inducing personality flip.
Marcus and Michelle continue to struggle with her infidelity and what it means for his ongoing safety. Turns out, he had every right to suspect her of cheating earlier because she had been, just not right then. A revelation leads to the world’s worst get together between Marcus and Michelle and her previous cheat buddy Sam who also brought his wife. Tense doesn’t even begin to describe this ill-conceived tete de tete. Sam wants to pretend everything is fine between them and his forgiving wife tries to offer counseling advice, but Marcus doesn’t think Sam has told April about the contract on his life.
Well crafted dialogue conveys the frustration and anger Marcus is feeling. His venom-filled words hurled at Sam about Michelle’s volcanic fuckability is both very real and hilarious. It is the kind of bizarre thing that comes pouring out of your mouth when you are beyond pissed. Both brilliant and absurd. As things spiral quickly out of control Michelle doubles down on Marcus and fully embraces her role as partner. She has no choice, now that she has admitted to her joke. Michelle wanted Marcus purged. In a moment of weakness, pillow talk turned deadly and she joked about his death. Sadly, it is neither his cheating wife or just her lover but ultimately it is his predominantly white neighborhood. In the first episode, the lack of color in his neighborhood was subtly shown. Something that registers in the background of your self conscious. The gloves are off now as neighbors become enemies with a penchant for murder.
Esme is on the run and there is no turning back now. Her boss has branded her a traitor. Lucky for her she knows, better than most, how to avoid detection. She also has contacts who are just as resourceful. Hell-bent on exposing the truth, she is the NFFA’s worst enemy. A perfect whistleblower who has information to spare and her eyes wide open. It will be very difficult for Esme to get out of the country when the Patriot Act on steroids is invoked. Unfettered, complete access should scare everyone, not just the fictional characters in the series. This dystopian world is a breath away from our own and that is why it is so compelling. We could all be government workers just doing our jobs unaware of what is really happening. Now that Ryan has handcuffed Esme inside his clubhouse, these two clever power players are working towards a common goal. Their partnership should pay off big in the weeks to come.
The past informs everyone’s future. For better or worse. In this case, it is regret that controls our main characters. Esme feels regret and fear about her time as an NFFA analyst. Ryan feels guilty about Tommy and responsibility for his family both biological and self-made. Ben is a product of his night of bloody self-preservation. Michelle and Marcus have become consumed by fear and revenge. Michelle is not a perfect person and seems all too willing to participate with Marcus in the kidnapping and torture of Sam. Marcus has become so ruled by fear he is capable of things he never would have thought possible a year ago. The Purge has affected everyone in different ways.
When a world is set ablaze by righteous indignation, and given carte blanche to do anything, it should come as no surprise when people resort to their basest selves. NIMBY gives rise to murder, thieves are encouraged, and company’s profit off of death and grief. Marcus, Esme, Ryan, and Ben are only halfway through the year, the worst is yet to come. I guess they can all hang their collective hats on the fact that they must all be great big deals if they are all wanted dead. Check out all of our coverage of The Purge here.
As the Television Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.