Season Two, Episode Ten, “7:01am”
Written by Krystal Houghton Ziv & Nick Zigler
Directed by Tim Andrew
[All images courtesy Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network]
Now, we continue the NFFA sanctioned All-American Carnage with The Purge Season Two Finale, Episode Ten, “7:01am”!
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Plot Threads of the Dammed
*Ben (Joel Allen), Marcus (Derek Luke) and Michelle’s (Rochelle Aytes) storylines collide in gruesome fashion at the Triage Center.
*The Ryan Grant (Max Martini) Robbery Crew splits up after their last successful heist, and Ryan joins Esme’s quixotic quest to expose the truth about the Purge.
*The “Previously on The Purge” recap is a bit misleading. Ryan Grant (Max Martini) said “Let’s get our boy” at the end of Episode Eight, “Before the Sirens“, not “Let’s get our money.”
“1 Week Until First Annual Purge”
In a secret room at the NFFA Surveillance Center in New Orleans, an anonymous “CCTV Manager” (Jody Thompson) meets with an equally anonymous “NFFA Official” (Brett Backer) in a secure communications room.
*Per NFFA specifications, New Orleans has PA speakers installed every 3.7 blocks. Instead of warning of tornadoes or nuclear attack, these broadcast the soon-to-be-infamous Purge Siren.
*While the siren tests freaked a few people out, most citizens think it’s some kind of stunt.
*The room WiFi and Cell phone systems are, according to anonymous NFFA Guy, “our only way of communicating with the public on Purge Night.” Pay Attention To This Plot Point!
*There’s a “room within a room” protected by 2-inch thick bulletproof laminate glass, with a cute old-timey “On Air” sign.
*The outer and inner rooms are secured by end-to-end rotating keycard encryption.
*Only only operators and managers have access to either room. Pay Attention To This Plot Point!
*When CCTV Guy’s key card won’t open the inner door, NFFA Guy threatens him. His threat that the NFFA will “take measures to replace you”, reminiscent of the consequences of failure in the old Soviet Union or today’s North Korea.
*CCTV Guy calls his contact at Sandlin Security. It’s none other than James Sandlin (Ethan Hawke) himself, who channels every annoying IT Tech support guy ever to suggest operator error.
*Considering how ineffective it was in the first Purge movie, Sandlin’s claim that “this is the same system I use to protect my family. You’ve got nothing to worry about” isn’t very reassuring.
Marcus, Michelle, and Ben Stagger Into the Medical Triage Center …
*Andre drives past some unfortunate people trapped in a wire cage set in the bed of a pickup truck. Reminds me of the Cowboy from Season One transporting victims to the Carnival of Flesh in Episode Five, “Rise Up“.
*The banner draped outside the Triage Center bears the Staff of Caduceus, familiar as a symbol of the medical profession.
*As the volunteers tend to Ben(Joel Allen), we see that Clint’s Big Pickup Truck is a Chevy Denali.
*The Center is in a current, or former, house of worship; Ben wakes up below a statue of Jesus. And then sees a small scalpel within his reach.
*Marcus readies Michelle for an emergency Theracostomy.
*The Third-Year pre-med student assisting Marcus (Hanna Hall) hasn’t taken the MCAT yet.
*Marcus send the student to find 100 mg of the anesthetic Ketamine and a bag of O Negative aka “universal donor” blood.
*This week’s gross-out moment – a double above-the-knee amputation!
*Marcus searches for Dr. Jason (Bill Martin Williams), only to find him, and several other volunteers (including the student who helped Marcus) dead in a supply closet.
*Ben closes door behind Marcus and starts monologuing. He murdered the doctors, nurses, and volunteers because they were “perverting the purpose of Purge Night, playing God … depriving Purgers of their rightful kills.” But Ben is God – or at least the God of Purge Night.
*Marcus manages to tranquilize Ben. He holds to his vow not to kill on Purge Night, choosing to dump Ben’s unconscious body outside the center.
Ryan Grant Says Farewell to the Robbery Crew
The messages displayed on Ryan’s phone include –
- Avoid Canal (Boulevard) and Metarie (Road)
- Reports of Class 5 Weapons (which at least at Wikipedia, includes “explosive devices such as grenades, rocket launchers, bazookas, etc., weapons of mass destruction, and viral/biological and chemical agents) in Washington Square
- Super Dome Explosion
- Illegal vehicle moving towards the river
- Explosion at Super Dome
*Forced by road blockages, the Jackals (and the bank haul) are taking the Parkway.
*After trapping the Jackals’ truck, Ryan attaches some kind plastic explosive to the truck’s undercarriage.
*Ryan, Sara (Chelle Ramos), Doug (Jaren Mitchell), and Tommy (Jonathan Medina) use the military positioning-speak based on the 24-hour clock (“Tommy you have our six“).
*Why does the crew blow open the truck’s back doors instead of just driving it, and the entire haul, away?
*One of the “rando” Pugeres who attack the crew includes one wearing the LGBTQ-themed mask seen in the teaser for Episode Seven, “Should I Stay or Should I Go“.
*As the gang loads safe boxes onto a small boat, Ryan’s Purge app reports that Esme Carmona has been sighted at the “Dist. 2 Command Center Zones 3-11, Grid E7Q Camera 116“.
*Ryan leaves to join Esme at the NFFA Surveillance Center.
Esme’s Last Stand at the NFFA Surveillance Center
*Inside the Surveillance Center, Esme accesses the video log for Mail Truck 453 (timestamp 1:29:40:22).
*How courteous of the assassination squad to enter Olvia Hughes’s home in full tactical gear.
*Esme’s menu options for the mail truck footage – “Transfer File” “Archive” “Broadcast”.
*Why is this particular “File Not Transferable Outside System”? Wouldn’t Esme suspect or already know that a file this sensitive might be restricted?
*Esme tries and fails to film the computer monitor with her cell phone.
*The Rube Goldberg-ish/Plot Contrivance setup of the Surveillance Center system forces Esme to transfer the file to the Broadcast Room we saw in the trailer.
*Vivian (Charlotte Schweiger) agrees to swipe Curtis’s (Conner Trinneer) key card to get Esme in the Broadcast Room, even though they both know Esme will the be a “sitting duck” for the security teams.
*Vivian’s unconvincing Thank You speech to her fellow employees is odd – she thanks everyone for helping her make it through her first Purge – didn’t we see her last year (in Episode One)?
*Esme asks Curtis “What if the laws are wrong?”
*Curtis may have enough doubts to let them pass by, but not enough let them into the room. Vivian puts herself in harm’s way, gets gutshot for her bravery, and gives the key card to Esme while apparently bleeding out.
*Ryan is temporarily deafened as a shotgun fires right by his ear. This noise was highlighted earlier when the Robbery Crew covering their kids’ ears before blasting open one of the lockboxes loaded on to their boat.
*Ryan accepts that he’s not making it out of the Surveillance Center alive. He asks Esme for the key card, then leaves the room and crumples it up. Ryan will give Esme enough time to make her broadcast, then make sure she’s alive after 7 am., to be arrested instead of shot. “People need to know the truth, and you need to tell them. I’m right where I need to be.”
*Esme begins broadcasting at 6:45 am. Like an Amber Alert or Severe Weather Warning, the Olivia Huges video is pushed out to every cell phone in range.
*Esme relates the saga of Professor Adams, the Purge Night murders of Adams and the study participants and the off-purge murder of Olivia Hughes, last surviving study participant.
“The Purge doesn’t take away our anger, our hatred, our fears. It fuels them. Our system is corrupt. Start asking questions” blares over the Purge PA system; a bloodied Turner (Matt Shively) hears the broadcast.
*In a beautifully poetic scene, Ryan stops firing at the oncoming police as the sirens blare and turns to face Esme. He places his hand on the glass and locks eyes with her as his body is riddled with bullets.
*The clock turns to 7 am. Esme tells her sister Sofia “if you can hear me, I love you” in Spanish.
*SWAT team members escort Esme out of the broadcast room. The leader (Steve Mokate) speaks into his collar mic.“Sir, we’re post 7 am” “The order stands”. The SWAT leader shoots Emse between the eyes; she falls onto Ryan’s body.
*The door to the broadcast room is still open; was that exchange also broadcast? If so, is that the basis for the Resist movement built around Esme’s off-Purge murder?
Two Months After Purge Night
*Sara, Tommy, and Doug meet at the Cafe Avenida (Avenue).
*Tommy asks Sara and Doug if they agree with his proposal for Ryan’s share. All look at his empty chair and agree it’s what he would’ve wanted.
*We find out what that proposal is in the next scene. In a New Orleans loft/factory space type setup, we see people milling about, and lots of anti-Purge flyers, buttons, and other such materials. A large banner against one wall blazes the word RESIST above a Che Guevara-like portrait of Esme Carmona.
*Vivian survived her stomach wound, and on crutches, works with a Foundation hacker on getting the protocols they need to keep their backdoor access to the NFFA mainframe open.
*Darren (Denzel Whitaker) informs Vivian that Ryan’s friends have made a wire transfer (the first of many) to fund their anti-Purge outreach to rural communities and more.
*Per Darren, the NFFA is dismissing reports of Esme’s post-Purge murder as “fake news”.
*Marcus and Michelle, along with Tonya and Andre, watch Darren speak. Sofia (Marialy Tejada) heard her sister’s final message and is also part of this new “Resistance“.
*Darren -“No amount of thought, prayers, or Grief Boxes will ever be enough! Our country deserves better!”
*As Darren rallies the anti-Purge activists, we see Ben. He’s returned to the place where his true self was born on a previous Purge Night, sharpening a blade. If the final scene between Esme and Ryan was a rare moment of high romance from The Purge, Ben in his womb is a high point of dread, at least for me.
The Purge hasn’t yet been renewed for a third season 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.