By The Nerdling
We just got played and it was unexpectedly awesome.
Spoilers will commence in 3… 2… 1…
Let’s just start with the big surprise. I feel like I should have seen that coming. Give it to Lee Tergesen who plays Joe with such an earnest sensitivity. He made it easy to believe a man who listens to pro-Purge podcasts would still want to be a protector. I assumed Joe was saving people from bad guys. Judging from the preview of the penultimate episode, he was collecting them for something possibly worse.
But how does he get these names? Is it like the Purge Assassin, he was hired by others to do their dirty work? Anyone he helps along the way is just a bonus? But why was he so upset of the old couple who were killed before he arrived?
Joe seemed hinky when he and Miguel were talking in Pete’s bar. For one, there was no Jane with him. Two, he told Miguel he “doing [his] own thing” on Purge Night. It struck me as odd. Wouldn’t he want to tell someone like Miguel he helps people during the worst holiday of the year?
The changes with Joe didn’t fully sink in when Jane and the others are shown in the back of the armored truck bound and gagged. It felt like such a big whiplash in personality. Only when Joe was dragging a cuffed and duct tapped Jenna and Rick out of their house after he disarmed their security system did I realize there is so much more to this laid off plant worker than we realized.
Before that moment, the main focus this week was on the love triangle between the married couple and Lila.
The truce between the three of them does not last as the sounds of purging outside create tension. Jenna hides in the bathroom for a while. The noises and the violence are getting to her after all she has witnessed so far.
Ross’s wife, Carol, comes banging on the front door demanding to know what happened to her husband. Rick tries to side step the issue and get Carol to go back inside her own home. Lila doesn’t see how this helps her and tells the truth. Rick is shocked at Lila’s cold confession. The truth doesn’t matter in the end. Carol is killed when a purger runs up on her.
In flashbacks, Lila is getting ready for the Stanton Purge Party. She is about to turn 18 and her family is celebrating by getting her a poor, old man for her first purge. The young woman is dressed in all white, like a bride. The ceremony is treated like a holy sacrament. It makes me wonder if this kind of Purge celebration was blessed by the Church as a sacrament in this twisted reality.
At first, Lila tells her family she is not going through with it. Alone with her father, he recounts a story of how Lila was afraid of learning how to ride a horse. Stanton knew Lila would eventually find the courage to ride, so he waited her out. Eventually, she does what her family wishes.
Lila is the type of person who will pull the trigger, thanks to her father. She just needs time to gather the courage. In Jenna and Rick’s home, she works up the nerve to do what she must to get Jenna back.
She goes the pragmatic way at first. Lila offers to pay Rick $20 million to leave. Rick pauses on the offer (who wouldn’t) for a moment, but he tells Lila he can’t be bought. Lila, being the spoiled rich kid that she is, becomes angry money won’t solve this problem. She brings up their previous relationship again. Rick grabs her and threatens her.
Finally, Lila decides the only way to get Rick out of the way is to purge. She hits Rick with his fraternity paddle and grabs his gun. Jenna comes running in and begs Lila not to kill him. Lila has gone full crazy by this point. In her mind this is the only way she and Jenna can be together. Jenna tries to talk Lila down, but Lila always pulls the trigger.
The shot misses when Lila is stabbed by Jenna in the side with the ceremonial dagger Rick pocketed. Before the married couple can wrap their minds around what just happened, Joe arrives.
Miguel and Penelope arrive at Pete’s bar unharmed. Penelope changes out of her robe after a patron propositions to kill her. Pete, feeling bad for the kid, breaks the hard news to her. Tavis was hired by the NFFA to recruit those deemed “disposable” from rehab centers, hospitals, and jails. “Filling up the gas tank on that blue bus is a hell of a lot cheaper than socialized medicine.” Penny doesn’t believe it at first. But Pete had proof of this, including her audition tape for the role of cult leader. Pete and his partner were investigating the cult until the NFFA owned cops shut it all down.
Penny looks to convince Miguel they need to find the bus and save Tavis’s victims. Miguel doesn’t want to go back out. He becomes distracted when a patron with an axe to grind with Pete arrives with a ceramic gun. The man is taken down by Miguel. Penny calls the bus driver and convinces him to come meet her at Pete’s bar.
Penny does what any naïve, dumb kid thinks is right. She confronts Tavis with the truth thinking it will make it right. Penny tries to convince her fellow recruits to leave the bus when Tavis turns on the “Path to the Invisible” speech. The driver comes out to restrain her when Joe arrives. Joe shoots the driver and Tavis. Miguel comes out looking for Penelope and watches as she is pushed into the back of Joe’s van.
Only 2 episodes left!
Till Next Week!
The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.