Season Two, Episode Three “Blindspots”
Written by Jeremy Robbins
Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr
[All images courtesy Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network]
Now, we continue our second season of All-American Carnage with The Purge Season Two, Episode Three, “Blindspots”!
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Plot Threads of the Dammed
*Tommy Ortiz’s (Jonathan Medina) long journey through the NFFA legal system begins.
*Ryan Grant (Max Martini) muses on his crew’s past while planning for “one last score”.
*Esme’s (Paola Nunez) detective work crosses her paths with Ryan and Darren.
*As I feared, Ben (Joel Allen) takes a flying leap off Travis Bickle Cliff straight to Taxi Driver Town.
*According to an article on Showbiz Cheatsheet, each teaser will be a self-contained mini-story. Executive Producer Krystal Houghton Ziv says Purge creator James De Monaco ok’d each episode’s teasers “all be separate little vignettes that can expand the world in some way.”
*Tommy meets his court-appointed attorney (Jay Huguley) just before entering the courtroom.
*The Court addresses Tommy as “Citizen” Thomas Adrian Ortiz, Case #20854. He’s charged with Armed Robbery and Trespass, which as a non-Purge crime gets him charged as a Level R Major Felon.
*The use of “Citizen” harkens back to the French Revolution, which abolished titles of nobility, and made the former subjects of the King all equals, at least in theory.
*After a “trial” using the NFFA CCTV footage Esme analyzed in Ep. 1, Tommy pleads guilty at the urging of his attorney. Under the authority granted by the 29th Amendment to the Constitution, the judge announces, Tommy “is hereby sentenced to death. Execution will be carried out in 356 days…”
*There are currently 27 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In The Purge Universe, the 28th established the Purge itself. While I didn’t find a source link at NFFA.org, other sites linked back to it for the text of the 28th Amendment as follows.
SECTION 1: The Annual Purge shall begin each year on June 20 at sunset, officially starting at 7PM, and ending at sunrise, June 21, at 7AM.
SECTION 2: During the time of The Purge, any and all crime, up to and including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours. Police, fire and hospital aid will be unavailable until The Purge concludes.
SECTION 3: The following weapons cannot be used during The Purge: weapons of mass destruction, fragment-producing explosives higher than a hazard class HC/D 1.4 and viral contagion projectiles
SECTION 4: Government officials of ranking 5 and higher have been granted immunity from The Purge and shall not be harmed.
SECTION 5: Non-compliance with any of the aforementioned rules will result in death by hanging.
*Tommy can “choose” to enter a Purge auction, which will award “5% of all payments will be awarded to (his) next of kin.” I wonder if this is like the gala auction in The Purge: Election Year (2016)?
Esme Carmona, Plucky Detective
*Esme’s works in Visual Analytics at the NFFA Surveillance Center.
*We don’t see how Esme connects Darren Moore to Professor Adams (or at least I didn’t).
*When they meet, Esme overcomes Darren’s distrust of the NFFA to at least look at the x-ray she found hidden in the Professor’s home. Darren remarks that he had no idea that Adams was conducting “live trials”, whatever THAT means.
*Ryan’s surveillance case number is 246
*The ASPH around the lens tells us Esme’s using a pretty nice Leica camera. “ASPH is an abbreviation of Aspherical Lens and is used by the manufacturer, Leica to denote lenses that contain an aspherical lens element.” And what is an aspherical lens element, you ask? This article at What Digital Camera does a better job than I ever could at expaining it. Basically, Esme’s office equipment is top of the line.
*Freeze-framing the articles Esme find in researching Ryan reveals some interesting tidbits about the former policeman’s work history. He saved a child from drowning in Lake Ponchitrain in 2010 and worked with a partner named “Andrea Ziv”; a reference to writer/Executive Producer Krystal Houghton Ziv?
The Ryan Grant Robbery Crew
*Eight years ago, Tommy, Sara (Chelle Ramos), and Doug (Jaren Mitchell) joined their fellow NOPD officer Ryan on a Purge Night mission to eliminate a drug dealer. Unfortunately for them, their recent Captain (Christine Dunford) and most of the other cops in the station are on the take of the said dealer.
*Their Captain made sure all four were blacklisted from any job outside of strip club bouncer. Hence their turn to a life of Purge Night crime.
*Now, Ryan tries to talk Sara and Doug into following him on the fabled “one last job“, a robbery that will set them all for life. Where to find such a heist?
*In the sky. Ryan’s detective work last week revealed that banks keep a minimum in the vault on Purge Night, and send the rest into the sky in private jets. But if they rob the delivery vans before the planes are airborne, aren’t they committing a pre-Purge crime?
*Ryan must have a plan to remain on the good side of the law. Like the 2009 Gerard Butler/Jamie Foxx movie, Ryan assures Esme that he is “a law-abiding citizen.”
Marcus and Michelle: I Don’t Know Who Wants to Kill Me
*Looks like Michelle Moore (Rochelle Aytes) is an interior designer. She carries a book of Fabricut swatches.
*Marcus has at least one malpractice suit in his work history.
*The private investigator (Jen Korber) compared her cellphone records against her calls & the geotags “didn’t line up”.
*The PI is right, Michelle is “hiding something”, just not what Marcus suspects.
*The private investigator (Jen Korber) advises Marcus that the majority of domestic purges committed by the spouse or partner. (as we saw in the teaser last week).
*Marcus installs a fictional version of real-life GPS tracking apps called “Locale – My – Pals” on Michelle’s phone.
*Michelle’s support group meets in a very out of the way place; the back office area of an auto repair shop. Why the secrecy? Is dealing with the Purge through therapy considered disloyal, a less than total embrace of the “Nation Reborn”?
*We see an American Flag displayed in the hallway, but no NFFA flag.
*Marcus’ blindspot is pretty obvious; his obliviousness to Michelle’s distress, and the ease with which he suspects and surveils her. Michelle notes at the support group that Marcus “forgets what’s right by his side.”
*While Marcus makes amends to Michelle, he doesn’t tell her about following her, tracking her phone, or spying on her support group discussion.h.
*There are not plates (at least on the front) on the truck that tries to run Marcus over.
Ben and the Really Bad Strawberry Road Trip
*Ben is a fan of real-world New Orleans musician John “Papa” Gross.
*Kellen paraphrases the Las Vegas tourism slogan when she tells Ben “what happens on Purge Night stays on Purge Night.”
*The facility’s attendant (Lucisu Baston) has Ben sign a release against any potential injuries; after all the animals “don’t want to die.” He also requests that Ben “preserve the meat.”
*Ben chooses a basic Lizzie Borden-esque ax instead of a Lucille-like baseball bat.
*After Ben is unable to kill the adorable heifer, the attendant tells Ben, “It’s ok, kid, not everybody has the stomach for it.” Ironic, since the stomach is where Ben stabs the farmer/short change artist.Many, many, many times.
*The full-time farmer, part-time quick change artist Ben stops at sells organic garlic and Creole Tomatoes, as well as strawberries at his quaint roadside stand.
*??? Does Ben keep the knife from the crime scene? I hope his storyline will not now consist of one bloody murder after another. He’s not going to be able to escape notice for long. Did he wander into the dorm like that?
*Kellen thinks Ben confesses to his actions during the Purge, not murdering roadside produce grifters. She notices he’s had strawberries.
*Also part of my theory comes from a promotional item called The Associated News, sent out for The Purge’s first season. According to Inverse.com, it featured an “advertisement for a “best selling author and motivational speaker” named Steve Stubbins, who’s apparently on a “Purge Power Tour 2027.” That can’t be a coincidence!”
UPDATED – The radio personality Ben listens to in the car is Bobby Sheridan (voiced by Dermot Mulroney), not Steve Stubbins.
*******MY (NOT SO) CRAZY THEORY *******
*I wonder – is there a connection between Ben’s fondness for weed/weed culture, the weird visual and sound effects during his Purge Night PTSD flashbacks, and the Bobby Sheridan radio broadcast Ben’s listening to before he stops at the Roadside Stand of Death? Hear me out on this –
- Sheridan asks his audience if they can commit to the Purge, embrace “the healing power of its violence” as Ben steps out of the car (a Subaru Outback station wagon, by the looks of it.)
- Last season, Joe Owens (Lee Tergesen), he of the meticulous revenge plot, also listed to Sheridan.
- We see Ben using weed to self-medicate after experiencing sexual performance issues.
- His dorm room is decorated, wall-to-wall, with weed culture posters
- Notwithstanding any real-word debates about the health effects of marijuana, WHAT IF, in the NFFA version of America, video games, drugs, audio, etc. are being used to influence behavior, all of them embedded with subliminal coding/messages to encourage thoughts of violence? Remember the audio Esme discovered; a woman’s voice saying “All I think about is violence.”
One last note for this week. I very much hope that Ben doesn’t spend the next seven episodes spiraling downwards into an every-bloodier orgy of Purge-inspired violence. If the show could depict Ben hitting bottom and crawling up from the abyss, that’d be a lot less run of the mill. Similarly, watching Marcus become more obsessed with revenge to the point that he embraces The Purge by the last episode would surprise and intrigue me.
Episode Four of The Purge Season Two, “Grief Box” airs Nov. 5 at 9/8c 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.
Until next week citizens, “Just remember all the good The Purge does.”