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‘The Purge’ recap: ‘I Will Participate’

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Previously on The Purge I had to face the harsh reality that Joe was not revamping the night to fit his needs and save people. This did not provide me much hope for the remaining characters that I have grown attached to over this season surviving season one.  To make matters worse I’m now in debate and denial mode from this week’s episode.

Pete somehow manages to talk sense into Miguel so that they aren’t rushing out to save Penelope as Joe listens to the tapes once more. As Joe stands before the mirror I’m reminded of imaginary from Red Dragon. The tapes insist that the purge is the most american thing anyone can do because it allows the ultimate freedom. Whether true or not is debatable considering the nights events we’ve already seen in the prior episodes. Pete manages to find the tag on Joe’s vehicle and most Joe’s background. Simultaneously, Joe takes off his mask and audiences realize his captives all know him somehow.

It appears that they are in a theater and that he has been planning this for some time. When Rick attempts to tell him about Jenna’s condition he tases him. He said the reason they are all because they have each wronged him and that he is putting every one of them on trail. They basically have to save themselves and confess to what they have done to him. If it isn’t sufficient enough then he will exercise his right to purge them. What is sufficient though considering it appears he has gone all the way back to high school? Only Joe knows.

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Jane determines that they will hatch an escape plan as Pete and Miguel are making their way to Joe’s home. They encounter a crazy roadblock first though comprised of various purgers ready to take down anyone trying to pass. Is this something that Joe set up as well? Did he think of everything? Maybe he did so to protect his father though. If  that is the case I cannot really say that I blame him. Pete gets out of the car and puts his arms up immediately to appease the request before him.They inform Pete he must pay a toll. Once he reveals who he is they let him through even though the one purger seems resistant.

Meanwhile, we learn that Joe really does want to hear the apologies even though he has gone about the evening in a manner that makes him appear insane. The guy from high school, Charlie, finally reveals that he does remember him and explains his side of the story. Nothing ever came easy for him. He appears to be homeless and insists that this is his punishment. Joe records his confession because he wants to be able to watch those who have wronged him once more. He makes Charlie believe that he’s satisfied and merely going to hug him before Joe stabs Charlie directly in the heart before everyone.

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Penelope is immediately scared because Charlie’s confession meant nothing. Jane makes a point that they out number Joe. Technically she’s right and they should be able to band together to take him down. However, despite understanding her fight mentality, she is setting herself up for Joe to murder her immediately upon exiting the cage. Instead when Joe released Eileen, she makes an attempt to escape and we discover that he has rigged the building to keep them in when Eileen is immediately killed. This is worrisome on so many levels if they do somehow manage to defeat Joe. How will they be able to exit if they do escape? How will they be able to stay alive?

I find myself wondering that about Pete as well once we learn why he is untouchable in the purge. While at first I felt he would fall into the unsavory character trap, Pete is oddly enough one of the better characters within the show. He has true integrity. While many officers saw purge night as the night to be able to kill those the justice system did not take down, Joe saw things differently. The people were not meant to serve up justice. Instead of letting cops take revenge, Joe took a stance against the cops trying to take justice into their own hands.  This leaves me wondering if the girl that showed resistance to let him through had a cop as a parent that Pete murdered and that his expiration date will come sooner than later.

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At the same time, we learn that Jane went on a date with Joe. A horrible date. Clearly she should have swiped left. Joe thinks that Jane has not only had it easy as a woman, but as a black woman at that. She can use her assets and her minority to gain more opportunities. If anything both have always worked against Jane, who is immediately offended considering how hard she has worked to get where she is at in life. Joe felt judged the whole time but so did Jane because Joe was beyond racist toward her. He did not want to admit his fault in the reason that she left him at the table alone that evening. Why would anyone want to stay on a date like the one they had? He’s lucky that she did not pick up a glass of water and throw it in his face before she left. Would pure honesty gotten her out of this situation? The situation was hopeless.

Hope prevails once more though upon realizing that Joe has not only rigged the theater but also rigged his house. One would think this would add to the hopelessness surrounding our current scenario of the evening.  However, Miguel manages to disarm the bomb and they get inside of the house, making a sweep of it and finding Joe’s father. Instead of answering him, they find the board where Joe has planned his purge night for months. He even has the reasons written on the board as to why he has taken all the people. His father insists that the purge has given Joe purpose. He also slips up and reveals that Joe is inside an abandoned school that has closed down and that they will never get inside of the school.

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Meanwhile Joe makes the point of calling Jane out for using her right to purge. They couldn’t leave until after she killed Ryker after all. Instead of confessing per se, Jane admits she hates purge night. She explains that the night has done nothing for her. Her entire monologue is one of the best I’ve heard in any of the purge films. Maybe it’s because of the truth Jane delivers. The purge creates a blood-lust and the night makes bad people worse and good people lose their integrity by the end of the night by stooping so low. Jane insists that the night made her become someone she is not and never wanted to become. The night forces us into doing something immoral by making us believe it’s moral because it’s not illegal during those twelve hours.

Joe thinks that Jane does not make a confession though. Penelope argues Jane did regardless. The words of course were not what Joe wanted to hear, thus Jane did not complete his request. When Penelope asks why she is there we discover she didn’t say thank you when Joe opened a door for her, which has made me make a mental note to say thank you to anyone who opens the door for me despite already trying to do so. When Joe points the gun at Jane’s head, she attempts to fight back. Despite the show leading us to believe Joe strangles Jane to death I’m hoping this isn’t true. Maybe I am denial, but part of me wants to believe she did this to fake her death so she can come back in and eventually help everyone else. My denial is strong and my hope is high.

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We end the night with Rex destroying Miguel’s car and almost taking Pete with him by the use of a RPG. Rex wanted him dragged out of the car or they don’t collect. Who is paying them to take Miguel out? I feel that the NFFA is somehow involved in the Carnival of Flesh as well, which is even more of a frightening thought than Joe’s plan to destroy everyone in the theater. Rex seems disappointed that he has not managed to kill Miguel and I imagine an inevitable showdown taking place at the abandoned school. I’m hoping that this does not end in a manner that all purge nights are hopeless or maybe end with them committing the murder on the line of it no longer being purge night so justice is paid.

Regardless, next week ends season one of the series. Tune in next Tuesday at 10pm on USA Network to watch the finale of The Purge. More importantly let us know what you think of this week’s episode. Do you think Jane is really dead?  Will Miguel and Pete save the day?  Will Joe receive mercy? Let us know!