'The Purge' Season 2 Episode 9: Tommy's punishment as death-row inmate is a major throwback to Penelope's cult from Season 1
With Tommy and the other death-row inmates being sent out into the wild as the rich begin their hunt, it is hard to ignore the familiar concept of paid-purging from Season 1.
This article contains spoilers for Season 2 Episode 9 'Hail Mary'
When we last saw Tommy, he was a death row inmate, sentenced to be executed in the next annual purge all because a fraction of his heel was inside the bank they were looting seconds after the last end-of-purge siren went off. In tonight's episode, he is Ryan's little brother of sorts, as the ex-cops seek out to rescue Tommy from being executed for a price bid by the sickest filthy rich of the society.
But as the journey unfolds, with Tommy and the other death row inmates being sent out into the wild, it is hard to ignore the familiar concept of paid-purging, a carnival of purge, if you will, from the debut season of the show. Remember Penelope from the cult run by Good Leader Tavin? Think that, and add a dash of the carnival Penelope landed in eventually or even the party thrown by Lila's parents and its morbid flair for violence — traces of all are here in Season 2 Episode 9.
As the current year's annual purge begins, Tommy and the other inmates are transported to a forested area, thick with trees all around, and even though Tommy assures the other inmates that Ryan and the rest of the crew will arrive right in time to save them from becoming the rich's prey, there's the same eerieness to it that was in Season 1, when Penelope was being carried in a bus full of cult members who believed in releasing the pain of losing a loved one to the purge, by offering their life to the purge. As Tommy and the rest walk into the woods, it is a clear parallel with Penelope's forced entry in a caged truck into the carnival where people are paying and waiting in lines to bid and slaughter the caged lot.
But the most striking similarity is that of the party the elite and firm supporters of NFFA are attending, where they go on a hunt in the woods using extravagant shotguns from their ancestors and are even awarded trophies - the only thing missing from Lila's parent's purge night gala that Jenna and Colin attended only to find out that it was going to be a full-blown bloodfest of killing people who have wronged in their past.
The thrill, the excitement and the silent undertones of a hushed-up depravity are consistent in both the scenes from the two consecutive seasons, but then again, it is the twisted way creator James de Monaco, and Blumhouse productions' mind works. As for the edgy violence and gore, those are reminiscent of director Gigi Saul Guerrero's signature style, that she has always brilliantly displayed through yet another Blumhouse production, 'Into the Dark', in the anthology horror-satire's Fourth of July themed episode, 'Culture Shock'.
'The Purge' Season 2 airs on Tuesdays at 9 pm only on USA Network.