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Series / The Purge

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The Purge is a ten-episode miniseries airing on USA Network. It is based on the movie of the same name.

One night a year, all crime is legal for twelve hours. This series follows the efforts of several smaller players as they try to stay alive after getting caught outside during the Purge.

The show is renewed for the second season.

This series contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: In a world where all crime is legal for one night a year, there are a whole lot of people out there who've become adept at being friendly and sociable for most of the year knowing that they'll be able to let out their darkest impulses during the Purge. Special mention goes to Rex, a friendly and charming rancher who makes his living kidnapping people during the Purge and selling them to the Carnival of Flesh.
  • Assassin Outclassin': David (or his bodyguards) end up killing Bracka.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • In "Rise Up", a group of anti-NFFA gunmen storm the Stanton house and slaughter everyone they can get their hands on. Considering that most of the guests are either hardcore NFFA supporters or the kind of people willing to do business with borderline-fascists, it's hard to feel sorry for any of them.
  • Attempted Rape:
    • Jane is nearly raped by a Purger after she leaves the safety of her office, but is saved by the Matron Saints, a group of women who make it their mission to protect women on Purge night.
    • It nearly happens again two episodes later, when David has her tied up in his gallery, but Joe interrupts this time.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Stantons are so enamored by the Purge that they see the Manson Family as their spiritual forefathers. They're prominent financial backers of the NFFA.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Jane is being held at David's house, she asks Anya to call the Matron Saints. When the power is cut, it looks like Anya came through, only for Joe to show up and free everyone. As the two drive off, the Matron Saints show up, meaning Anya did call them and Joe just beat them to the punch.
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  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Catalina helps Jenna and Rick escape from the anti-NFFA group because Jenna treated her better than the other Stanton guests ever did.
  • Bi the Way: Jenna used to have a thing with Lila Stanton. Jenna and Rick were using Lila as unconventional couples therapy, but Jenna started making solo visits without his knowledge.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The final episode ends with all but Jenna, Miguel, Penelope and Pete dead, but Jenna escapes to France with her baby while Miguel and Penelope are helping people by driving a triage van. France is debating their own version of the Purge, however.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Jane is the first of the show's main characters to be killed.
  • Blood Sport:
    • During the Purge, Miguel is forced into the Gauntlet, a makeshift death course where he either reaches the end and wins a car or gets killed. He succeeds.
    • The Carnival of Flesh offers paying Purgers the chance to kill people in ways from all across history, like firing squads or the guillotine.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • In the opening minutes of episode two, Jane watches as Bracka shoots a Purger in the head.
    • This ends up being how Bracka dies.
    • And David follows in the next episode, courtesy of Jane.
    • In a flashback, Lila does this to an old man that her parents got her for her first purge.
  • Comedic Sociopathy:
    • When Jane finds Alison standing over the dead body of her rival for the promotion, Alison calmly asks her if she's going to tell HR about the promotion, or if Alison has to do it herself. It isn't until after her promotion is in doubt that she starts freaking out.
    • After the sirens go off announcing the end of the Purge, Joe suddenly becomes all friendly with Miguel and Penelope, trying to act like he wasn't trying to kill them a minute earlier and cheerfully tells them he'll see them again next year. Miguel shoots him in the kneecaps and shoves him into a pool to drown.
  • Cool Car: For surviving the Gauntlet, Miguel wins a pristine 1971 Chevelle SS. He barters it to Pete in exchange for information on the Givers bus.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Miguel and Penelope are survivors of the first Purge.
    • David Ryker's security system was bought from the Sandins. Just like in that film, it doesn't stop someone determined to get in.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The cult to which Penelope belongs talks about "Giving", making it sound as though they go around trying to help people during the Purge. In reality, what they do is offer themselves up to be killed by Purgers, in the mistaken belief that their deaths will satisfy the Purgers' need for violence and they'll go into "the Invisible".
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In the third episode, a Purger is seen killing a taxi driver and blowing up his cab just because the guy asked for a tip.
    • In the seventh, Jenna and Rick's neighbor breaks into their home to kill them for such slights as cutting down his tree and parking in his spot. Lila stabs him in the back of the neck before he gets the chance.
    • Joe kidnaps people who wronged him in the past, starting with his high school bully. In particular, he targets Jane simply because she ditched him after a bad first impression during a date and Penelope for not thanking him for holding a door open.
  • Distant Finale: The final scene is set a year later just before the start of the next Purge. Jenna has moved to France to avoid the Purge, while Miguel and Penelope are now running a triage van to help victims of the Purge.
  • Eye Scream: Penelope stabs Joe in the eye during her escape. He has to remove the implement by hand afterward.
  • Forced to Watch: Henry threatens to gouge out one of Miguel's eyes as payback for Miguel blinding him in one eye in the past, then let him watch as he burns Penelope to death.
  • Foreshadowing: Joe not being as stand-up as the early episodes depict him is foreshadowed by the fact that he listens to the very pro-Purge self-help guru each time he appears.
  • Good Samaritan: Joe drives around on Purge night rescuing people. Then subverted when it's revealed he kidnaps those he rescues and forces them to participate in a twisted trial.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After being rescued by Jenna and Rick, Lila tells them that her father gave his life to distract the anti-NFFA resistance members so she could escape.
  • Just Giving Orders: Jane initially tries to rationalize that hiring someone to kill her boss isn't the same as personally killing him herself, but soon changes her mind after watching one of her subordinates murder a co-worker.
  • Kangaroo Court: The mock court Joe runs. He claims if people confess to their "crimes" against him they'll be spared. In the only example we see of that happening though, he kills the prisoner anyway, on the basis that he wasn't sincere.
  • Kill the Poor: Good Leader Tavis is a sham who lures in those the NFFA considers undesirable so she can manipulate them to willingly let themselves be killed during the Purge.
  • Klingon Promotion: Allison kills her rival for the VP position so Jane will have to promote her.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: The Purge has made Pete cynical, but he readily jumps into action to help Miguel rescue Penelope.
  • Mark of Shame: The Matron Saints brand "PIG" on the foreheads of any domestic abusers they catch, so women know never to associate with that person.
  • Missed Him by That Much: As he's trying to catch the Givers bus, Miguel stops the creepy nuns and asks for directions, unaware that they have Penelope. Once he finds the bus, Miguel is told what happened by Tavis.
  • Motive Rant:
    • As she makes her arrangements with Bracka, Jane launches into a whole speech about why her boss has to die. Bracka puts up with it for a minute or two, then finally cuts Jane off, telling her that she really doesn't need to know why.
    • Once Joe reveals who he really is, he launches into a steady steam of motive rants, complaining about everything from his non-existent love life to clients who screw him out of money to people who don't thank him for holding the door for them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Jane confronts Allison about killing to get the promotion, Allison points out that she knows about Jane putting a hit on David. Realizing she's little better than Allison, Jane tries to call it off and heads out to stop it herself when she can reach neither Bracka or David. After learning what David's really like, she changes her mind and kills him herself.
  • Neck Snap: Henry meets his end when Miguel snaps his neck.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: Penelope threatens to kill one of her fellow captives in Joe's cage, knowing he's so psychotically obsessed with revenge that he'll do anything to stop it. When he gets too close, the other victim reveals she was playing along and rushes him, allowing Penelope to stab him in the eye.
  • Nun Too Holy: After being removed from the bus, Penelope is set upon by a bunch of creeps in nun habits accented by strips of white lights. They deliver her to the Carnival of Flesh.
  • The Only One Allowed To Kill You: Joe saves several people from purgers because he has personal grudges against each of them and wants to kill them himself.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • David Ryker, Jane's boss, is extremely sexist. On Purge night, he hosts a party where the guests can molest women through their clothing, specifically because he isn't allowed to do it the rest of the year. If the women go along with it, they get to live.
    • Joe is later shown to be one. He insinuates Jane, who is black, only get her job because of the business she worked for wanting to fill diversity quotas, and implies that Penelope isn't a real American because she's Latina, asking what country her family is from.
  • Professional Killer: In the first episode, Jane hires Bracka to purge her asshole boss in revenge for him passing her over for promotion.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: When one of the cult members gets cold feet and tries to get out of sacrificing herself, Tavis has her forced out because she's been selected by God to be killed. In fact, she's paid by the NFFA to kill them, so it's her job to make sure they die.
  • The Social Darwinist: Albert Stanton is a firm believer in the idea that the Purge will weed out the unfit.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Rick and Jenna's baby turned out to be this for her.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Good Leader Tavis likes to shower her followers with "my darlings" and kisses as she sends them out to be slaughtered by Purgers.
  • Truce Zone: During the Purge, Pete's Cantina serves as a neutral territory for those who know the right password. All weapons have to be checked at the door.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: When Miguel knocks out Rex and releases the mother/son duo that Rex was delivering to the Carnival of Flesh, telling them to find shelter, the son grabs Rex's gun and demands the truck instead. Miguel easily disarms him and admonishes him for turning on someone that just helped him on Purge Night. The son's desperation is justified, however, as Miguel is essentially dumping them in the middle of nowhere with very little means to survive other than advice to hunker down. Miguel gives slightly better advice after the disarming, advising the pair to find a triage van, who will shelter them until the night ends.
  • Vigilante Man: There's a group of women called the Matron Saints who work to protect women from rape and other violence from Purgers. Joe also rescues people from others, killing Purgers in the process. It turns out he then puts them on trial for various petty "offenses" against him though.
  • Yandere: When Jenna tries to cut things off with Lila, she snaps and tries to murder Rick to preserve their relationship. Jenna kills Lila before she can follow through.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: This is Jane's reaction to Joe putting her on trial for their bad date. The absurdity of it on top of everything else she's dealt with causes her to stop caring completely and call him out on it, even though he's the one with the gun.


Example of: