The Purge season 1, episode 1 recap: Anarchy awaits

Hannah Emily Anderson and Colin Woodell in The Purge / Photo Credit: USA Network
Hannah Emily Anderson and Colin Woodell in The Purge / Photo Credit: USA Network /

The first episode of The Purge set the scene for a violent night. Who will purge and who is in trouble? Here’s what happened in What is America?

After four movies, the night that makes crime legal has now hit the small screen in The Purge. The premiere episode introduced the ensemble of characters that the viewer will be following on Purge night. “What is America” portrayed how each character prepared for the events a few hours to Purge night as the clock clicked down to the 7 p.m. commencement.

Miguel is in a race against time to find his sister, Penelope

The first character we meet is Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria), a U.S. Marine who returns home on Purge Night to find his sister, Penelope (Jessica Garza). The show opens with Penelope preparing for Purge Night with other people in what we later learn is a cult that is referred to as “the Giving.” Miguel is racing to find Penelope because of a letter that vaguely explained she would be sacrificing herself to join her parents, who died on a previous Purge Night, in “the Invisible.” After a few shakedowns of rough-looking characters, Miguel finds the location of the cult, but he is too late as Penelope is not there.

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Penelope is on a blue bus with other members of the cult who will sacrifice themselves on Purge Night. When Purge Night commences, the charismatic leader of the group, Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif), chooses a boy named Arthur to be the first sacrifice. As Arthur steps off of the bus, his happiness turns to fear as he stares and five people with weapons and masks on.

This was no sacrifice. This was a brutal murder and as Arthur is beaten to death, Penelope lets out a scream, which might signify a change of heart.

THE PURGE — “What Is America?” — Photo by: Patti Perret/USA Network — Acquired via NBC Media Village
THE PURGE — “What Is America?” — Photo by: Patti Perret/USA Network — Acquired via NBC Media Village /

Jane hires a Purge assassin, but who is the target?

Jane (Amanda Warren) is first seen in a hospital with her mother, which is a safe zone. Despite asking her daughter to stay, Jane decides to go to work in a high-rise building that only locks down the 38th floor for safety, which is where she is staying. As the rest of Jane’s office meets on the 38th floor, Jane’s boss, Don Ryker (William Baldwin), Skypes in and gives off a creepy sentiment that he is always watching.

Jane is tense the whole episode, and we learn that she is not so innocent. Jane leaves the 38th floor right before the 7 p.m. commencement to meet with an assassin, who is paid handsomely to take out a target of Jane’s choosing. Although it is not confirmed, the best guess for Jane’s target is her boss, Don.

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Rick and Jenna are in for a rude awakening at the NFFA party

The last characters we meet are Rick (Colin Woodell) and Jenna (Hannah Emily Anderson), a young married couple who decide to travel on Purge night to an elite Purge party. Rick and Jenna are against the Purge, but they decide to attend this party to mingle with the upper class in order to secure funding to build houses for the less fortunate.

As the party closes in on Purge night, things begin to take a turn towards the dark side. After a rousing speech about the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA), guests are asked to wear the masks of former serial killers such as the Son of Sam and members of the Manson family. It’s safe to say that this is no ordinary cocktail party. As Rick and Jenna realize they are in over their heads, they see a mysterious woman named Lila (Lili Simmons), who is shown to have had previous sexual relations with the couple.

The Purge season preview: What we know so far. dark. Next

Tune in next week to see how our protagonists deal with the opening hours of the Purge.

The Purge airs on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on USA Network.