The Purge season 1, episode 1 recap: ‘What Is America?’


The premiere episode of The Purge starts off with a number of people in a co-ed shower and then the people are getting ready.

One of the girls, Penelope starts to narrate a letter to her brother Miguel that she is joining her parents, who sacrificed themselves years before.

97 minutes to the Purge.

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Miguel shows up to visit Penelope at a rehab hospital. He asks an admin in the hospital if she can promise a safe place for his sister who is there.

The administrator says she can’t help him and then speaks to her young son, who asks for a gun for Purge night.

The hospital even has to board itself closed to stay protected from the Commencement.

Miguel said that he was in the Marines and he tells the boy that his commanding officer told the Marines to hold hands and that would eliminate their fear. The administrator appreciated this and said that Penelope checked out months ago. She allowed Miguel to look at a computer to help him find his sister.

Someone named Henry checked her out.

In a real hospital, a woman is checked in (this is the “safest place in the city”) and learns that her daughter Jane has to go to work on the night of the Purge.

A couple (Jenna and Rick) is getting ready to head to a party on the night of the Purge. They claim they will be safer there than at any place in the country. They are “making a deal with the Devil.”

Flashback to a threesome.

84 minutes to go. Are you prepared? The city is preparing for the Purge, boarding up homes and buying guns.

Miguel is chasing down someone in his car. He is looking for Henry. He throws the guy in his trunk after he mentions that Henry might be at The Row.

Jane shows up at work and everyone seems concerned that she is working that night. Her coworker Bob is worried as well and is convinced there is no better place to be than there. The two have to be checked in and scanned to ensure neither have weapons.

The 38th Floor is a Safe Zone and their safety can only be guaranteed on that specific floor. The security is allowed to protect them – but only on that floor.

Moving to a large mansion is the people from the showers earlier — The Scarred, The Beaten, the Souls Damaged. It is a cult that worships The Purge – The Giving Time. They then board a bus for a trip somewhere.

65 minutes.

Jenna and Rick leave their house and then we see that it was much more protected than the boarded up houses. Their neighbor is surprised they are leaving and Rick jokes that he wished they could have Purged to eliminate that bad neighbor.

Their driver realizes they are heading to a party that includes the Founding Fathers. They said they had to sign a release that promises they won’t kill or be killed and the driver mentions that the rich don’t kill each other on Purge night.

Back to Jane. She tells the team that they are safe there and need to focus on work and not think about the Purge since their business deal has to happen before morning.

They get a video call from their boss Don (William Baldwin), who thanks them. David tells them that they get big bonuses if they close the deal tonight. He said that they will touch base later. He is always listening in.

Jenna and Rick show up at a very large mansion for the party. Another flashback to the start of the threesome from earlier. Jenna convinces Rick that “she” is not going to be there because “she” is in Africa.

50 minutes to Purge.

The bus passes protestors who are painting “Death to NFFA” and people boarding up their businesses. Penelope looks scared but Good Leader Tavis is happy and said that they will escape their pain and “your father – that monster” forever.

At the party, there are rich people eating rich people food. Jenna and Rick are walking around looking for the person they want to make their business deal with. They are worried they will be forced to become NFFA party members to get the deal. Jenna soon sees a woman berating one of the members of the help.

Miguel shows up at an abandoned building and pulls the dude out of his trunk to find out where Henry is. The guy said that Henry is in a specific building sometimes. The guy does not want to go in with him. They knock on the door and a guy lets them in. A girl is bound “for her own good” and she will be their Purge desert. They have some major guns and masks.

Miguel said he is looking for Henry and is an old friend. They don’t trust him, but he said he has been gone in the Marines. They want to know what he wants with Henry. He said that he wants to reconnect, but they suddenly attack him. Miguel shoots one of them and knocks the other out.

The girl asks Miguel to save her, so he unties her and tells her to get to safety before the Purge commencement starts.

Jane gets on her phone and tries to make a phone call. She is very much on edge, snapping at an employee. Jane then gets a text from someone who said that they are there.

Miguel starts to leave, and the girl is still outside. She tells him that she knows where Penelope is, but he won’t like it.

Jane is leaving the safe floor and said that she will be back, but the security said they can’t guarantee her safety if she leaves. She heads downstairs and the camera starts to play with our expectations as she sees danger around every corner.

She goes to the first floor and looks out the window of a door and a woman appears outside the door. The woman said there are no transactions until the Purge begins.

Jenna goes to the bathroom at the party, and when she comes out, she bumps into the member of the help that was being yelled at earlier (Catalina) and she asks for Tylenol. She asks about the berating she saw earlier. Jenna admits that she does not like the Purge and said that she is there for a business opportunity.

Jenna sees a photo of a little girl and admires the photographs, including one of the family who owns the house.

Miguel is driving along, and he sees a group of people dressed like pink bunnies, all carrying weapons. He parks outside a building and runs inside and hears singing. He calls out and the singing stops. Some kids come out and say that they have room for more. They are all young and Miguel said that he is looking for his sister.

Goddess Penny. Sister Penny.

He reads the letter that he got from his sister and asks what The Giving is. They tell him that they are too young but Penelope is one of those who choose to join The Giving. She is not Purging but is being purged upon – where Penelope will go to The Invisible (Heaven) to rejoin her parents.

Jenna rejoins Rick at the party. The Purge begins in just four minutes and the Stanton’s come out to welcome everyone there. They talk about donations keeping the Founding Fathers in the White House, and this keeps things going like the Purge – the Great Liquidator of their Time. They made this country great again (by killing the poor).

No one to leave the party for The Purge, so they lock down the mansion. The windows show the letters NFFA and American Flags.

They then bring out “gifts” – which is a Purge theme for the party. The gifts are masks that everyone will wear – each mask is of a mass murderer from the past (David Berkowitz, the Manson family). The Stanton’s call these serial killers simply people who purged before it was legal – making these murderers people to honor and respect.

It is time for the Commencement of the Purge. Government Officials ranking 10 are still protected (unlike the last movie).

Jane opens the door when the Commencement begins to make her deal. She is paying a Purge-assassin to commit a murder for her. She will follow the progress on her app.

Jenna and Rick are worried that they should have left the party. There is another flashback of the threesome and they see that the third girl is there (Lila) — the one they hoped was still in Africa.

Miguel gets in his car with night vision goggles on. People are killing each other on the streets as he drives along. They are destroying things, torturing people and basically purging.

The bus is driving along with the kids praying for their soul as they prepare to die at The Giving. Tavis said that they will help the Sinners and carry their sins to The Invisible with them, reaping the rewards. She sends Arthur off the bus as it is his time to Give. He steps off with a smile as everyone says they love him.

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Arthur gets out and walks to a group of people holding weapons and wearing masks. He raises his arms to his sides but when he sees them up close with the masks on and the axes in their hands, he starts to get scared. They run to him as he starts to cry and then they start to chop him to pieces as Penelope looks on in horror and the others chant around her.

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