The Purge: Season 1 Recap & Ending Explained

The Purge TV show thrust viewers into an intense, ten episode nightmare - here's what happened during the first season. The original Purge was a low-budget action thriller from Blumhouse that takes place in a future American where one night a year all crime - including murder - is legal. The movie starred Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey (Game Of Thrones) as parents who have to protect their children from a masked group of killers trying to break into their sealed home.

The movie's creepy premise and excellent marketing made it a surprise hit, quickly leading to sequel The Purge: Anarchy. The follow-up took audiences out onto the streets during the Annual Purge where a group of characters, led by Frank Grillo's (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) Leo, have to survive the chaos. Anarchy established the franchise was here to stay, with two further movies - The Purge: Election Night and prequel The First Purge - exploring different aspects of the concept.

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Related: The Purge Movie Timeline Explained: 2014 - 2040

The Purge TV series debuted in 2018 and while the overall critical reception was mixed, it proved popular enough to earn a second season. The show follows a number of characters from different walks of life, including a marine named Miguel trying to save his sister Penelope from a death cult, led by Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif, Cult Of Chucky). This cult includes members who willingly give themselves over to be purged, but Penelope quickly realizes she's made a mistake. Miguel eventually tracks her down to the Carnival of Flesh and saves her life.

the purge TV series jenna rick

Other characters include Jane Barbour, a businesswoman with a sick parent who realizes she'll never get a much-needed promotion because of her sexist boss, played by William Baldwin (Too Old To Die Young). She hires a Purge assassin to kill him, but after buyer's remorse, she heads to his house to warn him. It turns out the assassin is already dead and Jane is forced to go on display for the amusement of her bosses guests; she's later rescued by Joe Owens, a good samaritan seemingly trying to save lives on Purge night. Jane kills her boss before they leave.

The other main characters of The Purge TV series are the upper-class Rick and Jenna Betancourt, who are anti-Purge but attend a pro-Purge party to make connections. Rick and Jenna also used to be in a three-way relationship with a woman named Lila, so when Jenna and Lila reconnect at the party, Rick is far from happy. They eventually head back home after being warned by a maid the party is about to be violently broken up; Lila later follows them home whilst being chased by a killer. They let her in, only for Lila to try to kill Rick so she and Jenna can be together - Jenna kills her to save Rick.

In the final episodes of The Purge, its revealed Joe isn't a good guy after all, and he's been targeting people he feels cheated him in the past so he can purge them personally. With Jane, it was a cringingly awkward date, whilst Rick cheated him out of money. In The Purge season 1 episode 10 finale "A Nation Reborn," it all comes to a head. Joe murdered Jane in the previous episode, and after a violent struggle that leads to Joe having his eye gouged out and Rick dying in a gunfight, Miguel arrives in time to save his sister Penelope and shoots Joe dead.

The show then jumps ahead a year to reveal Miguel and Penelope are working to save lives on the next Purge night while Jenna has moved to France - and given birth to Rick's baby. On the news, it seems Europe is thinking of adopting the event after seeing its success in America. While The Purge series was something of a mixed bag overall, the finale was a strong finish and set up a potentially very interesting second season.

Next: What To Expect From The Purge Season 2

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