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The Purge TV Series Just Made Its Case for Season 3

OK, now we're getting somewhere

Amanda Bell

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Purge, "7:01 AM." Read at your own risk!]

The small screen iteration of The Purgehasn't followed the narrative structure of the flagship films -- and it also largely side-steps the socio-economic and moral themes the movies explored (or at least tried to). However, the Season 2 finale just made it clear that the show might follow suit of The Purge: Election Yearand make its third act all about taking a wrecking ball to the terrible system of its premise -- and it may have made a case for a Season 3.

Tuesday night's finale of The Purge saw all of its major character arcs collide as Purge Night waged on. Marcus (Derek Luke) and his friends finally got Michelle (Rochelle Aytes) the medical attention she needed for her stab wound, but they brought trouble along with them in the form of Ben (Joel Allen), who decided to kick off the next leg of his murder spree in the triage tent. Despite all the bloodshed caused by Ben, Marcus decided not to get blood on his own hands and tossed Ben outside to let Purge Night finish the job.

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The closing moments of the episode revealed, though, that Ben did not fall victim to an even more maniacal maniac than him -- if such a person even exists -- but that he was instead alive, well, and all geared up with his "god" mask to enjoy another round of senseless slaughter. Ben spent all season becoming Exhibit A for Esme's (Paola Nunez) case that Purge Night makes violent people even more stab-happy, instead of letting them get it out of their system one night a year. Now he's going to get another chance to prove exactly that -- The Campus Killer is back in action.

Of course, Esme won't be around to see the next Purge or to witness the results of her broadcast. After transmitting her intel on the New Founding Fathers' off-Purge murders and their cover-up of intel that the Purge doesn't stop other crimes, she and Ryan (Max Martini) were both murdered by NFFA agents. Still, their sacrifice wasn't in vain. Marcus' son Darren (Denzel Whitaker) and Esme's ally Vivian (Charlotte Schweiger) have now banded together to spread that very message from one community to the next, and they've just received a massive cash injection from Ryan's friends, who donated his share of the heist money in his honor.

Paola Nunez, The Purge

Paola Nunez, The Purge

Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network

So, basically, we've got two very different factions taking hold in Purgeworld right now. There are those like Ben, who are fully invested in their "right" to purge and feel emboldened by the exercise of violence, and there are those who are ready to expose the truth about Purge Night and take their country back. A similar clash was at the center of Election Year as well, but seeing these terrified and fed-up masses rise up under the banner of Resistance sounds a whole lot more intriguing than the movie's version of a single politician standing as the ultimate usher of change.

Season 1's finale left off on an intriguing note as well, of course. In the final shot of that season, we saw that Jenna (Hannah Emily Anderson) had her baby and moved to France to escape the Purge, but that the idea was beginning to gain steam there as well (shudder). Nothing ended up coming of the suggestion that Purge Night might become an international affair -- at least, not yet -- so perhaps Season 2's open end here is also a dead one. If not, and the show is actually barreling towards an organized, informed, and well-funded uprising against this oppressive regime, that would not only be new extension of the story of The Purge, but could make for a satisfying conclusion to the whole thing.

USA Network has not yet renewed The Purge for Season 3, but between this promising trajectory and that fun Ethan Hawke cameo, the show deserves another shot to finish this thing out on a power note.

The Purge Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream (with cable subscription) at USA Network.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS)