The Purge Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: Grief Box

The dystopian series induces controversy in its latest episode.

By Michelle Kaotic

When a show’s story revolves around one night each year when all crime is legal with no remorse or consequence, one would think there wouldn’t be anything left to shock viewers. This week’s episode of The Purge may have found a subject matter that some viewers do not want to see weaved into the violent franchise.

“Grief Box” continues with citizens attempting to regain some normalcy in their lives after surviving the annual Purge. To this point, we have seen our characters struggling both emotionally and mentally as they come to terms with what they witnessed during the savage evening.

I’ve enjoyed this season so far due to the introduction of the organization that is responsible for the Purge. The NFFA implemented this night to allow citizens the opportunity to “release the beast” and by committing all crimes on one assigned day, the hope is that it will deter people from doing it throughout the rest of the year. We have seen, however, that this concept may be backfiring and the purpose of the Purge may have been a bad idea all along.

In recognition of the annual crime night, this week’s episode had the New Founding Fathers of America announcing the implementation of a new holiday to honor those who have given their lives on Purge Night. Those who have supported the cause and sacrificed their lives deserve to be looked upon as martyrs. While there is no mention of Veteran’s Day, the striking similarities such as store sales, ribbon wearing, and the honoring of those who “served,” has caused a stir with some viewers.

Possibly due to the day of recognition coming up, some are seeing it as a disgrace to compare veterans to Purgers, even though that is likely the point considering the overall themes of the franchise. Naming it “Remembrance Day,” which coincidentally enough, as a Canadian, is the name of our day of recognition for veterans in our country, has sparked some outcry claiming it is distasteful or disrespectful. One has to wonder, is the dislike due to the timing of Veteran’s Day or would it have garnered less displeasure if it aired any other time? Either way, it’s important to recognize the message the show is trying to send about its world in which an annual Purge is even possible.

What is a “grief box”? We learn quickly the meaning behind the episode’s title. Simply put, they are boxes of loved ones’ remains that are being returned to families. Once the driver scans the bar code on a box, he delivers it to devasted family members to mourn their loved one. Frightening is that you may not be just getting your own loved one’s remains. We see how truckloads of bodies are cremated and then shoveled into more personal-sized boxes.

This week, two of our characters, Marcus and Esme, still have mysteries surrounding their storylines. We do not know who is out to kill Marcus or what Esme’s friend was trying to hide and lost her life for. Marcus’ son continues to help him investigate the assassin, while Esme dangerously takes advantage of her privileges at the NFFA to attempt to uncover secrets. With the addition of flashbacks, we learn more about Marcus, including the reveal of an ex-wife and possible daughter. It’s easy to speculate if it is indeed his current wife Michelle who has a score to settle by hiring a hitman to kill him. 

In one of my favorite storylines this season, Ben is attempting to manage his aggression and temper. The thought of how the Purge could be increasing aggression may be more evident as he struggles to control his actions and rage. Still angry over his friend leaving him behind on Purge Night, he resorts to stalking his frat brother, but what he ends up learning isn’t what he expected. We last see Ben at the end of the episode switching to his alter ego as he dons the collected God mask.

Be sure to stay tuned for next week’s episode, “House of Mirrors,” airing at 9/8c next Tuesday on USA.


About the Author

Michelle Kaotic

Growing up in Northern Ontario, Canada, I still remember that first time watching The Exorcist as a kid. While others looked away, I took in every pea green puke and head-spinning moment that I could. Since then, horror and music have become passionate hobbies in my life. Although new to the convention scene, I’ve been collecting both horror and music items for over two decades. Two moments that make these hobbies worthwhile were coming face to face with Freddy Krueger himself, the legendary Robert Englund, and shaking hands with guitar icon Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. I started Kaotic Notes back in 2015 to house the numerous reviews, interviews, photos, and videos that I had done, and continue to do so to this day. It’s only rock and roll with a touch of blood and gore. What can go wrong?!