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All crime was legal for about an hour-and-a-half at New York Comic Con when USA screened the first episode of The Purge Season 2.
The debut episode was introduced by executive producers James Roland Krystal Houghton Ziv, both of whom promised that the new season would answer all kinds of questions about the dystopian series like: "Who makes those creepy ass Purge masks?," "Who cleans up the bodies once the murderous night is over?," and "What happens if you kill someone on a non-Purge day?" When it comes to that pesky issue of time zones, the crew is a little more split. Either the West Coast starts Purging earlier or the future government has abolished time-zone differences.
“We get to actually see what happens on the other 364 days of the year ... and the psychological ramifications," said Roland. "We get to play with that PTSD thing."
As for the Season 2 premiere, the episode kicks off in the past with a familiar character before jumping to the future where Purge night has only two hours to go. The alternating storylines flit between bank robbers, a couple dealing with a deadly home invasion, two young guys looking for a rumored "suicide bridge," and government employees monitoring the city for illegal Purge activities like the usage of bombs.
“It was actually the fans at previous Comic Cons who kept asking me what happens the day after the Purge … People are very curious about what happens those days after, those weeks after," said Purge creator, writer, and executive producer, James DeMonaco. “It’s the questions we hear that resonate the most and then we put it to our writers' room and they tackle it.”
He also teased an overarching mystery that the character of Marcus Moore (Derek Luke) must solve over the next year. In the premiere episode, Marcus ends up surviving the night with his wife Michelle (Rochelle Aytes), but finds out that somebody's been following him and wants to kill him.
"Everyone's a suspect," added DeMonaco, who took another piece of advice from fans at cons by deciding to explore other crimes beyond homicide. As we mentioned above, Season 2 deals with a bank heist, and it ends with an interesting twist that adds an extra layer to this futuristic world where felonies become valid the minute the Purge is over.
“It sparks so many conversations that make you think ... about other, more profound things about yourself," said Paola Nuñez, who plays Esme Carmona, a Purge surveillance employee. "[It makes you ask] 'How tolerant am I? Am I willing to Purge everything or should I be a more understanding or compassionate person?' ... The premise makes you think about yourself and the awareness that you have and the tolerance that you have with other people.”
Check out some of the costume items that were on display at the panel below:
Looking toward the future, DeMonaco is interested in exploring how this annual event/holiday will affect generations of people who have no memory of a time before the Purge began.
“The movies are more of a punch in the face," he said, going on to explain how the TV show allows for a longer and more intimate dive into the psychological and societal repercussions of government-sanctioned violence and law-breaking. Indeed, the creator wants the series to go in indefinitely. “We have a million stories to tell in this world ... There’s always a way to reinvent," he said.
On the movie side, Universal Pictures (which owns SYFY WIRE) is gearing up to release a fifth Purge film, which we thought was going to be the final entry in the cinematic series. DeMonaco seemed to rebuff that during the Q&A portion of the panel when he said:
"I hope it keeps going ... I think if the next Purge movie is successful financially, I think there will be a Purge 6 ... If Universal is happy, there could be more," finished the creator.
Season 2 of The Purge premieres on USA on Oct. 15. The panel's moderator confirmed that the new season would be "bookended" by Purges, so as we go through the year, we'll end up with yet another Purge... Are we saying "Purge" too much?
Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of New York Comic Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.