‘The Purge’: ‘Halloween’ Easter Egg Teases What’s Up With the Masked Man

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Things are ramping up in the third episode of “The Purge.” People are murdering each other for promotions, the frightening pro-Purge cult is dropping people off to their deaths, and we’re getting a taste of the backlash and insurgency that is resisting the government and its yearly night of murder.

Episode 3 of the USA Network series, “The Urge to Purge,” also teases something new, though. The final moments of the episode bring fans an installment in the story of a man wearing a metal mask¬†who heads out on Purge night in an unmarked van. The man, named Joe (Lee Tergesen), looks scary, but the episode upends expectations – instead of going on a joyful murder spree, the man in the mask rescues a woman from her attackers.

The whole scene is a bit strange, but “The Purge” is giving hints at what’s going on here. First, we’ve seen the masked man driving around listening to pro-Purge self-help tapes, encouraging him to let out his dark urges. When he reaches his destination, though, he finds a woman in her home being attacked by two other Purgers. The masked man kills the attackers and brings the woman into his van, apparently planning to help her.

There is an added bit of creepiness, though. The masked man didn’t randomly come across that woman under attack. A shot in his car shows that he had information about who she was, where to go, and what to expect when he arrived. Saving the woman, it seems, was a planned moment. What we don’t know yet was why.

There’s one more tell, though, that gives a hint about where this might all be going, and what the deal is with the masked man. It’s also an Easter egg in the episode that probably slipped past all but the die-hard horror fans.

That Easter egg is a call-out out to the 1978 classic slasher movie “Halloween.” In the final moments of the episode, the music shifts to one of the tracks from the “Halloween” score. It’s subtle, but something that also feels like it definitely has meaning.

What is that meaning, exactly? It remains to be seen, but “Halloween” is specifically about a guy in a mask hunting and attempting to murder a woman (and successfully killing all her friends). It’s clear that rescuing that woman is not the end of the story, but that “Halloween” music cue seems to give an idea of where the masked man’s intentions really lie.

Obviously we’ll have to wait and see where this plot line in “The Purge” is headed, but if the “Halloween” Easter egg is any indication, there could very well be another major villain being introduced as we speak.

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