Pure Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Excommunication

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No good deed goes unpunished.

That certainly seemed to be the continuing theme on Pure Season 2 Episode 1.

On Pure Season 1, Pastor Noah Funk and his wife Anna took on an unspoken crusade -- to rid their colony of the drug cartel that was using Mennonites in Mexico and Ontario to serve as its distribution pipeline.

Anna is Struggling -- Tall - Pure Season 2 Episode 1

Unfortunately, they did this by going undercover in Eli Voss's operation, in the futile hope of getting him to incriminate himself.

Worse, once Noah capitulated and Anna joined his mission, she was very successful in running Eli's local operation and grew its profit.

Income Shrinking - Pure Season 2 Episode 1

Noah ultimately cut off the head of the snake when he shot and killed Eli Voss on Pure Season 1 Episode 6, to save his foster son Ezekiel.

Noah reacted to this violation of God's law like the holy man he was, leaving his family and the colony and headed off into the wilderness (or in this case Belize) to do penance.

Not that this questionable act of self-flagellation did his family any good.

Related: Pure Season 2: Sneak Peek

Even though a good number of the colony were also working for Voss, the hypocrites voted to excommunicate Anna and their children, Tina and Isaak.

In essence, to cast them to the wolves.

Anna and the children were forced to earn an income by cleaning houses. I'm not sure if this meant Tina and Isaak had to drop out of school, as I thought they were undergraduates last season.

Making Her Case - Pure

Then, adding insult to injury, they were essentially forced out of the Mennonite market, their only other source of income.

No wonder Anna went to see the bishop, cap in hand, to beg to address the colony regarding her family getting reinstated since a year had passed. They were about to be kicked out onto the street.

She also got to see the cautionary tale of Gerry Epps' widow hanging laundry in the backyard, a colony charity case.

Related: Pure's Alex Paxton-Beesley Q & A

There was guilt all around. Anna felt guilty about her indirect role in Gerry's "suicide," while the bishop felt guilty about what was happening to the Funks after Noah did his best to eliminate the drug pipeline, which the elders secretly hoped would happen.

Damn little good that did Anna, as the men of the church conveniently continued to blame her for anything having to do with the drug-distribution ring.

I'm curious where Augustus Nickel, the Reformed Mennonite, fits into this. Is he simply a romantic interest for Anna, or is he involved with the cartel somehow?

Pushed Aside - Pure

The bishop got a sop in that Tina and Isaak received a path back to citizenship in the colony, but Anna was still out in the cold. It's hard to blame her for sticking her cap in a drawer.

And where was Noah while his family was going through all this hardship? Jay had it right when he accused Noah of taking a gap year.

Noah exiling himself and essentially waiting for a sign from God was perfectly Biblical but it didn't do anybody any good. Not Noah and not his family.

Related: Pure Season Finale Review: Baptism

Jay made a mistake in not telling Anna. If she had known Noah was alive, and nearby, maybe she wouldn't have made the choice she ended up making.

The big surprise was that Abel was still alive, after being left for the scavengers after Eli shot him.

He seemed more devil-may-care now. Being brought back from the dead must have done that for him.

New Police Presence - Pure Season 2 Episode 1

The changes in the police presence on Pure were necessary, but still appear to work well.

AJ Buckley was tied up playing Sonny of SEAL Team, renewed for a third season this fall.

That meant his Bronco Novak had to leave, as did his son Ben, Tina's beau for the first season.

It's a shame that Jay, who had been so kind to Anna, had to be killed off. But his death was a way for Estrada, the new cartel boss, to further intimidate Anna.

So instead we got Valerie Krochak, the female version of Bronco: a divorced former jock with a kid, who also gets in trouble for thinking with her fists.

Police Lifeline - Pure Season 2 Episode 1

The main difference was that Bronco was trying to salvage his career while Valerie was attempting to move up from a forensic accountant to become a "real" detective.

I'm betting she'll even use the same method Bronco did: Have Noah infilitrate the local Mennonites to bring down the distribution ring.

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Because it worked so well last time.

Estrada certainly presented Anna with a difficult choice. Give him one child as collateral and run his local operation, or both children die.

It was impossible to tell which child Anna had chosen from her expression as she dropped them off for work.

The New Chief - Pure Season 2 Episode 1

Isaak was the better choice. Still, it was heartrending to listen to him scream for her, naked and in a cage.

Unlike Voss, Estrada has no real connection to the Mennonites. He's just cunning and mercenary. And his helper is terrifying.

If indeed Noah ends up working with the police again, a confrontation between him and Anna is inevitable. The question is whether they will still have a salvageable relationship.

Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother) has joined the cast as recurring character Esther Dunkel, a former Mennonite who is now helping to launder cartel funds. It will be intriguing to see where she fits into this puzzle.

To catch up with the drama, watch Pure online.

How does Anna get out of this mess?

Was Noah wrong to leave his family?

How do you like Valerie?

Comment below.

watch Pure online

Excommunication Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (3 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Pure Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

Valerie: What is this style?
Julius: Wood?

  • Permalink: Wood?
  • Added:

You have no friends.

Estrada [to Anna]