Paola Nuñez as Esme Carmona on USA Network’s The Purge season two.
The Purge season one was such a welcomed surprise last year and I wasn’t sure that a new group of characters would be able to live up to it, but Esme Carmona gave me someone to truly root for. Paola Nuñez’s performance was inspiring, heartfelt, and powerful.
**Please note major spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up on the series.
As soon as season two began, Esme immediately became my favorite character. I thought it was so interesting that she worked for the NFFA, but had a moral compass. The more secrets Esme uncovered, the more she was in danger, but her quest for the truth was truly inspiring.
We have seen members of the Resistance in the previous movies and season, but Esme’s transformation and discoveries as a part of the NFFA were truly unique, showing us just how corrupt the system was. Esme could have easily stayed quiet, knowing full well what the NFFA was capable of, but she continued to take huge risks to get justice for those who were wronged by the system, including Professor Adams, who was very near and dear to her heart.
Once we glimpsed into Esme’s past, I was even more intrigued by her character. Esme did not always follow the rules, but she fought for what she believed in and family and friendship were so important to her. Esme’s dynamic with her sister was heartbreaking, which made the scene with her father that much more compelling and understandable.
During the season, I was really hoping that Esme would team up with Ryan and she did, which helped develop her character even more. As Ryan and her grew closer, we got to see a softer side of Esme, making her even more likable. Not too many characters tend to survive on Purge Night so I didn’t want to get my hopes up about these two, but I thought this gave Esme’s character even more layers and it made the season finale that much more shocking.
What’s next for Esme? Well, not much if you watched the season finale, but that doesn’t mean that her actions were done in vain, as they actually inspired a Resistance movement. Esme’s face was the symbol of this movement, as her friends refused to let society forget about who she was and what she stood for.
Nuñez was able to channel so much strength into Esme’s character. I was captivated by her every single time she was on screen and I truly believed in her cause. The quest toward truth and redemption is never an easy one, but Esme Carmona’s courage reminded us that our lives depend on it and we should keep fighting for answers one day at a time.
Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
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