Waco: The Aftermath Review

Exploring the uneven scales of justice faced by surviving Branch Davidians, and tracing the horrific events that fueled the emerging “Patriot” movement, which led to a terrorist act in Oklahoma City.


“Waco: The Aftermath” is a departure from the suspenseful “Waco” series that aired back in 2018, which saw Taylor Kitsch portray the Branch Davidian leader David Koresh. This time, however, it is more of a courtroom drama, reminiscent of “Perry Mason.” It is a slow burn. With little use of the score it didn’t drag me in as it could have with a more intense score, “Waco: The Aftermath” is similar to a dull noir by how the camera just sits on the two main characters talking in the courtroom, not allowing us to see how it effects other people in the courtroom.

Unfortunately, the pacing is dreadfully slow and dull. The main attraction of “Waco: The Aftermath” is the returning co-star Michael Shannon, but even he cannot save the writing in this new series. It is a wonder why Showtime greenlit this series when the original “Waco” series aired on Paramount Network and is still running strong, thanks to the success of “Yellowstone.”

Instead of the great Taylor Kitsch, we got a much younger version of David Koresh when he first arrived at Mount Carmel. He was portrayed by Keean Johnson, who tried his best to elevate the scenery around him, but the dialogue never gets juicy enough for him to be believable. The other newcomers include an atrocious Giovanni Ribisi, who tries to deliver a thick southern accent that instead sounds like he can’t swallow his food fast enough, and Gary Cole, who is wasted as a former CIA agent turned conspiracy nut who wants to turn this Waco case upside down.

Unfortunately, just as the series begins to gain momentum, with Abbey Lee’s character providing valuable information to Michael Shannon, it is revealed that the limited series only has one episode remaining. The show felt short-lived, despite being overstuffed with backstory about the original members of Mount Carmel. This backstory ultimately doesn’t amount to much, except for Michael Luwoye’s character, Livingstone Fagan, who played a pivotal role in the Waco raid.

Overall Grade: 1/5 stars

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