The Highly-Anticipated ‘Waco’ Sequel Is Here, And It’s Devastating

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“Waco: The Aftermath” has arrived, and it’s every bit as solid as fans hoped it would be.

The original “Waco” series with Michael Shannon as FBI negotiator Gary Noesner and Taylor Kitsch as David Koresh aired in 2018. It was a dark and twisted look at the Waco siege in Texas that left a total of 86 people killed – four federal agents and 82 members of the Branch Davidians – following a failed attempt to take leader David Koresh into custody.

After nearly two months of a standoff, the compound the Branch Davidians lived in burned to the ground causing the deaths of 76 people, including 28 children.

It was a dark moment in American history for so many different reasons that we don’t need to dive into here. Every person can have their own opinions on Waco.

The original TV show focused on how the siege played out over the course of 51 days as the Branch Davidians and the federal government engaged in a standoff.

N367931 01: The Branch Davidian compound explodes in a burst of flames April 19, 1993, ending the standoff between cult leader David Koresh and his followers and the FBI at this site near Waco, TX. April 19, 2000 is the 7 year anniversary of the tragedy. (Photo by Shelly Katz / Liaison)

‘Waco: The Aftermath’ tells the roots of the Waco siege and what followed.

As viewers of “Waco” already know, the series didn’t portray the government in a positive light. In fact, the framing was very sympathetic to the Branch Davidians. That’s not to excuse any criminal conduct, of course.

That’s just the creative direction the Paramount Network series chose to go with. “Waco: Aftermath” is no different.

The sequel series, which airs on Showtime, also takes a view that is SUPER sympathetic to the surviving Branch Davidians as they face trial.

“Waco: The Aftermath” tells the story of everything that happened after Waco. (Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/SHOWTIME)

Shannon is back as Gary Noesner, who received a positive portrayal in the original, David Costabile stars as Judge Smith, Giovanni Ribisi as attorney Dan Cogdell, John Leguizamo as federal agent Jacob Vasquez, John Hoogenakker as Branch Davidian survivor Clive Doyle – the face of the survivors – Shea Whigham is back as Mitch Decker and Alex Breaux portrays Timothy McVeigh.

The cast is perfectly casted. Shannon is just as ominous while also full of positive intentions as the original series.

The series explores the events that followed the deadly siege.

In real life, the most famous secondary event tied to Waco was the horrific and evil federal building bombing carried out by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City. It was one of the worst moments in the history of our great country and McVeigh was rightfully executed for carrying it out.

His motivation for the attack was to avenge Waco and the deaths of the Branch Davidians. It’s clear even early on “Waco: The Aftermath” that the show will explore how McVeigh was radicalized by the siege.

“Waco: The Aftermath” is out on Showtime. (Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/SHOWTIME)

The series also in very dark fashion chronicles the trauma the federal agents, especially Noesner and Vasquez, carry with them after the fact. In their minds, different decisions could have been made to spare all those lost. This important and critical aspect is also covered in the original series. Now, people will get a much deeper look at the trauma these men carry.

It’s not that different from what you see with war veterans. Death sticks with people. It just does, and everyone has a different way to process it.

At one point in the season two premiere, Noesler tells Vasquez, “I just feel this undercurrent of rage in America, and I think we helped create the monster we’re trying to stop.”

That’s the theme that will carry viewers the entire way through “Waco: The Aftermath.”

“Waco: The Aftermath” is off to a hot start. (Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/SHOWTIME)

Just one episode is out, but so far, “Waco: The Aftermath” is outstanding. It might be difficult to sit through at times, but it’s worth it. Michael Shannon crushed it in “Waco” and does so again. If you enjoyed the first series, I can’t recommend the follow-up enough.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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