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‘Waco’ Miniseries Reminds Us of What We Need Not Be Doomed to Repeat

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The city of Waco has long had a complicated history, dating back to cattle drive days. But, nothing of the sort seemed to compare to the infamous and ominous history that would be recorded in the wake of the grisly end of the 51-day standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidians in 1993. Following the fire, and the immense loss of life, Waco – and Texas – would never be the same.

By some accounts, Waco wasn’t the “hellish landscape” that may have been inferred by the television coverage. But, politics and religion are like oil and water, and these two defining themes were strong undercurrents in the Waco of the early ‘90s, thus resulting in a six-part miniseries now 25 years past the events that took place, premiering on the Paramount Network.

‘Waco’ Miniseries Reminds Us of What We Need Not be Doomed to Repeat

Photo: Facebook/Taylor Kitsch Forever

In a recent review of the first episode by Jodi Walker of Texas Monthly, “Waco” (as the series is aptly titled), “…seeks neither to answer all those questions, nor to rewrite history. Rather than simply reenacting for us how the 51-day siege at Mount Carmel went down, Wednesday’s premiere smartly sets the stage for why it ever came to this: a perfect storm of the ATF at their most desperate, the FBI at its most obstinate, the Branch Davidians being challenged by their own righteousness, and a hostage negotiation team trying—and failing—to keep it all from blowing up.”

‘Waco’ Miniseries Reminds Us of What We Need Not be Doomed to Repeat

Photo: Facebook/TVshow.me

The story of David Koresh and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) appears to be given a broader lens in this series. It cultivates a depiction of the Branch Davidians as devout followers of a doctrine which they feel only they can comprehend, as opposed to blind devotees. The series took notes from two memoirs written on the events that took place, one of which was authored by a survivor of the siege, and both of which introduce details and events pertaining to the ATF and FBI that viewers and those that remember the actual incident were never privy to before. A religious group situated outside of Waco, Texas, headed by a polygamist alleged to have spent more than $200,000 on weapons in recent years, gets flagged by UPS for the delivery of grenade casings, and the rest is history… There’s more to it than that, of course, and this is why co-creators John and Drew Dowdle have chosen to film the series, picking up the task of explaining why all of this took place, instead of focusing on the gruesome end-result alone. The details remind Texas, and the rest of the world, of what we need not be doomed to repeat.