That Dirty Black Bag – Season 1 Episode 2 “Prisoner” Recap & Review


Episode 2 of That Dirty Black Bag begins from where the first ends. Kurt and McCoy continue to hunt for Bill. The former remains mindful of the money stashed in town and reminds the latter of the same. McCoy, though, has other plans.

His obsession with finding Bill and putting him to justice is too stubborn to displace. Meanwhile, the settlers’ convoy finally arrives in town. In preparation, the girls at Red Lantern are asked by Eve to halt their celebratory mood after gaining favorable prices for water from Barnaby and Eve’s special day.

Bill wakes up in the farmer’s house, chained to the wall. The farmer keeps playing mind games with him, hinting that Bill is going to join “the big family” of the people he has hunted. Michelle, Steve’s wife, makes a glaring confession to him. She is fed up with being at the rain’s mercy every year, breaking her spirit and body for no good reason. She wishes to leave the place but Steve assuages her despair and reinforces her confidence in God.

Symone, one of Eve’s girls, discusses Nathan, one of McCoy’s men, with her. Eve tells her he isn’t good enough for her, as the carriages get prepared for the girl’s day out on Treson Lake. Kurt and McCoy continue their hunt deeper into the valley. Butler, the farmer who has captured Bill, performs a religious ritual of some sort, drinking the blood of Bill’s horse he killed.

Michelle visits Thompson in secret. They discuss the land and Steve’s stubbornness. She agrees to let him persuade Steve to give up the land. Meanwhile, a moment’s flashback reveals how prosperous the Lake was just a few years ago. The girls have a picnic on the now arid, unyielding land. Steve tries to recruit laborers from the settlers’ convoy for his land. He promises them that rain is set to befall the lands any day now and that anything the settlers grow will be theirs.

He is interrupted by Thompson, who says the soil lacks phosphorous, and hence, even rain wouldn’t be able to help crops grow. The crowd disburses, leaving Steve without any support. A man walks up to him after to take his offer. Steve and his families have dinner together. At Butler’s house, Bill is tied upside down. He is exposed to one of his own tribal medicines and experiences a hallucinatory episode.

The Sherriff and Kurt investigate Butler’s house. They almost consume his potion but are saved by the foul smell from his basement. McCoy suspects something fishy and his concerns come true as he sees the collection of things from Butler’s victims in the backhouse. The scene briefly shifts to the other characters. First, to the Red Lantern where Eve convinces Symone that her decision to marry Nathan isn’t good for her. Then, at Steve’s house, where his persistent belief in religious signs concerns Michelle.

The climax moves to Butler’s house, where Kurt and McCoy return. They find Butler sitting outside his basement’s entrance with a gun in his hand, deep in thought. They pull the trigger, killing him and making it look like a suicide. They find Bill and take him back to the town with a rope tied to his hands. The episode closes with an aerial view of an eye, made from bones of animals and humans just outside Butler’s house.

The Episode Review

There were hints of religious undertones in the last episode, but the second episode of ‘That Dirty Black Bag’ proves the show has hidden its colors well. The more straightforward we think the plot and story are, the more complex it becomes. Episode two had numerous instances where the meaning of a character’s action could not be understood. For instance, Michelle’s visit to Thompson and her concern over Steve’s religious preaching.

The events from episode one had no correlation to what happens in this one in this regard. Michelle actually seemed like a simpleton woman of faith devoted to her family’s cause. Her actions in this episode completely change the outlook of her character. And what about Butler! Aiden Gillian plays him so well that every word he speaks, every strain on his face tells a story.

It is worthy of noticing that just before McCoy and Kurt reach him, there is a sly smile on his face. It is not apparent and is made like a sly towards the audience and the lawmen: I know what I am doing! His long tirades with Bill about sin, religion, and our destined fate will more or less convert into something too unpredictable in the end.

The Eye shape from the bones that we see is a completely different path that the show takes on. It remains to be seen what it actually means. Episode 2 provides an amazing setup for the journey ahead!

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You can read our full season review for That Dirty Black Bag here!


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