That Dirty Black Bag – Season 1 Episode 3 “Alliances” Recap & Review


The legend of Bronson finally comes alive in Episode 3 of That Dirty Black Bag – and in some fashion! The starting sequence sees him and another prisoner being prepared for slow, painful deaths in the desert. While still cuffed, Bronson breaks free and kills his captors. He rides off in the sunset on a horse, heading towards an unknown place.

Billy is reunited with his black bag and asks McCoy for a trial. He dismisses his moral high ground and continues towards Greenvale. Eve gets a visit from an adman, asking her to increase her national presence. Michelle urges Steve to disclose to the new family about Thompson’s threats but is rebuffed. The water tanks get delivered to Greenvale today and Eve is in charge in McCoy’s absence. She orders Henry, a deputy, to cut their ration and offer it to the public.

Bill eyes Kurt’s knife as the trio reaches the connecting bridge, which is broken, They abandon their horses and take a long way which would take them three days to cover. Jack shares a heartfelt moment with Steve, revealing his family’s suffering. During their three years on the move, he lost his son to the disease. Deputies back home wonder if McCoy is ever coming back.

Meanwhile, Bronson returns to his employer’s mansion. It is most probably in the New Mexico area, and it is further revealed that the Federal Reserve that McCoy and Kurt got their hands on, belongs to him. Trainor, his man, narrates the incident and is then brutally murdered by him. Bronson is tasked with retrieving the bag and killing everyone coming in the way.

Eve has a flashback to her days working the rooms. It is revealed that she wears wigs to cover her baldness. Steve loved her regardless and the powerful memory prompts her to ride to his farm and demand answers why they never left the place as they promised each other. Their buried past is brought out in the conversation where a lot of hurtful things are said. They part their separate ways thereafter.

Nathan pays Symone a visit. His comments about not wanting to become a mother rile Nathan up. He continuously beats her as the camera looks the other way. Thompson ruminates his next actions on his father’s grave, muttering something to the effect of “I know you didn’t want this”. The Wilsons light a cross on fire, signalling Thompson’s aggravated attempts to drive them out of the land. Jack tells Steve he cannot put his family in danger and leaves.

The girls gather around Symone after they discover her disfigured face. Eve thinks of what to do next, struggling with her decision to dismiss Nathan’s advances to Symone. The man we see as Bronson’s employer is a conqueror. He walks with his wife Helen in his room of artefacts, as he thinks about an imminent meeting of importance. We finally see the Eye drew into the knife handle, the man Bill was looking for.

The final montage sees Bronson heading towards Greenvale; McCoy and company wondering about the money, and Eve murdering Nathan.

The Episode Review

What. An. Episode. ‘That Dirty Black Bag’ takes it to the next level. In every aspect, from storytelling to setting up the characters’ background and roles in the upcoming episodes, episode three checks the boxes. The introduction of a new element in the plot makes the wait for the next episodes irresistible. The outstanding cinematography produces some amazing shots. The continued good work cannot be overlooked for long.

There is this one scene where Jack tells Steve that he is leaving, and the camera observes him as he walks out a defeated man in the sandstorm, wondering what more could he do. It says so much without the use of words or imagery. Another where Eve and Steve go their separate ways in the backdrop of the damning mountains is noteworthy.

The themes of savagery, religion, faith, and existentialism come out even stronger in episode three. The subtlety with which the creators bind the multiple storylines is praiseworthy. It is not just making consistency in tone but also the exposition of every character’s secrets and past is high quality. It seems the buried secrets are going to catch up eventually with the present and result in an explosive showdown.

The seamless editing makes the transition almost unnoticeable, which is the way it should be. A hint towards Butler’s prospective role would have made the episode perfect.

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

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1 thought on “That Dirty Black Bag – Season 1 Episode 3 “Alliances” Recap & Review”

  1. Meanwhile watched the last episode “Chapter Eight” of the first season also .
    Enjoyed your Recaps and short Reviews S01E01-08 very much and it helped me to understand some details.

    Here in this Recap of S01E03 is a minor mistake.
    At the beginning it’s “The Stranger” (Eugene Brave Rock) who breaks free and kills his captors.
    Bronson (Guido Caprino) is the cruel employer of “The Stranger”, not vice versa.

    Would’ve liked to thank you for your Recaps and Reviews at the last episode or your season-summary. Alas, totally disagree with you there. Even loved the last episode S01E08 though leaving us with a huge cliff hanger.
    Therefore I look forward to the second season.

    That said, the development of the IMDb-votings amuses me somewhat…again.
    Before the last episode of “That dirty black Bag” was aired, had a heated discussion about another show on another platform. Since that everything I like gets downvoted.
    Currently 43 IMDb-users out of 1,270 voted “That dirty black Bag” with 1/10.
    Even some “Top 1000 Voters” did but that’s not to see anymore in the statistics.
    Anyhow, the last episode was watched critical by some, but the first season didn’t deserve a 1/10 vote at all. One of the reasons IMDb lost their credibility here.

    By the way, your arithmetic vote would be 7.125/10 for the first season.
    Maybe you calculated “weighted” also and regarding your disappointment of the last episode your result is 6/10 for the first season.

    Against all odds…very friendly Greetings from Berlin/Germany! ♥

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