As the name suggests, episode 4 of ‘That Dirty Black Bag’ is entirely a flashback episode, explaining the genesis of present-day characters. Bronson, McCoy, and Bill’s journeys are shown from the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.
McCoy was formerly a part of Bronson’s gang. They extract a holy cross from an underground sacred place to sell it in the market. When the lawmen show up, they decide to take the longer path from the desert.
A young Bill is struggling to ensure the safety of his lover and her mother. The times are such that private property is almost non-existent. The boy himself is not trusted by the women to provide them adequate protection and hence he hires Mr. Anderson, a renowned bounty hunter for the same. In Bronson’s plotline, their already difficult task to survive the desert becomes near impossible when one of the gang members mistakenly lets the horses loose.
No food and mode of transportation leave them wondering what lies ahead. Anderson does well to wade off armed men from the house when they see Tara. In a fit of rage, Bronson murders the gang member responsible for the horses. He then proposes the men eat him in order to survive. Initially reluctant, they finally see Bronson’s point and proceed to do it. Anderson and Bill now start to bond. The former teaches him how to properly shoot a gun. He also agrees to look for the bounty on Bill’s mother’s killer.
Meanwhile, Bronson’s party of men is reduced to just two: him and McCoy. The two have a fight after Bronson shoots the last member. In the tussle, McCoy shoots Bronson in the stomach but is knocked out by him. Anderson’s time at the house is over. He bids adieu and takes off but not before being stopped by Bill, who requests to tag along. Anderson reminds him that he is making the biggest mistake of his life but Bill’s resolve is strong to find his mother’s killer. He leaves behind Isabelle and Tara.
Bronson is seen carrying McCoy on his back with the cross strapped to his chest. The incredible feat sees him cover the distance on foot through the desert and they finally reach a water well, where Bronson dozes off. When he wakes up, McCoy is missing, and so is the cross. Bronson angrily shouts for him as the screen fades to black.
The Episode Review
‘Genesis’ is an important step in understanding the background of the characters. A lot of build-up to the present-day scenario is explained by the episode. It provides some much-needed context as to the motivations and strengths of the three main characters. McCoy and Bronson’s story together as part of one group is arguably the most exciting development of the episode.
Their synergies are explosive when in the same scene. This episode and especially the ending raise hopes of a final showdown between the two somewhere near the end to conclude unfinished business. Like all the episodes until now, ‘Genesis’ continues the tradition of the remarkable visual appeal of the show. The gorgeous scenery is captured in its raw state without too much experimentation.
The themes of faith and savagery are further promoted as the backbone of ‘That Dirty Black Bag’s core. The clash of ideologies provides ample opportunity for creators to carve out an immensely compelling abstract for the show. Forces beyond the material world are always fascinating to watch and one might just be unravelling here. Fingers crossed for the upcoming episodes!