That Dirty Black Bag – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

The Great Duel

A brief flashback to start the story kicks off episode 8 of That Dirty Black Bag. Anderson and Billy’s adventures reveal the birth of “that dirty black bag”. While passing through to New Orleans and a fresh stack of men in the back of their cart, they’re attacked. Anderson and the horse are dead but Billy kills the man just in time. He severs the heads of all the men and carries them in the bag.

Does Thompson find the gold?

Thompson, having finally found the gold he has been after for all his life, promises on his father’s grave to realize their shared dream. His madness spills into him forcing Steve to sign over the land to him by taking Dorian, hostage. He threatens to kill him if he doesn’t do it. Another flashback shows the story of the two brothers, Carlo and Marco (Bronson and McCoy) in Rome. As small-time thugs, they dream of going to America and creating a better life. McCoy is the calmer one, Bronson, the hot-head.

Bronson and his party reach Greenvale. They offer $100 to anyone who takes them to Candor. No one comes forward out of fear. Symone, who is at the bar and looking to reinvent herself and take charge of the city like Eve, offers to take them but for double the money. Bronson agrees. Steve takes Thompson to the gold mine. While the latter is busy admiring the mesmerizing sight, Steve picks up a lump and kills him. Dorian witnesses the incident and runs off, scared.

Who is killed in the standoff?

McCoy and Billy, in the present, come across the remaining of Bronson’s men. They have a Mexican standoff. McCoy and Billy are able to survive but both sustain injuries. Suddenly, McCoy demands that Billy leave the bag for the bounty money. He is fed up with his situation and wants to start afresh.

When Bolly refuses, the two have a standoff between them and McCoy is killed. Billy is injured and falls unconscious. Dorian and Steve stumble upon the scene and discover that Billy is breathing. They take him back to the house.

How does That Dirty Black Bag Season 1 end?

Bronson finds McCoy’s body and carries it around with him. Back at his house, the girl from the previous episode is being prepared for “the ritual”, which still seems like some form of ritual. Billy spots Dorian reading from the same book as Bronson’s wife. The episode ends with a closeup of the dirty black bag, now in possession of Bronson.


The Episode Review

To put it simply, the season one finale is disappointing. For all the build-up of sub-plotlines, none actually come to fruition in the end. Even the central story is left untreated. Lazy writing and lackadaisical direction have really let the viewers and the cast down. “The Great Duel” seems to lack purpose. Just for the sake of including all the main characters, some screen time is given to each.

The love affair with unceremonious deaths continues and the season finale has plenty of them. Creators do not seem to take too much liking to give them enough respect to go. It is probably okay when you consider how brutally they’re killed in the cinematic universe. There is still no clarity on “The Eye”. Its meaning, the rituals, nothing makes sense. ‘That Dirty Black Bag’ has left too much to the viewer’s imagination.

The only relation we can make, logically, is a connection to the black arts. It is not the wisest tactic not to answer pivotal questions for your viewer until the final episode. It is downright maniacal not to do it in the last episode, though. Watching the end did not evoke the slightest of responses from me. The repetition is annoying as well. For things that have been established before in the earlier episodes, why waste more time doing the same things over again?

Nothing comes together as it should. Even the title seems somewhat misleading after having watched the episode. What was supposed to be a grand showdown turns out to be a tepid affair. Given how much the creators have played around with anticipation in season one, watching season two would be a challenge.

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

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