As gruff and determined as can be, Shannon is but a helpless conscience, equally outraged and baffled, as frightened as driven. In many ways, this is the scariest show on television, as it is so clearly anything but a period piece.
At first blush another anniversary-timed Waco movie/miniseries/documentary seems unnecessary, especially because we had another docuseries addition to that last bucket on Netflix. But “Waco: The Aftermath” justifies its existence by spinning those events forward, chillingly portraying the Oklahoma City bombing and rise in militia movements that grew out of the standoff.
“Waco: The Aftermath” suffers from cramming too much into its five-episode structure, but it’s a compelling companion piece to the first series. Viewers who don’t remember much of the Kitsch-starring series (or didn’t watch it altogether) will still have plenty to take away from the follow-up.
As the show braids Koresh’s past with McVeigh’s machinations and the peculiar outcome of the trial, it can’t figure out how to frame the Waco incident as a catalyst for lone wolves like McVeigh without tacitly affirming the outrage that creates people like McVeigh. That makes “Aftermath” just as difficult to recommend despite its excellent cast and unfortunate relevance. Beyond being slightly uneven, it’s slightly immoral.
For all the ways Shannon and the rest of the cast try to give it something resembling nuance, Waco: The Aftermath reveals itself to be completely misguided from its shaky start all the way to its forced finish.
A muddled mess. ... Waco: The Aftermath has a great cast, but it’s also massive, because of all the stories the show needs to cover. And none of them will get the attention they deserve in such a short limited series.