‘Waco: The Aftermath’ Episode 2 Recap & Ending, Explained: Did Vernon Howell See Reality?


Gary Noesner continued his research in “Waco: The Aftermath” Episode 2, as he had a very strong intuition that “Mad Bill” and others in Elohim City were preparing for some kind of holy war. Nobody believed Gary, and even his bosses thought that he was being paranoid for no rhyme or reason. Gary’s sole motivation behind trying to gather evidence was that he didn’t want to repeat what had happened at Waco. He had seen how innocents had lost their lives due to a series of goof-ups committed by both sides, and that is why, this time, he wanted to neutralize the threat before it burned down the entire country and caused widespread damage. Meanwhile, Dan Cogdell was having a very hard time defending the Branch Davidians, and he knew that only a miracle could save his clients.

Spoilers Ahead

McVeigh Tries To Find Allies

At the Aryan Nation Flophouse in Arkansas, Gary found six fax machines kept inside the room, and his entire team was not able to ascertain what the group was up to. Up until then, these white supremacist groups were scattered all over the country, and they acted on their own accord, which made it easier for the law enforcement authorities to keep them in check. For the first time, Gary was witnessing them united under a single banner and for a common cause. The fax machines were proof of the fact that they wanted to spread propaganda and create a narrative where the world knew that they were waging war against the United Nations government as they wanted to take revenge for what had happened at Waco. 

Gary had observed that the local militant groups had started to look like foreign terrorist networks as the power was centralized and they had become more systematic and strategic in their approach. Gary’s bosses didn’t want him digging any deeper as they didn’t believe in his narrative, but he told them that this time, they wouldn’t be able to push him to the sidelines, and he would expose the flaws of the system. Gary was given two weeks to come up with substantial evidence that would prove that something big was being planned in Elohim City, and it was not just a baseless theory that he had brewed inside his mind. Gary contacted Carol Howe and asked her if she would be their informant and go inside Elohim City. Carol didn’t trust the law enforcement agencies, and she not only turned down Gary’s request but also asked him never to try to meet her again.

“Waco: The Aftermath” Episode 2 introduces us to a dangerous man named Timothy McVeigh, who was burning in rage and was dying to take revenge from the government, and for that, he was ready to go to any extent. McVeigh was told by the leaders of the extremist groups that to execute an operation on such a large scale, he would need a team of people who would aid him and stand by his side. It was scary how Mcveigh started calling random people and brainwashing them into believing that they needed to take the law into their own hands to give a befitting reply to the autocratic and oppressive regime. McVeigh was filling people with hate, and he was able to mold their perspective and coerce them into thinking that spilling blood was the only recourse left, and without it, nobody would listen to them.

Dan Cogdell Meets A Stranger

Dan knew that it was practically impossible to show a soldier who had been on the frontlines in Waco, in a bad light. He knew that the odds were not in his favor and that he would have to find a loophole in the arguments made by the prosecutors to turn the tide in his favor. Agent Ballesteros had moved the entire jury with his testimony, where he told what had happened on that fateful day when the ATF decided to raid the Mount Carmel compound. The jury was in tears, and the amount of reverence they held for Ballesteros and every other soldier was evident through their expressions. 

Instead of trying to nullify what Ballesteros had said, Dan Cogdell questioned the leadership and how they had voluntarily sent the soldiers without any sort of contingency plan. Cogdell told the jury that there was not even one ambulance present at the scene when the leadership clearly knew that they had no intention of just serving the knock-and-serve warrant. Dan also tried to prove that the whole theory of the Davidians firing first was untrue, and in fact, there were a lot of discrepancies between what the witnesses for the prosecution had to say and what had actually happened on the ground.

Dan Cogdell was spending hours studying all the evidence that the prosecutors were going to present, but he knew that unless and until he got a big breakthrough, he wouldn’t be able to win the case. In “Waco: The Aftermath” Episode 2, an anonymous man pays a visit to Cogdell, and he tells him that he has vital information that could turn the case in his favor. At first, Cogdell didn’t believe him, but the kind of things he told him and the kind of people he spoke about made Dan realize that he was no conspiracy theorist but a man who had solid links inside the system and probably some evidence that could prove that the Davidians were innocent. The anonymous man took the names of people like William Colby, the CIA director, and explained how they believed that the ATF and the FBI were trying to cover up their acts of gross negligence that they had committed in Waco. The anonymous man gave Dan his card and told him to contact him if he wanted to bring the truth to light and save his clients.

‘Waco: The Aftermath’ Episode 2 Ending Explained: Did Vernon See Reality?

Vernon Howell, a.k.a. David Koresh, had returned from his trip to Israel, and Lois Roden told everybody that he had a psychic vision where God had tried to talk to him. Lois Roden was smitten by the young man, and both of them were having an affair behind everybody’s back. Roden found him special, and that is why she gave him a lot of importance and often asked him to lead the lessons. Lois didn’t know that Vernon’s vision could become problematic for her and the entire community because, up until then, nothing absurd had happened. One day Vernon just got up and told the people that he had had another vision where God had directly spoken to him and asked him to take Rachel as his wife. Rachel was still a minor, and the people were shocked and confused when they heard what Vernon had to say, and they were not able to decide whether he was a fraud, a pervert, or whether God had actually spoken to him. This confusion remained until Koresh took his last breath. 

On the one hand, the conviction with which Koresh spoke really made it difficult for people to not buy his narrative, and on the other hand, the vision at times so conveniently favored him that it felt like he was just trying to manipulate them and get what he wanted by taking the name of God and pretending as if it was His wish. Lois Roden got angry at Koresh and told him that it was blasphemous to even entertain such a thought. Lois felt that Koresh had used her, and now that he was bored, he just wanted another girl for himself. 

Towards the end of “Waco: The Aftermath” Episode 2, George got agitated, and he started shooting at Koresh, who ran to save his life, and a few other followers accompanied him. Koresh was very adamant about the fact that God was telling him what to do, and he was not acting on his own accord, but for any prudent man, it was not a buyable story. In the upcoming episodes, we will get to know if Dan Cogdell is able to prove the innocence of his clients and if Gary Noesner is able to ascertain what is happening in Elohim City.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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