‘Waco: The Aftermath’ Episode 3 Recap & Ending, Explained: Was Carol Bluffing With Gary Noesner?

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The tension was brewing as Gary Noesner came closer to knowing the truth in the third episode of “Waco: The Aftermath.” Gary knew that he only had a limited amount of time on his hands, which is why he needed to find potential leads in real-time. Meanwhile, Dan Cogdell was trying to discredit the testimonies given by the ATF and FBI agents, but time and again, he was running into roadblocks. The way Dan wanted to approach the case was perfect, but he had a hard time finding the evidence to support his claims. The third episode is when David Koresh, for the first time, explicitly refers to himself as the Messiah, and though I wouldn’t say that he suffered from a superiority complex, it was quite evident that he considered himself to be the apex authority in matters of faith and religion.

Spoilers Alert


How Does Dan Cogdell Get Valuable Intel?

Dan had gotten to know that ATF officer Jamie Helliver was going to testify against Livingstone Fagan in “Waco: The Aftermath,” Episode 3. Livingstone was Rocket Rosen’s client, and everybody knew that Rocket was an emotional guy who often lost his temper fighting for things he felt passionate about. Dan knew that Rocket’s emotions could be both his strength and his weakness. But he also knew that the case was at a critical juncture and that he had to take each and every step very carefully. Dan was told that Gordon Novel, the ex-CIA agent who had met him in the washroom, was not bluffing when he said that he had valuable intel. Gordon was a well-connected man, though he was infamously known for his unpredictability and erratic attitude.

Novel told Dan that there was not a single Branch Davidian that had their autopsy done because there was a power cut in the mortuary, and this fact had been hidden from the people and the courts. The trial had almost started when Dan saw Novel entering the courtroom, and he went outside to meet him. Novel gave Dan a document according to which the Texas Rangers believed that Agent Helliver wasn’t sure when they asked him to identify Livingstone Fagan. The ranger had also given a signed affidavit, and Dan immediately presented the piece of evidence in court. Dan knew that the defendants were now at an advantage, but Roger lost his temper, and he called Agent Helliver a racist and said that ATF was known to encourage that kind of culture. Everybody knew that what Rocket did was unnecessary, and he could have just focused on the Texas Rangers report and used it to raise doubts in the minds of the jury.


Why Did Koresh Want Livingstone To Stay?

Koresh might have been a fraud or a messiah, but there were two things about him that nobody could ever deny: The kind of knowledge he had about the Bible and other holy scriptures was unimaginable. He had not only read the scriptures thoroughly, but he knew the verses word for word. It was impossible for anyone who heard him not to be impressed by the kind of knowledge he had. The second thing that Koresh was pretty good at was convincing people to do what he wanted. A lot of people wanted to leave Mount Carmel, but Koresh had his ways and means to make them stay. Koresh was stubborn, and though, on the face of it, it seemed like he was always up for a debate with an open mind, in reality, he just couldn’t take no for an answer. In “Waco: The Aftermath,” Episode 3, Koresh went to Newbold College in Nottingham, U.K., in 1986 to give a lecture to the students. That was where he met Livingstone Fagan for the first time. Livingstone and Koresh had a debate, and it was like listening to two people who had spent their lives understanding and interpreting the Bible and scriptures. Both had their own point of view, and by the end of it, Koresh was quite impressed by Livingstone and gave him the offer to come to Texas and live with his commune.

Lois Roden accepted Koresh’s offer for Passover dinner and came to Texas to meet him and the others. Things were going smoothly when Lois asked Koresh to come back to Mount Carmel. That’s when Koresh flipped, and he told Lois that she was no better than a pharaoh and that things had fallen apart under her rule. Koresh said that God had abandoned Lois and her followers, and instead, he had chosen to stay with Koresh in Texas. Lois died later that same year, and George, her son, put the blame for her death on Koresh. Livingstone had realized that David Koresh considered himself to be the Messiah, and often in his speeches, he used to refer to himself as the lamb and the root of David. Livingstone wanted to go back, but Koresh knew that the way he understood the holy scriptures, nobody else did. Koresh needed him to spread his word after he was gone, and that is why he couldn’t afford to lose Livingstone. Koresh told Livingstone that God was asking him to stay, though it felt like the self-anointed Messiah wanted him for his own vested interests.


‘Waco: The Aftermath’ Episode 3 Ending Explained: Was Carol Bluffing With Gary Noesner?

Noesner knew that he needed to quickly find some evidence to prove that a holy war was being planned in Elohim City. Gary went to meet Richard Snell, who was himself a white supremacist and who believed Pappy Millar to be his spiritual advisor. Pappy used to visit Snell regularly in prison, and that’s what caught Noesner’s attention. Richard was on death row in Arkansas for killing a pawnshop owner, whom he believed to be Jewish, and a black police officer. Richard was a man burning with hate, and given the option, he would wage war against the United States government immediately. Noesner realized that there was no point in grilling Richard as the man wouldn’t reveal anything, but he said something about April 19 that caught Noesner’s attention. Richard said that he would have his last meal on that day, and the authorities would realize who they had messed with. Noesner knew that he needed an informant inside Elohim City who could tell him what was going to happen on April 19. In “Waco: The Aftermath,” Episode 3, Noesner once again turns towards Carol and asks her to help him. Carol tells him that she had heard Mad Bill often talk about the payback that they were going to get on April 19. Noesner told Carol that he was ready to pay her if she decided to be his informant. Carol came on board, and before kick-starting her mission, she gave a letter to Noesner, telling him to deliver it to her father in case anything happened to her.

Carol had to go inside a bar and ask a woman named Becca, who lived in Elohim City, to let her crash at her place. Carol and Becca escaped from the bar after a fight broke out, and Noesner’s colleague felt as if she had used them to get money and that now she had ditched them. But Noesner didn’t believe that Carol was bluffing them. He opened the letter that Carol had given him just to be sure that she actually had intentions of helping them. In the letter, Carol told her father that, for once in her life, she was going to do the right thing. Carol had undertaken the mission because she wanted to redeem herself from guilt and ask for salvation. Towards the end of “Waco: The Aftermath,” Episode 3, we see that Noesner was right in putting his trust in Carol. Carol was not trying to deceive him; in fact, she was risking her life to infiltrate Elohim City, divulge the secrets, and get to know what their big plan was for April 19. The security had been increased, and the infamous Pappy Miller himself came to the entrance with his dogs to check on the new visitor. Carol was able to go inside, and in the upcoming episodes, we will see her informing Noesner what kind of preparations were happening inside the city for D-Day.


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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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