Review – Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms – Episode 2
Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms – Ten – 8:30pm Tuesday – AUS
While the first episode of Channel 10’s Bikie Wars was a passably entertaining if not terribly fulfilling hour of television this second episode was a bland trudge through nothingness. Each episode begins with a reminder that this story ends in bloodshed but there doesn’t seem to be a point to the show beyond ‘eventually some people will die’. There is a lack of direction in this story that has left both these episodes feeling flat. Bikie Wars is only two episodes into its life and it already feels like it’s on autopilot.
The problem inherent with adapting a true story to the screen is that the end game is already set and that sometimes series can often feel like they’re just checking boxes in order to get there. This week Bikie Wars ticked ‘the club is divided into two’ off the list without it having any real emotional impact whatsoever. Imagine if Bikie Wars took this true story and instead of spreading it thinly over six episodes they stretched it out over six seasons. Each season would give us some time to get to know these guys, to get to know how much they mean to each other, to get to know them as characters not just by their different beard types (look, there’s massive beard and he’s siding with ginger beard). Imagine the impact the club splitting up would have had if we’d spent a season with these boys and we truly knew how much it meant to them.
The bond between Snoddy and Jock is something that can’t be condensed down into two episodes of television. In the real world Jock turning Snoddy away would have had a huge emotional impact but here’s it’s just another ticked box. We haven’t spent near enough time with Snoddy nor Jock, nor with both of them together to really feel the weight of this event. In typical Screentime Underbelly-style fashion we just get told how bad this is as if exposition can somehow convey the weight of a severed friendship.
With only six episodes to play around with there’s no way Bikie Wars can capture what makes these characters brothers, especially as there’s so damn many of them, so what it needs to then do is just entertain, which it also is failing to do. Bikie Wars really dragged along in this second episode even with a few music montages thrown into to break up the maudlin conversations. In this episode Jock introduced the club to Croat, an explosives expert but like most things it touches the show brushed over him with a quick scene or two of ‘look, he just blew up something’. There’s no sense of purpose, there’s no sense of danger, there’s not even a sense of fun. It’s just ‘here’s something that happened’ – tick – ‘what’s the next thing that happened?’
Bikie Wars could make a great show out of this material, you just need to look at how compelling the fracturing club in Sons Of Anarchy is to know that, but there’s no passion behind this show. This cast is filled with compelling actors and there’s buckets of material just sitting there waiting to be explored but Bikie Wars seems uninterested in delving into it. The premiere had some liveliness in its emptiness but this episode was just empty, and worst than that it dragged along at a glacial pace and for a show that pads out its running time with as many music montages as this one does that’s pretty embarrassing.
Good, Alright, Bad Or Ugly?
This review is part of Change The Channel’s episode by episode coverage of Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms. The full list of episode reviews can be found under Series.