Sunday night, a trio of networks kicked off Bonnie & Clyde, a two-part miniseries that offers a fresh glimpse of the good-boy-gone-bad Clyde and the fame-obsessed, gun-toting Bonnie, two criminals who captivated America with their Depression-era crime spree.
Starring Into the Wild‘s Emile Hirsch and television newcomer Holliday Grainger, the Bonnie & Clyde revival continues Monday, airing simultaneously on A&E, Lifetime and the History Channel. If you missed part one, we’ve recapped all the pulpy, violent action:
SPOILER ALERT: Bonnie and Clyde don t make it out alive. We know this because the miniseries opens with a glimpse of their blood-spattered bodies. But then we went back to the beginning – the VERY beginning, when a young Clyde almost dies during childhood. (You might say his entire criminal career is one giant case of YOLO)
Clyde initially turns to crime due to a nefarious older brother who leads him down the path of temptation, which is apparently lined with stolen chickens. Clyde’s final downfall? A beautiful redhead named Bonnie whom he meets at a wedding – her wedding. To another man.
Our first deep interaction with Bonnie involves a panic attack, as her head shot is rejected by Columbia Pictures. Her mother, played by Holly Hunter, gives Pollyanna a run for her money by pointing out that most girls wouldn t have the gumption to get rejected by Columbia Pictures in the first place.
That s when Clyde shows up on her porch with a stolen shirt, a few pink roses and the swagger to hit on a girl he doesn’t know.
Luckily she says yes. Unluckily, the speakeasy they go to gets raided and Clyde is shipped off to the hoosgow. When the papers pick up the story, Bonnie spends the afternoon scrapbooking the articles before sneaking a gun into jail and springing Clyde, their crime spree beginning in earnest.
While Bonnie lusts for a life of crime, Clyde s philosophy boils down to a combination of karma and the old bumper sticker Mean People Suck, meaning if you re mean, you deserve to get robbed. Bonnie and Clyde s first foray into crime ends with Bonnie thrown to the side of the road, Clyde getting sent back to the pokey and Bonnie s wise mama clucking I told you so.
Biggest oops: To get himself out of prison, Clyde plays a game of “this little piggy” with an axe. The strategy works like a charm, because you can t work a chain gang without a toe, but it wasn’t entirely necessary; Clyde s mother and Bonnie had already convinced the governor to pardon him. Clyde emerges from jail a changed man, hoping to settle down and start a family with Bonnie. She has other ideas, though, and based on the violent and bloody flash-forwards liberally sprinkled throughout the show, she won that argument big time. This is where the Official Bonnie & Clyde Crime Spree takes America by storm.
Bonnie turns out to be a savvy publicist and an equal opportunity advocate. To wit, when the reporter following the so-called Barrow gang fails to report on Bonnie s involvement in the crime spree, Bonnie pays her a house call, reminding her that unlike journalism, crime is equal pay for equal work.
After their next robbery, Bonnie and Clyde get cornered and Bonnie hatches a plan to take the fall, knowing that Clyde risks a life sentence if caught. Flashing a little leg in court, and throwing in a fainting spell to boot, Bonnie manages to dodge the charges.
As their crime spree continues to make headlines, Bonnie and Clyde head back to town for a secret soiree with their friends and families, before hitting the road with one of Clyde’s prison buddies. Not long after, their streak of 214 injury-free robberies is broken, as a heist quickly escalates into a murder. In response to the death, and the fact that the newspaper printed her high school yearbook photo, Bonnie does the only logical thing and gets drunk. As Clyde goes to get them a new car, Bonnie drunk-scrapbooks the pain away.
Bonnie & Clyde by the numbers:
Jail Stints: 3
Scrapbooking Moments: 3
Disapproving Looks By Parents: 9