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Review: “The Dynasty” Episode 7 – Under Pressure



FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler (21) intercepts a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette (83) during the second half of the NFL football Super Bowl 49 in Glendale, Ariz. Butler's interception at the goal line that turned what looked like a likely Seattle repeat title into the fourth championship for Tom Brady and the Patriots three years ago might be the most impactful play of any kind in the Super Bowl when it comes to determining the champion. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

The New England Patriots’ incredible run under the trio of Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady is being captured in a docuseries called “The Dynasty” on Apple TV. Patriots Football Now will be reviewing each episode. There will be ‘spoilers’ about the content of the episodes in these reviews, but presumably, anyone reading already knows the outcomes of the actual events.

The episode begins with Ruper Murdoch singing the praises of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft…

Vladimir Putin Steals Super Bowl Ring

“The story of Patriots is success great leadership.” – Rupert Murdoch

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft talks about how the team’s success had elevated their exposure. He tells the story about going to Russia on a trip with others, including Murdoch, and meeting Vladimir Putin. Kraft retells being prompted to show Putin his Super Bowl ring. The Russian president pocketed it.

The White House called Kraft when the story went public to advise it would be good for relations to say it was a gift.

A montage of the Patriots’ successes is shown. Raising Lombardi Trophies, posing on red carpets, etc.

The message is that there has been so much success for so long in New England that everyone is now coming for the Patriots.


The episode then kicks into the controversy surrounding deflated footballs in the 2014 AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. Boston media members Michael Holley, Jackie MacMullan, and Tom E. Curran talk about how Bill Belichick wipes his hands clean of the situation and advises people to ask Tom Brady about it.

The picture painted is of Belichick throwing Brady under the bus for this scandal. Tom Brady looks like a deer in headlights at his press conference.

Numerous press conferences of Bill Belichick quoting My Uncle Vinny and talking about the Ideal Gas Law are not shown.

Belichick put Brady out on an island to fend for himself. That is the lone takeaway.

Super Bowl Preparation

Despite the scandal, the Patriots still had a Super Bowl to prepare for. Cornerback Darrelle Revis talks about Tom Brady crying in front of the team. Wide receiver Danny Amendola talks about how Brady is an emotional person and was dealing with his children coming home from school and talking about what other kids were saying about him.

Tom Brady talks about how much easier it is to deal with adversity against you than how it affects one’s family.

Brady’s sister, father, and mother all talk about how difficult is was having people question his character.

Super Bowl 49

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks played in Super Bowl 49. A “Clash of the Titans” between the league’s best teams.

Rob Gronkowski, Devin McCourty, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Malcolm Butler all speak in this segment.

New England nearly loses the game on a miraculous Seahawks completion with Butler in coverage. Butler feels like he did everything he could but still ultimately lost the game for the Patriots. He heads back to the bench dejected. As Seattle prepares to score the game-winning touchdown, Butler is sent back out onto the field. He mades the game-winning interceptions. The Patriots are Super Bowl champions.

There is zero mention of head coach Bill Belichick during this segment.

Deflategate Aftermath

After the Super Bowl win there is a feeling from other NFL owners that the Patriots need to be punished. It was thought that New England got away too easily from the “Spygate” scandal (covered extensively in Episode 4). It is speculated that this was due in part to the close relationship between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

As stated in the “Spygate” episode, Kraft had supposedly called in favors to the NFL offices in an attempt to “protect Bill” Belichick.

This is described as a “witch hunt” and fittingly a Town Hall-style meeting with Tom Brady and host Jim Gray is shown taking place in Salem, Mass. Patriots fans show their love and support for Tom Brady.

This all began with a report from Chris Mortensen on ESPN. Jackie Mac Mullan is shown saying she can’t believe what a big deal was made out of this. She discusses how many others have treated footballs to make them to their liking with it not being a big deal at all. As to whether Brady knew about the deflating of the footballs she says, “He probably did.” But she doesn’t think this is a big deal (now).

Boston Celebrities

Several Boston celebrities who are huge sports fans are shown in this episode defending Tom Brady. Ben Affleck is shown angrily explaining to Bill Simmons what a nothing issue this was all along. Matt Damon laughs when asked about Affleck’s outburst, explaining that Boston fans take their sports very seriously.

Comedian Bill Burr mocks the media in footage for how jealous they all are of Tom Brady because they didn’t get picked in gym class. He is shown being interviewed for the series, talking about what crybabies everyone was about the allegedly deflated balls.

Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy picketed outside the office of Roger Goodell and eventually got arrested. He recaps the experience.

Preface for Episode 8

The episode ends with a warning to the NFL to be ready for the Tom Brady comeback tour following his four-game suspension.

Episode 7 Review: 5/10

For those claiming the purpose of this series is not to paint Robert Kraft in a positive light and Bill Belichick in a negative one, this episode is hard to explain. The episode kicks off with Rupert Murdoch saying the key to the Patriots’ success was great leadership. However, that compliment was referencing the owner, not the head coach.

The Boston sports media members featured focus on Bill Belichick supposedly throwing Tom Brady under the bus after the allegations. Jackie MacMullan in comes across as particularly disingenuous to anyone who remembers the events as they unfolded. She acts puzzled that this issue became such a big deal. MacMullan herself wrote an article at the time titled, “Arrogance Demands Consequences” about Bill Belichick.

Tom Brady is portrayed as the fall guy via a harsh punishment for the light punishment that Robert Kraft had secured for Bill Belichick previously. For the record, the idea of Brady being punished is still baffling.

The real story of The Dynasty is New England’s preparation for that final Seahawks play, which resulted in an interception. And an undrafted player from West Alabama, Malcolm Butler, who made said interception. The director opted to omit game prep. Butler’s backstory was left out too. It’s a huge miss.

The New England Patriots celebrity fans were the best aspect of the episode. Bill Belichick’s entertaining press conferences were all omitted. For those still arguing this is an agenda-free documentary, this episode is tough to explain away.