Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 4, Episode 5: “A Little Late to Grow a Pair”
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Liz Sagal

* For a review of the previous episode, “Innocent Might Be a Bit of a Stretch” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Only One Way a Dog Fight Ends” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 1.35.33 AM After Special Agent Dawson (Eliza Dushku) arrived in the last episode, offering up a likely sexy ride to the former Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), as well as a serial killer with weird devil horns and other eccentricities running around Banshee, this episode is bound to be fun.
We start with Dawson and Hood. They’re parked, having a drink. “Whats your real damage?” she asks him. He wears it on his sleeve, that’s for damn sure. But that whole story is a long one, a very long, treacherous road. These two quasi-bond, but not openly. Just enough to become friendly. What I thought was likely to end up as another woman bedded by Hood concludes with Hood walking home instead. Good choice on his part. That’d only complicate things.
At his cabin, Hood finds the place in flames. Yikes. And what do you know, Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) turns up. He blames Hood for what became of Rebecca (Lili Simmons). Nothing further comes of it, however, Kai charges him with finding out exactly what happened to his niece, and to bring the one who did it to him. Nothing’s ever easy for the old ex-con, is it?


Back one month ago. Rebecca’s at the bank for a safety deposit box. Only she’s not happy when the money isn’t there anymore. Kai came to get it without telling her; shows his power, to walk in and access a safety deposit box that doesn’t belong to him. That’s supposed to be the ultimate measure to essentially hide things from others. Yet Kai has the reach. All the same, she was “skimming cash” and says she earned it all. Things get intense, as she points a gun in her uncle’s face. Their relationship was always so complicated, so intense, violent even. It all diffused, but still, in present day Kai is haunted.
He finds himself meet with Randall Watts (Chance Kelly) and the new whipping boy, Calvin Bunker (Chris Coy). Things are moving forward with the neo-Nazis and Proctor, re: business. Randall wants to make sure his son-in-law’s shitty business skills don’t damage the relationship. So they haul poor Pony Joe out, tie a chain around him and a tree, then Calvin drives the truck that’s attached to the other side of the chain, also wrapped around Joe’s legs. The result is… gory. To say the least. Wow. One of my most favourite disturbing moments in this entire series. Either way, Kai’s moderately impressed, and for his part Randall is ready for anything. A terrifying combination. Although Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch) keeps a cautious, suspicious eye on Watts and anyone else near his boss and friend.
Job (Hoon Lee) is naturally still feeling the effects of his captivity. His flashbacks are horrific, psychologically, and yes, even physically. He’s put through torture similar to those situations experienced by prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and other sites of the like. He tries to cope, though doesn’t get babied by Carrie (Ivana Milicevic). She even gives him chores to do. “I do not do windows,” he yells after her.
Finally, Hood goes back over to see Sugar (Frankie Faison). He’s not exactly surprised by the old Sheriff’s antics, nor did he think the man is a killer. Their relationship has changed a lot since last season. But still they remain friends. Saddest part of this season yet may be when Hood is forced to move into the old trailer where Siobhan was living. It is heartbreaking that he’s left with nowhere else to really go. His flashbacks to their time together is touching and powerfully emotional.
Meanwhile, Deputy Nina Cruz (Ana Ayora) is digging through crime scene photos. Her connections to Proctor have her trying to discover who it was blew up all that stuff last episode. She spots that a woman’s boot mark was left at the scene. Nice editing, as we cut to Carrie, the culprit, in her therapy session for the day. She recounts a story to her therapist about dear ole dad, Mr. Rabbit, and their days on Coney Island eating salt water taffy, going on rides, putting their toes in the sand. Such nice memories to have of a psychotic, gangster, murderer of a father.


Dr. Hubbard (re: Rabbit): “You miss him
Carrie: “How fucked up is that?”
Up to Carrie’s place goes Hood. He decides to see Job, who’s busy with his chores. Hood is apologetic, to the max. He hates himself for giving up on Job and believing his friend was dead. There’s no taking that back, but at least he’s man enough to face it. Though it took some time. “It coulda been worse,” says Job: “Coulda been fifteen years. You never put that shit on me.” This is one expertly written, beautiful scene between two characters who are close friends. A briefly gorgeous moment of Banshee‘s power. Further than that, we move more plot, as Job reveals Carrie’s trying to take Proctor down, essentially in the name of Gordon.
Speaking of Mayor Proctor, he finds the Amish out rallying to get Rebecca’s body back. Kai isn’t impressed because they shunned her, now they all of a sudden want her corpse. He drives everyone off with some veiled threats, even going so far as to yell at them all in Dutch. Before he flies off the handle, luckily Clay calms him. Poor Kai, things are getting more tough for him by the day. His instability gets shakier all the time.
Hood goes to see Sheriff Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto). He tries to get some more information about the case out of his former colleague. No information to get, though. At least Brock understand Hood’s not going anywhere. He finally sees the truth in Hood, and again, another man who’s not afraid to apologise and admit to his being wrong.
Watts is out trying to recruit Kurt Bunker (Tom Pelphrey) back into the fold. But after all he’s gone through, Kurt won’t just take it. He is not going back. Lots of threats from Watts, as Kurt refuses going back to the AB. Lots of danger here. Especially considering Kurt is also sleeping with Watts’ daughter, his brother’s wife. So many loaded things happening at once.
Then there’s the curse of Kai coming down on the Amish – Clay releases one of their horses and lets them know they won’t be selling produce in Banshee. Oh, and their village is on fire in the distance.
In the meantime, Sheriff Lotus announces the presence of a serial killer in the town. And the killer, he lounges drinking wine, having himself a fine time. Agent Dawson, she does work and smokes crack, getting high to keep her work ethic up. Nice montage here, which is a technique the series uses well on the whole. This one is actually eerie, capturing a few creepy bits including Dawson tweaking out in her room. Also, Hood meets with the little boy who saw a man in the woods; a man with horns, supposedly. Most dangerously, Lotus speaks right to the killer: “I dont know what you have convinced yourself that you are, but you will never be anything more than a sad little freak.” Uh oh. A challenge has been placed. I’m worried for Brock. Final season and all, could be marked for death now.Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 2.12.19 AM Out on the hunt goes Dawson. In a sleazy little club, she looks through the backrooms filled with BDSM play everywhere, all shades and sorts. A few people try pulling a hard, fast one on Dawson. Before Hood shows up and they finish the place off. “You come here too,” he quips comically. So the two of them ended up there for different reasons, same journey. They make a great team. So glad the writers didn’t automatically just toss them in bed together, as I predicted at the end of last episode, beginning of this episode. They’re two ass kickers and deserve to be written as such instead of falling into love stories. Plus, Hood has had enough tragedy in that department.
In a flower shop, the horned man shows up to see a girl named Gail. She’s one of the “acolytes“, as he puts it. Interesting. She isn’t overly surprised to see him, just taken aback he got in so quiet. So there’s more of this dark cult under the surface of Banshee coming out, bit by bit, as the writing slow burns towards the end of this last season. Fittingly epic storyline. Can’t wait for more after seeing this scene between the flower shop girl and the horned killer. He is one spooky character, man.
A big Nazi jam is going down for Watts’ return home. Looking on, Calvin isn’t too happy. He sees his father-in-law, and leader, as a bit of a hypocrite. He steps to Watts, only to get smacked back down emotionally. This is setting off a powder keg. You can see the look in his eyes. But wait – in the distance, Kurt is sizing up Watts with a sniper rifle. One pull and he could finish it. Except for the fact Lotus shows up. He interrupts an obviously foolish plan. He convinces Kurt to do the right thing, the right way, and they may just have a chance at salvaging Banshee as a town.
Back at a motel, Hood and Dawson talk about the serial killer more. She wants Hood as “back up“, and effectively offers him the chance to be her partner, in some way, shape, or form. Their team gets stronger. And no doubt they’ll be able to get to the bottom of things together. Somehow.
And Kurt finds Maggie (Casey LaBow) at his place. She’s got some things on Calvin for him, pictures, numbers that could help in prosecution. It just makes things more dangerous. At the other Bunker house, everything’s certainly touchy. Father-in-law Randall gets the boot from Calvin: “Its a little late to grow a pair,” Watts laughs. The tension is vicious right before Calvin plants a small ice pick in Randall’s back, up over the neck. Later, Calvin gets ready to dispose of the body properly. Unexpected, but expected at some point. The timing was wildly unexpected, as well as exciting.Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 2.30.41 AM Can’t wait for the next episode, titled “Only One Way a Dog Fight Ends”, as the final season approaches its last few episodes. This will be a sorely missed series when it goes, I cannot say it enough.

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Comments

  1. TB2L says:

    Great review. To my mind, it was the best episode of the season so far. Great pace, great writing (that is a constant but there are some things here and there sort of bothering me about previous episodes, but that’s neither here nor there), and really great development.
    So just a few things :
    – I’m calling the Brock death too, it might be too obvious, but yeah whatever.
    – I expect (like really look forward to seeing it) a showdown between Carrie and the deputy.
    – I’ve been waiting for Calvin to snap ever since the scene where he sees himself beating the shit out of his boss. As you said, unexpected yet highly expected. Great way to put everything into place.
    – All in all, this episode really got me hyped up. I’m hoping for an all-out war in the next episodes. And yes, it’s one of those series that’ll truly be missed!

    Liked by 1 person

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