Season 4, Episode 6: “Only One Way a Dogfight Ends”
Directed by Jonathan Tropper
Written by Chad Feehan
* For a review of the previous episode, “A Little Late to Grow a Pair” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Truths Other Than the Ones You Tell Yourself” – click here
The third of three final episodes in Banshee‘s swan song season begins as a woman sits in her car, taking a pill, then getting out with bag that looks suspiciously like it may contain a small gas canister. Is it just me? Likely this is one of the serial killer’s followers. She’s bringing a message for Sheriff Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto). “He wants you to know he won‘t stop,” she tells him. Uh oh. As I guessed, she douses herself in gasoline. “He wants you to see. You will all see.” Then she lights herself up.
What a fucking opener.
I guess the devil’s really come to Banshee after all. Perhaps this is a literal Armageddon.
When Maggie (Casey LaBow) wakes up, she finds her husband Calvin Bunker (Chris Coy) naked, bloody. Then he jumps on top of her demanding sex. Seems they’ve not been having any for a while. Likely since she’s been sleeping with Calvin’s brother, Deputy Kurt Bunker (Tom Pelphrey). But Cal, he’s got bigger problems. He killed his neo-Nazi boss. Oh, and now he’s decided to rape his own wife. What a piece of work.
Meanwhile, the man formerly known as Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) finds out a little about Special Agent Veronica Dawson (Eliza Dushku). Mainly, her crack pipe. She was undercover years ago and had to dive in deep. She’s been “meaning to kick it,” but y’ know… crack. Regardless, she’s keeping it together. And she’s into Hood. Though he keeps it proper because that is the last thing he needs, another woman in his life to possibly leave, die, or who knows, on him.
Job (Hoon Lee) is back lookin’ fine. Trying to get himself back into a nice outfit again, back to a normal part of himself. The poor man’s psyche has been torn to shreds. At the same time, someone breaks into the house downstairs. And of all people it’s Deva (Ryann Shane). Yay! Reunion time.
Over at the station, Maggie goes to see Kurt. She tells him, roundabout, what happened. Then she left, packing a few things. The situation is pushing itself now. A massive war between these two brothers is about to explode. “I think he killed my father,” Maggie tells Kurt. No matter what happens there is no doubt in the world Calvin is going to do something absolutely fucking crazy.
Back to Job and Deva. Of course this is their first time formally meeting. She gets a little sassy with him over her “shitty hand” of a life. Naturally, Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) is glad to see her daughter back. But it’s heat; she isn’t supposed to be there, court ordered. That could likely cause some problems.
Sheriff Brock is involved with the Bunker Brothers situation. He easily sussed out there’s something between Maggie and Kurt; then he offers her and the little boy a place to stay. It’s always clear Brock is a nice guy, even to a fault at times. Agent Dawson is a god damn bad ass, and slick as hell. Plus she has Hood as back-up. They go to see a doctor, one who’s had his medical license revoked. Yet still he’s there, popping in breast implants. Almost a pity Dawson only came in during the final season. She and Hood have good chemistry, as characters and in terms of Dushku/Starr. Anyways, they’re tracking down implants: devil horns, to be exact. But the body mod community is slippery, dark, not the type of business where receipts are kept and credit card numbers stay on file. Luckily, they get a camera out due to Hood’s superior thief skills.
Mayor Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) meets up with Deputy Nina Cruz (Ana Ayora) and she has some information for him – concerning Carrie. Oh my. Kai heads to see her for a little chat. They semi-bond for a minute over their losses; her husband, his niece. He goes on to talk about “regret” in light of grief. Before giving out a veiled threat. One which Carrie fires right back. “Suppose we should both be more careful,” Kai says as the tension and ominous atmosphere mounts like wildfire.
Later on Kai and Clay (Matthew Rauch) bury the body of Rebecca out on Proctor’s land, all alone.
Dawson and Hood head back to where she found the body mod crew last episode. The bartender’s a little more forthcoming now with a badge in his face. On the camera he points out Declan Bode (Frederick Weller) – a real twisted piece of work. There’s certainly an eerie showdown coming with this serial killer. No telling how that’ll go. I’m guessing that someone will die. Think maybe Hood won’t survive this final season? Likely. One thing is positive: Bode, the followers he attracts, they are going to cause Hood and the rest of Banshee some madness.
What’s most interesting is how Dawson eventually starts to figure out Hood is “more criminal than cop” after seeing how he can’t sit still, how he likes to “push through every wall without even lookin‘ for the door or the key for that door.” And this is why I’m loving the writing between these two. We can’t forget that part of Hood has gone unchecked. Will he make out of this series without someone finding him out? Dawson’s on the verge. For his part, Hood is just going nuts. Yes he’s a criminal. Yet deep down there is a good man living inside him. And finally, he gives into her. Another steamy sex scene for Banshee on Skinamax. Only Hood still thinks of Sibohan, still seeing her behind his eyes. Sex scene no more. Wow, I thought for sure he was hopping into bed. I underestimated the heaviness of the pain he feels. So instead they curl up and she holds him close. One wounded person knows another when they seem them. Possibly the most emotional scene from Starr yet in the series, the weight of the world looks like it’s resting right on his chest. Great performances, from them both.
Is Brock about to meet a horrible fate? Outside the station, he hears something. It takes him out in the alley where Declan sneaks up from behind and clocks him one. Out like a light. NO! FUCK! FUCK! I love Brock, despite his crankiness and killjoy attitude (though usually it’s only because he’s actually being an officer of the law instead of a wildman like Hood). Now I’m afraid we’re about to see some horror.
But a nice cut over to Proctor’s office keeps the possible death or torture or who knows of Lotus at bay. Now, Kai finds Calvin and the neo-Nazis waiting for him. Seems the Aryan Brotherhood is quitting their jobs with Mr. Proctor. New boss Calvin has things running smooth. He plops Watts’ head on the desk for Kai to enjoy. Gruesome. “Everything that‘s yours is now ours,” Calvin tells the mayor. Quite a bold choice, indeed. Another war is brewing now, between Proctor and the Nazis.
Back to Brock. On his back he’s hovered over by Bode, long knife at the Sheriff’s neck. “I‘ve become something different, something more,” he rambles on at Brock who only replies “Fuck you.” Although for now he has been spared by the creepy killer. That was just one hell of an intense scene. I thought for sure Lotus was done for and gone.
Then we also get the title of the episode, from the Bunker Brothers, as they come face to face. It was something their father said when they were young and Calvin asked if a dogfight, which their father took them to (awesome parenting), ever ended in a tie. An excellent metaphor for the two brothers now at a scary juncture in their existences, parallel to one another on different tracks of life.
Over at Carrie’s place, someone is sneaking onto the property under her nose. In they come, blasting. And Carrie is in for the fight of her life, as usual. Upstairs, Job saves Deva in the nick of time. I almost shit myself in that moment, thinking another tragedy was about to come down on Carrie and the crew. Deputy Nina’s got herself an assault rifle, but only ends up in a one-on-one with Carrie. This is one of the best choreographed fights of the past couple seasons (and that’s saying something). Also, Job gets to kick some ass, too. Outside, Deva downs one of the men with the gun Job gave her. Everyone comes out on top. Only the youngest of them all isn’t used to that type of thing, as her mother and Job are after all these years. Tragic to see this has now infiltrated her life, as well.
Cruz makes off without getting what she deserves, but thankfully Carrie is still alive and well. Of course now she blames herself, rightfully, for dragging her daughter into the mess. All that security did nothing, Mrs. Hopewell.
Job: “I‘m sick and tired of fightin‘ for my mothafuckin‘ life”
Now Hood is finding out from Carrie about her thing with Proctor. Particularly because he’s worried for their daughter. They embrace after a moment of anger, as two parents. It’s funny how at the core of this wild, wild show is an extremely real, truthful human drama about two parents and their child, their hidden life versus a public life.
But most importantly, Dawson tracks down a woman named Kim who knew Declan Bode years ago. He swept Kim off her feet; older man, impressionable young lady. Statutory rape, as it turns out. Yowzahs. She loved him, but dear ole dad called the cops. Only there’s something in this woman’s eyes Something that says different. Has she been a follower of Bode? Oh yes.
When Dawson calls Hood before leaving, a quick smash of her car mirror tells us Kim is definitely a part of everything with Bode. And Agent Dawson discovers she’s strung up in the little games room, ready for a sacrifice. SERIOUSLY? Oh shit.
The end of this episode shocked me. I saw it coming gradually, then it still got me. Next episode is “Truths Other Than the Ones You Tell Yourself”, the penultimate finish to this beautiful, brutal, mad series. Stay with me, fellow fans.