Banshee – Season 2, Episode 1: “Little Fish”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 2, Episode 1: “Little Fish”
Directed by Greg Yaitanes
Written by Jonathan Tropper

* For a review of the Season 1 finale, “A Mixture of Madness” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “The Thunder Man” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.10.55 PM After the climactic moments of Season 1, this new season picks up with the man known as Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) laying injured in his bed, nursing those wounds he picked up going head to head with Mr. Rabbit. Still, he trains and keeps his physique proper, much like back in jail. And that’s one of the interesting points about his life. Each subsequent situation is similar to jail, as he finds himself always trapped, barred in somewhere. Right now, he’s stuck to Banshee like a barnacle, one that either needs to stay put or get eaten by much bigger fish. Because as the title of the episode makes clear, right now we’re dealing with the little fish.
Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic) comes to see him, thanking him for what he’d done. He did it all for her. At the same time, she has a life. Even if Gordon (Rus Blackwell) won’t let her near Deva (Ryann Shane), nor their youngest Max. She wants to live that one. However, there’s also the looming investigation into what’s been going on in their little town. So bad things may be ahead, for them all.
Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.13.04 PM Amish county is another part of why Banshee as a series is unique, innovative. We’re not often given a fictional peek into the Amish community, but with Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmons) back at her family’s place again, Season 2 gives us more insight. She’s reeling after they discover Mayor Kendall was in the building she detonated. Uncle Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) tells her he didn’t know, either. She shouldn’t blame herself. But there’s so much doubt in her. Instead of going to apologize, she decides home is now with her uncle. She’s going to be a part of his business, a part of everything. A downward spiral at the outset.
In the morgue, Job (Hoon Lee) sneaks out the real Sheriff Hood, so he and Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison) can bury him. Again. Love the back and forth between these two characters. Because they’re two guys you’d not suspect to work together, they’re forced into it, and over the course of time they become friendlier, or well they work better together. Either way, the writing for them is solid. Great characters, each of them.
Sugar: “How many times can you bury the same guy?”
Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.20.54 PM Now there’s more FBI descending upon the town. Agent Dean Xavier (Derek Cecil) is joined by the ever wonderful Zeljko Ivanek as Agent Jim Racine. This only spells more trouble, for the town, for the dude masquerading as Sheriff Hood. For everyone wrapped up in the whole mess of the past season.
Meanwhile, everybody’s gathered in the court – Deputies Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto), Siobhan Kelly (Trieste Kelly Dunn), Emmett Yawners (Demetrius Grosse), even Gordon as a witness to the proceedings, then Carrie who’s involved, and of course Lucas Hood – the last of whom gets a suspicious look from Racine. Anyway, he explains the entire situation to them all in plain terms. Everything gets going and now we’ll find out what slips loose when they’re all shaken.
Racine knows all about Mr. Rabbit. He seems to maybe know a bit more about Hood than he lets on. The amount of ammo pumped at Lucas seems to suggest a more immediate connection to the gangster Rabbit than he’s been saying. When Carrie’s interrogated, Gordon is forced to endure her asked questions about “fucking the Sheriff” and so on. To which she lies, bold faced. However, Racine knows lots. Specifically he’s dug into Carrie and her past, her real identity as Ana and her part in the organization of her father. As for Hood, he breaks down slightly. Continually seeing the bloody-faced presence of Rabbit in the room with him, across the table instead of Racine. Great sequence overall. The other police are likewise interviewed, of course kept deep in the dark by Carrie and Hood. I feel the worst for Brock, as he’s such a do-gooder. Not to say Emmett or Siobhan aren’t good people, they are, but Brock has this old school morality that speaks so loudly to his character that I feel bad for how Hood being Sheriff and how much havoc it wreaks on Brock/his town.
Oh, and then we find out Mr. Rabbit is still alive. Fucked up, though still living.
A weird moment happens at Proctor’s place, when Rebecca sees her uncle having sex with a woman. She creeps a second, then leaves fast.
Xavier: “Howre you gonna explain what you did in there to Washington?”
Racine: “Its Banshee, Pennsylvania. No one gives a shit.”
Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.30.38 PM Sadly, Brock gets smacked with 18 months probation. Siobhan and Emmett receive 12. Hood is back being Sheriff, as he was an “endangered civilian” during the acts in question. With that, Racine is gone. Chain smoking the minutes away. We discover he’s dying with awful cancer. Reason he’s going so hard at Rabbit, obviously. So that’s all a part of things. Hood and the gang are definitely not getting off completely. However, they’re the “little fish” Xavier is using to dangle in front of the Ukranian mobster, all in order to try and do some good before the cancer takes him. At the same time, Xavier’s headed away from Banshee, so that’s a sigh of relief for Lucas, Carrie, and the rest.
But not Carrie, as it turns out. Racine is handing her case to the District Attorney. She’ll be charged, possibly go to jail. Uh oh.
Simultaneously, Gordon wants to know everything Brock sees or hears about Hood. He’s got plenty more eyes watching now with each day that goes by. And that’s not all, Hood has the responsibility of everything weighing on his shoulders. He feels the guilt of what’s happened, though can’t be sure how to make it up to anybody. And Carrie’s guilty, too. She feels everything that has gone down, the depth of her mistakes and the repercussions against her family. Alone in a motel, she has nobody right now.
What does the crew do after getting clear? They stage an armoured truck robbery on Briggs. While things go a little sideways for a second, they recover to get shit done. Even after Hood gets a little too greedy. Cut to Deva – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Like her parents she’s stealing. Maybe not from an armoured truck, but stealing nonetheless.
The robbery crew runs into problems later. Someone on a bike chases them, firing off shots. Perhaps somebody belonging to the casino? AH, yes. Looks like Nola Longshadow (Odette Annable) under that helmet. Luckily, Sugar picks them all up and swoops on out of there. As Nola hauls that helmet off to make sure I’m correct. Leaving the robbers with less than they’d expected, everyone is at each other’s throats. Things are definitely not smooth for anybody these days. Although we do see the bond between Job and Hood, how strong it is, and their history all in one conversation.
The editing here is perfect. When Job asks Hood what’s keeping him in the town after all this shit storm, we cut right to Deva. So obvious, yet so wonderfully executed in writing and direction.
Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.41.51 PM Carrie: “Could you have been hacked?”
Job: “First of all, fuck you. Second of all, I aint the one shakinoff  15 years of mommy rust.”
Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.44.44 PM Hood and Siobhan are a little closer now. He helps her set-up in a trailer, they chat about everything that’s transpired in Banshee. She’s of course worried about the future, though Hood tries to reassure her it’ll all work out. At the same time, Gordon and Carrie are at odds, with him having to recuse himself from her trial, and so on. There are so many pressures pushing down on Banshee as a town. Something is bound to break, again.
Everyone mourns the young mayor’s death. Gordon gives a eulogy for the man. And life starts to go on in their town. Everybody has their own thing going on, something to drag them down, to keep them tied to the past or to something else keeping them from moving forward.
Faced with nothing prosperous, Sugar tries convincing Hood maybe he’s pushing his luck by staying there, keeping on with the pretend act. Yet Lucas doesn’t want to leave because Carrie was all he ever had. He’s not sure what to do next. At the bar next to him sits Nola. She fast seduces Hood to head back to his place, which throws them into bed together. Another bad choice for Hood and his penis.
In the city, Racine goes to see a priest (Julian Sands). They know one another well. Seems the priest’s brother is Mr. Rabbit. Oh my. And maybe he knows more than he lets on. Racine is headed straight at them. Can’t wait for more.
After the credits, we watch Racine piss on the church steps before heading out. Nasty little bastard.Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 8.03.06 PMNext up is “The Thunder Man” and it takes Season 2 up a level early on.

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