Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 3, Episode 3: “A Fixer of Sorts”
Directed by Magnus Martens
Written by Justin Britt-Gibson

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Snakes & Whatnot” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Real Life is the Nightmare” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 9.57.06 PM Through the forest, Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers) runs frantic, bow and arrows in hand. I love how big Segers is naturally, they make him look wildly huge. Here, he gets a nice buck. Putting it down with a neck and spine crack to make sure it’s dead. There’s a brutality to him when he snaps the necks. He does it the same to people and animal alike. He is ferocious, and one of the toughest opponents Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) faces during his entire run in little Banshee county.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 9.57.33 PM We go back to the end of last episode. Deva (Ryann Shane) leaves. Then as dear dad decides to go after her, a gun clicks in his face at the door – though, like the old cliffhangers, no click this time around. Anyway, it’s the amazing Denis O’Hare playing Special Agent Robert Phillips, part of the FBI’s Internal Affairs department. And he knows EXACTLY who the man parading as Hood is underneath the mask.
Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) is struggling watching his mother Leah (Jennifer Griffin) die. She’s so sick now, basically being made as comfortable as possible. She worries about her son: “Who will love you, Kai? Who will you love?” Leah asks her son from the depth of her heart. And she adds that Rebecca (Lili Simmons) shouldn’t be living with him. It’s not… proper, so on. Meanwhile, a healthy relationship might be budding. Caretaker Emily Lotus (Tanya Clarke) is starting to see behind his rough exterior. Not saying Kai can ever be forgiven for his sins, nor can they be forgotten. But I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to see some redemption out of him.

 


Now, as Agent Phillips takes Hood in handcuffs prepare for one of the most amazing fight sequences out of any film or television series I’ve ever seen.
Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch) is washing things up outside Proctor’s place. Out by the car, he’s levelled by a tomahawk from the forest. Then Nola Longshadow (Odette Annable) appears. She lays down some vicious threats before Clay begins to fight. They throw each other around so wildly, bashing the hell out of one another, punches, kicks, tomahawk and blade slices. Through the car, all over it. Both take immense amounts of damage. What I love over all else is how they both start flashing back to these dark days of torture in their lives – he was whipped, beaten to the brink; she was shot up, abused, who knows what other terrible shit. So there’s a great parallel. These two impeccable fighters, doing the dance right ’till death.
Up to the point where Clay sneaks the hood ornament off Proctor’s car, planting it directly in Nola’s throat. A nasty practical effect, a vicious result. Especially after Burton rips her trachea completely out. One of the wilder moments of blood and gore on Banshee. This season seems intent, especially later, on pushing the boundaries for what they can do with the effects. Even the CGI, at times, is solid; a few missteps, nothing serious. But here, it’s all so damn gnarly in the best way possible.Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.13.50 PMJob (Hoon Lee) and Sugar (Frankie Faison) are doing a bit of data stealing. To make fake identification for the crew. Inside they go through a highly secure building. A close call, though they’re able to get what they need; six I.Ds. The banter between these two is ALWAYS worth it. God damn, I love Job.
So out on the road now, Agent Phillips explains to Hood he discovered the remains of Agent Jim Racine out in those fields. Of course, he found the file on Hood. Started speculating. Oh my, y’know where all that leads. However, you have to wonder: why’s one single agent, up against a force like the man now known as Hood, out picking him up? There’s more afoot. For the time being, Phillips questions Hood about why he’d bother coming to Banshee at all. Is it all for love? Or is he a glutton for punishment? Well, Phillips is clearly not prepared. Because Hood does as Hood does, gets loose, then starts to leave.
Only a man Tasers him down. Shit. Where’s this headed?
And at Proctor’s place, Emily winds up helping Clay stitch his wounds, after he starts in on himself and butchers them in his brutalized state. She’s sweet, and doesn’t judge who any of them are in that house. She goes on stitching him up. We see him move away from her touch immediately, then slowly give in to her car.

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.22.23 PM Hood is now tangled up with some mysterious stuff. He’s in a waiting room, and the waiting room is in an eighteen-wheeler. He tries opening the door, but that only leads to fast moving pavement beneath him. Meanwhile, getting knocked out again, Hood flashes back and forth to different periods of his arrest during the diamond heist.
Finally waking, he discovers himself tied, across from Agent Phillips likewise tied, and introduced to the infamous Raymond Walton Brantley (Shuler Hensley) that Jason Hood once spoke of – the guy to whom he owed money. This Brantley is huge, so that’s why he travels in a massive tractor trailer. Anyway, he lays it all out for Hood, who quickly puts it all together. I can’t get enough of this whole angle. So over-the-top, while also awesome. It’s so wild that it works. Anything works in Banshee, as the premise itself was always something spectacularly fun, a little foolish but exciting.
Back in the woods around Banshee, Aimee King (Meaghan Rath) tries to find Chayton Littlestone for a talk. She isn’t happy he stole those guns from the military. Yet he’s so lost in his idea of a heroic, violent tribe that there is almost no reaching him whatsoever. He and Aimee have a history, like brother and sister. Things have certainly changed, though. They’re now at very opposite ends of a long spectrum.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.28.55 PM Onboard the truck, Hood has to figure out his next move. Things don’t look good, some of the worst he’s seen, honestly. That doesn’t change when the torture starts. First, they soak him down a bit. Then one of the henchman puts on an electrified glove and starts shocking Hood, one after another, after another. The shock glove is a great and devastating addition to this whole thing. They up it a notch by hanging Hood down through the floor of the truck to “give him some fresh air.”
At the Cadi, Deputies Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto) and Siobhan Kelly (Trieste Kelly Dunn) worry about where Hood’s been all day. Little do they know. She goes out looking for info on the sheriff’s whereabouts, getting a slight piece of assurance from Sugar.
Hood makes up a story. He tells Brantley that he killed Jason, on account of being blackmailed after killing Quentin. This satisfies the big man. Although, he wants to see Jason’s body, plus get the money back. Simultaneously, Agent Phillips is taken out to be dropped off, and likely killed.
Disobeying Chayton’s orders, Tommy Littlestone (Ricky Russert) and his friends head out with some guns. Into Proctor’s strip club. They shoot the place up. They didn’t count on Brock being there. He calls in the BDP, which brings Deputy Billy Raven (Chaske Spencer) into the mix.Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.33.08 PM In the woods, Phillips is about to be murdered. He manages to get loose, for a while. He’s made to dig his own grave after that.
On the truck, Hood lures in his prey, rips the chair’s arms off and then does a number on ole Brantley. Love the editing, cutting from Hood/Brantley to Lotus at the club choking out a Redbone. Best of all is when Hood tosses Brantley out through the hole in the floor, as he gets chewed up by the tires running him down. Problem is that there’s a man driving, he has a camera to look in back. Now he knows his boss is dead, so Hood’s got problems. Naturally, he fends the guy off after a bit of gunplay.
Things at the strip club deteriorate, a tragic event comes down: Billy is forced to shoot Chayton’s little brother Tommy. You can just see the revenge already, that vengeance Chayton will be ready to rain down on the Banshee Police Department.

 


In his own grave, Phillips waits to take his bullet. Before he can Hood saves him, shotgunning the Brantley henchmen to death. With his gun drawn on Phillips, how do things go down from here? Seems Phillips went and left all the information on Hood, his past, with somebody. Hmm. He’s probably staying in that grave now.
That somebody is Siobhan. She sees the interrogation tapes with Dt. Bonner. The file, his mugshot. The fact he has no identity. “Who the hell are you?” she asks, wondering what we’ve all wondered this entire time. There could be some major fallout after this event.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.55.02 PM After the credits, we see Billy Raven doing a Kinaho prayer over the corpse of Tommy Littlestone in the morgue. He knows there’s something terrible coming his way soon.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.55.56 PM One amazing episode, all around. In so many ways, from writing to the action to the blood and practical effects. Every last bit is perfect.
Pumped to rewatch the next episode “Real Life is the Nightmare”, as the third season of this glorious series gets more intense than possibly ever before.

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