Outcast – Season 2, Episode 7: “Alone When It Comes”

Cinemax’s Outcast
Season 2, Episode 7: “Alone When It Comes”
Directed by Josef Wladyka
Written by Helen Leigh

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Fireflies” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Mercy” – click here
Pic 1When in Rome… yeah, that’s not gonna work here. Or maybe it does work for Sidney (Brent Spiner).
At home, Kyle (Patrick Fugit) and Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil) and their daughter Amber (Madeleine McGraw) scramble to figure out what’s next in the wake of all his girls have learned. He knows the demons are coming after them now. “Theyre out in the open,” he tells Allison. He knows that likely “half the damn town” are on their way for him with Sidney and Dr. Park (Hoon Lee).
Speaking of the hacking, white-haired devil, he and Park are having a look at a boy, precious cargo he fucked up. The doc is clearly one of the other higher up demons, and they talk of The Council, which I’m sure we’ll discover more of later, too.
Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) and Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) rush to Kyle’s place, they worry for what’ll happen if Kyle isn’t around. But the Barnes family has to get away, at least for the time being until he can think up a plan.
Pic 1AWhat about Rosie (Charmin Lee)? She’s been up to a few things, without her husband Byron (Reg E. Cathey) in his weakened state. She’s been real busy getting shit done. But is she safe?
In Kyle’s absence, Megan and the Rev get closer. She tells Anderson once about hating him, because she didn’t believe what Kyle was going through as a boy, instead believing he was toying with Kyle. Now she knows, far too well, that the truth about demons is real. Then he mentions the Lighthouse.
Amber: “The monsters like us
On the road Kyle notices someone following them. Or believes he does, anyways. His behaviour starts scaring his wife, though his daughter’s well versed at this point in demonology and many of the nasty creatures’ tricks. Up at the junkyard, Kyle looks for Bob Caldwell (M.C. Gainey), hoping he’s got a car for him. Bob is a little worse for wear yet always fighting.
Anderson takes Megan out to the Lighthouse, to see Dakota (Madelyn Deutch) and her congregation of sorts. The Rev also tells her that Kyle isn’t actually dead. Everyone there recognises Megan instantly, as if they know her. It’s because they recognise her struggle. They’ve struggled, as well.
In other news, Evelyn Bailey’s turned up dead. Chief Nuñez (Briana Venskus) has sent for former Chief Giles to be brought in, warrant and all. Byron gets a cell to himself, though not all the officers are giving him the cold shoulder. Nuñez, of course, isn’t one of them. She’s one of THEM; if you know what I mean.
Pic 2Across town the big, bad boss Sidney goes to meet the Council for coffee. He tells them Helen Devere was “successful” in her work. That he’s trying to figure out how she nearly brought about the Merge. But the Council is waning in their support for his little experiments, they want action.
Dakota and Megan talk alone, they discuss the sins of those who’ve been touched by demonic presence. Dakota tells her she can’t remember most of what she did while under the evil influence. She was a junkie on the street, later chewing the face off her boyfriend/dealer in a fit. Whoooa.
Sidney’s slow breaking down, his coughs worse every day. He falls in the parking lot, mocked by Park who thinks the Merge isn’t their only hope. Well, he also has his own ideas about how the demons might learn to live on Earth. He just isn’t keen on telling. Heading off, Sidney winds up putting his car off the road from coughing up black liquid.
Along the road Kyle and his family find a blockade, construction work being completed. He’s too paranoid, so they turn around only to see the car that was following earlier waiting. He drives off into the trees, but they run the car into the bushes.
A face we’ve not seen in awhile, Kat Ogden (Debra Christofferson), meets with Rosie. She’s been lured. Rosie fires a shot at her, but they trade blows and the demon is strong in Kat. Can’t put Mrs. Giles down, though. She knocks Kat over a railing and puts a finish to another demon infested soul in Rome. Bad ass.
At the station, one of Giles’ former officers believes in the devils. He says he had troubles one time, that maybe this was the cause. Now he’s into “old school” Jesus, y’know. And this officer believes in second chances, letting Byron out from distrust of Nuñez. Hell yeah, baby!
Pic 3Sidney’s still kicking, walking along the road until someone picks him up. He heads back to town in rough shape. Over at the Lighthouse, Anderson follows Dakota into the woods as she goes on by herself. To a cellar a ways out. He finds what they call a dormitory, and he knows better. They’re going to be keeping somebody down there. Then he sees it’s Sidney himself.
In the forest Kyle, Allison, and Amber are surrounded by a large group of people. Nuñez at the helm, wondering where the Barnes family are headed. They don’t want anybody leaving Rome. No, no, no.
What about Byron? He gets home and Rose has finally come back. She’s injured, full of Kat’s blood. This worries her husband, obviously. But it worries him more that she’s been a busy bee, doing the work they need to do. However, the noose in their little town is tightening. Something Kyle knows all too well, as he and his girls are pursued by the group with Nuñez. That is until Junkyard Bob turns up to save them, ploughing through the roadblock and nearly running the new chief over.
But Kyle won’t go. He lets Bob take the girls and leave. He faces the crowd, taking Nuñez to the ground while Amber burns a demon off Bob to get them free. He puts a hand over Nuñez’s face until she’s nearly drained of life, and watches while his family gets out of that demonic place.

Such a killer episode and an emotional, intense finale. Also, we’re getting ready to see a great battle. Kyle is ready, as are others including those at the Lighthouse. You know he’s going to hook up with them soon enough, via Anderson. And what about Dakota & Co. holding Sidney in that cellar? What do they have planned?
Next episode is “Mercy” and we’re closing in on the latter moments of Season 2. Sincerely hope Cinemax is smart enough to renew this for Season 3. Or else!


Outcast – Season 2, Episode 3: “Not My Job to Judge”

Cinemax’s Outcast
Season 2, Episode 3: “Not My Job to Judge”
Directed by Howard Deutch
Written by Jeff Vleming

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Day After That” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The One I’d Be Waiting For” – click here
Pic 1Sidney (Brent Spiner) is taking care of his burned, young friend, who asks about if what Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) says of him is true. And the mysterious man says that the rev’s book calls him a “dragon” and he’s been called many other things by humans of flesh and blood. He has big plans for the kid, that’s why he saved him from the fire.
Evelyn Bailey (Claire Bronson) shows up, always helping, along with Peter, who’s eager to be part of their nastiness. Only Sidney’s got no time for that shit, so he dispatches him. No more prying eyes. And the devilish man doesn’t have time for lingering attachment between humans, he doesn’t understand it; one of the most interesting traits of his character in the series, he’s dumbfounded by human beings and their emotion for one another. Exactly how you’d expect the devil to be were he personified in a body.
Pic 1ADealing with the consequences of her husband’s death, Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) has reached the lowest depths of herself. She’s dragged from the water by Rev. Anderson. He makes clear he wouldn’t judge her; not in the places he’s been himself.  Even quotes a bit of Dr. Seuss. Meanwhile, Kyle (Patrick Fugit) takes Amber to go see her mother, Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil), at the hospital. Things aren’t well between the estranged husband and wife. While Amber waits for her parents to chat, a man approaches her in a creepy manner, though a hospital attendant shows up. However, there’s something odd about her. She and the man corner Amber, and the little girl uses her own powers to fend them off; she’s just like her papa.
While she’s out on the town, Patricia (Melinda McGraw) is abducted suddenly by a man (M.C. Gainey) and taken away, to who knows where.
Anderson meets Kyle on the road to tell her Megan took off, after her near suicide attempt. She also took her daughter Holly. They’ve gone back home, apparently. Mom wants to make the house a nice place again, to live like before. Only her daughter’s sure that dad dying wasn’t “an accident” like she’s being told. I’m betting Megan is headed towards taking responsibility, in some way, which could change things irreparably for her, and maybe others, too.
And back with Sidney, Patricia’s son Aaron is being given the opportunity to “fuck this world and all the pathetic creatures in it” – first, by having to cut up a body with a pocket knife. He can’t do it, though. Yet. And Patricia, she’s not getting any answers from Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey), threatening to make waves in town if nothing more’s done, especially with Anderson let out after confessing to what he thought he’d done.

Poor little Holly, she can’t get over the trauma of her father dying. Worst of all, back in that bathroom where she stands, her mother comes in and starts having fragmentary flashbacks of when she killed her husband. Also, Holly’s got a bit of a premonition skill; is she experiencing any effects of possession? Kyle ends up finding Megan, trying to figure out her state of mind. She’s starting to believe in the demons. Not just that: she’s pregnant. Whoa.
At the hospital, Allison is befriended by Kirby, the man who approached her daughter. He talks and talks to her, as patients are making crafts. It’s clear there are more possessed inside the walls of the mental health ward. A terrifying consequence of people being seen as insane, rather than for their demonic sickness; they’re all being piled into these places. Kyle and Anderson are trying to figure out what Sidney’s plan is, and it doesn’t prove easy.
In the meantime, out on his own, the man who abducted Patricia looks to be digging a grave. Ohh, shit. And he seems crazy as hell, too.
Megan’s having more and more trouble. It isn’t a great idea that she’s back in that house, where the demon took hold of her and killed her husband. It’s bringing up darkness. Maybe more than she can handle. She finds her husband’s gun, then before she can do anything crazy with it she runs outside to try getting rid of it. Where a woman’s waiting to give her a flyer for the Beacon.

Anderson and Kyle go back to the Austin place. Great inverted shot as they walk in, as if the world is literally turning upside down and they’re entering some foul, hellish place; superb cinematography, and this lines up with the opening titles where the camera flips around and we see the upside down world in front of us. When the pair are inside, they find Joshua’s mother in distress, talking about the man from the junkyard; the one who took Patricia.
So the two track the man to the junkyard. They find Giles there, too. The man, Bob, is helping out with things. They’re trying to stop the demons by putting them into the ground, burying the problem. Now that’s a solution, I guess. They’re not all on the same page about it. Kyle finds out later that Bob and his mother were in league together, and that his “old man” was part of the trouble years ago; he isn’t the first to try stopping the demons.
Sidney goes to see someone, for help. Looks like young Joshua, though could be someone else, who pours more of that black essence into him, as the devilish dude breathes in deep.
Pic 4What a great episode! This series gets exponentially better, as well as the fact it has a great score and soundtrack alike. Lots of things to look forward to, particularly “The One I’d Be Waiting For” next week. More demons, more Sidney, more mystery.

Banshee – Season 3, Episode 6: “We Were All Someone Else Yesterday”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 3, Episode 6: “We Were All Someone Else Yesterday”
Directed by Ole Christian Madsen
Written by Adam Targum

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Tribal” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “You Can’t Hide From the Dead” – click hereclick here
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 11.57.56 AM Moving on, or trying to, Hood (Antony Starr) can barely bring himself to go to the funeral for Siobhan Kelly (Trieste Kelly Dunn). All he can think of is an alternate history of coming to Banshee. Imagining it happening some other way. Because what it’s all about is Hood and his decisions. Whether acting first, thinking later does the job, or if maybe stepping back and taking a less chaotic approach might do the trick. Hood’s now seen what the repercussions of his actions have become. In his retroactive flashback, he sees things differently. If he instead chose to use his words and talk things out rather than charge forward like a bull in a china shop. Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic) and her family are caught in all of it. Siobhan’s been murdered. Many others have lost their lives since Hood wandered into town. His alternate vision sees him leaving Carrie to her family, leaving his daughter with her father Gordon (Rus Blackwell). Leaving everyone alone, and just moving on. But he couldn’t have done that. Perhaps could’ve done things a little better. Just would never have worked for him to walk on past.
Deputy Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto) tries to comfort Hood a little: “This town needs a sheriff.” Coming from him that means a good deal. Moreover, he wants the both of them to track down Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers), find some revenge and give him what he deserves for killing Siobhan.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 12.00.45 PM At the service for his mother, Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) arrives to the surprise of many. Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison) is present to pay his respects. It seems like Kai and his niece Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmons) are slightly at odds because he’s feeling a little religious as of late. Then her parents say she’s forgiven, they don’t want to not speak to her for decades, but Rebecca only replies: “I dont forgive you. And I never will.”
Once more, Hood’s loving heart is shattered. Left only with the bits of memories, remnants of Siobhan all around him. As usual, he drowns in a bottle at the bar. Carrie drops in to try lending him a shoulder to cry on. He may be all cried out.
In his grief, Kai falls into bed with Emily Lotus (Tanya Clarke), and I worry for her safety now more than ever. Always in parallel, Hood and Proctor constantly endanger those around them. Only a matter of time before bad news comes for Emily. By the same token, I worry for Brock, who worries enough about his own ex-wife. Meanwhile, Gordon is busy trying to sort things out for Proctor’s trial re: the latest big fight with Sheriff Hood. Oh, and we also discover the Marine is still kicking in Gordon, as he shows off a few superior shooting skills.
Job (Hoon Lee) arrives to try and take care of his friend, wondering if the job may have to be called off. They have a little drink and start discussing the way forward. Over at the station, Hood finds the Department of Justice swarming around, led by Commander Salvatore Ferillo (Robert John Burke). They’re manhunting Chayton. This puts a little wrench into the revenge Hood has planned. This may send him off on a personal mission.

Rebecca runs into a little trouble with one of the staff at Uncle Kai’s strip club. She flexes her boss muscle, though we can see this escalating. And it quickly does after he calls her a cunt. She beats him with a two-by-four then goes to the officer. She has a meeting with some associates of Proctor from Philadelphia, though they weren’t expecting to meet his niece. But she’s in over her head, making deals without her uncle present. Later, Kai calls her in to get berated in front of his associates, as she’s stepped out of line. No longer a peachy relationship between the two these days.
And speaking of him, he’s pondering faith. Kai lingers in this weird space where belief and religion mean something to him, yet there’s a disconnect between that and how he actually acts in the real world.
Colonel Douglas Stowe (Langley Kirkwood) is still circling Carrie, obsessed over what they had together. Probably just missing all the hot sex, I’m guessing. He wants to meet at their motel for another romp. Except she’s busy getting his handprint, for the verification at the base. At the very same time, Deva (Ryann Shane) is practising the family trade of robbery again, learning to pick pocket. Then she ends up meeting a guy that notices her little tricks. They start to get to know one another and then head to a party together.
All the while, the DOJ are suiting up to head into Redbone territory. Definitely some crazy action ahead. Chayton’s going into custody, dead or alive.
Job and Hood are trying to head off the DOJ, looking for Chayton, as the former knows his friend can’t go on without revenge. So Hood tracks him right to the teepee where he sleeps. Preparing to kill him, a fight erupts between the fake sheriff and the object of his vengeance. Even Job must fight a Redbone while the other two go at it. Awesome little sequence nearing the end of this episode. A shot goes off then, and the DOJ are lured in the direction of Hood and Chayton. They run through the woods, Hood in hot pursuit of the massive Redbone. Also, Aimee King (Meaghan Rath) is tracking Chayton. She doesn’t want him to get hurt, but there’s slowly becoming no other way. “Its not murder, its war,” the big man tells Aimee re: Siobhan’s death. Their confrontation is tense, and he nearly chokes her to death. This may be the turning point for her in terms of how she views him, only escaping from his grip after Hood gets a shot at Chayton. Ultimately, he escapes by jumping from a cliff into the water and making off. This doesn’t make anyone happy, least of all the DOJ and Commander Ferillo.

In that alternate history of Hood’s, he meets the real Sheriff Hood, in uniform having not been murdered at the bar. The man not known as Hood, here, meets Siobhan at a gas station. They smile at one another, flirtatiously a bit. Then Job pulls up to take him out of Banshee. Gone forever. No death, no destruction in the little town. Just gone.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 12.43.39 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-29 at 12.43.48 PM After the credits, we see Chayton rise from the water somewhere. Walking out, towards his next prey.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 12.44.11 PM What a great episode. Lots of excitement. Adrenaline flowing. The next is titled “You Can’t Hide from the Dead” and further the chase for Littlestone goes, as everybody trails behind him.

Banshee – Season 3, Episode 5: “Tribal”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 3, Episode 5: “Tribal”
Directed by Ole Christian Madsen
Written by Adam Targum

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Real Life is the Nightmare” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “We Were All Someone Else Yesterday” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 10.54.24 AM After the Cadi is overrun with Red Bones and Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers) leading the charge, assault rifles blasting bullet after bullet into the building, Hood (Antony Starr), Siobhan (Trieste Kelly Dunn), and all the rest are left to fend off the attack inside. This is what people like Hood and Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) ultimately bring to a town like Banshee, to the people in it. Nothing but destruction. Chayton calls out over the gunfire to Hood, whose eyes show the fear he feels knowing it’s the big man and his crew out there. An intense episode begins.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 10.56.39 AM Thinking Emily Lotus (Tanya Clarke) is her son, Leah Proctor (Jennifer Griffin) confesses that she “could have saved” him, apologizing. It’s too bad Kai, along with the others, is stuck under a hail of bullets. At the station, Hood starts trying to figure out some kind of way forward. The emergency gating is dropped just in time to keep the Red Bones out.
Tom Bunker (Tom Pelphrey) has to take his shirt off when he’s cut by some glass, revealing his neo-Nazi tattoos, all over. Alison Medding (Afton Williamson) is obviously horrified, as is Deputy Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto). Instead of trying to explain, Bunker lets them think what they will. He makes good after busting into the armoury, bringing out the guns and taking some “initiative” – as he puts it. Everybody gets a bit of work to do.
Reason I love Bunker immediately, despite his clearly awful past along the way, is because he feels so repentant. The tattoos are hideous to look at. Yet the way he agrees with people, the way he conducts himself; there is a man wanting to be forgiven, wanting to make it up to society beneath that old neo-Nazi exterior.

Lotus: “Maam, that gun packs a powerful kick.”
Alison: “Are you gonna stand there like a total misogynist and patronize me, or are you gonna show me how to shoot the damn thing?”
Lotus: “Thank you, I just felt married again. All right, here we go.”
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 11.03.28 AM So Chayton wants the Red Bones from the holding cell, Kai, and Deputy Billy Raven (Chaske Spencer). This is the deal. Hood disagrees with the terms and starts talking a little trash to rile the big man up. “Hey Chayton,” he starts: “Fuck off.” This sends the war painted Red Bone into a psychosis. For his part, Billy wants to hand himself over. The sheriff won’t go that way. And then the lights go out, the power down. This is not good.
Everyone’s down in the basement regrouping. Bunker stands stationed at a door in the back of the station downstairs, doing his duty. Siobhan has a problem with them all listening to Hood, as he technically doesn’t have any idea what he’s doing in terms of being a cop. “I dont wanna die tonight,” she tells him ominously.
More bullets come flying in upstairs. The Red Bones have a machine gun. When Proctor’s lawyer tries to get him out, he takes a bullet in the head. Next to him, Alison gets grabbed by a Red Bone. Although instead of leaving Proctor shoots the guy and helps her out, reluctantly. When Hood makes his way up to everyone, he downs the guys outside at the machine gun, stopping the fire for now. Hood and Proctor stand firm against what comes next. They await whatever the Red Bones are about to throw at them. At the very same time, Kai’s mother is dying. A parallel – the mother dies, as the son faces his own death. Meanwhile, Brock has problems with Proctor having a gun; partly because of his issues with Emily, partly because of his issues with Hood. And when the sheriff pulls rank, Siobhan can only see the hypocrisy in him.
Bunker and Alison talk downstairs. Turns out her father was beaten into a coma by neo-Nazis, that’s hard to overcome. Worse, she was likely raped or assaulted in some way. Then we get to hear from Kurt about being beaten as a child, not wanting to be home. He was a stutterer. Problem is these are the type of kids that fall prey to the Nazis, those White Nationalist-types. “They were the only people that made me feel like I mattered,” Kurt tells Alison. This character is well written and I’m glad he turns up. Quite the different picture we get of most neo-Nazis in film and television. Nice to see another side. He owns up to the horrific choices in his life, though, and never relegates those to the fault of someone else fully.

Brock (to Hood): “Everything you touch turns to blood
Red Bones finally turn up at the door downstairs, but Bunker’s ready. He takes a bullet before getting saved by Alison. However, now they’re exposed on that end. With all the psychological weight bearing down on him, Hood is letting things get to him. But from nowhere Kai offers to go out and offer himself up. Will he survive the onslaught?
The rift between Siobhan and Hood is huge. Although, he makes sure she knows all of what they had together was a real thing, and that’s not hard to believe either. For the first time, she and Hood talk seriously, candidly about his life. There’s a part of her which understands beneath it all. Part of her also doesn’t want to let him go. He’s ready to open himself up to her. A beautiful moment amidst the war going on around them.
Poor Billy is both afraid and full of guilt. He feels terrible for having to shoot Tommy Littlestone, as well as fears the repercussions at the hands of Chayton, the Red Bones – that “Tribal Justice” of which he speaks. So he wants to end things by handing himself to the big man. Chayton doesn’t want any deals now. It’s war time. Talking is finished.
In the basement, the door’s busted in. Hood heads off to help the others, as Siobhan stays with Billy. You can almost feel something terrifying about to happen. Within the darkened halls of the station, Chevon takes on one of the Red Bones with a machete. Bad ass. The only trouble being Chayton is right behind her.

When Hood comes face to face with the big man, it is devastating. Chayton locks his hand against her chin and you feel it coming. Hood watches on as Chayton cracks Siobhan’s neck, letting her fall dead to the floor. Death is everywhere in Banshee tonight with Siobhan dead, a load of Red Bones, even Kai’s mother has passed on.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 11.48.50 AM After the credits, we see Siobhan’s lonely, abandoned Airstream trailer, the door blowing in the wind.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 11.50.54 AM What a heavy episode, in many ways. So much happening.
Next is “We Were All Someone Else Yesterday” and continues on from this heartbreaking saga. Giving Hood a new rage, a new tear in his soul to try and stitch closed. Plus, now he and Chayton are truly at odds, worse than any other moment ebfore.

Banshee – Season 3, Episode 4: “Real Life is the Nightmare”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 3, Episode 4: “Real Life is the Nightmare”
Directed by Magnus Martens
Written by Justin Britt-Gibson

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “A Fixer of Sorts” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Tribal” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 1.04.14 AM Hood (Antony Starr) is confronted with reality for the first time in so long. Now Siobhan (Trieste Kelly Dunn) knows the truth about him, after Agent Phillips left all the information for her. How do they move forward from here?
Instead of shooting him in the face, or even arresting him, she just kicks him out. This was bound to happen. Somehow, down the line.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 1.04.49 AM Job (Hoon Lee) and Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison) are busy infiltrating their latest target. A bumpy entry smooths out. The pair gets to work. I love that Job gets more and more time. He is a solid character; interesting, exciting. He’s slick. He and Sugar manage to get what they need, but just in the nick of time.
Poor ole Gordon Hopewell (Rus Blackwell). He’s doing his best to try and come back from the devastation of his family, realizing Deva (Ryann Shane) is not his, knowing his wife Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) is really some gangster’s daughter, so on, so on. He shaves and faces the world properly again. The marriage is still falling apart. Yet he’s willing to work on things even after all they’ve faced.
Back at the bar, Hood lets the fellas know they may have to “bail” – on the entire debacle. Job wants to go. Always. But Hood wants to stay. Never thinking with his brain too long, usually leading with his dick, and a little bit with his heart. A bit.

Job (to Hood): “Baby, I want you to try real hard to remember what happened the last time you rolled the dice on a woman.”
Deputy Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto) worries for his ex-wife Emily, after she took a job caring for the mother of Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen). Speaking of Kai, he’s got Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch) and niece Rebecca (Lili Simmons) off running errands – Tommy Littlestone’s corpse is ready for release. Although, clearly Clay does not like that his boss is sending the niece along with him. At the same time, Kai and Emily spend time chatting during the day. This is not good. I’m always worried for anyone getting close to Hood OR Proctor. They’re both magnets for destruction.
And young Deva’s never too far from figuring out the family business. In a video game store, she eyes the security cameras. She wants to get Max a game, but it’s just so expensive. We know what’s coming soon. Her mother’s busy working everyday at the diner, dealing with people she can’t stand in a job she does not like all to pretend she’s Carrie Hopewell, sweet wife and proper mother. Her other life is always calling. In the middle of her shift, she leaves her apron and walks out.
On a chase, Rebecca drives. Much to the dismay of Mr. Burton. Well she doesn’t do so bad, all the same. Been practising with Uncle Kai. Out on a road in the countryside she faces the van they’re chasing in a bout of chicken. Love this scene. You can see Clay almost climax when the engine is revving, dying for some chaos. Gotta give it to Rebecca, she heads down the van until they swerve first flipping down the road, and the pair watch on. Yowzahs. They survey the wreck before burning the rest, people still alive inside. Heartless.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 1.24.57 AM Naturally, Hood is worried about what Siobhan’s going to do with the information she’s learned. There’s no telling. The call about dead Redbones on the highway comes in, begging their attention. Kinaho Officer Aimee King (Meaghan Rath) worries what Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers) will do after this “act of war“, as she calls it.
At a bar somewhere, Carrie gets a drink with some sleazy dude who’s obviously into her. After a while he comes onto her hard, which gets rebuffed. Then he pushes it to a creepy level. Not the right woman to pull that on, bud. She beats the shit out of him then steals his bike. Next stop, open road. What a bad ass.
Still no word from Siobhan. The sweat is almost visible coming out Hood’s pores. Then he calls Job – end of the day, they’re gone. So dad goes to see his daughter. She rages against him after their last meeting. We get some background on Hood. His dad never cared about him, now he doesn’t want the same to happen with him and his daughter. Deva susses out that he’s planning to leave. “Does it matter that I want you to stay?” she asks. “Yes, it matters,” Hood replies.
With Gordon back on the level, he’s headed for Proctor. Court is coming, though Kai’s lawyer isn’t happy. Nevertheless, Gord is back in town. His wife? She’s getting chased by a cop on her newly stolen bike. Smile across her face, jacking the finger. She disappears down a wooded trail. Only problem is the tank is out of gas. Of course Hood goes to pick her up. All the while, their daughter’s trying to steal an Xbox One game for Max and sets off the sensor alarms.
Poor, sweet Siobhan. She struggles, too. All that knowledge about Hood. It kills me to see this guy just fall in love with women then have to go – to jail, away, wherever. So tragic. As much as he causes chaotic situations, Hood is a good man at heart. Deep down. And he always gets the shitty end of everything. But certainly, he’s not really going to leave; is he?

Finally, Chayton sees his little brother. The corpse charred, melted. Nobody in the Kinaho PD wants to do anything, except Aimee. Now we know for sure Chayton is going to do something seriously intense.
On his way to get leaving Hood can’t help think of Proctor, his reign of terror over Banshee. However, Proctor’s mother is dying and he has bigger things to consider. But Hood pushes himself into the strip club, firing shots at the man himself and nearly killing him. A full-scale brawl breaks out between the men. They fight like animals, beating one another senseless across the stage, off the stripper poles. Proctor even cracks Hood with a bag of nails from the construction. Things get real messy. Hood keeps punching Kai in his ear before almost taking his head or face off, or both, with a saw. And right as Hood is about to smash Kai’s head in with a hammer, Brock shows up to stop the show. Then he cuffs Kai.
Simultaneously, the Kinaho men and women light a fire to properly send Tommy off. The Cadi is filling up with people from Alison Medding, to Kurt Bunker (Tom Pelphrey) looking for Hood again, to Kai in his cell, his lawyeron scene. Siobhan is there, as well. Awful coincidence they’re all jammed together at once, right? Wrong. The Redbones are also locking and loading.
By themselves, Siobhan and Hood talk. She won’t turn him over, simply because Banshee PD would just be obliterated by the secrets. “That badge was never yours to wear,” she explains. Now someone knows the truth about Hood, his beginnings as a thief for Rabbit and all those parts of his true life. “You and me was not a lie,” Hood assures Siobhan: “The only time I ever felt safe was with you.” Only she isn’t happy. She wants him to resign from his post.

No time for anything else now, though.
Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 1.57.59 AM Excited for the next episode, “Tribal”, as it continues this cliffhanger. Things get real serious, real quick. Lots of guns. Lots of surprises to come. Plus, it’s almost like an homage to Assault on Precinct 13 in certain ways. Maybe the shots of the Redbones and their tables of weapons was even a slight nod to other John Carpenter work? Maybe. Who knows. Either way, I dig. All of it.

Banshee – Season 3, Episode 1: “The Fire Trials”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 3, Episode 1: “The Fire Trials”
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Jonathan Tropper

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Bullets & Tears” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Snakes & Whatnot” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 5.11.31 PM One of the Nazis that killed Emmett and his wife is being hunted. By whom? Oh, you know. Sheriff Lucas Hood (Antony Starr). Shotgun and all. Because in a town like Banshee, with a sheriff like that, you do not want to be on the wrong side of the law.
Except it ain’t just Hood. There’s Deputies Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto) and Siobhan Kelly (Trieste Kelly Dunn), too. They’re all along for the ride this time. And it scares this little Nazi to death. “Youre the sheriff,” he yells, to which Hood replies: “Allegedly.” Right before they gun him down, cold blooded. It isn’t one criminal on the force now. They’ve all gone in head first.
But this is part of the Banshee‘s greatness. It makes us cross that grey area and wonder, what would you do? Personally, I’d probably do the same as them in the same situation, I’m no better. The fun of this series is some of the moral dilemmas in which the writer places the audience.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 5.15.11 PM Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) and Gordon (Rus Blackwell) are no more, as she has intense sex with Colonel Douglas Stowe (Langley Kirkwood). He seems totally cool with their lax relationship. At the very same time, Siobhan and Hood are in bed together continually becoming closer. What’ll be interesting to watch this series is how both Carrie and Hood move on. From everything, from one another. There are some exciting plots this season, so get ready.
Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) seems to have finally crossed the line. He wakes up in bed when Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch) comes to get him. Only he isn’t alone: his niece Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmons) wakes up, naked, next to him. Oh. My. God. Kai, you’ve really done it now. This is hideous. More hideous than what he’s doing downstairs with a guy Clay’s interrogated all night.
Everyone at the station misses Emmett. In his absence, Deputy Billy Raven (Chaske Spencer) has taken the job. They don’t treat him badly, but Billy wants them to respect him. Surely he’ll prove himself along the way. In the meantime, the “dead neoNazi with multiple priors” they shot and killed is zipped up; looks like a regular shooting, no suspicion on them. Brock is a little rattled, and questions why Hood isn’t. The mystery man keeps things cloudy, of course.

In the woods, men fight around a camp fire – The Fire Trials, a Redbone tradition. As if summoned from the depths, Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers) returns. He’s come back. Will he have to re-prove himself? Seems like it. The man who took his place requires a fight, their tradition requires it. Not much of a challenge for someone as dangerous and powerful as Chayton. He takes back the throne and gears up the Redbones for real action.
For the first time, we’re seeing the inner life of Brock Lotus. He intercepts a call from Billy at the BPD. How come, I wonder? Well, Brock has an ex-wife, Emily (Tanya Clarke). She does this a lot, apparently. She’s lonely, blames Brock for their divorce because he’s career oriented. Cheated on him. Yet it’s clear that Brock can’t let himself get away from her completely. Afterwards, Brock has a drink with Emmett at his grave. I feel so god damn bad for Lotus. He is a good man that’s been sucked into so much chaos, so many lies. Plus, his wife and all that, everything’s just up against him.
And then there’s poor Deva (Ryann Shane). Not only is she reeling from all the things happening in her parents lives, she is further becoming much too similar to her parents. In that thieving comes naturally. Luckily, it’s Hood himself that finds Deva and her friends robbing a head shop. Bit of daddy-daughter time. He teaches her a little bit about robbery, the good parent he is, as simultaneously her mother is out doing some sneaking of her own.

Deva: “You think I wanted to get caught?”
Hood: “Selfdestruction runs in the family
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 5.38.20 PM At home, Carrie finds Gordon waiting for her. He isn’t happy she was out doing whatever while the kids were at home, all alone. Right then and there Hood arrives with Deva. She’s got questions about their past. For his part, he does his best to make Carrie look good to her daughter. There’s good and bad about what Carrie did. On the one hand, she tried to protect her family. On the other hand, she let Deva’s real father go on unknowing, in prison. All alone. A sweet moment between Deva and Hood, as he basically confesses his love for her, his daughter. Then I feel awful for Gordon while he’s talking to Hood: “I dont care who made her, Im her father,” he chokes out through the tears.
Outside the strip joint Rebecca finds a hand around her throat, pinning her to the wall. Chayton. He threatens to come for all of them. Real soon. Seeing as how they’ve taken Alex Longshadow out. Now that’s some war talk if there ever were, and it rocks Rebecca to the core. This is what being in business – and in bed – with Uncle Kai truly means.
On a road down from the military base around Banshee, Chayton fires a compound bow at a bunch of soldiers. Then some Redbones show up for a gunfight. Yikes. Things are moving fast now that Big Littlestone is back in the county. Hood and Lotus arrive on scene to put up some fire. However, Chayton and the Redbones already have the upper hand. And once Hood sees who it is causing the shit, he’s really thrown for a loop.

Up at the base, Hood goes to meet Colonel Stowe concerning the trouble on the road earlier. Most interesting is when Hood sees what’s being kept at the base – drugs, weaponry, and best of all MONEY, tons of it. Oh, man. Just the way he looks at the cash, he may as well lick his lips. This can’t mean anything good, especially considering Carrie’s in bed with Stowe. For the time being, Hood is being cut out of the investigation. That only lights a fire underneath him. What I love is that we know Hood is ex-military, of some sort. So watching him come up against these guys will be interesting.
Afterwards, Hood calls Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison) about that “one big job” they’ve talked about, a possible collaboration they could get together on. This brings them to think of Job (Hoon Lee), who’s busy with a gun pointed at him, forced to hack. But as always, he’s one step ahead of everyone else, Fat Au (Eddie Cooper) in his corner with the fire power. Wonderful action sequence here with Job popping off rounds and getting right in the middle of the shit. When he gets onboard, everything is moving, though Job definitely has reservations about the soldiers, the big guns, all that sort of stuff. Meanwhile, Carrie is not happy, and you can be sure this is something that might keep her spirit up.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 5.54.30 PM After the credits, Chayton sits carving symbols into his bow. Readying for war.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 6.00.26 PM What an amazing opener to Season 3. Oh, and Nola Longshadow (Odette Annable) is still kicking around. Prepared to avenge the death of her brother. What will she do?
Next episode is titled “Snakes & Whatnot”, so stick around and I’ll have another recap/review for you shortly.

Banshee – Season 2, Episode 10: “Bullets and Tears”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 2, Episode 10: “Bullets & Tears”
Directed by Greg Yaitanes
Written by Jonathan Tropper

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Homecoming” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 premiere, “The Fire Trials” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.12.09 AM We see Olek (Chris Vasilopoulos) again. A younger Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross). They’ve got a man named Yuri on his knees, questioning whether he stole from the boss. He did, in fact. Not a good sign for ole Yuri, though he tells the truth. Right before having his throat cut. A look at the ruthlessness in Rabbit, heading into a swan song for either him or the ones against him in this season finale.
Then we’re privy to Carrie a.k.a Anastasia (Ivana Milicevic), Olek, the man now known as Hood (Antony Starr), and Rabbit all drink after the latest job. They talk about the diamond job coming up. Hood and Ana are each seemingly reluctant about this new caper. Furthermore, we see the little looks between the lovers, between Olek and Rabbit, the first inklings of something going on behind closed doors within their supposedly tight-knit crew. Rabbit tells Hood, he sees him “as a son” and trust him deeply. A very Godfather-esque moment.
Afterwards, we watch Hood and Ana together right after Olek sees her to the door. Sneaky, sneaky. Their love is clear, that’s for sure. They also talk about the future, escaping from underneath her father. And then Hood assures her everything is under control. This is when she finally meets the one and only Job (Hoon Lee), as he dances onstage in drag to Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”. That’s before someone heckles him. Then Job stops his show to call the dude out. He even kicks the shit out of the guy in front of a crowd. What I love most about Job and Hood’s relationship is that they’re great friends, they have a positive relationship together, and we don’t get some weird, uncomfortable relationship between this guy like Hood being friends with Job who crossdresses. Instead of making Job out as some weirdo, the writing on Banshee puts him in an excellently positive light.
In this flash back through time, we also see Agent Jim Racine (Zeljko Ivanek) introduce himself to Rabbit. This begins a long chase of FBI man after the Ukranian gangster, one we’re still in the middle of coming to the season finale, even if Racine is now dead.

Back to the present, as Carrie and Hood search out a gangster he knew named Fat Au (Eddie Cooper). Well, naturally they come up against resistance. And this leads us to a nice tag team fight for the lovers. They knock down some fighters before guns are drawn, but at least they’re able to get a meeting with the big man. As it happens, Au indeed remembers his old buddy: “I heard you died, man,” laughs Au. Moreover, Hood once saved the man’s life. A debt the gangster is more than willing to repay, tenfold.
Better yet, Au calls Hood “Soldier Boy” and we start to discover he was in the army long ago. Or well, something similar. Perhaps this is a great indicator as to Hood’s character, his true identity. How he fights. This is juxtaposed with a tense flashback, to Olek and Hood fighting with gloves on; Olek challenges him, almost as if either jealous of him and Ana or testing his loyalty, or a bit of both. Rabbit also seems to know about his daughter and Hood. Slowly, we see the messy end of this big crime family.
I really enjoy the parallels between past and present. Here, we watch the flashbacks and the present day playing in unison, cut together. Ana and Hood saying goodbye heading out on the diamond job, ready to get betrayed v. Carrie and Hood saying goodbye to Job on their way to face the final assault against Rabbit.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.36.19 AM Carrie: “How many lives have you lived?”
Hood: “None, really.”
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.41.23 AM In the New York church, Carrie meets her Uncle Yulish (Julian Sands). Then a row of gunmen. I LOVE THIS SEQUENCE! Carrie and Hood go deep, diving in. They take on the guns like two immortal bad asses, as their beautiful Massive Attack theme plays over the gunfight. Bullets spray through the church. The two lovers are stuck, much like that night on the heist 15 years before. Hood replays those images in his mind.
Then he goes to sacrifice himself. All over again. “Get back to your family,” Hood tells her. But as Hood jumps out with his knife in hand, Job, Au, and friends arrive to gun down the remaining men. Just a heartbreakingly awesome, fun, wild scene. Even Yulish gets murdered, too.
But there’s still Rabbit kicking around.
We flashback to a meet between Rabbit and Racine. The agent is there wondering about the kid picked up trying to pull a diamond steal. There’s a Ukranian recorded having called in the robbery, before the robbery even started. Oh, a thick pile of shit. More importantly, in the present Hood finds Rabbit on the same bench. That very courtyard is where he was married, so that explains its significance, other than being where his brother was priest. Rabbit talks long about the past. Then he’s given a gun to shoot himself, which Hood watches with pleasure. So Dt. Bonner and the police are left with an insane amount of bullets, blood, corpses, all left in the wake. What comes next?Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.54.27 AM Back in Banshee, Hood and Carrie return to their lives. Or whatever life they have there, respectively. Another goodbye between the lovers, as Carrie goes back to Gordon, Hood goes to the bar with Sugar (Frankie Faison). Always, they’re parting. Never coming together like the tropes of romance hope. But for now, Hood goes to Siobhan (Trieste Kelly Dunn). Their relationship is certainly tenuous, though undeniably so; they are perpetually attracted to each other. That’s just never a good sign, for anyone to get close with Hood. He simply cannot survive alone. He is a lover AND a fighter.
Meanwhile, an unexpected relationship between Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmmons) and Alex Longshadow (Anthony Ruivivar) is budding. She’s sidling up to him. They start to get sexual, and he’s beginning to believe he now has an upper hand on Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen). Only he underestimated the “Amish girl” he finds so sexy. When she seems to go for a gun in order to kill him, Alex flies into a rage. It only gets him a knife in the neck. Strangely enough, the knife George flung at him recently. Ironic. Kai becomes amazed after discovering the lengths to which his niece will go to try pleasing him. They get much too close later, as well. Yuck.
And sadly, former Deputy Emmett Yawners (Demetrius Grosse) along with his wife Meg (Stephanie Northrup) get killed in cold blood, machine gunned by Nazis in the road. A bload soaked few moments, cut back and forth with Rebecca also gunning Alex to death.
The biggest surprise? Deva (Ryann Shane) arrives in Hood’s office: “Hello, dad,” she greets him.Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 12.00.33 PM
Then, in New Orleans we see a familiar face: Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers). He’s fighting in an underground ring, cheered on by masses. He kills a man right there in front of them all, snapping his neck and spine. Following his fight, Chayton discovers it’s time to head home now that Longshadow’s dead.
This is the big baddie for Season 3. Just wait for the terror to come. It is insane.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 12.06.55 PM

Banshee – Season 2, Episode 9: “Homecoming”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 2, Episode 9: “Homecoming”
Directed by Greg Yaitanes
Written by Jonathan Tropper

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Evil for Evil” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Bullets & Tears” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.16.19 AM Job (Hoon Lee) has tracked down where Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross) is hiding, in the church with his priest brother (Julian Sands). This is a suspenseful opener, as Job follows the man of God further down into the church, into the basement.
Then he’s led into a trap. He sees Rabbit, but the priest gets a jump on him.
Uh oh. The priest has Job in his grasp now. But we get an unusual treat: watching Job do some fighting. Before now, he appears to us only as the genius hacker. In this episode, we see there’s more to him than meets the eye. He subverts all our expectations, showing the viewer he too can fight. However, while running out of the church Job gets clipped by an oncoming car, badly. This whole action sequence is amazing with great stunt work, including the impressive vehicular accident. Looks so real. Now, I’m worried for poor Job.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.19.55 AM At the Hopewell house things are slowly, steadily moving along between Gordon (Rus Blackwell) and Carrie (Ivana Milicevic). While Deva (Ryann Shane) is warming back to her mother, as is Gordon, things are never going to be the same. For now, things are fine. Is that always going to last?
Meanwhile, Hood (Antony Starr) is living a lie, still, as Carrie tries to live the truth. Right now, the man known as Lucas Hood has to deal with the fallout from Deputy Emmett Yawners (Demetrius Grosse) and his run-in with the Nazis. He seems to want to take time off. Hood understands what he did, but Emmett is a righteous dude. He doesn’t want to become that type of person, reactionary and violent. No matter what the stakes. And that’s a nice parallel between him and Hood. Even in his darkest moments, Emmett isn’t willing to give himself over to total emotion, whereas Hood is all emotion and nerve.
Carrie: “Sometimes when you live with a lie for long enough it starts to feel like the truth
The remaining Nazi in the hospital gets a visit from Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch), doing what he does best. No loose ends for Mr. Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) and his business. Funny going back to these earlier seasons, as Kai ends up having a long and troubled history with the Aryan Brotherhood.
But those aren’t the only loose ends. Clay heads over to the strip club where Juliet (Maya Gilbert) is working. Having already suggested her name to to her uncle and Clay, Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmons) warns the mother to get going. And before Clay gets there, she’s gone, luckily. Rebecca sends her off, running from town. This in turn puts a stick in the spokes for Banshee PD. Although Hood’s focused on his new angle involving Alex Longshadow (Anthony Ruivivar). Strange enough, Alex is busy getting closer to Rebecca. So many elements to Proctor and everything hovering around him.
Speaking of Proctor, he gets a visit from Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison) in jail. They have a bit of an argument over Hood, his plans, what Sugar does or does not know. I love these two characters, both separately and together. There’s a history over the town of Banshee between these men, now that’s broken because Sugar didn’t tell him anything about Hood and what he was preparing. Lots of threats now, as Kai effectively ends their relationship.
And at the same time, Deputy Siobhan Kelly (Trieste Kelly Dunn) is still questioning Hood’s character, what he’s all about, his true self.
Amazingly, Kai receives a visit from his estranged mother Leah Proctor (Jennifer Griffin) in jail. A very surprising development. She hates to hear of her son alone, troubled, though he isn’t overjoyed to see her. All the same, this is an emotional moment. Kai, in most respects, is a sort of monstrous character. Yet there’s part of him which cries for empathy. The writing pleads with us to understand. He was cast out for not wanting to live in the strict confines of Amish culture, shunned because of it, and eventually ended up lost amongst his own life of crime, debauchery, anything to rebel in an eternal Rumspringa. Here, his mother admits she failed him by not protecting him: “We put you here,” she admits, “Your father and I. Your crimes, whatever they may be, are my crimes.”
An interesting development in the city, as Detective Julius Bonner (Reg E. Cathey), the man who once interrogated the man known as Hood, turns up over at the church where Rabbit’s priest brother preaches. Seems Bonner has been onto Rabbit a long time – he’s the one who tipped the cops off to Hood, on the fake diamonds and such. Oh, the tangled web that weaves. Down in the basement, Rabbit plays chess with his brother, worrying about the day people finally come for him.
At the same time, Job is gradually coming to in a hospital after getting smashed to bits by a car. He’s disoriented, confused, not making much sense to anyone. And he wants to get out, away from the men trying to kill him.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.39.52 AM At his office, Alex is confronted by George Hunter (Gil Birmingham). For a moment it seems like there might be trouble. The violent kind. That moment passes, as George leaves in frustration. Perhaps the torch has finally been passed, reluctantly.
Carrie reveals more to Gordon about her past. When she discovered the truth about her father, how things changed from loving her dad to being scared of him. A chilling and emotional story, all at once.
Over in the trailer together, Hood and Siobhan keep on getting closer, as they chat about Emmett. This leads into a talk about breaking points, situations where “the circumstances outweigh the consequences” and how Emmett needed to take revenge, in order to feel whole again. Then Job calls, he lets Hood know he’s in New York Presbyterian And he’s in some trouble, waiting to see if Rabbit will show up any minute. Of course having to take off so suddenly means no explanation for Siobhan, only complicating their relationship with one another.
The kicker is when Hood goes to get Carrie, right as she and Gordon are having sex. Well, he needs help to collect Job, and to take down Rabbit. This puts Carrie and her husband at odds, which doesn’t get any better after Gordon pulls a gun. Forcing his wife to admit Hood is Deva’s father. Wow. Bombshell for Gordon to hear, I’m almost surprised he didn’t pull the trigger in shock.Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.47.48 AM Off go Carrie and Hood, suiting up. Simultaneously, a couple men dressed in the garb of priests are headed for Job’s hospital room. This puts them in each other’s way. A showdown ensues in the halls of New York Presbyterian once Carrie spies a holy man with the tattoo signifying Rabbit’s men on his neck. Furthermore, we get a bit of solid action, as usual. Hood takes on one of the henchmen, hand-to-hand, while Carrie guns at the other in the reception area. Awesome sequence on both sides. Little things here are so great, from one of the priest henchmen missing a high kick and busting a cabinet open, to Carrie using a wheelchair to divert the other henchman long enough to get a shot off. So many nice touches. In the end, they manage to slip themselves out of trouble. Just barely. And Dt. Bonner is not far behind, seemingly always nipping at the heels of both Rabbit and now, more importantly, Hood. They pass one another in the hallway briefly before Bonner realizes who he’s let by him.
Later, Job and Hood discuss an old friend that may be of use. A dangerous one, as it sounds. And so the final showdown with Rabbit just may be around the corner. What will it bring? Who will survive?Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.07.35 AM After the credits, we watch Gordon smoke a joint, holding the picture Hood had under his bunk, and contemplating what’s next.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.08.16 AM Love this episode. And the next episode, “Bullets & Tears”, makes for a wonderful Season 2 finale that propels things forward into a new era for Banshee as a series.

Banshee – Season 2, Episode 8: “Evil for Evil”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 2, Episode 8: “Evil for Evil”
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Doug Jung

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Ways to Bury a Man” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Homecoming” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 11.25.17 PM Hood (Antony Starr) bumps into Job (Hoon Lee) and Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) on a bust they’re doing. He lets them go. Quickly, Deputies Lotus (Matt Servitto) and Yawners (Demetrius Grosse) find him. He says nobody passed, they doubled back. But now Brock is starting to wonder even more: is this new sheriff all he says?
Hood seems like an entirely different person than he claims. Could the mask be slipping? And how long is he safe from any other scrutiny?
Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 11.25.53 PM At the bar, Sugar (Frankie Faison) watches as the gang kind of falls apart. Not really, but they argue a good deal. Such a small amount Hood sees as a risk. It’s only distance Carrie is trying to put between them. She’s trying not to fall back into their relationship, trying her best to stay away.
Meanwhile, Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) is trying to work out his percentage of profits with Alex Longshadow (Anthony Ruivivar). Certainly they’ve got a tenuous relationship with one another. But Kai has worse things to take care of, worried about who recently blew the hell out of his warehouse. His niece Rebecca (Lili Simmons) is becoming further engrained in the business, even if Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch) doesn’t seem to approve much. Even further, all the meat at the slaughterhouse went bad. Their power shut down over the weekend. Hacked. Ah-ha!
We have to worry more, day by day, when Siobhan (Trieste Kelly Dunn) is getting closer to Hood. He stays slightly at arm’s length, sneaking out in the morning before she wakes up. But they get closer, still. Yet Hood has things on his mind, all the same. He and Proctor have a bit of a talk at Sugar’s bar. A little delusion sneaks out of Hood, as he tells Kai: “Im a cop, and youre a criminal.” Interesting twist to see him start believing in his new identity, rather than simply inhabiting it for a while. At the same time, the two of them are out trying to get more information out of the woman informing on Kai, though she’s scared to death of repercussion.
Emmett and his wife Meg (Stephanie Northrup) have lunch together at a diner. Across the way is one of the Nazis he encountered last episode. I worry, as Meg is pregnant, and the one Nazi appears intent on having “some fun” at the couple’s expense. They trouble her on the sidewalk. When she slaps one of them, he punches her. And while on the ground her stomach gets kicked by one of the others. Absolutely god damn savage. This is going to lead Emmett towards some revenge. I can feel it.
Hood finds his way into Proctor’s basement. In the wine cellar, he finds a secret little room. Where Kai keeps his antiques, weapons, all kinds of interesting things. Claims the informant as confidential later for Alison Medding (Afton Williamson).
The Nazis are in lock-up now. Talking their brand of bullshit. But the BPD make their way to Proctor’s residence with a fresh, pretty search warrant. Hood knows right where to go. Right to all the goodies, and this pisses Kai off. Bad.
Back at the station, Brock starts figuring out that Siobhan and Hood are sleeping together. Although she isn’t so happy to talk about it, as well as the fact she’s starting to get curious about Hood. How he does things, who he is underneath that mask he so clearly wears with everybody.

Kai is laying down orders now to Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch): kill the confidential informant. Oh, man. Cold as ice.
Back to Emmett and Meg. He’s now decided to take things into his own hands.
On top of everything else, Hood finds links between Proctor and the Kinaho Casino. He confronts Longshadow about the whole deal. Moreover, he wants help in getting Proctor out of the way. He doesn’t exactly get any help, though we can see Alex does not underestimate the darkness in Kai, of what he’s capable, and so on.
Best of all, Emmett heads over to the jail. He shuts the blinds, takes off his belt, dims the lights. He talks about his father, and other things. All the while picking out a nice weapon from the stuff they confiscated at Proctor’s place. Then all hell breaks loose, as he opens up the cells and lets them fight for their freedom. Never second guess a big, angry man; one who lost an unborn child, one who had his wife beaten. This sequence is another favourite of mine. Simply because sometimes we want to see the cop go bad; in this case he sin’t bad, he’s just human. What’s sad, though, is to see Emmett effectively end his career. To let these subhuman scum get to him that much. But no man is an island, no man is invincible, anybody can break when pushed too far.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 12.02.44 AM One good thing for Hood and the gang, Job tracked down Rabbit. Hooray! Maybe they can finish this all off, cauterise the wound.
Over in the trailer, Siobhan gets pissed off when Hood comes to see her. She doesn’t like what he did about the search warrant for Proctor. A real violation of trust, especially considering they’re semi-together. He acts as if he’s truthful, open to her questions, but we know for sure he will not be telling her the actual honest truth. Not about Proctor, not about himself. Nothing.
Meanwhile, they have bigger fish to fry with Emmett’s situation. For his part, Emmett accepts responsibility. He’s upset at himself. For failing his ideals and his own personal strength. He’s dealt with racism over the years. However, this act was one act too far.
And this tragedy is merely a microcosm of the problem in Banshee where it’s a “never ending cycle of shit,” as Emmett calls it. He feels that he’s let down his badge, that they’re meant to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Ultimately, he’s not totally remorseful for what he did: he’d do it again. And I’d watch it again.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 12.15.13 AM After the credits, we see a sad shot of Emmett’s desk. A picture of him and Meg. An ultrasound. The faint sound of me weeping in the background.
Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 12.15.43 AM Another great chapter, a sad one but a great one. The next episode is titled “Homecoming”, and again, I love it. So get ready to rewatch the penultimate Season 2 finisher, heading towards that big season finale.

Banshee – Season 1, Episode 10: “A Mixture of Madness”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 1, Episode 10: “A Mixture of Madness”
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik
Written by Jonathan Tropper

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Always the Cowboy” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “Little Fish” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 11.04.09 PM Back in jail, Hood (Antony Starr) sits with a psychiatrist. Not saying much, but rather sitting there simply to get on towards parole. He ends up sort of picking her apart. We start to get the feeling Hood has either been formally trained, somehow, or else has a natural gift for psychology. An observant man. A thief. An inmate. We also figure out no matter where he is, where he goes, what he does, the guy’s got a unique talent for drawing women towards him.
Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 11.09.29 PM Cut to the end of last episode. Hood hears the cocking of guns behind him, outside the Cadi. Rounds and rounds empty into the building. Hood ducks and covers, much as he can. The place is near decimated and he finds himself backed into a corner, glass raining down upon him. That is, until he hears other bullets. Bodies nearby dropping. And out comes the cavalry: Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) with an AK-47. “I guess you owe me one,” he quips to his apparent new ally.
Rabbit (Ben Cross) still has his grandson. They’re playing chess together, keeping the wits sharp. Well, Max doesn’t want much of that. In the meantime, the big boss is not happy to hear about Hood making it out alive from the Cadi. Speaking of which, everybody descends upon the makeshift police station. Deputies Brock (Matt Servitto), Siobhan (Trieste Kelly Dunn), and Emmett (Demetrius Grosse) arrive on scene to find Lucas in a daze. Only issue being the FBI, led by Agent Dean Xavier (Derek Cecil), is in the mix, so that makes everything a little tricky. When things get tense, Hood gives up his badge and walks out the door.
Simultaneously, Job (Hoon Lee) and Sugar (Frankie Faison) are doing work behind the scenes to suss out where Rabbit is headed. They can’t get hold of Hood, certainly. But everything is messed up now. Job knew it, still does, yet Hood is blinded by love and devotion to Carrie (Ivana Milicevic). Then she shows up out of nowhere to start being one of the team again: “The gangs all here,” Job says dryly.
At home, Carrie’s left a family in her wake. Deva (Ryann Shane) is so obviously thrown off by everything, like anyone would be, as is her father Gordon (Rus Blackwell). Him perhaps most of all. Knowing she’s not his daughter, loving her like one anyway. Neither of them understanding Carrie, why she did any of this, or what her life was before everything in Banshee. A confusing and brutal time for the people that love Carrie.
Hood gets on the phone with Rabbit. They have a talk, revealing Hood knows he’s responsible for so much of what has happened. This oddly pleases Rabbit. He likely just wants to watch Lucas die.
Over at the Proctor residence, Kai heads into his wine cellar. It’s there he’s attacked by the man Longshadow talked to earlier. Only Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch) is always lurking. A nasty, bloody death. When Clay chokes the man to death asking who sent him to kill Kai, he responds through the garrote: “Fucking Indians.” Now they know. Uh oh.
Flash back to jail. Hood is being analysed by his therapist about having done something unthinkable, turning back and letting himself be taken into custody. All for Carrie. In the present, he’s doing the same thing again. Giving himself over to Rabbit, so that Carrie and her new family, her new life can go on. A noble, horrific deed.
Alex and his sister Nola (Odette Annable) receive an eerie gift on the doorstep. Inside, the head of the man Alex sent to kill Kai. Included is a Queen of Spades from their casino. Instead of leaving like she planned, Nola wants to stay in Banshee. Just to see how things play out.

The exchange is done. Hood goes with Rabbit in place of Max. Then he’s knocked out, surely being readied for something nasty.
Everybody back at the bar is concerned, as is expected. Gordon shows up to let his wife know about Max being safe. Afterwards, Carrie begins piecing together what’s gone down. Job and Sugar finally figure out where they’ve taken Hood, somewhere out in the wilderness at a factory. They suit up to go take care of business. But Carrie and Gordon have things to work out, a whole life to salvage. She chooses instead to honour her love for Hood, regardless if it continues on after this or not. She left him behind once, and will not be doing it again.
In jail again, back in the day, Hood figures out the therapist is friends with Rabbit. She brings him a message – no parole, full time served. So he opts to punch her face in. Switch to present day, Rabbit and his men work Hood over. The two men face each other, Hood tied, bloodied to a pulp, and Rabbit rubs salt in the figurative wounds. Plus, there are new wounds with all the punches they give him.
On their way to kick ass, Carrie, Job, and Sugar are stopped by Deputy Brock. He asks them all to step out of the car after noticing Carrie’s got lots of fresh bruises. This is no good. So many angles to this entire story, that it’s starting to get tricky. A fine mess.
Rabbit (to Hood): “You betrayed me for love. Then you got out of prison to find your love had betrayed you, and then a few days ago she barters your life for her own? My daughter is better at punishing you than I could ever be.”Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 11.46.59 PM Well now Carrie lets the deputies in on what’s happening with Rabbit. Soon enough, everybody’s convinced once Siobhan reminds everyone what would be happening if it were any of them and Hood was in their shoes. Everybody’s off now. Guns at the ready.
Job starts things off with his characteristic sass. Then all hell breaks loose, as the Banshee gang take Rabbit and his Ukranian mobsters to school on how to fucking get down. Love how Carrie is leading the charge while the cops are taking orders. This is such a weird yet excellent situation, only on this series could this converging of characters and situations work so well. The way Jonathan Tropper weaves everything together here in this finale is amazing. Another example of his talent in this season finale.
This whole sequence is god damn perfect. Time after time, Banshee proves its weight in quality, as the action is right on par with the drama. Each is paid equal attention in how well they’re constructed, both the action scenes and the fight choreography, as well as the structure of the plots and the overall story. Honestly, this series does not get enough credit. Sure, lots of fans and enough to get four whole seasons out of it. But this should’ve been the biggest damn show of all. For all its wild unbelievable nature at times, even in its premise, the show makes up for it through so many solid episodes and arcs over the course of its run. This finale is merely one example.
There’s such a killer little moment with an RPG during the end of the large gunfight that’s almost too perfect. Really put icing on the whole cake. A deliciously bloody, violent cake.
In the end, Carrie shoots her father in the chest: “Goodbye, daddy.” Then goes to work trying to save the beaten, stabbed, nearly strangled Hood. He nearly laid down his life for her, for her family. He was going to give up his own daughter. All for Carrie, a.k.a Ana, a.k.a the love of his life.
The aftermath is chilling. Bodies everywhere. Bullet casings and smears of blood all over the place. Brock is left wounded, as is Sugar slightly. Brought out on a stretcher, Hood holds on with his wounds to get patched up at the hospital. Carrie goes to her house, though greeted by an unhappy husband who packs up his kids to leave. The whole town is in disarray, from the state of the Cadi to the streets to the very people themselves.
Worst of all, Mr. Rabbit’s body is nowhere to be found. Only a picture of him and his daughter, an old one, left in a pool of blood.
As Kai stands outside showing Rebecca the new casino/hotel, and Mayor Dan Kendall sits up in one of the windows having a cigarette, calling his phone, an explosion is set off after Kai has his niece dial a number on his cell. Whoa. That’s some unexpected fallout, while Kai was only trying to send a message to Longshadow he inadvertently committed another murder. Big one, too.Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 12.00.24 AM Out amongst the trees, there’s another crime scene. This one is bad news: they’ve found a body with a hole in its hand, next to another one. Sound familiar? Ah, that whole thing about reaping what we sow. It’s possibly going to start blowing back on ole Hood. With Agent Xavier on the case, as well as Banshee PD sniffing around, things may get sticky. What a finish to this season!
After the credits, we briefly see a young man named Jason Hood calling to try and find his father. Oh. My. God. Another string to get pulled from out of the wool the fake Hood is weaving. And with a video on YouTube of Hood fighting that MMA champ, it’s about to get real interesting in the little town of Banshee. All over again.
Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 12.03.34 AM Next season is a blast. Only gets better with each passing set of episodes. Another ten coming at you soon, as I review Season 2. This’ll be my second or third watch of these episodes, and still I always find enjoyment. A solid, quality work of television magic.