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.


Outcast – Season 2, Episode 2: “The Day After That”

Cinemax’s Outcast
Season 2, Episode 2: “The Day After That”
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Adam Targum

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “Bad Penny” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Not My Job to Judge” – click here
Pic 1With a car in a ravine, a police officer checks the scene. Inside is the dead body of Megan Holter’s (Wrenn Schmidt) husband Mark (David Denman). Now begins an interesting strain of the story, where we have to wait and watch as Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) and his sister Megan deal with the fallout of demonic possession in the rest of their lives.
Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey) and Kyle are off to do their work. They visit Evelyn Bailey (Claire Bronson), who’s been possessed awhile. They want to know where Sidney’s been prowling. We watch as Kyle breaks out the big guns, cutting himself to draw blood, threatening the demon with his essence. Turns out that Sidney has a “partner” in all this madness. Problem is Kyle’s had enough of all the viciousness, the heavy handed way they’ve had to go about their business. Takes a toll. All the while Sidney (Brent Spiner) is off recuperating somewhere.
Pic 1AIn jail, Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) sits in his bunk patiently. Watching the world around him. I wonder to what length he’ll go, or fall, in Season 2. Seems like he’s poised for something large. A little later Patricia (Melinda McGraw) goes to see him, and he confesses to burning down the trailer where her son was supposedly staying.
Then there’s poor Megan, having terrible visions of blood at her feet, her wrists cut. Traumatising stuff that she can’t stop herself from seeing. And little Amber (Madeleine McGraw) stays wary of her aunt, knowing what she’s seen of her mother’s possession.
Kyle picks up Mark’s things at the morgue, seeing his body for the last time. Also in the morgue is a severely mangled corpse, its mouth sewn shut, insides and out decomposed and soupy. To the floor drips a similar green substance that we saw Sidney cough up earlier. Uh oh.
At the station, Giles takes flack from the Mayor (Toby Huss), about his run-in with Evelyn, Sidney, Rev. Anderson sitting in jail. The Mayor wants Giles to take a rest, let someone else take charge. But the guy wants to do some good, and bureaucracy of any kind isn’t going to help anybody; especially not himself or Kyle.

Megan is devastated by what she’s done to her husband, that she stood there watching as he bled on the floor. When Kyle tries explaining her possession, something “controlling” her – like his mom, like Alison – it isn’t easy to hear. She doesn’t really want to hear that, though. It seems like a load of shit, a way to pass off guilt. She hasn’t yet seen, or understood, the things Kyle’s seen before. He’s likewise got to try shielding his daughter Amber from what she’s seen; the girl worries about whether the “monster” will go back inside of aunt Megan, her mother. This does nothing to quell her dad’s worries, either.
At the morgue, Sidney visits the nasty corpse. He finds the drippings on the floor, and it’s as if he’s got his own worries. Down in the cell block, the Rev tries helping the prisoner next to him who’s going through withdrawal; just another way for Anderson to try patching up his own soul. Then the guy flops around on the floor a bit. Is it a junkie’s last moments? Or is it a demon awakening? “Kyle Barnes isnt here to save you,” it tells the reverend before slamming itself into the bars to get at him, until dropping bloodied to the floor.
At the hospital, Kyle goes to visit his mother. He talks briefly with Dr. Park (Hoon Lee). His mom’s body is shutting down for good. Gradually slipping away with only months, probably days, left to live. The doc expresses concern for Kyle, though he starts wondering about what Dr. Park is up to; he watches him in the parking lot. Then gets a call that Amber’s run off, just as the good doc attacks his car with a tire iron. Christ, that was creepy!
As for the Rev, he didn’t kill Patricia’s son. The body from the morgue was under the trailer for three decades. A woman killed in ritualistic fashion. But you know it’s all connected. You know it.

In the morgue the old decomposing corpse is taken by someone under the cover of night. And though I want to know why, I don’t want to know, too.
Looking through her husband’s things Megan laments her tragic loss. Although something continues calling her, out into the darkness. Ultimately, will the darkness win? Can she overcome it, so as not to let the demons conquer her?
Dr. Park and Sidney are familiar with each other. The doc is all part of the plot, and Sidney – he’s sure that Kyle is going to suffer for what he’s done.
Oh, there is so much evil afoot.
Pic 4ASeason 2 is going so well. Very dark, lots to look forward to on the horror front and the drama, as well. Fugit, as always, is spectacular, and his Kyle Barnes is a character that reels me in.

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 review of the previous episode, “Tribal” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “You Can’t Hide From the Dead” – click here
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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.
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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.
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After the credits, we see Chayton rise from the water somewhere. Walking out, towards his next prey.
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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 review of the previous episode, “Real Life is the Nightmare” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “We Were All Someone Else Yesterday” – click here
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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.
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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.”
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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
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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.
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After the credits, we see Siobhan’s lonely, abandoned Airstream trailer, the door blowing in the wind.
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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 review of the previous episode, “A Fixer of Sorts” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Tribal” – click here
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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After the credits, we simply zoom in tight on Chayton’s war painted face, his eyes, as the shots ring out.
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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 review of the Season 2 finale, “Bullets & Tears” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Snakes & Whatnot” – click here
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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.
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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
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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.
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After the credits, Chayton sits carving symbols into his bow. Readying for war.
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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 review of the previous episode, “Homecoming” – click here
* For a review of the Season 3 premiere, “The Fire Trials” – click here
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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.
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Carrie: “How many lives have you lived?”
Hood: “None, really.”
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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?

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.

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.
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Come back for some Season 3 recaps and reviews soon enough.

Banshee – Season 2, Episode 9: “Homecoming”

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

* For a review of the previous episode, “Evil for Evil” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Bullets & Tears” – click here
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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.
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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.
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Carrie: “Sometimes when you live with a lie for long enough it starts to feel like the truth
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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.
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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.

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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?

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After the credits, we watch Gordon smoke a joint, holding the picture Hood had under his bunk, and contemplating what’s next.
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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 review of the previous episode, “Ways to Bury a Man” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Homecoming” – click here
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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?
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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.
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One good thing for Hood and the gang, Job tracked down Rabbit. Hooray! Maybe they can finish this all off, cauterize 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.
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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.
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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 2, Episode 5: “The Truth About Unicorns”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 2, Episode 5: “The Truth About Unicorns”
Directed by Babak Najafi
Written by John Romano

* For a review of the previous episode, “Bloodlines” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Armies of One” – click here
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Finally, Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) is let out of prison. No dream. Waiting for her is not Gordon (Rus Blackwell). It’s Hood (Antony Starr). And they’re headed off for an adventure together.
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Of course Carrie misses home. Her children. Hood’s keeping an eye on Deva (Ryann Shane), much as possible. The two talk together in the truck headed along the highway. But Hood also spies a a car trailing them. Who could it be? Likely not Rabbit. Or is it? Maybe Agent Racine (Zeljko Ivanek). Someone else, somebody worse? We’ll find out eventually.
Along the way, the two rekindle parts of their relationship. She still has that family, but their connection is too strong to die. Hood even uncharacteristically mentions his father, which Carrie – Ana – finds surprising. He’s too busy with paranoia. He sees a vision of Rabbit (Ben Cross) in the crowd. The dark car tailing them is never too far off, and Carrie notices. What’s more fun is when they’re having ice cream, just kicking around. They spend their leisure time chatting about security cameras in shops across the road. They’re thieves at heart, she simply does not realize that fact yet.
Soon, Hood goes to confront the person in the tailing car. It’s a woman with groceries. Nothing suspicious. Is Hood slipping, or is there actually someone out there following?

Long ago, Carrie and Hood talked of a house out in the country. So they go to see it.
Their theme – the Massive Attack music played during their loving moments – always kills me. Nearly brings a tear to my eye on its own. Then there are scenes like this one, where they go to the house that will never be. Out in these beautiful open fields, they find a rundown house where Hood planned to take them, fix it up. Live on their own, away from the world and away from Rabbit, the robberies, the police. This is the first episode which slows down enough to a pace where the real romance between Carrie and Hood is brought to the front. Lots of it is already evident. Here, though, it’s an episode mainly consisting of solely these two characters. We see their old plans, while Hood simultaneously brings forward his next plan: moving on.
And this is the thing, Hood once had a plan. With her. Now that’s nothing, she has a family – even if they’re split apart for now – and there’s no more him and her. Likewise, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone else around him. He doesn’t want to cause any further collateral damage. “You had all the things you were supposed to have with me and that fuckinkilled me,” Hood admits, before also saying knowing Deva is his made him want to stay. He rationalized keeping her safe, but it was always him that Rabbit wanted.
Then Hood dreams of a nice life with Carrie. All the things they wanted. Ending with Carrie shooting him in the face right before he wakes up next to her, sound asleep by his side.

Out in the nearby fields, Hood still feels there’s someone watching. He goes searching and finds Agent Jim Racine spying on them from far away. So they go back to the little house for a chat. He only wants to kill Rabbit. He figured they were good bait, to draw out the old gangster. Well, Hood is not pleased with any of what’s happening. Racine’s dying, he couldn’t care any less about how things shake out. Then we discover Racine knows, partly, the truth about the man known as Hood; he knows that he’s not the real Lucas Hood. Racine has intel on the big diamond heist, the one where Hood went down, interrogated by a Detective Julius Bonner (Reg E. Cathey). All the same, Hood doesn’t want to kill any more, and Carrie doesn’t want him to leave with partial knowledge of Hood’s real identity. Deal is, they help Racine get Rabbit, nobody comes for them. This quickly ends when Racine gets sniped through the window. Right in the head.
There was indeed someone hiding in that tall grass.
In their once dream home, Carrie and Hood now must face another battle. Unknowingly, the sniper starts a little fire in the house. The dreams of Carrie and Hood will literally burn to the ground. But out in the grass, the dynamic duo sneakily track down their would-be assassin. Such a great action sequence, that’s both packed with intensity while also coming off in a subtle manner. Eventually, they take down the sniper when Carrie manages a good shot – the woman in the car earlier was indeed tracking them. Sent from Rabbit.

That theme again. God damn you, Massive Attack!
Hood and Carrie head back to Banshee. In the background, their home burns. A metaphor for their own love, their relationship, that has now all but burned completely to the ground sadly. Yet their love is so deep. Faced with every last odd in the book, it won’t ever be fully extinguished. Never will it burn all the way out.
For now, they’re back to their lives in Banshee. But can that really be their end? Certainly not. Hood heads over to see Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison) at the bar for a drink and a talk, as usual. He fills his buddy in on the events of the road trip, getting hunted down. All that good shit. Nothing can fix Hood’s anger and frustration right now, though.
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After the credits, Hood beats the hell out of a punching bag, a picture of Carrie and her family nearby. Hard to quell a love and lust for someone when they were meant to be together forever, now forever seems much longer for him.
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Great, great episode. A favourite of mine in the entire series. Next up is another solid chapter titled “Armies of One” that brings in a fun little character, one that helps push Hood to the limit for an exciting, thrilling episode.

Banshee – Season 2, Episode 3: “The Warrior Class”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 2, Episode 3: “The Warrior Class”
Directed by Ole Christian Madsen
Written by Evan Dunsky

* For a review of the previous episode, “The Thunder Man” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Bloodlines” – click here
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Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) sits in jail. Disoriented. Feeling awful, filled with guilt. Thinking only of her family. But she does have a visitor waiting for her: Hood (Antony Starr), of course. Luckily, Carrie never got any further time for her brawl last episode. She’s more worried about Rabbit (Ben Cross) coming back for her, the kids. All of them. As always, Hood reassures there’s nothing to fear.
Interesting how he went to see her even though she didn’t go see him in the entire 15 years he served. Shows how deep his love for her goes.
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Out in in the country, Lana Cleary (Amber Midthunder) and Solomon Bowman (Gunnar Carrigan) are together. A forbidden relationship. They talk about running away, from the Amish county, from the reservation. Together. Young love trying to break away from the shackling traditions of their respective communities. Sadly, their relationship is destined for something far more sinister. Someone knows about them, and it seems as if they’re intent on putting an end to it. More permanent than keeping the two separated.
Because Solomon goes missing while Lana’s body is found on Amish property. This spurs on a divisive period for Banshee as a town. The Amish and Kinaho tribe are at odds, viciously so. This is possibly one of my favourite episodes out of the entire series. Banshee and its writers finally put the Amish and Native American elements to work in a great way. One of this show’s unique qualities happens to be the mix of these different creeds, their sets of beliefs, all in the space of a small town. There was bound to be something like this to come along eventually, which the writers take advantage of here. Not only is it intriguing writing, this further puts Hood in the mix with some dangerous elements. Namely, Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers). He is the newest big bad to wander into Hood’s view. And those of us who’ve seen the series through know he is a formidable opponent, one that provides an awesome Native American character for television. Yes, he’s a villain. Yes, he does some wild things. But it is still refreshing to see that a Native American is given a role that would often just go to an average white guy. This way, there’s a variety and a special angle for Banshee to play out.
With everybody involved now, there’s a wide search for Solomon. The death of the young woman seems to really affect Hood. He’s now saddled with his first real test, as the Sheriff of Banshee. Before now it was all fun and games. This tasks him with actually solving a crime and serving justice. Not an easy task at that.

Reservations are their own jurisdictions. So Banshee Police Department has no legal recourse while on reservation land. Still, on charges Hood. Like a bull in a china shop. You’ve got to give it to him: his balls are massive. Up at a house on the land, Hood goes in to look around while Deputies Brock (Matt Servitto), Kelly (Trieste Kelly Dunn), and Yawners (Demetrius Grosse) are once again left to just go head down and follow him into whatever comes. Naturally, the deputies come up against resistance, hostile at that. The Redbones, a reservation gang, wind up discovering Hood poking around. Only it isn’t the gang themselves that are so scary. It’s Chayton. The fact he’s 6’3″, about 250 lbs, tattooed, and has the anger of several generations behind him. He is a great character. Geno Segers is a talented dude – his voice alone is intimidating.
You know what happens. Hood takes on Chayton in a brawl. Eventually, the entire Banshee Police Department basically has to take him down.

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Chayton ends up in BPD custody. Locked in a cell, for now. We know there are bigger things brewing.
Most interesting is the fact now Jason Hood (Harrison Thomas) shows up at the Cadi. He’s looking for his estranged father. And best of all, he knows that this Hood is not his father. All the while, Gordon (Rus Blackwell) and Alison Medding (Afton Williamson) are on the case of the young dead woman from the reservation. Things are getting sticky, as Hood is in the mix with so much baggage there’s no telling what might happen next.
Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) goes to confront his family that shunned him so long ago. He might be capable of helping, though they do nothing to involve him. Just then, a ton of the Natives show up with baseball bats ready to beat down the “fucking Dutchie” and all that nasty business. Well, Kai and Clay put on a show for them. A brutal one.
Simultaneously, Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmons) discovers information about her brother’s whereabouts from another Amish girl she knew well before leaving the community. Good team, Uncle Proctor and Niece Bowman. Amazing enough, Mama Proctor comes out to see her son, first time in so long. And she agrees: if Kai can help, so be it. They only want to find the boy.

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Hood starts sussing out the actual Hood’s son. He owes money, apparently. Some people are after him. Certainly Jason is smart enough to realize this man who’s not his dad has some reach. He wants to disappear and not be constantly watching his back. This resonates with Hood, son or not. The man known as Lucas Hood knows what it’s like to consistently be on his guard. All these things converge to push Hood and his too-big heart into helping the kid. For his part, Sugar (Frankie Faison) sets Jason straight on what the man now named Hood is really like – he’s a good guy, even killed the guys that murdered Jason’s dad. So in a roundabout way, Sugar gets through to him. Well, kinda.
In the woods Rebecca is attacked by an unknown assailant. She runs through the forest trying to get away and soon enough runs into the arms of Hood, as the police are out looking for Solomon. Hood chases the attacker into the woods, eventually losing him, getting knocked down, but popping off enough shots to get the guy in the leg. Though he runs off in the end.
In prison, Carrie is going through the motions. She sits in the midst of everybody, lifeless, nothing left. Meanwhile, Hood and Siobhan are together in her trailer; he’s not alone. This juxtaposition is sad. Hood is so lonely and has been for so long, even if he loves Carrie there’s only so long he can hold out: “This is a bad idea,” he tells Siobhan as they undress. And Gordon, he wastes away in a strip club, getting stoned, drunk, lap dances that never seem to satisfy anything. Everyone’s a little broken. Or a lot. They all find solace where they can, except Carrie who can’t find any inside the walls of that prison. The others, they do their best. Ultimately, the relationship between Siobhan and Hood is one that’s doomed, though we have to wait to see just how doomed it can get.

And Nola, she hasn’t disappeared yet. She’s busy waiting for revenge on the one who killed that precious young Native girl. Likewise, after the credits we see Chayton in his cell, smearing blood like war paint across his cheeks.
The danger is coming.
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Amazing episode. Another favourite of mine. Soon, I’ll do another recap and review on the next episode “Bloodlines”, which continues a great chapter in the series. Almost like a double-parter to this one, though the storyline and plots within keep going for quite a time. Excellent writing, as usual, in a exemplary arc involving Chayton, Nola, and the entire tribe aspect versus Hood and the Banshee P.D.

Banshee – Season 2, Episode 2: “The Thunder Man”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 2, Episode 2: “The Thunder Man”
Directed by Greg Yaitanes
Written by David Schickler

* For a review of the previous episode, “Little Fish” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “The Warrior Class” – click here
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Hood (Antony Starr) and Nola Longshadow (Odette Annable) hooking seems too coincidental to be random. We’ll see if this leads to anything else. At the same time, Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) tries to move on with no family, all by her lonesome.
At the Proctor house, Kai (Ulrich Thomsen) is always training himself to keep ready for the next fight. Upstairs, Rebecca (Lili Simmons) is touching herself while thinking about Hood and her uncle simultaneously. Not a good situation, for any of them. Everybody’s criss-crossed and tangled up, each with their own trouble, each with their own rock like Sisyphus desperately trying day after day to push it back up the hill. None of them seem capable of budging. Stuck in their own respective cells, of guilt, of shame, of all sorts of elements.
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At his strip club, Kai receives a visit from Deputy Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto). They chat about bodies dug up in the woods – men who worked for Proctor – about Kai’s own talk with the FBI, and more. Clearly there’s going to be more to come, as Brock now discovers Kai last saw those men the same day Sheriff Hood arrived. Have mercy!
Over at the tribal council, Alex Longshadow (Anthony Ruivivar) finds there are questions of his leadership. There’s a meeting called without him knowing, so that pisses him off. The men there treat him like a kid, and we can already suss out that this is going to change. Somehow. Some way.
Surprised at work, Siobhan (Trieste Kelly Dunn) is confronted by her abusive ex-husband Breece Connors (Peter Scanavino). He’s trying to be all sweet, this, that. Then because of work he tries to get her to lift a restraining order against him. The history is obviously tense. Nothing good will come of this, that’s for certain.
In the courtroom, Carrie is sentenced to 30 days in a correctional facility. One that happens to be 200 miles away from Banshee. That’s rough. Out in the hall, Gordon (Rus Blackwell) cracks Hood in the mouth, trying to get a fight out of him. The Sheriff only twists him up against the wall rather than kick the shit out of each other. We can see clearly Gordon is breaking a bit, taking pills for his shoulder. Hope that’s not a slippery slope.

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A flashback shows Siobhan and Breece out together, husband and wife. When she’s out dancing, he beats another man dancing with her. Before turning his attention to his own wife, slapping her across the face and calling her out for causing the whole thing. In the present, she’s distressed by the whole situation. Having him back there. None of that helps, neither does the entire police station knowing about her business. She blows off steam by firing shot after shot to an empty clip at the gun range.
Revenge now on Kai comes in the form of an explosion at the abattoir. Longshadow blows some things up, to Kai’s surprise. Of course now there’s a bigger confrontation building. One that we can expect to get darker, bloodier, and much more violent.
At her trailer, Siobhan finds Breece fixing stuff up. He does anything to worm back into her life. Parallel to that, Carrie tries to go see Deva (Ryann Shane) at home and gets lots of attitude; I can’t exactly blame the girl. She’s mad at her mother for betraying her family and especially Max, the youngest of her children. A devastating blow all around. These two women juxtaposed is an interesting scene, as they’re each dealing with fallout at home in very different ways.
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When Rebecca goes to see Hood, a couple army guys at Sugar’s (Frankie Faison) place start to get up in her business. They physically assault her, starting to get more serious. Right as Nola Longshadow kicks the hell out of them with her bad ass female power. She ain’t there to save Rebecca, though. She’s there to get a hostage. Over with Alex, they clash on what’s the best way forward.
Kai is busy trying to track his niece down. Immediately going over to Hood’s place, who has no idea about where she’s gone. Now, these two are on the case together. Alex lets Proctor know where his niece is located. They have a chat over the phone that doesn’t do much but inflame the entire situation. Alex believes Proctor robbed his truck. Funny enough, Kai stands next to the man that did. Best of all, Hood is the man to go to for things like this. Y’know, ass kicking things, no holds barred. Plus now Kai is calling in the favour Hood owes him.
So off he goes to save the day. Heading inside, Hood is faced with navigating across jurisdictional borders into reservation territory. Job helps from the car hacking security systems and such. Inside, Hood does all the heavy lifting. Love how fearless he is as a character. While he’s got amazing ability as a fighter, he does get his ass kicked, and proves how tough he can get when necessary. “That sounded nasty,” Job says over the earpiece after Lucas gets through a large security guard. One of my favourite fight sequences comes here when Hood gets trapped on a set of stairs by two guards with their steel batons. Again, he makes it through. Just with a couple knocks. Overall, this whole sequence inside the casino is well choreographed and makes the episode exciting as hell. Definitely some of the better fighting in the first couple seasons here. And the camera work matches it well, as Hood pushes through the hallways and more guards just come out of the woodwork. He winds up talking himself and Rebecca off reservation land, and all is swell. For the time being.
Later, when Alex is out in his hot tub he receives a visit from Kai and Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch). They interrupt a romantic little evening. By pouring lots of chopped up meat, organs, offal, et cetera, from the abattoir into the tub with Alex and his lady friend. That’s god damn disgusting. And ominous, with Kai making big threats.

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Hood is off to drop Carrie at jail. He remembers going in himself, not wanting to see her face the same things. He gives her advice, even if it’s only a month. Still, he worries about what will happen. He knows the dangers of being inside.
More of Breece sidling up to Siobhan. He finds her drinking and cooking in her kitchen after she gets up. His casual attitude about abuse is clear. This situation develops into a burgeoning ugly moment. We see her cut between present and the past, his old abuse, his current attitude that does nothing to say he’s changed.
As we saw them paralleled earlier, both Siobhan and Carrie are edited back and forth here once more. Siobhan kicks the shit out of her ex-husband, as Carrie likewise kicks the hell out of an inmate. Both women battle with their hearts, their fists, their feet. Until their unworthy opponents lay motionless, bloodied and beaten, on the ground.
Well, Siobhan leaves her opponent in a much worse state. That of death. Deserved, too.
When Hood goes to check on Siobhan, they end up embracing. Another relationship that might not be best for Hood, yet he goes headlong into it anyway. Led by his penis and not enough by his brain, except when fighting.

And in the end, after the credits, Siobhan breathes a sigh of relief. Smiling. Knowing there’s no more abuse in her future.
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A solid chapter in Season 2 to get things really rocking. Next episode is titled “The Warrior Class” and starts digging into the Amish and Native Indian aspects of the series more than ever. Stay tuned, fellow fans! I’ll have another recap and review coming up soon.

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
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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.
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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.
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Sugar: “How many times can you bury the same guy?”
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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.”
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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 shitstorm, we cut right to Deva. So obvious, yet so wonderfully executed in writing and direction.
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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.”
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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.
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Next up is “The Thunder Man” and it takes Season 2 up a level early on.

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 review of the previous episode, “Always the Cowboy” – click here
* For a review of the Season 2 premiere, “Little Fish” – click here
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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.
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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.”
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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.

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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.
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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.

Banshee – Season 1, Episode 9: “Always the Cowboy”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 1, Episode 9: “Always the Cowboy”
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik
Written by Jonathan Tropper

* For a review of the previous episode, “We Shall Live Forever” – click here
* For a review of the Season 1 finale, “A Mixture of Madness” – click here
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Hood (Antony Starr) rushes to the hospital with Ana a.k.a Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic). He gets her into the Emergency Room. Saying someone attacked her. The doctors take her inside, but who knows what will happen next. Hood’s left outside, to wait, to hope, to go crazy.
Later Gordon (Rus Blackwell) arrives, pissed off and raging at Hood. The doctor at least has good news, that his wife is stable. She’ll be fine. Meanwhile, Sugar (Frankie Faison) and Job (Hoon Lee) are left to deal with the body of Olek, as well as the place smashed to bits at Hood’s little apartment.
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I’m worrying about what comes next with Kai (Ulrich Thomsen) and his niece Rebecca (Lili Simmons). He looks at her in a different light, after what happened in the previous episode. He’s seen her naked, and something disgusting has awoken in him. He watches her, not like an uncle should, as she takes off her towel and steps out to the pool in a bathing suit. This is headed to a dark place.
The shit has hit the fan now. Job tries to encourage Hood to leave, run again. But Hood’s intent on something much different. He wants to bring the fight to Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross). The thought of Olek beating Carrie, the pain she went through, it kills him. You can see through the tough exterior. It destroys him inside to know of her suffering, sitting his apartment amongst blood and glass.
And at the same time, Rabbit himself sits looking at pictures of his daughter, his granddaughter and the family he does not now. Most interesting, he looks at a picture of Hood with the Sheriff’s badge. War is headed for Banshee. In the little town, Carrie wakes up worried about what’s coming for her: “Were all in danger,” she yells at her husband. The seriousness of her tone makes Gordon understand how dire the situation is truly. This warrior side of his wife is the first he’s seen. Naturally, it’s a bit of a shock. Well he ain’t seen nothing yet. Hood also starts preparing a drawer filled with guns for when he needs the fire power.

When Carrie goes to get her boy Max at his school, she sees Rabbit. Then Max is gone.
Now with the police involved, from Brock (Matt Servitto) to Siobhan (Trieste Kelly Dunn), things are deeper. She can’t tell them about her gangster father. Everyone is in the dark, except Carrie and Hood.
Then Gordon arrives to get answers. To all the lies she ever told. Out comes the news of her father, alive as opposed to what he was told. The FBI are naturally involved, taking over the investigation. The mess gets bigger.
On the other side of Banshee, bad business is going down. Alex Longshadow (Anthony Ruivivar) finds Kai and his niece at the construction project of the new casino. He doesn’t like that, of course. Except Proctor is the one holding all the power, as in manpower. And as new Chief Alex looks around, alongside his sister Nola Longshadow (Odette Annable), Kai shuts the whole place down with one blow of a whistle. Slowly, Rebecca is starting to see that Kai is ruthless. He tells her the only reason he shut the place down is due to the fact he promised the former chief his son would not die. Chilly.

Rabbit is off hiding, now with young Max in tow. Problem is he doesn’t know about the boy’s condition. Then ole grandpappy starts to figure out his quite grey moral code might have some flaws in it, as far as this latest plan is concerned.
Over at the slaughterhouse, Hood meets Proctor unexpectedly. Asking for a little help. He then finds out Rebecca is Kai’s niece, admitting to having sex with her. This sends the mad uncle into a rage. He and Hood have a nice little tussle. Thing I love about Kai is that for all his high class act he puts on outwardly to make his rotten core a little more easily digested, he can back up his bad ass talk. He can fight. We knew this already, but against Hood he does hold his own damn well. They’re both solid fighters. That’s a great thing about these actors, they’re all able to do these impressive fight sequences, and that gives the show as a whole an interesting quality. So many different matches, for lack of a better word, to combine.
After the whole fight, Hood and Proctor sit bloodied to talk about why Hood went to see him in the first place. He needs help with Rabbit. And that way, he owes Kai a solid. Deal is that Hood has to stay away from Rebecca. Creepy uncle stuff.

Gordon is further confronting new truths about the woman he knows as Carrie Hopewell, his wife. She does love him, yet there are things which need to wait. Shitty for Gordon, whose entire life is basically crumbling in front of his eyes.
In the living room, Rabbit waits with Deva (Ryann Shane) on the couch. Things are getting much too intense. The family is now invaded by their absent grandfather. Gordon takes the lead, though – his military training is good, we just haven’t seen it come out yet. However, Rabbit is a bad motherfucker. When Deva asks him not to hurt her dad, Rabbit replies: “This is not your father.” Bam. God damn. Everything has burned down around Carrie, a.k.a Anastasia. A surreal moment while Gordon hears Carrie talk Ukranian to her father, completely baffled with this sudden change in his wife. So many secrets buried for far too long.

Up in the casino, Alex has a man in debt in his office, as Nola lingers in the background. Well the big boss man in charge now is trying to collect on the big outstanding money. Seems this fella has a lot of debts in a lot of places. This man worked for Proctor one time, though he was fired. Looks like Alex has some greasy plans afoot.
Back with Hood, he comes across Rabbit who only tries exacerbating the festering old wounds between them. Then with an ominous warning, Mr. Rabbit heads out. Leaving Hood to face the clicks of gun hammers in the background, cocking of rifles.
Oh shit,” he says and ducks. Right as the credits roll.
After the credits, we see Nola Longshadow sharpening a tomahawk before tossing it viciously into a nearby wall. Bad. Ass.
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Next up is the Season 1 finale, “A Mixture of Madness”, which brings lots of the titular madness, some blood, and plenty of wild action. As usual.

Banshee – Season 4, Episode 8: “Requiem”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 4, Episode 8: “Requiem”
Directed by Ole Christian Madsen
Written by Jonathan Tropper

* For a review of the penultimate episode, “Truths Other Than The Ones You Tell Yourself” – click here
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Farewell, Banshee – we hardly knew ye! This show matured as it went. Despite how others saw the serial killer storyline this season, I dig it. Capped off a wild series of events from day one. Now, we’ve arrived at the series finale.
All roads end here.
Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) and Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch) find the outside of the mayor’s house crowded with Nazis. Of course Calvin Bunker (Chris Coy) steps out front threatening some serious violence. A back and forth ensues until Senator Mitchum (Dan Butler) arrives to stop the entire thing. He is in line with Kai: “You have been misled by this imbecile,” Mitchum tells the crowd concerning Calvin. The Brotherhood has national concerns. Banshee isn’t the centre of the universe. And Cal literally gets bitch slapped. There’s no telling what carnage may come in this final episode after these intense actions.
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Hood (Antony Starr) arrives to say goodbye to Deva (Ryann Shane), as she heads off to college. She’s worried about not fitting in, that her messed up life has done a number on her. But her father assures she’ll work through it. She is a tough cookie.
Over in jail, Agent Veronica Dawson (Eliza Dushku) and Sheriff Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto) are trying to get to the bottom of everything involving Declan and his serial killing. They’ve got Lilith in the box. More lunar cycle madness like one would expect from a total psychotic. Then Dawson brings up Rebecca’s murder. Another exception aside from one other woman mentioned.
With a new man running things for the Aryan Brotherhood, Kai has things under control with his drug shipments. At the same time, you know who Carrie motherfuckin‘ Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic) is watching on. Meanwhile, Kurt Bunker (Tom Pelphrey) and Lotus are investigating the Nazi clubhouse massacre a la Burton. Carrie keeps Kurt up to date, and Brock interrupts their call. So now the plot thickens.
Dawson receives a visit from Hood. She then tells him Rebecca didn’t die at the hands of Declan Bode. Somebody made it look like Bode in order to make it look like the serial killer.
Immediately, Hood thinks Proctor. Who wouldn’t? Did Rebecca do one last thing to drive him over the edge? Perhaps he flew into a weird uncle erotic rage and killed her, then tried to cover it all. But why would Proctor go to such lengths? He could make her disappear off the face of the planet, that’s his deal. I don’t buy it for a second. He loved her. A bit too much.
Out on an airstrip, Proctor meets his latest business associate, Emilio Loera (Nestor Serrano). The big deal is going down. Except Carrie and Job (Hoon Lee) bust up the party. SO BAD ASS how Carrie throws off a smile when the back of the truck comes open. Milicevic is one of the most kick ass actresses on television. Ever. And the writing helps her really break out. Loera appears to let them go, no harm and no foul.
Yeah, right. But Carrie’s prepared – an RPG comes flying through to blow up the truck. Who’s holding it? Brock Lotus, undercover wild man. They all make a clean getaway, hilariously I might add.

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Brock: “That’s right. Someone just blew up your fuckin drugs.

When the smoke clears on the other end, Clay lays waste to the others around him. He and Proctor brush themselves off and head out. Yikes.
With Dawson, once again Hood proves his thief skills. They get themselves into a tool shed where eventually he uncovers a few secrets. A cellar leads them further down where they find traces of blood, some weapons, strange dolls. A whole mess of weird, unsettling things. Then Hood finds Rebecca’s necklace, too. But doesn’t tell Dawson.
Kai is thinking of what happens next. Out of nowhere, Hood rams into Proctor and Burton sending them over a cliff, into a ravine. A nasty little accident. Busted up, Kai confronts Hood who has questions needing answers. Kai swears he didn’t kill her.
All of a sudden, Clay is gone. He did the deed. I’d honestly not expected Burton, yet it’s so perfect that it’s him. Now he’s on the end of both Hood and Proctor’s anger. Although Hood’s the only one fit to fight. And fight they shall. This might be the ultimate Banshee showdown. Two of the baddest ass fighters of the series. While they’re duelling, Kai hallucinates Rebecca walking through the ravine.
Hood is being choked out and he flashes back to all those fights, all the deaths, the people left in his wake and near him. Such a gorgeous tragic moment, like a Greek tragedy almost seeing Hood give himself over to death instead of continuing to fight. Then a flash of Deva brings him back. He takes the savagery to Clay, manhandling him to the ground and beating him senseless. Headbutt after headbutt until Burton is bloody pulp. He drags what’s left and leaves it right on Kai’s lap. Literally. A flash to what Clay did to Rebecca is chilling, as these are the most words we get out of him in the entire series strung together, and they are frightening. All the same, Kai sort of sees that he’s created the monster, he saved him and turned the man into a machine of death. Yet still, some satisfaction comes in snapping Clay’s kneck.

Clay (to Kai): “Everything I did, I did for you.”
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Back to Kurt and Maggie (Casey LaBow). They embrace as she gets ready to head out. Then Calvin appears from the distance. A brother showdown. Heat radiates off their burning stares. Betrayal is hot and steaming between the two. And instead of shooting his brother, Kurt engages in fucking Spartan warfare with him after Cal pulls brass knuckles. Another amazing fight. All around, this show has the best fight choreography of any series, and beats many films, too. The actors are also so versatile. They put in top notch performances, then they further get physically involved to do a host of fighting and some stuns. Really remarkable for a television series, as far as I’m concerned.
But here, the showdown ends with Kurt pulling the trigger, as Calvin walks towards him uttering threats. Even in the moment, Kurt weeps, holding his dead brother in his arms.
A beautiful montage here. Moving music to accompany the heartbreaking people we watch, from Kai to Hood to Kurt and Maggie, a dead Clay laying in the ravine alone.

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Hood’s still gearing up to say goodbye. To Banshee. To everyone and everything. There are things that could keep him sticking around, or keep him from floating at least. He just doesn’t feel it’s worth it. Time to get away. Especially now with his own daughter moving on. Before Dawson leaves him in the motel, she drops a file on his bed – his file, an arrest report. The real Hood, whomever that might be, is in those pages. She knows him. And she still wants him, despite that.
At the station, Lotus and Bunker go over what exactly happened between the two brothers. Things have changed for Brock and he makes it clear: “What I do know is that to do this job sometimes you gotta take off these badges and get bloody.” They’re letting things stay hush hush on the shooting. Fuck White Supremacy.
A nice Old West staredown between Hood and Lotus happens and it’s the perfect send off from these two, as a pair that grew to understand one another, somehow. Then it’s over to Carrie’s place, as Hood does the rounds. All that history between them, so heavy and emotional. Their theme that plays throughout the series is a KILLER, tugs my heartstrings immediately when I hear it. This scene gave me chills.
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Hood: “You know the whole tiall those years in my cell, you were always there with me.”
Carrie: “Im still there with you. And Ill always be here.”
Hood: “No one else. Nobody ever really knew me.”
Carrie: “Please don’t forget about me
Hood: “Never

Meeting Sugar (Frankie Faison) and Job at the bar, Hood gets a drink in him. Certainly Job is ready to get going, so he heads out. Not before dropping some serious cash on Sugar; his “tab” as he puts it. Things are ending nice and sweet for the old crew.
Not for Kai, though. Big black vehicles are rolling into town. The cartel likely is not happy with the Mayor of Banshee. And up the driveway to his place they go. The last stand of Kai Proctor, one television’s best villains in years, a complex and driven and wild man. He heads out to meet a string of men, machine gun in hand. The guns start to blast, and that’s it.
At Sugar’s, he and Hood drink, laughing it up one last time. They remember that first day or two, reminiscing, and loving having gotten away with all the shit they concocted. With all the craziness behind him, Hood walks out of the bar and onto something else. Somewhere else. Another life. He speeds off on that motorcycle he rode in on originally, down the highway and out of Banshee. Forever.
Forever? Yes. Hood is free of the past. He’s walked out of Banshee, out of Lucas Hood, and now he’s free, just like that fateful day when he left jail four seasons ago.

Sugar: “The past has kept you locked up long enough. Today theres really only one question left to ask yourself: what are you going to do now?”
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An amazing series. I keep going back and rewatching many episodes, seasons. Head back to look through my recaps/reviews. What were your favourite episodes? This finale was incredible and fit very well. Love that we never found out Hood’s real name, or did we? Try zooming in on that file Dawson left him. Maybe there’s nothing (hint: there’s nothing you can see clearly I don’t think). And that’s better off. Because it wouldn’t have made anything better. He’s proper mysterious. Leave it at that.
After the credits, Sugar packs things in, too. He heads out the door and onto something fresh. A nice if not odd little ending. Will these characters meet again? Who knows these days with all the revivals, we could see another mini-series down the road. Or maybe not. Either way, we’re left with four incredible seasons that got better with each passing episode. Drink it in. They don’t make ’em like this every time around.

Banshee – Season 4, Episode 7: “Truths Other Than The Ones You Tell Yourself”

Cinemax’s Banshee
Season 4, Episode 7: “Truths Other Than The Ones You Tell Yourself”
Directed by Ole Christian Madsen
Written by Adam Targum

* For a review of the previous episode, “Only One Way A Dogfight Ends” – click here
* For a review of the series finale, “Requiem” – click here
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Penultimate episode of Banshee. Forever. Can we handle it?
Let’s make it there together.
Left hanging alongside Agent Dawson (Eliza Dushku) at the hands of Declan Bode (Frederick Weller), last episode came with a shocking finish. This episode begins as Deputy Nina Cruz (Ana Ayora) washes away some of the blood from her fight with Carrie (Ivana Milicevic).
But oh my, Clay Burton (Matthew Rauch) arrives while Nina’s showering. Seems the job wasn’t performed up to task for Mayor Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen).
Lights out for Nina. Not too surprising, but grim and grisly.
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For all her faults, Carrie at least tries to keep up with therapy. Court ordered, but still she does it and does everything possible to try being a good mother for Deva (Ryann Shane). However, the guilt inside Carrie for always having loved Hood (Antony Starr), Gordon’s death, all of it, just bursts out of her constantly. Her therapist sort of agrees with her, though: “So go finish it,” he tells her.
Mayor Kai is having a drug shipment problem it seems. Or rather, a problem with the AB. He finds a man of his with a Nazi symbol carved into his chest. Still, Kai beats him.
Meanwhile, Hood is with Sheriff Brock (Matt Servitto) and they’re trying to figure out the best way to go forward. Nothing connects properly to Bode, unfortunately. Over at the bar with Sugar (Frankie Faison) and Job (Hoon Lee), Hood needs a cellphone dumped to find out some numbers. Job works his magic then sends Hood along with an address.
Now we come to Ms. Dawson, tied up in the dark. Only she manages to slip her hands loose, then her legs. Right before Bode comes back. God dammit.

Waiting for the Aryan Brotherhood, Clay says he’s looking for Calvin Bunker (Chris Coy). I love how none of them know how tough Burton is as one man alone.
And then the glasses come off. This sequence is great because the camera rotates as the blood splats, the screams fly, then we spin around to Clay, blood everywhere, and nobody left standing. He decimated a whole clubhouse full of Nazi skinheads.
But back to Veronica, really in Bode’s grip now. They have a little chat about life, serial killer stuff, y’know, all that kind of thing. It’s a chilling conversation where Declan lays out a bit of his philosophy on existence. She makes clear he’s a mental case.
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Declan: “I like you Veronica
Veronica: “But youre still gonna cut my heart out
Declan: “Yes I am
Veronica: “See what I mean? Fucking insane
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While his wife Maggie (Casey LaBow) is off being protected by his brother Kurt (Tom Pelphrey), Calvin Bunker finally snaps. He tears his shirt off revealing the hateful tattoos before kicking the living shit out of his boss. Brutal, nasty. A wild war is brewing on so many fronts, and Calvin’s mindset is certainly not doing that any favours.
Kai is trying to iron out his “personal issues“, as he calls them. So what’s the next step for him? Certainly most of the skinhead idiots are taken out, Calvin can’t have much immediate juice left without calling somebody in. I’m curious as to where this will be heading.
Over at Bode’s place, Veronica is going along to get along, knowing her fate. Meanwhile, Hood and Lotus are out searching for the connection to Declan. Very close now. But will they be too late? As the time draws closer Veronica gets more worried, though more witty: “Nothing more annoying than a psychopath who engages in Socratic debate.” Then there’s the equally sick Lilith (Jennifer Landon), a.k.a Kim Newton. She believes Declan made her into a woman, so she’s been brainwashed a long, long time.
This entire sequence of scenes is excellent from the way it’s written and filmed to how it’s edited, too. Tense, suspenseful. Keeps you offbeat. Really gets the adrenaline flowing here wondering if they’ll find her, at times believing they’re just around the literal corner.
And then Brock gets knocked out, right under Hood’s nose. Afterwards, he gets knocked out, as well. Uh oh.

Carrie goes so far as to threaten the D.A. Not too unlike what Proctor did to get him in his pocket. But she’s doing it for a good cause. In the name of Gordon, and justice overall. Is her final showdown with Kai? Is that how their respective stories will end here in the final season? I expect a blaze of glory scorching the entire show in many ways.
Waking up, Hood and Lotus are tied. They’re in a basement next to each other. Brock tells Hood about Bode coming to see him recently. Here, we see more of that old criminal in Hood come out. He doesn’t like being tied down, locked in, his freedom taken. “I never got to be the Sheriff I wanted to be,” Lotus tells Hood. They get honest, so close to possible death. He asks Hood who he is, he wants honesty. Finally – FINALLY! HOOD REVEALS WHAT HE DID. He tells Brock exactly about how he’s a “lie” and a “fake“, all about his life as an “infiltration specialist” back in the day. The whole thing nearly caves Brock’s head in. What a god damn revelation. So emotional, too. Hood talks about Carrie, a.k.a Anna, and the whole story. Still there’s a certain aspect of betrayal for a man of the law like Lotus.
Before Hood can reveal his actual name, in walks Bode. The creepy killer has got big plans for their night together, all of them under one big, happy roof.
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Hood: “The lie took over. I believed it.”

The creepy ritual begins. An “unexpected offering” is presented in the form of helpless Agent Dawson. Their cult gathers around, drinking weird substances and chanting: “Gloria Satanis.” In the other room, Hood and Brock try to fight their way out of a corner.
VICTORY! Hood and Lotus make it into the ceremonial chamber. They interrupt just before Veronica can be sacrificed, as they proceed to kick the shit out of everybody in sight. Fists of gury, Hood goes on beating Declan until Dawson actually has to stop him at gunpoint.
Because she wants the last shot. One. Right in the dome. A serial killer’s legacy undone.
Certainly all that’s on Hood’s mind is Rebecca (Lili Simmons). Kai shows up at the scene, too. He and Hood stare over the dead body of the sick bastard who took her from the Earth. Uncle Kai, Mayor Proctor, even thanks Hood for having gotten things done.
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Leo Fitzpatrick (Dennis Flanagan) receives a little visit from his old buddy Job. They’ve got catching up to do. And it isn’t only money Job wants. He can’t get his life back. That’s not possible. So how does one placate themselves? Not by murder, Job decides. He’s switched his identity over to Leo; every last crime tracks back to him from each angle. “I just made your punk ass famous,” says Job with his usual sass.
Poor Dawson is trying her best not to crack. Well, she’s smoking crack. Just trying not to completely break down. Trying.
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One last episode left, “Requiem”, and I’m not ready to say goodbye. This is a beautiful show that only grew and matured with each passing season. This hit its stride perfectly. Perhaps time to say goodbye now before it wears out its welcome. Still, can’t help but mourn. Stay with me, fellow friends and fans! Series finale is just one week away now.

Banshee – Season 4, Episode 6: “Only One Way a Dogfight Ends”

Cinemax’s Banshee
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
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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 wont 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.
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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 lookinfor 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.