Banshee Season Two Catch-up (Episodes 1-4)
This review covers the first four episodes of season 2 of Banshee so spoilers....
Well, at the end of season one, Sheriff Hood had managed to get lost in a climax that involved the FBI, the Russian mob, the Amish and Native Americans. Oh, and a whole lot of ammunition, lots and lots of guns, dead bodies and bullet holes...in people. To make matters worse the real Sheriff Hood's body was discovered, threatening to reveal our false Hood's assumed identity. As a climax to a series that has played fast and loose with American history, narrative and stereotypes, it was just about the perfect balance between jeopardy and offensive nonsense.
Season 2 picks up the aftermath. The FBI are mopping up the damage and have enabled "The Rabbit" (Ben Cross) to disappear whilst Carrie's marriage is in a bad way and her children far from in-love with what she has put them through. Hood is engaged in ensuring his secret remains kept and his deputies are up to their necks in the same crap as him for their part in lending a hand to the mobster massacre. Now, Policemen and women can get put on probation but civilians like Carrie find themselves in court for their part in the gun-toting.Unable to prevent Carrie's incarceration, Lucas advises her to keep her head down and do her time without incident - something that doesn't come easy. Meanwhile, Lucas is developing a side-line in robbing the casino and the new Chief Alex Longshadow is blaming Proctor for this challenge to his authority. Soon a full scale war, kidnappings and murder included, is under way and Rebecca is taken in order to get back the proceeds of the robbery. Ironically, Proctor requires Hood to return the favour he owes and to retrieve Rebecca.
The communities of our characters are broadened out as well. We learn of Deputy Kelly's ex, a recently released wife beater, of Proctor's nephew and the power struggles within the Native American society. Episodes 3 and 4 introduce Chayton Littlestone, a man mountain who Hood nearly dies in arresting and who looks to be a new villain for the series. The same two episodes put the Amish and the Native Americans at loggerhead, and conversely create an uneasy peace between Longshadow and Proctor. This builds to a re-introduction of The Rabbit who uses the ruse of being disabled to hoodwink Carrie whilst developing his next move. Hood adds several more notches to his bed post and meets a chip off the old block (if he was really Lucas Hood). Rebecca proves a quick study and picks up the business from her uncle whilst getting used to her exile from her kin, and Job leaves Banshee after convincing Hood that their cover is certain to be blown.
Some excellent set-pieces with some near the knuckle sex and violence ensure the show retains its edge. The set-up is getting close to breaking point with so many people knowing Hood isn't who he says he is and so many women having enjoyed his company that the Carrie love story is getting old. New villains are already set up for Hood to knock down and clearly The Rabbit has something up his sleeve (geddit?). Banshee remains vital, fun and bloody and as long as it keeps away from using sexual assault as part of it's entertaining armoury, I will remain on it's side (some of the sub-plots around Rebecca have been nearing this idea and I suggest the writers just forget it).
A season 3 has been confirmed which is great news, let's just keep enjoying this mad, mad show...
Banshee is shown in the US on Cinemax and can be watched on their website if you live in that fine country. Over here, season one is showing on Sky One