Kris Wall reviews the sixth episode of Banshee season 4…
It seems last week’s Banshee was the last of the heavy lifting set up for the final season, as this week was classic Banshee, lean, mean, down and dirty, and it was absolutely brilliant from start to finish. The episode roared out of the gate, beginning with Declan Bode’s acolyte from the flower shop last week entering into the Banshee Sheriff Department with a message for Brock, before setting herself ablaze in front of everyone as an example of Bode’s power and influence over his followers. Was a little strange that only Kurt did anything to help, with Brock and everyone else just watching her burn, but it was still a pretty shocking opener to say the least.
With Watts dead, Calvin is back running The Brotherhood and quickly moves in on Proctor’s business. This was another scene where we saw Proctor on the backfoot and seemingly vulnerable, this previously untouchable villain now exposed to bigger threats than himself in both The Brotherhood and The Cartel. Calvin waited for Proctor in his office at city hall, calmly and coolly telling Proctor that The Brotherhood are taking over all of his businesses, and he ‘can either leave quietly, or he can leave bloody’. Proctor could only fall back on the hope that Watts’ would disapprove of Calvin’s actions, to which Calvin pulled Watts’ severed head out of a bag and landed it on Proctor’s desk, leaving it as a souvenir. With Proctor’s deal with The Cartel absolutely certain to fall through now, very bad things are about to go down in Banshee.
Keeping with Calvin for a minute, the Calvin & Kurt conflict escalated to its boiling point this week, when Maggie fled the family home believing that Calvin killer her father (he did, we saw), she immediately sought solace from Kurt and was offered safe haven by Brock, who immediately figured out Kurt and Maggie’s affair and questioned Kurt if Calvin also knew due to it being fairly obvious. This lead to an electrifying standoff between the brothers on the doorstep of Kurt’s home, a drunken Calvin saying he’d crossed the line by taking his wife in and hiding her. Everything about this scene was exciting, both Tom Pelphrey and Chris Coy giving this scene their all, but it really came to a head when Calvin brings up a story from their youth, when their father took them to see dog fights and asking if they ever ended in a tie, to which their father said the title line, there’s only one way a dog fight ends, then Calvin applying that to their situation, with both brothers quietly acknowledging that one of them has to die for this conflict to end……..just, wow !
Brock had a very close encounter with Declan Bode in the alleyway behind Banshee P.D., getting knocked out cold and then coming to with Bode stood over him with a huge blade to his throat. I really thought this was going to be the end for Brock after goading Bode actions publicly last week, but it seems that Bode wants Brock to bear witness to his ‘transformation’ before he takes Brock’s life. I really hope that Brock is the one to take down Bode now, simply because I like Brock and he needs a win. Brock has gone from being an annoying sort of Judas type when Lucas was Sheriff, to becoming Sheriff and struggling with the reality that his department has been compromised by Proctor’s criminal influence, and his beloved town his going to hell around him.
Lucas and Agent Dawson finally learned the killer’s identity, tracing his movements through a local ‘off the books’ augmentation clinic and then through the fetish bar they fought through last week. I like the way that Dawson’s investigation is being helped by Lucas not being held back by the same procedural red tape that she is, warrants mean nothing to Lucas like they do with Dawson. I am loving all the scenes between Lucas and Dawson in this season, her skills as a profiler are constantly pushing at Lucas’ defences and boundaries, breaking him down bit by bit as she begins to figure out the man behind the facade. Lucas has always been a pretty secretive and defensive character, so it’s great to see him come up against someone with the ability to strip all that away from him.
It helps that both Antony Starr and Eliza Dushku share a really sparky chemistry in their scenes together, her fun flirtatious banter and sexual advances to try and bring Lucas’ guard down, clashing with Lucas’ reclusive secrecy and inability to get close to anyone after the death of Siobhan last season. It all came to a head in this episode when Dawson made her move on Lucas, which seemed to work at first, until he started crying over thoughts of Siobhan, so Dawson ended up having to just cradle him and his treasure chest of emotions instead. Then they slept together anyway, Dawson is obviously attracted to very broken men. She also figured out from his character that he’s ‘more criminal than cop’, so it looks like the reveal of Lucas’ real name is finally just around the corner too.
All of Carrie’s vigilantism came back to haunt her this week and formed the big centre piece of this episode, with both the lead up and the fallout just as thrilling as the assault itself. First up Deva (Ryann Shane), Carrie’s daughter, finally showed up this season, breaking into Carrie’s home to do more Deva-ish bratty stuff that Deva has become irritatingly good at. Unfortunately for her she ran into Job, a man who can out-sass the sassiest of people, and he did just that as Deva tried to sound off about how bad she had it in life thanks to her parents, before Job promptly put her on her ass with some barbed words of wisdom. I’ve never really liked Deva as a character, so I was pleased to see her taken down a notch or two by Job, nevertheless her return this week was integral to raising the stakes for Carrie’s actions.
Deputy Cruz presented her findings to Proctor, who found Carrie at the courthouse surveying another case. Proctor approaches Carrie about her sudden interest in the justice system, and how grief and guilt can manifest itself in destructive ways, all but letting her know he’s on to her without saying it outright, and pretty much hammered home with Cruz’s self satisfied smirk at Carrie in the courthouse.
Then came the assault on Carrie’s hideout from Cruz and a small band of mercenaries that Proctor sent to wipe out Carrie. This was a great scene that perfectly encapsulated everything that Banshee does so well on the action front, especially the showdown between Cruz and Carrie, a blisteringly brutal fist fight with Cruz showing she’s more than capable of taking Carrie on hand to hand using a series of acrobatic take-downs. It looked for a moment like Carrie might have had the upper hand when she reached for the saw blade, but Cruz managed to escape to fight on to the end. More than anything though, it did make me wish that Ana Ayora had been a much bigger part of this show, possibly being introduced in a previous season as she’s been great whenever she’s been on-screen this season. We also got to see Job in fight or flight mode as his survival instincts kicked in to protect Deva and himself, and after a short sharp shock of PTSD, Job was crushing the head of one of the mercenaries in order to save himself.
However, it was poor Deva who ended up paying the price for all of Carrie’s (and Lucas’) actions here, as she hid away to save herself, one of the mercenaries found her and she had to kill him before he killed her. It took me a short while to truly realise the significance of that moment until Lucas showed up to comfort her in the aftermath, though both Lucas and Carrie have tried to protect Deva from their own dark pasts, Deva still ended up having to kill to save herself from the fallout of one of their actions, their criminal pasts spilling over on to their child, violence reluctantly handed from one generation to the next. Seeing Carrie getting angry with Lucas because she ultimately knew he was right about her careless actions was a really powerful moment for both characters too. Proctor and Cruz are really going to wish they’d been a bit more thorough with this assault now.
The episode ended with Dawson getting herself into a serious amount of bother when investigating Declan Bode took a turn for the worst case scenario. Turning to her FBI friends for added support, Dawson happened upon a case file from Bode’s past, a young woman that he’d sexually assaulted. Finding the victim, Lillith (Jennifer Landon) still lived near town, the first thing we see that Dawson doesn’t know yet is that Lillith is actually Bode’s partner that we saw having the meal with him a few episodes back, Dawson is actually inside Bode’s home. Dawson clearly knows that she’s being lied to, so leaves and begins to leave Lucas a message saying her ‘bullshit meter was ringing’, but not before Lillith shatters the window of her car. When she wakes up, she’s chained in Bode’s basement with Bode stood in front of her, ‘I heard you were looking for me’, he says before it ends, and ushers in a whole new element of urgency for Lucas heading into the final two episodes.
Oh yes, I almost forgot, Proctor and Burton just went and buried Rebecca out in the middle of nowhere. Just a random scene that came so far out of leftfield that I almost forgot it had happened until I re-watched the episode. So I guess that’s Lili Simmons’ involvement in this season finished then, perhaps
There’s still so much to resolve in such a short amount of time, but this week was a hugely exciting burst of progression and energy to keep my interest peaked to see how this is all going to play out.
Kris Wall – Follow me on Twitter