Kris Wall reviews the seventh episode of Banshee season 4…
We’re at the penultimate episode of this final season now and this week really felt like the creators had realised they were spinning too many plates so close to the end, so doubled down on the urgency to tie up loose ends to set up the inevitable showdowns between Lucas Vs Proctor and Kurt Vs Calvin next week. In all honest it was a bit of a messy episode, despite looking really cool, the urgency to start wrapping things up fast worked against the show and meant that some of the story building reached anti-climactic conclusions, though we did get a pretty cool scene between Lucas and Brock, but more on that later.
First up, I was seriously disappointed to see Deputy Cruz getting taken out by Burton so unceremoniously in the first 20 seconds of this episode. While it sort of made sense that Proctor would be looking to cover his tracks in the assault on Carrie’s home or wanting to punish Cruz for her failed attempt, it just felt so unsatisfying to see. I was really hoping that Cruz was being set up for another ‘fight to the death’ with Carrie in the finale, but no, she was killed off screen within the first minute of the episode. It’s a real shame as Ana Ayora had made Cruz a really cool addition to the show despite the short amount of screen time she had, both actress and character deserved so much more here.
The Brotherhood went to war with Proctor, stealing a shipment of Proctor’s drugs and carving up his men. Calvin went fully mad this week and ended up murdering (or critically wounding) his boss at work, before marching out of the office with his nazi tattoos all smeared in blood. I think it’s more than time that Kurt has to put this wild dog down now, but we’ll have to wait for the finale to see that showdown. In response to The Brotherhood’s actions, Proctor sent his own WMD to take them on in the form of Burton.
Out of this we did get a pretty awesome scene showing Burton taking on a room full of The Brotherhood members, and while it was a bit disappointing that the fight happened off camera, stylistically it worked really well to show that when push comes to shove, Burton is still the most lethal (and seemingly indestructible) character on the show, with the camera doing a slow 360 degree pan at which point the entire room is full of dead Brotherhood members when the camera comes to rest on Burton again. Matthew Rauch is still killing it (literally) in every one of his scenes, even while the show has started going off the rails around him.
If somebody can tell me what the actual point was of including the serial killer story line this season then I’m all ears? It ended in such an unsatisfying manner that I’m just left wondering what the point of including it at all was? Lucas and Brock teamed up and quickly tracked down Dawson’s last known whereabouts with the help of Job. Upon investigating Bode’s residence, both Lucas and Brock got knocked out and captured. Which did give us the best scene this week when Lucas told Brock that he was never Lucas Hood and that he was a criminal all along, hiding out in an assumed identity and just came to enjoy playing Sheriff. Antony Starr impressed in this scene with most of the heavy lifting, but Matt Servitto absolutely nailed Brock’s mixture of shock and sinking realisation that his suspicions were right, so much so that he had to laugh at the audacity of it all. Obviously the scene got interrupted right as Brock asked Lucas for his real name, I guess we’re never going to know that one.
However it was quickly forgotten when they escaped and took on a room full of Bode’s acolytes and freed Dawson before facing down the man himself, the big bad serial killer that had been terrorizing Banshee all season. The stage was set for one of Banshee’s trademark fights but we were denied that Dawson just went and shot him in the head after Lucas had hit him a few times. Proctor appeared suddenly and thanked Lucas, Dawson was clearly broekn by her experience with him and that was that, the serial killer story line was over and done with. The show tried to do a tease at the end that maybe Bode isn’t dead by lingering over his body, but I’m not buying it as it’d be a step too far, even for Banshee. The worst part of all of this was even though it was staged to look that way, I never for a moment felt that Dawson was in any real danger with Bode or his cult. On top of all this, it just felt like this plot could have been excised altogether, giving the show some time to breathe and to allow more time to be focused on everything else that had already been set up for this season.
Job finally got closure on his incarceration by finding Leo, the man who burned him and turned him into the blacksite. Hoon Lee is an absolute joy to watch on-screen as Job, and this episode we had back the Job that made me love this show in the first place, all whip smart comments, barbed asides, and snarling shade. So it was cool to see him quickly track down Leo where we thought he was going to kill him, but instead he ended up killing his ‘Job’ persona, by transferring his identity onto Leo, every single one of his hacks and, crimes, every dollar he ever stole now has Leo’s digital footprint attached to it, making him one of the most wanted men in the world, by both the authorities and criminals alike, and unlikely to last very long at all.
Finally, did anyone else find it a bit random that Carrie’s therapist / counsellor suddenly just endorsed her violent endeavours by telling her to ‘finish what she started’ was more than a bit off, even for Banshee? Just a bit of a lazy way of propelling her into the finale with guns blazing. Also, Proctor’s sudden alliance with some sort of State Senator / Official, where did that even come from? What was its purpose? Why has this been included with only one hour left of showtime to give it any real depth or meaning? I just, I really don’t know anymore. There was a time when I really loved how crazy and leftfield Banshee could be, constantly surprising and pulling the rug out from under me, but this season it’s just felt like not even the creators really know what’s happening or have a have a solid grip on the show anymore, and it’s a shame as there’s literally nothing else like Banshee on the TV right now, and there probably never will be again.
It’s the season finale next week, and we’re a very long way from the dizzying highs of season 3 at this point. I’m still excited at the idea of Lucas Vs Proctor and Kurt Vs Calvin, but the most I can hope for now is that the show at least manages to finish with its held high next week. I’ve got my fingers crossed!
Kris Wall – Follow me on Twitter