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Banshee is described by some as a guilty pleasure, or elegant trash, or just crap by those who don't get the wonderfully cartoon-y craziness of it's indestructible characters. There is no way any human being can withstand the brutal beatings of our hero Lucas Hood and his gang of hoodlums. But they also give as well as they get. The amazingly choreographed fight scenes hearken back to the chop-socky martial arts epics of the 70's and 80's, but with a distinct American twist. This is post modern grind-house in all it's bloody, bone breaking glory.

This season begins with a 2 year time jump (a device that has become cliche in the last few years) and finds our hero Hood in an abandoned hunting cabin owned by rival baddie Kai Proctor. New Sheriff Brock is tracking the GPS records of a car and comes upon the cabin, and is shocked to find Hood all Grizzly Adams with maybe the WORST fake beard in the history of TV.

Brock tells Hood that he has to take him back to the station because he is a 'person of interest' in a case. Hood has no choice and agrees to go back to Banshee.

What awaits is a shiny and new actual police station instead of the Cadi (doubtless a function of the production changing locales from North Carolina to Pennsylvania), with bullet proof doors and the whole 9. They certainly could have used bulletproof anything in the last 3 seasons!

Hood is a shell of his former self as he walks past photos of the fallen, including his love Siobhan. Once in Brock's office, Hood finds out why he's been summoned: there's been a series of three murders of young women and Brock thinks it's a serial killer. He slides the photo of the latest vic in front of Hood and it's a shocker indeed - Rebecca! Yes, THAT Rebecca, Proctor's niece. Hood is dumbfounded and shaken to his core. Brock asks for a blood sample to exclude Hood as a suspect and he agrees.

Next we see Kai, fraught with grief and anger. His right hand man Burton reminds him that it's time for something important, and here we go with shocker #2 - Proctor is the MAYOR of Banshee!

Let's take a breath for a hot minute - Hood looks like the Unibomber, Rebecca is gutted by a serial killer, Brock is the Sheriff, and Proctor is the Mayor?? Are we on Earth 2?

Anyway, Proctor has a press conference, vowing to catch and punish the SOB that took away his beloved niece Rebecca (beloved as in having a repulsive, pervy sex thing with).

I know what you're thinking - how's the rest of the crew doing? Let's check in on Carrie, shall we? She's not doing well at all, still mourning the death of hubby Gordon from the bloody Camp Genoa fiasco. She's seeing a court mandated therapist (played by the actor who was Det. Doakes in the show Dexter) so that she can get her kids back from the state. He asks her how she's doing and she tells him that renovating the house she's living in helps with her grief. But at night it seems like she's engaging in a more primal therapy - kicking random ass!

Hood is also haunted by Genoa - specifically losing Job to an unknown baddie. To this day no one knows if Job is alive or dead, or where he could possibly be. All of the crew has been in a downward spiral since that day, but Hood is clearly in the worst shape, having retreated from the world for 2 years. Visions of the dead Rebecca torture him as well, but also serve as a catalyst to drag him back to the land of the living. Off comes most of the fake beard and the Grizzly Adams 'do and Hood is off to see Sugar.

Sugar is righteously pissed when he finds out that Hood has been in hiding for two years and didn't reach out to his friends for support. But more than anything Sugar can't believe that Hood gave up on finding Job. Sugar and Job had a very prickly relationship, but it is clear that Sugar respected and loved our acerbic little tranny hacker. Hood has never been one to share his feelings, but he shows enough regret to Sugar to gain his help. Hood is now on a mission to find and punish Rebecca's killer, but to do that he needs a car. Sugar gives him a sweet 70's era Dodge Charger, because could we REALLY see Hood in a Prius or something - c'mon! This is Banshee!

Hood drives out to the site where Rebecca's body was dumped and comes upon Proctor. Both raw with grief, they agree not to beat each other senseless. Hood wants a lead on the possible killer and Proctor gives him one - a family whom he has a beef with. Brock shows up soon after, telling Hood that he was tailing him because he's not convinced that he wasn't involved. But my feeling is that Brock has great respect for Hood and is protecting him while is searches for the killer. He also knows that Hood can do many things to get information that Brock can't do as sheriff.

Now we flash back to 18 months ago, where our heroes invade the compound of Dalton, Hood's old handler from his days as a spook for the CIA. Hood starts with a cap in Dalton's knee just to say hello, and then gets on with the interrogation. Dalton says he gave Job up to an unknown baddie and has no info on where he is or if he's alive or dead. Hood doesn't believe him, but before he can use more enhanced interrogation techniques we hear the whir of the ever popular black helicopters bearing down on Dalton's compound.

courtesy Cinemax
courtesy Cinemax

Hood pumps a round into Dalton's skull and the crew flees to avoid capture. Back at Sugar's bar Hood has reached his breaking point and gives up.

Back in present day, Hood finds the house of the family Proctor fingered and begins to politely ask the patriarch if he knows anything about Rebecca. When that doesn't work Hood drives a fireplace poker into the man's shoulder, which elicits the proper response. Seems Rebecca was seen with a musician who plays at a dive called Snake Eyes. So off goes Hood to follow that lead.

The final scene is a flash back to 4 days prior to Rebecca's death. She pulls up in her car a short distance from the cabin where Hood is holed up. She gets out of the car and looks at Hood with a pained expression on her face. From behind her a black clad figure takes her to the ground as she screams. Then black.

There are a couple of b side plot-lines: a possible Proctor mole in the police station, the former skinhead cop having an affair with his brother's wife, and more Red-bone Indian strife, but right now the main focus in my mind is, 'WHERE IS JOB?'

I was hoping for at least a glimpse of Job in the premiere, but no such luck.

The Rebecca case reminds me a lot of the Twin Peaks 'Who killed Laura Palmer' angle, and I hope this one is wrapped up in a better fashion that that one!

Lines of the night:

Brock: 'It's just like old times, except no one is bleeding - yet.'

Hood: 'How does a man with no hands wipe his ass?'

Burton: 'You do NOT want me to come back here!'

Dexter's a lumberjack and he's NOT OK
Dexter's a lumberjack and he's NOT OK


Worse beard? Hood's or Dexter's lumberjack beard?


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