Cinemax’s Banshee is back for an all new season and we kick off our weekly recaps with the season debut titled ‘Little Fish’…
By Michael Stets — Staff Writer/Co-Host ‘Charming’s Most Wanted’
What do a missing Rabbit, a dead squirrel, and a chain smoking FBI agent all have in common? They all reside in the Pennsylvania town known as Banshee. “Good Town, Bad Blood” is this season’s tag line for the town filled with many secrets, and the initial offering of season 2, “Little Fish,” has all the sex, crime and violence that kept you appetite satiated last season.
The episode opens with a montage of Hood laying restless in bed, throwing kicks and punches to a heavy bag as he recovers, and having flash backs of being held in captivity by Rabbit. Carrie comes by to thank him for giving himself up to save her son Max. The conversation then turns to her former identity Anna, which came to light in last season’s conclusion. It’s clear her identity is blown, but it’s agreed upon to save Hoods. However Carrie is now torn between two worlds, and missing her family. Her husband, Gordon will not allow her back at their house; the biggest consequence from choosing to go and save Hood in the epic shootout that took place in the season 1 finale.
“Carrie Hopewell? You really think that’s who you are?”—Lucas Hood
If you Fanshees remember (that is what the fan base is called, and very clever if I say so myself) the body of the real Lucas Hood—the man whose identity the current Hood assumed—was discovered upon season’s end. Right before the opening credits role and Mechanical Doubt’s fantastic opening theme plays, we see that Job and Sugar break into the morgue and steal the body. Friends will often help you move, but real friends help you move bodies!
It was plausible to surmise that repercussions would be coming to the Banshee police department, once the smoke cleared from the firefight with Ukrainian crime lord Rabbit and his mini-army. In steps Banshee’s newest character, Special Agent Racine. The newest lawman in town is spearheading the investigation of the modern day “Wild Bunch” shootout that took place, but more importantly, the main reason he is there is to locate the whereabouts of Rabbit. You see, this chain smoking lawman that is dying of cancer and smokes more than Morton Downey Jr. has been tracking him for the last 15 years of his life. Saying he is hell bent on finding him would be a major understatement.
Racine holds a closed investigation with Hood, Hopewell and each of the deputies. They all stick to the story—which the Special Agent isn’t buying—and the truth also rises about Hopewell’s kill count. DA Gordon Hopewell is sitting in on the hearings and is quite shocked and disturbed at not knowing who his wife really is. Racine levies the punishment upon all of them: Hood is reinstated as sheriff, the other are placed under probation, save for Hopewell who will be formally charged. Racine alerts agent Xavier he will no longer be needed, the punishments are light so as to lure Rabbit closer, because he has bigger fish to fry.
Meanwhile out in the woods we see Rabbit is in fact alive. He wakes up as a squirrel is sniffing his hand. The Ukrainian gangster wakes up, squeezes the tiny animal to its death and screams. Nothing says over the top than crushing a squirrel to death with your bare hand!
“This town is really something.”—Special Agent Racine
Rebecca Bowman almost returns to her Amish family before being stopped by Kai Proctor, the resident crime kingpin as well as her uncle. She is having trouble with the fact that the building her uncle had her blow up—the hotel being built to expand the Longshadows Casino—was housing Mayor Kendall at the time of detonation, thus making her responsible for her death. Her uncle gives her a cavalier reminder that casualties are part of the life she is headed for. She ultimately decides to return home with her uncle.
Next up, a high-risk, high-speed armored car robbery on the local highway. At first you might think it was a flashback of their prior life of crime, but not the case. Hood, Job and Carrie have teamed up once again for a score, because why not? Carrie is the wheelman, ripping a Ford pickup truck in reverse, right on the tail of an armored car. Hood is jumping back and forth between the two vehicles with the loot. The money they are stealing belongs to the Longshadows. The team escapes any harm from the guards shooting at them and they speed away as the highway splits toward another direction. (details on how the scene was filmed below)
Before they can get too excited though, a motorcycle cruises up behind them and forces them to crash. As soon as the driver hops off the bike, you can make out it’s the body of a female. The assailant, clad in a dark helmet and all blackm draws an uzi and opens up on the pickup. Before she can box Hood and company in, a white van (a heavy chevy) arrives and crashes into the motorcycle.
Sugar to the rescue! The ex-con, former boxing champ and newest member of this outfit, offers enough cover fire to rescue the gang. Everyone is whole as they escape. Unfortunately for them, they only managed to get away with one bag of money. Sugar pulls of his ski mask and exclaims, “I love it when a plan comes together!” I immediately recognize the phrase and hope it isn’t coincidence. If you grew up watching The A-Team like me, then you know that’s the catch phrase of George Peppard’s character John “Hannibal” Smith. As they speed off, the female assailant removes her helmet and reveals her identity…Nola Longshadow.
The gang heads to The Forge—Sugar’s spirit serving establishment—which is always conveniently empty when needed (wink, wink). They argue among one another as to who may be after them and what went wrong. Carrie and Hood have a tete a tete and Carrie reveals she was fired from her job, and with a very strong possibility of an indictment heading her way, crime may be the only way she will be able to survive. Job tries in vain to convince Hood to leave Banshee, but let’s face it, without chaos and a girl to win over, there isn’t much else for Hood, so Banshee will continue to be home base for the anti-hero for the foreseeable future.
“I ain’t the one shaking off 15 years of mommy rust!”—Job
Next we see that Deva Hopewell (Gordon and Carrie’s daughter), is following the typical rebellious teenager road, getting caught with her friend for shop lifting at the local mall. The surprise is Deva threatening the security guard with a ruse of being molested if he doesn’t let her and her friend leave.
Alex Longshadow, the current leader of the Kinaho tribe has a conversation with a unhappy tribe member, who reminds him they liked his predecessor—which was his father—much better than him, and that the stolen money on top of the blown up hotel has other members up in arms.
Carrie stands outside the window of her house and gets Gordons attention, in an eerily similar way that Hood got her attention last season. A heated argument ensues and Gordon tells her he has no choice but to charge her and that in so many words, she ruined their family.
“You didn’t hurt us. You destroyed our family. You scarred your kids and they will not heal.”—Gordon
Deputy Kelly moves in to her new trailer and is being helped by Hood. The two are clearly building a bond as last season she came by to check on him and help change his bandages while he was recovering from his injuries. It’s apparent that Kelly has a thing for him. She begins to ask Hood questions about his relationship with Carrie, but Hood changes the subject as he leaves.
At the Forge later on that evening, Sugar is trying to convince Hood to get out of dodge, as Nola Longshadow shows up and strikes up a conversation with Hood. Not even a minute later and after some scintillating small talk—not really—Nola is straddling Hood back at his place. If only we could all be this lucky. Hood now pulls the hat trick on sleeping with the three hottest girls in town. It’s ironic sex, if there is such a thing, as neither one knows the true identity of the other, or that they crossed paths earlier that day.
The episode closes out with Racine entering a church. The priest is none other than Rabbits brother. Racine makes his presence well known and warns the priest of the consequences of hiding his criminal brother.
That is it for this week’s recap. The characters continue to develop, two new ones are sprinkled in and Banshee continues to do what it does best: show off a great aesthetic, keep you interested, provide gratuitous sex, a steady diet of violence and never take themselves that seriously.
Keep it locked to Nerdcoremovement for recaps each week of season 2, other recaps on many of your other favorite shows and all things nerd!
One of the best parts of Banshee, is that viewers are always treated to an additional scene post credits. This episode would feature Racine taking a piss on the doorstep of the church.
Banshee features some great musical selections in each episode, on top of a great opening theme by Mechanical Doubt. The song playing in this week’s opening montage was “God, Country, Grave,” by Mutts. The song in the end credits was “Money” by Ivy Levan.
Go to #Banshee on Twitter to follow any discussion on the show.