Saturday, March 16, 2013

Banshee Finale (Spoiler Alert)

Last night marked the end of Banshee, and the season finale did not disappoint. Like every episode, there was plenty of action between flashbacks and character development. The finale picked up where last week's episode left off, and I doubt anyone was surprised Proctor came through on his deal to eliminate Rabbit's men for Hood--he's a man of his word.

What I had forgotten about from last week was the hit the Natives put on Proctor, and I jumped when he was assaulted in his wine cellar. Burton came to the rescue, speaking for the first time in the series. Until then, I had wondered if he was mute. As most of the characters did this episode, he took injuries. I presume he's alive, as he was well enough to tell Rebecca to help her uncle. Plus, we still haven't learned how Burton tortures people, if you can remember the screams from the trailer in the, "Meet the New Boss," episode.

Apparently, Rebecca is interested in her uncle. I believe there will be incest in season 2, for she holds his hand when they blow up the half-constructed casino--they blow up the mayor, too. Before Proctor is assaulted, there is also a moment where she waits with her door open in nothing but an oversized shirt, as if expecting her uncle to return for a goodnight lay. The tension has been obvious since Kai first picked Rebecca up from Sugar's and lingered a little too long when kissing her cheek.

We finally saw Hood's breaking point in prison, and it wasn't his struggle with the Albino. Through several scenes, we see him in therapy with an attractive psychiatrist. Hood jumps from hopeful to broken, when the shrink mentions Anna; he realizes the psychiatrist is one of Rabbit's employees and tries to kill her. I believe that was the point where whatever good was in him left and anger took over.

There are not many shows out there with the kind of action as cutthroat and over-the-top, almost a throwback to 80s movies, that Banshee utilizes every episode. Even the fist fights are reminiscent of Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David's brawl in They Live. When Hood's friends gathered in Sugar's, as Job put it, "The gang's all here," I knew there would be blood. They went about rescuing Hood from Rabbit's torture in extreme fashion, bringing the deputies along for the ride as if a small army. What really made the final showdown great, other than Job distracting armed guards the way an attractive female would, was how Brock put down a goon with a rocket launcher.

Banshee is the type of show, similar to Game of Thrones, where anyone can die at any moment, so I was I taken back by the decision of the writers not to kill off Rabbit. Knowing her father would never forgive such a betrayal, knowing he was relentless and would never stop coming after her, Anna still managed to make the mistake of not putting a bullet in his head because she was concerned for Hood. When we see the blood trail and the abandoned photo of Rabbit with his daughter, it's obvious he survives. It's a mistake that will no doubt cost someone their life next season.

A while after the episode, when I had time to think, I do like that the writers didn't kill off major characters in rapid fashion. It allows us to grow partial to them, so that when they do die, it's devastating. We will miss them the way the characters will miss them, or, in the case of Rabbit, we will share the relief and that odd sense of no longer being hunted. It's how it was done on the Sopranos, and it worked, but if major characters are never killed off, the show becomes predictable.

The finale left viewers with a lot of cliffhangers and questions for next season: how injured is Rabbit, will the FBI test the DNA of the original Hood's corpse, will Carrie reconcile with her family, will Hood and Carrie/Anna reunite or is he going to be involved with Siobhan, is Proctor going to war with the Natives, where did Nola Longshadow learn to shoot so well, and did the original Hood have someone that cared about him after all? After each episode, they sneak a quick scene at the end of the credits. The finale had original Hood's son in Oregon calling about his father; then he watches the MMA fight on Youtube. Hood's false identity is more in jeopardy than ever, and the second season hasn't even started yet.

I look forward to the follow-up season of Banshee. If the show can keep the tension, keep the suspense and mystery, as well as keep the action flowing without going too far into the absurd, I will return week after week until they call it quits.

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