In the Banshee recap for the series finale, Hood finds out that a case he thought was solved has come back to haunt him as we say goodbye to the show for the last time…
By Michael Stets — Staff Writer
Four seasons ago, a criminal would stroll into the Pennsylvania town of Banshee searching for his long-lost love after serving a 15-year jail sentence, when suddenly after witnessing the incumbent Sheriff’s murder, he’d end up assuming the identity of Lucas Hood. This set off a chain of reactions that distorted whatever semblance of balance had previously existed within the town and spawned one of the most unique, pulpy and exciting shows in episodic television history.
Known for being both a stylized drama ripe with guttural emotion yet blood soaked in violence, Banshee embraced the action of 80s “Soldier of Fortune” movies while never ignoring character development. We knew what everyone was fighting for–no matter what side of the law they were on–and we cared why because we knew the origin to their story and we were made privy to what they were going through. Viewers were emotionally invested from the jump and quickly committed to the long haul.
Lucas Hood, along with Job, Sugar and Carrie, lead us all into a world of emotional and physical chaos filled with sex, violence, insane hand-to-hand combat and a unique cast of characters who each wore their flaws on their sleeve and came fit with a story to tell and a closet full of skeletons. It didn’t matter if you were the mayor, or the owner of the local watering hole, or just visiting. If you were in the Amish town filled with secrets, we would find out what made you tick, what caused you pain and what exactly it was you were hiding.
And now, much to the chagrin of hard-core fans–better known as Fanshees– co-creator Jonathan Tropper, show runner Greg Yaitanes and company are throwing in the towel after four seasons. The reasoning behind the move, which was decided long before the start of the final season, was that it would be better to end the show while at the height of popularity rather overstay its welcome and jump the shark, which is merely inevitable if a show hangs around long enough.
So, we get to see Banshee burn out, but we are spared from seeing it fade away, which in the grand scheme of things is probably for the best. Everyone may be a wee bit wistful, but they will always be eternally grateful for what the show has given them.
The reason for that is because Banshee has always delivered in spades with lovable lead characters you rooted for, and cartoonish villains like Ukrainian mob boss Rabbit, or Redbones gang leader Chayton Littlestone that you rooted against while unabashedly enjoying every ounce of their evil performances. The acting was always outstanding on this series and it served as the back bone that allowed the craziness to thrive. The stunts and fight choreography by Marcus Young were second to none in style and creativity and were also extremely believable as most of the cast performed their own stunts.
The show made no apologies about any of its twists and campy turns, and leaned into them rather with fearlessness rather than running away and playing it safe. And by doing so with supreme talent behind those moves, the show elevated its status each and every time out. Sure they were never afraid to go there, but they’d damn sure execute it flawlessly. Just because they didn’t take themselves too seriously, doesn’t mean they didn’t take the show seriously. That never had to be proved.
You may have chuckled after Hood split MMA fighter Damien Sanchez’s hand in half in Season One, but you’re heart strings were pulled as you watched Deputy Yawners and his wife perish in a hail of gun fire in Season 2. You felt Nola Longshadow’s rage as she vowed to avenge her dead brother, and Hood’s hopelessness as he watched Siobhan get her neck snapped by Chayton Littlestone. Hell, when Hood and Carrie’s theme plays the passion they have for one another permeates my being. How could it not? It’s palpable. These characters were real people with real issues. The show had the benefits of having creative liberties in the world of cable television, but essentially created it’s own language. When a story line got crazy I often referred to the plot as being “very Banshee,” which followers of the show easily understood.
Banshee was a perfect storm of seasoned actors meeting B-movie sensibilities that pushed the envelope while continuously keeping a strong narrative. It may eventually begat imitators, but it simply cannot be duplicated. Once-in-a-lifetime is not out of the realm of conversation when discussing how this trailblazing show will be looked at years down the road.
Perhaps it’s better that they rode off into the sunset before ever growing stale, but it won’t make anyone miss the show any less.
Fanshees heard the bad news and knew the end was coming, but Season 4 allotted them eight more weeks to tighten their grip before they’d finally be forced to let go of the madness that kept them glued to the screen watching Cinemax on Friday nights at 10 p.m. ET since its debut in January 2013.
For their dedicated viewership, they got to see Hood skip town for two years and return to battle a Satanic cult, Proctor tangle with the Aryan Brotherhood and Eliza Dushku join the cast in the final season. And like the last three seasons, more surprises are in store for the Season Finale.
Fanshees, it’s time to say goodbye. So let’s delve into the final recap for the Series Finale: “Requiem” and take one last final ride inside the town of Banshee.
The Brotherhood is bigger than we originally thought
“Requiem” opens with Proctor being greeted by a cocksure Calvin Bunker, who is in his driveway with basically the entire army of Neo-Nazis. Things are about to get bloody when Senator Mitchum steps outside to call a halt to it. It turns out Mitchum, who Proctor met with in D.C. during Episode 7, is the leader of the entire North American Aryan Brotherhood and very much in business with Proctor and the Cartel. Calvin was unaware of his dealings with Proctor and dumbfounded by his presence. Since Calvin murdered Watts, who was a Lieutenant, Mitchum informs him a new henchmen, Monty, will be put in his place to evaluate the crew and choose a new captain. The Senator reiterated the imperative nature of making sure the shipment of drugs is ready for delivery to the Cartel. He slaps Calvin, humiliates and belittles him in front of his crew for speaking out of turn. After the orders are given and the crew dismissed, Calvin spits at Mitchum’s feet in disgust.
Hood and Deva say goodbye
Hood stops by the house and says good bye to Deva, who is heading off to college. These two have always had a strong bond, even before Hood knew she was his daughter and Deva found out he was her father. Hood let’s her know she is a fighter like her mother and father and that she will be successful in life. He promised that he’d always know how to find her.
If Declan Bode didn’t kill Rebecca Bowman than who did?
After interrogating Lilith Bode so she can put a bow on the Declan Bode serial killer case, which saw several girls die and herself nearly fall victim, something just doesn’t add up for Agent Dawson in regards to Rebecca Bowman. The patterns didn’t fit in line with the other murders. Not a full moon. Not on the lunar cycle, and the obvious reason that evoked more suspicion: Lilith didn’t seem to recall Rebecca’s murder. Dawson let’s Hood in on this piece of information and is convinced that someone murdered Rebecca to make it look like the work of Declan.
Of course, those details on the grizzly murders were not released to the public, so it would have to be someone who could get access to those particular files. So, all signs point to Mayor Proctor.
Dawson and Hood head to Proctor’s house, but the Mayor isn’t home. They find a tool shed out back and Hood uses his thief skills to break the lock and get inside. Underneath a tarp is a door leading to a hidden basement and also the truth behind Rebecca Bowman’s murder. Dawson spots blood and on the other side of the room, Hood finds Rebecca’s necklace. He remembers his time with her vividly and for a brief moment is overcome with anger and clenches the necklace in his fist. However, he does not let Dawson know what he found and sets out to find Proctor with vengeance in mind.
Proctor and Clay are driving back from the botched business deal with the Cartel when Hood T-bones them with his Dodge Charger, which sends them barreling down an embankment. Proctor is outside of his car with a broken leg, and Clay is unconscious as a result. When Hood presses Proctor about Rebecca and shows him her necklace, he vehemently denies having anything to do with her death or knowing about the basement of the tool shed. Suddenly a wave comes over Hood and also Proctor as they realize who the murder is: it’s Clay, his loyal and obedient right-hand man. Through flashbacks we see that Clay was indeed the one responsible for Rebecca’s murder.
Clay attacks Hood and they duke it out among the rocks and running stream. Clay gets on top in a favorable position and begins to choke Hood. As the life is being sucked out of him, Hood’s entire life begins to flash before his eyes. Every battle, every time he fought for his life and won whether against the Albino, Chayton Littlestone, Quentin, it was all coming back to him. Yawners getting killed, Siobhan getting her neck snapped, his battles with Proctor, it was all appearing in waves as he was getting the life sucked out of him by Clay, just seconds away from death. For a few seconds you thought Hood was dead, when suddenly he thinks of his daughter Deva and it gives him a reason to fight. Hood rallies back, snaps Clay’s arm and repeatedly head butts his face leaving him incapacitated. Hood drops his near-lifeless body on Proctor’s lap as if to say ‘here you handle the end of his miserable life’ and walks off. Proctor snaps Clay’s neck and then let’s out a scream due to being stricken with grief and overcome with emotion.
This was quite the twist. Seemed things were sewed up nice and tight after they killed Declan Bode in Episode 7. Hood and Proctor didn’t come down to a final battle after all. Leaving his No.2 in his lap to finish off was about as big a victory as Hood could achieve over the Amish kingpin.
Carrie vs. The Cartel / Hey Brock nice shot
Carrie has the drop on the imminent drug deal going down on the tarmac of the old Metropolitan airport between Proctor and the Cartel. She spots Emilio Loerra in her binoculars and phones Kurt Bunker to let him know some serious shit is about to take place. Before she could hang up, Brock took the phone from Bunker to speak to a very surprised Carrie.
At the airport, the tractor trailer pulls up and as Loerra opens the door to check the shipment of meth, Carrie is sitting in the truck next to the dead Aryans she killed and is more than happy to greet all of them. They draw their weapons, but Job is on top of the truck providing cover for Carrie.
Carrie brokers a deal with Loerra to let her and Job walk away since she’s shown him that Proctor can’t really provide the proper safety measures due to her being able to break in the truck harboring all the drugs. He grants her that wish and as her and Job began to walk away, he is about to shoot both of them, when a RPG rocket comes zipping by into the back of the trailer and the truck explodes. It turns out Brock couldn’t resist taking down some bad guys, so he showed up and joined in on the fun. Carrie, Job and Brock get in a car and flee the scene while the Cartel henchmen, Proctor, Clay and Loerra were all sent flying by the force of the blast. When they come to, Proctor shoots Loerra and Clay takes out his other men.
In a classic moment of levity, a funny exchange takes place between Brock, Carrie and Job.
Carrie: “Nice shot.”
Brock: “You know, you really need to stop doing this shit.”
Carrie: “You invited yourself”
Brock: “I’m serious. It’s become like a bad habit with you.”
Carrie: “This was the last time.”
Job: “I’ve heard that shit before.”
Brother vs. Brother
We knew it was coming, but boy did it deliver. Calvin vs. Kurt turned in one of the best fights of Season 4, and it was actually the longest as many of the fight scenes were shortened up this year. Calvin finds Kurt and Maggie at Brock’s house and attacks him with brass knuckles. After getting stabbed with a truck antenna, Calvin slams his brother into a tree and after a few more exchanges and getting a few more tastes of steel, he finally gains the upper hand and rains down punch after punch till Calvin is no longer fighting back.
Kurt heads to the house and Calvin begins to walk toward him. He threatens that the brotherhood will rape Maggie, he would kill his own son rather than see him raised by Kurt. As he says he’s going to kill Maggie, Kurt empties three rounds into his brother’s body and kills him. Calvin falls into Kurt’s arms and he begins to cry as he holds his brother’s lifeless body.
Man, this was an intense scene. Calvin may have been evil, but he was still Kurt’s brother. Kurt had to do it, but it ripped him to pieces and Tom Pelphrey nailed it with his performance. Watching him cry and hold his brother was just plain rough.
A little trust would be nice around here
Brock speaks with Bunker about what went down at his house and let’s him know he’s got a hunch about what actually went down. The Sheriff tells Bunker to relax that he can trust him to protect him and sometimes they have to take off their badges and get bloody in order to get the job done. “A little trust would be nice around here,” Brock tells Bunker. He then sarcastically asks if Kurt Bunker is his real name. Brock looks down through his office window at the office of the Banshee Police Department and he spots Hood, who has come to say good bye. They don’t talk, just acknowledge one another from afar with a nod and smile. It’s Brock’s town now. The Sheriff has gotten to where he always wanted to be. Matt Servito Tweeted out a goodbye to the cast and crew earlier today. It’s worth a read. Matt Servito’s integral portrayal of Brock always kept the balance amongst the crime and evil surrounding the town. His willingness to bend the law for the greater good always made him even more likable a character.
Don’t forget about me
Hood visits Carrie one last time before he leaves Banshee and the two of them stand on her front porch overcome with emotion. They’ve known each other most of their lives and their love never died. Hood tells her she was always there with him while he was in prison and she answered that she will always be there for him. They realize they can’t be together and they embrace in a passionate and heartfelt hug. The Carrie/Hood theme plays on in the background and man, it was playing my heart strings like a fiddle. Full disclosure: I definitely cried watching this scene. Each of them looking at the other while having memories of how they met and fell in love. It was truly a touching scene between Antony Star and Ivana Milicevic, who always had great chemistry throughout the series. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. As he leaves Hood says, “goodbye Anna.” She corrected him as he walked aways smiling and said, “It’s Carrie.
Proctor goes out with a bang
We knew the Cartel would catch up with him after what happened at the airport earlier in the episode, we just didn’t know how or when. Proctor sat in his chair peering at his security cameras sipping a bourbon with a machine gun at the ready. Several black SUVs headed through town making a beeline for Proctor’s home. He walks outside to greet them and they begin to shoot at each other simultaneously. OC Madsen and Jonathan Tropper, the director and writer for the Series Finale chose to go more “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” than “Bonnie and Clyde” and we don’t actually see Proctor meet his ultimate demise.
A life of crime was bound to catch up with him and he finally bit off more than he could chew with the Cartel. Ulrich Thomsen was a fantastic villain for the entire run of the series and in the final Season we got to see several sides of him that we hadn’t seen before.
One last time at The Forge
Hood heads back to The Forge and returns the Dodge Charger to Sugar, who loaned it to him. He’s going to leave Banshee the same way he came into it, on his motorcycle, which Sugar kept in the barn for him.
Like many of their other fun scenes, Hood, Job and Sugar hang and bust each other’s balls before they all say their goodbyes. Watching these three is really like watching a few old friends. They all love and accept one another no matter what and are always happy around one another. Job hands Sugar a duffel bag of money due to him spending all his money from the Camp Genoa heist to save him. Sugar is touched by the gesture and thanks him. Job opens the door and pauses and in true Job fashion says, “Banshee, Pennsylvania, suck my tit” as he exits.
Sugar reminisces about the first time Hood showed up at the bar and how he became Sheriff, which Hood dismisses as one of the worst things to ever happen to the town. Before Hood can walk out the door, Sugar, who has always been the voice of reason on this show, offers his friend some final advice.
“You headed up on that mountain because you felt the need to atone for something. And for all we know you’d still be up there if Brock hadn’t pulled you down. We are cons. We are made to believe we pay for our sins by getting locked up. But maybe the road to redemption isn’t hiding on the mountain. Maybe it’s about choosing another road down here with the rest of us. The past has kept you locked up long enough. Today there is really only one question left to ask yourself: what are you going to do now?”
It used to be a staple of the show to have a scene after the closing credits, but they got away from it for some reason. It made a triumphant return for the Series Finale. We see Sugar taking one last swig of bourbon as he takes in his final glances of The Forge before grabbing his bags and heading for the exit. Pretty awesome to see Frankie Faison get the last few seconds of screen time.
Other notable moments
Dawson left the FBI report on the hotel bed for Hood to find. It says John Smith on top, but that’s not his real name. That was the name he used while being interrogated, which can be scene in the Banshee Origins series online.
That’s all she wrote Fanshees.
Some twists and surprises and overall about as solid of an ending as you could’ve hoped for. It’s tough to say goodbye to this series after four seasons, but on a positive note we didn’t’ get our hearts ripped out by seeing Hood get killed. No one would’ve been happy with that outcome. Yes, Hood and Carrie didn’t end up together, but perhaps the Banshee creators just felt a normal life wasn’t in the cards for them and going their separate ways was for the best.
This show will stand the test of time for it’s uniqueness and for all the traits and strengths of which I mentioned in my open. Now let’s all count down the days until the Four-Season collector’s DVD Blu-Ray gets released! This Series will undoubtedly be fun to digest in the marathon variety. Damon and I will discuss the end of the show in this week’s Television’s Most Wanted Podcast. And also, I spoke with Co-Creator Jonathan Tropper, so you will get to hear that interview as well. Thanks so much for following along with me the last three years. It’s been a wild ride and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed recapping this show.
“You are strong Deva. You are a fighter like your mother and your father.”-Hood
“That is a lot of dead skinheads.”-Brock
“You made pretty good backup by the way.”–Dawson
“So we’re looking for someone who had access to the SD files and is capable of a sadistic, ritualistic murder like that. Can you think of anyone?”-Dawson
“Who the fuck are you?”-Emilio Loerra
“I wouldn’t dream of stealing from you. I came here to provide you a valuable service. I came to show you that Proctor was mistaken when he told you that Banshee was a safe place for you to set up your manufacturing. Very mistaken. I mean, if he had it so locked down, how did I steal this truck with all these drugs?”–Carrie
“That’s right. Someone just blew up your fucking drugs.”-Brock
“Are you out of your fucking mind. I loved her. I would’ve died for her.”-Proctor
“Everything I did. I did for you.”-Clay
“The butler did it? Seriously? – Dawson
“Its about time I moved on. It’s been a couple times actually.”-Hood
“I know what it is about this town Bunker. What geographic phenomenon makes us a magnet for every scumbag and criminal east of the Mississippi. But what I do know is that to do this job sometimes you have to take off these badges and get bloody. It’s happened before and it will happen again.”-Brock
“You know all that time… All those years in my cell you were always there with me.”-Hood
“Don’t forget about me”-Carrie
“Sugar, it’s been a thin slice of heaven.”-Sugar
The song playing after Kurt kills Calvin is called “Roam” by Broken Twin