Banshee, "The Rave"

[For Banshee’s “The Rave” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

Amazon Summary:
The Rave. An underling of Kai Proctor decides to hold a rave, selling homemade E pills to Banshee youth–including Carrie’s daughter. Catching wind of the plan, Lucas and his team orchestrate a raid, but the effects of a tainted batch of pills leads to trouble.

Welcome back to our recap / Power Rankings mashup of the made-for-Cinemax celebration of sex, violence, and authority that is Banshee. In case you missed last week’s first recap, you can check it out here or explore any and all things Banshee on Fetchland.

At the time of this writing I’ve actually seen nine of the ten first season episodes of Banshee. I wanted to get a little context and perspective before jumping into tv recaps with both feet. But my reaction having seen most of them is the same as the initial reaction I had watching “The Rave” the first time last week… I don’t understand how they ran this as the second episode of the first season. The first episode was like the surface of the sun: a bazillion nuclear explosions all detonating simultaneously, every single second. Forget about how tv pilots work in general (introduction of all the main characters, the setting, the conflicts)… It set our expectations with an over-the-top car chase that would have been perfectly satisfying in a summer action flick: Not something you see on television.

“The Rave” was a precipitous letdown by comparison. The scale of the conflict essentially deflated, and characters who were doing super cool things one episode earlier, um, suddenly weren’t.

I actually don’t mean this to be a negative, or at least not too negative. Even a show with all hits has a worst episode… I just don’t know why, coming off of that great pilot, you would position your worst episode second. If you’re a new viewer don’t get too down: Banshee bounces back quickly.

Power Rankings for “The Rave”:

III. Preacher

Banshee's Preacher

Previous Ranking: N/A
Previous Best Ranking: N/A

Wow this dog. Just wow. For a “character” with so little screen time, Preacher really made an impression. The slice-and-dice setup by Kai and the yum yum rapport with this beast would make the famous hunting pair Drizzt Do’Urden and Guenhwyvar positively jelly.

II. Hood

Hood in "The Rave"

Previous Ranking: 2
Previous Best Ranking: 2

While clashing with Brock might have been ill-advised, the de facto alliance made with Hopewell over the rescue of Deva more than makes up for it. Plus, Hood cashed in on his usual trifecta of [anonymous] sex, rave-ravaging violence, and pilfered police authority through the second episode.

I. Kai

Kai in "The Rave"

Previous Ranking: 1
Previous Best Ranking: 1

Kai moved with seemingly impossible speed in his final encounter with Hanson. “Sixty seconds”? Jeez. You really get the feeling that, between how quickly he lopped a guy’s finger off, tossed it to calibrate a taste in his ravenous murder-mutt, and had him out the door that this is not the first time Kai has dealt thusly with an out-of-line employee. Alongside the episode’s post-credits scene at the meat packing plant… You’ve really got to wonder what kind of wares Proctor is packing / purveying at the meat factory.

Banshee Biggest Loser: Hanson

Hanson in "The Rave"

Ah fiction: The Venn diagram overlap of “greedy” and “stupid” crooks just never fails, does it?


Banshee, Season 1, Ep. 1, “Pilot”

Posted by Michael Flores | TV

Amazon summary:
Pilot. Lucas Hood, a recently paroled master thief, assumes the identity of a rural Pennsylvania sheriff to elude mob vengeance and reunite with Carrie, his onetime lover and partner in crime.

I am Jon Snow.

I know nothing; well, nothing about Banshee.

Actually I know one thing from the Top 8 Magic podcast; which is that my BFF BDM is watching Banshee on the treadmill these days. That sounds like a recommendation, no?

I turn on the Banshee without so much as reading the Amazon summary you already have. This is what I find:

  • 30 seconds in – Hood leaves a pretty rough-looking prison, walking into the dusty wilderness, before
  • 1 minute in – Hood meets a super hot waitress at a roadside diner, then engages in some silent-but-serious bedroom eyes (resulting immediately in conversation-free sex in a not-bedroom with her), whereupon
  • 1 minute 30 seconds in – Hood steals a pretty sweet sports car and drives to NYC then
  • 2 minutes 40 seconds in – Hood busts up the seemingly legitimate salon-front of his old criminal associate Job (finally engaging in some dialogue); upon leaving he gets back into “his” car and
  • 4 minutes in – Hood gets in what must have been a massively expensive street chase (production-wise) that results in an impressive orgy of crashing cars, flying bullets, collateral damage, and the upended doubledecker tour bus from this post’s hero image

At 6 minutes in Hood burgles a motorcycle and rides off into the sunset, evading a second salvo of gunplay.

AND THEN opening credits roll.


Well, they certainly got my attention.

“You had me at hello.”

The Banshee pilot slows down considerably from credits on, but never to the point that you can actually un-glue your eyes from the screen.

I certainly liked it enough to resolve to write something for our fledgling site!

Rather than traditional “episode recaps” I decided I would punch up some simplified Power Rankings for each installment. Here goes for “Pilot”:

III. Job
Job in "Pilot"

While Job’s sashay getaway was a mite predictable, it was still cool (as in “refreshingly cool”) to see the difficult-to-peg salon-owning computer hacker blowing up the ostensibly much tougher / hella masculine bad(der) bad guys while pulling up stakes.

II. Hood
Hood in "Pilot"

On the sex-violence-authority scale Hood really cashed in during the “Pilot”. He gets laid thirty seconds after his prison release; racks up 2.5 criminal bodies; and assumes the identity of the local constable, all before the Easter Egg. How great a day (or episode) did the next guy have to beat Hood out for El Numero Uno?

I. Kai
Kai in "Pilot"

The show’s nominal antagonist shows off more twists and turns than the letter S in the first sixty minutes of Banshee. He seems to have enough resources to buy up all the local authority, is quick to knock out every tooth of the odd insubordinate subordinate (and instruct he puts them back in his mouth)… And then gets intimate with one of his [presumably criminally] kept women but not before dressing her like an Amish girl and revealing an as-yet-unexplained Jesus back tattoo to the audience mid-moaning. Authority! Violence! Sex! What’s up with this guy? More twists and turns than the letter S for Kai.

Banshee Biggest Loser: Moody
Moody in "Pilot"

If you ever asked yourself how bad a day could get before it got really, finally, bad for a tv character… Find Moody’s ghost and ask him. Maybe he’ll be able to gum an answer out for you.