Banshee: The Final Season

| October 5, 2016

We hardly knew ye, Banshee – gone in only 4 short seasons.  I also reviewed season 3 of this series for filmmonthly having not seen the first two seasons, but found it incredibly easy to catch up on what was going on.  It was as if the creators knew no one was watching and had to make each episode and certainly each season premier accessible to some guy late at night turning it on because he might see some breasts.  He wouldn’t be disappointed, as the Cinemax show doesn’t hold back from nudity as well as violence, often at the same time as season 4 opens shortly after the grizzly murder of one of their longtime characters:  Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmons; Bone Tomahawk), as she is laid out and split down the middle from her attacker.

Season 4 starts up 2 years after season 3, flashing back to show how former Banshee Sherriff Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) came to be living alone in a hunting cabin while everyone believed he was dead.  The story mostly centers around how Rebecca was killed, allowing Simmons to stay with the show for its final season through flashbacks.  I’ll admit that she didn’t make much of an impression on me last season, but what we get from her here is a highlight for me.  Though I may be a little biased since I recently saw her in Bone Tomahawk with Kurt Russell and thought it and she were amazing.

Eliza Dushku (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) also joins the cast in season four and being a huge Joss Whedon fan, it’s always exciting for me when one of his alums show up in a random show or movie I’m watching.  Eliza Dushku was great as Faith on Buffy, and as Echo on Dollhouse, but her career outside of the Whedonverse has never been anything stellar.  That being said, she was a real highlight for me watching this.  She only gets a few episodes to thrive in, and I think Banshee is a bit beneath her potential, but she really brings her A game to the performance.

A low point for me in this season much like the last one was Ivana Milicevic’s performance.  Maybe her arc makes more sense when you’ve seen the beginning of the series, but I found myself constantly questioning what she was doing and why, and it did take me out of the flow of the series multiple times.

And then there’s Antony Starr, who had very little impression on me whatsoever.  I definitely remember liking his performance in season 3 better than season 4.  Here, he has fallen into this pit of ambivalence that hangs with him from episode to episode.  It doesn’t give me much to root for and makes the character a much more generic anti-hero than I’d like.

Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

About the Author:

Joe Sanders Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
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