[This is a review of Banshee season 2, episode 3. There will be SPOILERS.]
Banshee season 1 was very much about looking at the extreme nature of its characters and the disconnect Hood, Ana/Carrie, Job, and Kai Proctor had with the otherwise sleepy environment that is the show's setting. These individuals were, in one form or another, at odds with themselves. Some, like Hood and Carrie, were putting on a façade, and using Banshee as a means of concealing their true nature, while Job and Kai were already living in the extreme, and were therefore seen as outcasts – with Kai literally having been cast out from his community, and continuing to harbor strong feelings about what he'd left behind as well as who had done the shunning.
By the time 'The Warrior Class' rolls around in season 2, it becomes clear that most of these individuals are in a state of transition and/or reconciliation with who they are and with the environment they continue to call home. In Carrie's case, she's been removed from Banshee and sent to prison, while her husband and children –- having learned the truth about her – have ostensibly cast her out of the Hopewell clan. And this sort of isolation has forced Carrie to acknowledge that Ana is still a part of who she is, if only to help her survive while behind bars.
Meanwhile, Hood, momentarily distracted with the arrival of Jason Hood – the son of the dead man whose identity he assumed in the series premiere – finds himself taking his role as sheriff far more seriously than a simple means by which he can be close to Ana and the daughter he never knew he had. Certainly, the Jason storyline will manifest into something greater as the season progresses, but here, it says a great deal about who Hood really is that his response to being found out is to buy his accuser lunch after threatening him with a gun. It says even more that he leaves that lunch to go to work, prompting Jason to ask with great astonishment, "you do the job?"
As Hood and Carrie gradually (and perhaps surprisingly) begin to combine the two aspects of who they are, the conflict seems to have spread to opposing sides of their respective environments. This is demonstrated early on with the depiction of Solomon (Gunnar Carrigan) and Lana (Amber Midthunder), an Amish boy and Kinaho girl who're from the same town, but are really from completely different worlds. Here, the episode briefly takes on a Days of Heaven-like quality, slowly following them through a field of shoulder-high grass before nesting down as they discuss their own conflicted nature, dreaming of who they might yet become if they left Banshee; all the while acknowledging it as the single defining characteristic of who they are at this stage in their life.
When Lana winds up murdered, and Solomon goes missing, that balance between identity and environment comes to a head. The Kinaho and the Amish are left blaming one another, and Hood is faced with a real investigation that carries weight far beyond his own selfish interests and personal desires. The investigation into Lana's murder takes Banshee into a different direction that gives the audience some sort of insight into Hood's way of thinking and his sense of morality. It also introduces a new nemesis in Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers), who, beyond being physically intimidating, seems to represent the opposite of Hood, in that he knows exactly who he is, and what his role with his environment is meant to entail.
What that means for Hood and the rest of Banshee could lead to some interesting storylines down the road.
Banshee continues next Friday with 'Bloodlines' @10pm on Cinemax.
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