Banshee Season 3 (Cinemax)

From the creator of True Blood, this exciting new Cinemax action drama charts the twists and turns that follow Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-convict who improbably becomes sheriff of a rural, Amish-area town while searching for a woman he last saw 15 years ago, when he gave himself up to police to let her escape after a jewel heist. Living in Banshee under an assumed name, Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic) is now married to the local DA, has two children (one of whom may be Lucas’s), and is trying desperately to keep a low profile–until Lucas arrives to shake up her world and rekindle old passions. Complicating matters is the fact that Banshee is riddled by corruption, with an Amish overlord, Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), brutally building a local empire of drugs, gambling and graft. With the help of a boxer-turned-barkeeper named Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison), Lucas is able to stay on even footing with Kai and his thugs, and even manages to bring a measure of tough justice to Banshee. But eventually, Lucas’ appetite for pulling heists pulls him and Carrie into a dangerous cauldron of duplicity, exacerbated when Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross), the NY mobster they once ripped off, closes in with vengeance on his mind.

[Note: Summary is for Season  1 of Banshee, not Season 3]

Banshee, like Vikings and Justified, was one of the shows that I managed to catch up on this year in time for the new season to debut and I was certainly not disappointed, with the third season of this pulp series being arguably the strongest of the show so far, giving us several killer episodes that presented us with excellent fun and was packed full of loads of great, gripping moments.

It’s safe to say that Banshee is without doubt one of the most violent shows that you will see on TV. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart and in the gripping third season of this show we got some very terrific moments indeed, with each new episode feeling like a crash course in how to do action for TV incredibly well. We got different, fresh fight scenes each week and some interesting plots to link them together. The siege on the Police Station, the heist and the hunt for Chayton was played out incredibly well, leaving viewers with some unforgettable action that will have you eagerly anticipating Season 4.

The action continues to focus on the small, not-so-quiet town of Banshee with the focus on the fake Sherriff, Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), giving us an incredibly cold opening that few other shows would dare to give its main characters – Hondo, one of the Neo-Nazis who murdered Emmett and his wife in cold blood at the end of Season 2, was executed in return by Hood and his other deputies, Brock Lotus (Matt Servitto) and Siobhan Kelly (Trieste Dunn) despite his belief that he was going to be arrested. This set the tone for the series to follow, giving us some great moments that really pushed our characters to the wire in standout episodes like Episode 5, Tribal, which killed off a main character in one of the best episodes that the show has ever given us, and the immediate aftermath, We Were All Someone Else Yesterday, which gave us a ‘what if?’ scenario where Hood had managed to prevent the real Sherriff Hood dying in the barfight right back at the start of Season 1 and what would have happened after that. Given the events that had preceded it, it was a fascinating look at what might have been.

Chayton (Geno Segers) is one of the most intimidating villains that I have ever seen on TV. He’s not afraid to kill off major characters and has a great level of fighting strength that not even Hood could beat in a one-on-one situation. He really makes himself known as the main threat of Season 3, and the episodes where he takes centre stage as the main threat are normally among the best. Segers pulls off the character incredibly well and easily feels like one of the best antagonists that the series has ever had, making the military general who also plays a role in this season look bland and forgettable compared to Chayton’s character.

Yes, Banshee is not going to win any awards because of what it is and the network it’s on, but the actors put in some good performances all the same. Antony Starr is fantastic this season as Hood, and the supporting cast all do a great job as well with  Ivana Milicevic as Carrie, Hoon Lee as Job and Ulriech Thomson as Kai Proctor all getting plenty of things to do as the season builds towards the heist of a military base, which culminates in one of the most unique things that this show has ever done and is handled incredibly well.

If you enjoyed the previous two seasons then you’ll want to check the third season of Banshee out as well, assuming you haven’t already. It steps up a gear from the first two and further reinforces the point that nobody is safe in this show, with major characters dying in not just the final episode of the season, which ends on a very interesting note and given that ending, Season 4 can’t come quickly enough.

VERDICT: 8.5/10

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