Banshee "Evil for Evil" Review: It's Always Something

By Cory Barker

Mar 01, 2014

Banshee S02E08: "Evil for Evil"


Throughout Banshee's second season, I've spent a lot of time talking about how the show has improved, both in how it's juggled multiple stories and how it's managed to tell different types of stories. Both of those advancements have happened as part of the general "Season 2 Improvement Playbook," but in watching "Evil for Evil," I realized just how successfully the show is now juggling them. 

What struck me most about this episode was how it brought us into different arcs that were operating at distinct places in Banshee's broader trajectory. Meaning, some of the primary threads—for example, Carrie's attempt to make it back into her own house and deal with her family—provided some new developments within season-long stories. We've been following Carrie's struggle for a while now, and thus seeing her continue her thievery but also find some moments of relief with Gordon and the kids had a notable impact. I've argued that some of the Hopewell family drama has been repetitive, but as these things tend to go, it started to make a little more sense once this episode unspooled. The situation had gotten so bad with Gordon running the household—between Gordon's drinking, Max's illness, and Deva's acting out—that by the time he decided to accept his wife back into their lives, even temporarily, there weren't many other options. The Hopewells are a wreck, but it's possible that they'll be able to get back on their feet by working together, or at least trying to.

The other events of "Evil for Evil," however were happening in a very different place. Hood's crusade against Proctor is perhaps Banshee's most prominent storyline, and one of the longest-running as well. But this specific crusade only truly began in earnest in last week's "Ways to Bury a Man," with the driving event (Jason's murder) happening two weeks ago. So when Hood nagged everyone around him to try to find something on Proctor that would stick, ultimately snagging him on a weapons charge obtained through an illegal warrant, it was clear that we shouldn't see this as the kind of big victory that the resolution to a two-year long conflict could be. It was a bit of a rush job on Hood's part, for any number of reasons, but I think "Evil for Evil" proved that the rushing was a purposeful tactic by the show. Hood strained to make Proctor go away, and multiple characters called him on it throughout the hour. He's the hero, but right now he's making a mistake. 


And really, he's making multiple mistakes. From a character arc perspective, Hood's simmering frustrations and confusion have ultimately brought all this to bear. He hot-shotted his conflict with Proctor in a way that's eventually going to have a negative impact on his job security (we've already gotten a glimpse of that, with the return of the new district attorney). He started to put the screws to Alex in hopes of getting additional info on Proctor. And Brock weaseled his way into Siobhan's ear, bringing all her skepticism about her boss and bed buddy to the surface. I'm not entirely sure where we're headed with Hood, and that's a good thing. But Banshee has methodically developed his emotional instability in a really impressive fashion.

Finally, the sudden reappearance of the white supremacists from last week's episode gave the show another opportunity to play with brief serialized stories. In the show's world, only a short time had passed since Emmett helped kick their asses, and they partook in some truly horrific revenge: punching his pregnant wife and then kicking her in the stomach. Banshee hasn't spent that much time with Emmett this season, so his wife's presence felt a bit out of nowhere, but "Evil for Evil" did such a fine job of making it count within the context of this one episode that it's hard for me to complain too much. From the moment the supremacists were rounded up and placed into cells at the station, it was clear we were in for a violent conclusion. Loni Peristere's direction and Amy Fleming 's editing paired well to build the tension in that final sequence, and then the fight choreography ensured that achieved maxium—and sometimes difficult to watch—impact. 


All of these stories succeeded in their own ways, but it's the way they worked together within one episode that made this such a fine hour for Banshee. Mixing in some seasonal arcs with some series-long stories and then pulling great moments out of a conflict that just began in the previous episode? That's pretty cool, and it reflects the Banshee team's more solid handle on just about everything when it comes to breaking and telling stories—in the short, medium, and long term. And there's little doubt that all these different types of stories will coalesce into something big, bad, and bloody in the final two episodes of the season.



NOTES

– Emmett appeared ready to give up his deputy position in the aftermath of beating the heck out of those white power dudes, but Hood certainly didn't appear ready to let him make that call. I could definitely see Emmett's actions and the conversation about what to do serving as the final straw between Hood and Brock, at least for this season. The clear difference in ideology between the two of them is too clear and too fraught for this to go on much longer.

– And Emmett's use of the brass knuckles to take down the white supremacists? So good. That made an already intense fight scene even more intense.

– Although Proctor is locked up, his drive—not to mention his workout routine—isn't dead. He started sniffing around why Hood would be so outraged at him, turning to Rebecca for info about Jason and his relationship to Hood. That won't end well.

– Speaking of Proctor, let's not talk about the way he was moving around Rebecca's bedroom as she tried to undress in the moments before he was arrested. Nope nope nope.

– The episode's opening moments—with Hood literally running into Carrie and Job mid, uh, job and then covering for them with Brock and company—were pretty great. I'd love for Banshee to do even more random sequences at the jump like that. 

– Job "used the computer" (as he said to Sugar) to find info about Rabbit. The other shoe is going to drop very soon.


What'd you think of this one? And what do you suspect will happen in the final two episodes?


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  • marcusj1973 Mar 03, 2014

    WOOO!!! I'm finally caught up to the rest of the world who'd known about Banshee long before I jumped on the bandwagon.

    "They partook in some truly horrific revenge: punching his pregnant wife and then kicking her in the stomach."

    The list of scenes in recent TV history that were harder to watch than the 4 seconds between where it became clear that skinhead was going to kick her in the stomach and then actually did it, is a VERY short list. Red Wedding...nope. The True Blood sex neck break...nope. Inbred family from X-Files...nope. The only two that come to mind, both from Sons of Anarchy, is Tigg's daughter being set on fire and Opie's prison scene. For a character I had zero investment in...my heart sank.

    "Loni Peristere's direction and Amy Fleming 's editing paired well to build the tension in that final sequence, and then the fight choreography ensured that achieved maxium—and sometimes difficult to watch—impact."

    And the brass knuckles chest punch and face cave in was the appropriate book end to the events that set this all into motion. FAR and away more violent, but IMO, far easier to watch.

    I'm guessing that Juliette finds herself sleeping with the fishes and that's enough to invalidate the warrant. Bad for Juliette, but maybe not the worst thing for Hood since it gets him out from under a lie he couldn't possibly explain, at least not in court. Siobhan however, might not be so forgiving. Which is okay, cause I'm kinda over that "relationship"...mostly because it was doomed from the start.

    Much like how Emmitt's beat down will be the tipping point between Hood and Brock, there is what Rebecca will do with the knowledge of Hood breaking into Proctor's place to gain the knowledge to doctor the warrant. I know she threw Juliette to the wolves, but why? To gain leverage on Hood? To protect him? To protect herself? Rebecca's character development is quickly becoming my favourite arc in this show.

  • Whedonrules Mar 03, 2014

    Another stellar episode of the best show on television. I have to get this out first, "BANSHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" This week, without question, the extra 'E's are for the episode MVP 'Deputy Emmett Yawners' as portrayed superbly (but then again this is 'Banshee'/ the show without a weak link in the entire cast) by the underused Demetrius Grosse. I commented earlier this season that we needed an 'Emmett' episode; but killing baby 'Yawners' was just cruel.

    So much going on from Job not only finding 'Rabbit' but also putting himself in Proctor's sh!t as well. Turning off the refrigeration at the slaughter house, just to piss him off. The bomb at the ecstasy operation paled into comparison to someone f'ing with Proctor's money laundering operation. Job is all in now in both worlds, possibly ending up on both psychopaths' radar. Sugar also letting Kai know exactly to whom his loyalties are tethered in that brief but powerful scene with 'Hood', Proctor and Sugar at The Forge. There are so many people in line for Proctor's return fire right now Job, Sugar, possibly Siobhan, possibly 'Carrie' and 'Deva', Juliet, maybe even Rebecca who this season has done a great job of not letting us know exactly where her loyalties are going to adhere to by the end of the season. Everything is percolating right now. Who knows what Alex is really thinking either? It was seems he would use
    'Hood' to rid himself of 'Proctor' but can he? He really needs to call his sister. No really Alex, CALL YOUR SISTER!

    Growing up in Pennsylvania, the Emmett story rings so true. He was a Pennsylvania kid who got recruited by the team that plays in 'Happy Valley'. State College is one of the strangest college campus' in Division 1 tucked behind everything and really within no proximity of any big cities. Its a world of its own in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. Emmett was going there to get noticed to play RB in the NFL. He had a massive injury which stifled that dream and he got married and stayed in one of the most racially divided areas of the state - 'Banshee' is somewhere between 'State College' and 'New York City'. Add to that the fact that the Christianity to which he guides his life is the same faith as most of the racists surrounding him. He's really doing a wonderful job in the role. I think this episode showed he's had enough of all of it. Grosse put in such a wonderful performance this week. To bring Meg back only to have her get beat down and kicked so hard she lost her child was chilling. His conversation with 'Hood' resulting in the badge being laid down on the table at the end. 'Hood' is finally starting to be more honest and these people that have supported him are now starting to see the futility and danger of being on the 'Hood' team. Emmett off the team cannot possibly be a good thing.

    Siobhan watching everything and then getting called out for her nighttime activities from Brock. I think 'Hood' is actually starting to really fall/care for her. He flat out said, "I'll tell you anything you want to know." And she was silent. She doesn't really want to know anything, does she? Nothing looks better on this show than the sunlight coming in through the windows of her trailer on her in bed. For some reason I really want these two together but he's not making that easy. (Nor should it be.)

    So who is going to pay the most for 'Hood's' actions when the price comes due? Eagerly anticipating the answer to that question. Just another f'ing brilliant hour..... if it isn't 'Banshee' it isn't a better show, just saying.

    Thank you David Schickler and Jonathan Tropper and Greg Yataines for creating this brilliant gem and putting such a great cast in the roles to tell the stories. See all of you back in BANSHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! next week. WTF: Only two episodes left. Get your 'E' s ready!



  • Tasmina Mar 02, 2014

    Things are really beginning to loosen now, I like it!

  • Rolamb Mar 02, 2014

    banshee is all about consequences. How do the actions and reactions play out in the (near) future.

    Will Rebecca start to love the power game so much that she wants a part of it and will she accept only a part next to Kai? Does she want to take over and does she think of Hood as her partner.
    Will Shioban warn the informant and what will that mean for her in her relation with Hood (I suppose they will get into a fight).
    Will the fact that Sugar took a stand to Kai mean that he will in trouble with in the near future and what will that cost him?
    Now Job found Rabbit, what will he do with that information? It alsmot looked as if he was going after him himself and which raod would that mean?

    So many interesting roads to follow.

  • woz22 Mar 02, 2014

    Very good episode very dark at times and it gave emmett more to do as well , i can see from hood actions against procter there are consequences . Carrie story was only the gleaming light in this episode but i am disapointed that we are building towards the end as this season is better then the first, but i cant wait to see what they can do with procter and rabbit. I wish we knew what is hood real name .

  • smithinjapan Mar 02, 2014

    Awesome episode. That's all I have to say, besides I think Cory nailed everything pretty accurately.

  • andreweather Mar 02, 2014

    That kick to the stomache was like... well a kick to the guts. I didn't even think Banshee would go there.

  • Draconax Mar 02, 2014

    After the episode in the first season with the MMA fighter in his trailer, which was, in my opinion, one of the most difficult scenes to watch in *any* television series to date, I am no longer shocked about where this show will and will not go.

  • oneSWEETphool41 Mar 02, 2014

    I was a bit shocked by the stomach kick, that seemed like a new level of evil for this show. Even the other two white trash racists thought it was too much! I've long become immune to the sound of breaking bones on this show (thanks in large part to Hood's take down of that MMA fighter way back when) but it continues to find ways to set the bar higher. Season 8 should be a doozy.

  • Vicky8675309 Mar 02, 2014

    I don't like pregnant women getting hit/kicked in the stomach but I do like that this show holds nothing sacred and isn't scared to break taboos and "go there"~~then again I like disturbing shows

  • borgsblueyes Mar 02, 2014

    Being pregnant I found it extra hard to watch, technically I looked away, because I knew it was coming, but it would make sense that those scum would see an interracial child as less than human. Most shows don't have the balls to go these places, so it's very hard watching but I applaud them at the same time. It's like, how come there are no zombie kids in the Walking Dead. There's only been 2 walker kids and they were only shown because there were related to the characters.

  • OlwynDoyle Mar 02, 2014

    I have wondered before how long (how many seasons) could Proctor keep getting away with everything without it becoming ridiculous (not that I think he is caught for good this time) and what would happen when he does. Who would become the main bad guy?
    Out of the few possibilities Rebecca was the one who stood out as the most interesting. She is already being groomed for the business by Proctor and seems ruthless and possibly smart enough to run this sort of enterprise.
    In this episode, by not telling her uncle about Hood breaking in, she made what looked to be a very calculated move to get rid of Proctor.

    Hood is being stupid and careless lying to get a warrant, it will be hard enough to to get Proctor convicted without hampering the investigation himself. It could cause him many other problems also. He is making the same mistake as Carrie and Job - rushing in, only thinking of the goal with and not the possible consequences. If they want to have a life in Banshee they need to stop being so reckless.

  • flintslady Mar 02, 2014

    Rebecca is crazy. Her attraction to power (and to her uncle) is going to end up with her blindsiding everyone and ending up in a position of power.

    The new ADA is ridiculous. No way she should have given Hood a warrant on his flimsy testimony. Hood is acting like a criminal, so I can forgive some of his mistakes, but she should have known better. A cop comes in and says I know someone who swears that so and so has guns in their basement and that's enough for a warrant? Please. There were a lot more believable (and probably more fun) ways they could have played this. (See Justified for unlawful entry of premise ideas).

    I was really hoping we would play this game between Hood and Procter a little longer. With Hood all day everyday making Proctor his main concern, messing up his business', getting into his head and then bringing him down.

    Also I love Siobhan dearly, but if she really believes that the stripper is in danger, than why not warn her, or get her protection? When that stripper shows up dead next week, that's as much on her as it is on him.

    P.S I'm starting to think Sugar isn't going to make it out of this season alive. I hope I'm wrong.

  • Rolamb Mar 02, 2014

    I believe the fight between Hood and Proctor will at least take another year. If he's gone, there's no one left in Banshee itself to challenge Hood. They only way would be if Rebecca took over after this year and I think she's not ready yet (and in ready I mean that others will not accept her in that role).

  • edge1710 Mar 01, 2014

    O Rebecca that was a comfy chair you were sitting in and you are planning on sitting in it a lot more otherwise you would have warned Proctor someone was snooping around the house.
    When last week I was predicting an eventual takeover by Rebecca I wasn't expecting it 1. this season 2. it being semi hostile.
    Rebecca is Breaking Bad.

  • Rolamb Mar 02, 2014

    Good wording!

  • xubxerox Mar 02, 2014

    Her breaking bad.... well put.

    But it is SOOO much fun to watch :D

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