Banshee "Ways to Bury a Man" Review: Through the Mountain

By Cory Barker

Feb 22, 2014

Banshee S02E07: "Ways to Bury a Man"

Throughout Banshee's last few episodes, Hood has grown more contemplative with regard to his purpose and role in the town. Although it's pretty clear that the sheriff hasn't actually arrived at any solid answers on that front, "Ways to Bury a Man" brought us a Hood who'd decided, at least for this episode, to channel some of his bubbling frustration and instability into taking down one of Banshee's biggest and baddest, Proctor. And after a half-season of the two of them either not orbiting one another or working through some kind of uneasy half-baked alliance, the exploding (literally) tension between them made "Ways to Bury a Man" feel a little bit like a Season 1 throwback—and in a good way.

All it took was for Hood to discover that Jason was missing and that Rebecca was last seen with him and BOOM, we returned to full-tilt war between the show's two primary forces. On one hand, I was slightly surprised to see Hood so angry about Jason's disappearance and Proctor's likely involvement in that disappearance, if only because Jason had become such a burden in the previous few weeks. Hood wanted Jason to leave town, after all. But on the other hand, Hood is our (admittedly conflicted) hero, so he's not going to just be cool with murder, even of a tool who mostly caused trouble for him. And more than that, Hood's response was a signal of his current mental state. If it wasn't Proctor and this investigation, it would have been something else, but the fact that it was Proctor and this investigation meant that Hood was that much more irate and ready to make something happen. 

As such, Hood spent most of "Ways to Bury a Man" on a whirlwind spree through the town in an attempt to tear down any portion of Proctor's operation that he could. That, of course, led to a lot yelling, fighting, and general testosterone-fueled decision-making. And the proceedings felt Season 1-esque because of how nicely they intertwined Hood's personal crusade against Proctor with the rest of the sheriff's department, and later with Job and Sugar. Hood was so determined to make Proctor's life a living hell that he pulled in both sides of his life in a way we haven't seen much of this season. He brought the sheriff's department with him into the strip club in hopes of busting up the not-so-secret prostitution ring inside, and then dragged Brock and Emmett out into the field as he tried to disrupt Proctor's drug operations. And when Hood had procured enough information the "legal" way, with the badge, he turned to Job and Sugar to finish it off. In case we weren't sure that Hood now means business in his crusade against Proctor, he went ahead and blew up the drug ring's warehouse, but not before snagging some of the resources. (Never lose an opportunity to grab that money!)

It's a weird thing to think about since Banshee's second season has been so strong, but we haven't really seen an episode like this in a while, where everyone was involved in the story. The show's world has expanded, which means more characters and different types of plots, both of which are a good thing. But as a result, we haven't seen much of Emmett this year and Brock, Sugar, and Job have been sidelined a little as well. "Ways to Bury a Man" did a great job of reminding us how the show hums when everyone is part of the same arc. It also dug back into questions about Hood's approach to the sheriff job, complete with the consistent commentary from Brock about the "right" and "wrong" way to go after Proctor so suddenly. We've heard that stuff before, but the slight change in context—primarily that Brock has been investigating Hood in secret—made it fresh enough for me. It's telling that the episode's concluding scene involved Brock encountering the explosion at Proctor's warehouse. How much of a jump in logic would he have to make to assume that Hood had something to do with the explosion? Not much, right? That's solid.

Also solid: More Proctor. That's an easy thing to point out, and it's not as if we haven't been treated to some wild stuff with the character this season, but after weeks of adding some shading and complexity, I enjoyed the renewed focus on Proctor as a brutish criminal mastermind, trying to avoid Hood's investigation in one scene and threatening members of the Kinaho tribal council so that Alex could keep his spot as the chief in the next. And GOOD GOD, the opening scene with Proctor and Rebecca watching the meat grinder do its grinding thing. Are we supposed to assume that the meat being grinded was actually the remnants of Jason, or was that just a nicely pointed allusion? I can't decide, and I'm grossed out either way. Yeesh. 

Finally, "Ways to Bury a Man" made some attempt to bring the Hopewell story closer to the rest of the narrative, if only for a few moments. During Hood's raid on the strip club, he ran into Gordon and let's just say that didn't go particularly well. One of the big questions ("Are you sleeping with my wife?") was asked, and, this being Banshee, punches were thrown. That was a fine, quick reminder of the impact of some of Hood's decisions, even if it's not all his fault that Gordon has become a shell of his former self. Moreover, the pressure on the Hopewells grew as Max's medical issues took a turn for the worse, which brought everyone in the family, including Carrie, together, but also created a huge need for cash. Gee, I wonder how Carrie will go about fixing that problem?

"Ways to Bury a Man" provided a notable shift in Banshee's trajectory. After a few contemplative episodes that achieved a lot of important world-building, this episode began to pull some of the disparate characters and threads together, and sped up the pace a bit as well. Characters are now in places that will likely lead to maximum tension (and maximum fighting, duh) and ultimately that should allow the last three episodes of the season to be as thrilling as possible. Things are going to get very, very interesting.


– Job ditched the pink/red hair. I am sad.

– I'm sure that Carrie trying to work side jobs with Job, without Hood's knowledge, will go swimmingly. Nobody will get hurt or run into authorities there, nope.

– Sugar's excitement after blowing through the warehouse with the semi was charming, as was the final sequence where he, Hood, and Job argued over whether or not the detonator was actually going to work. We've seen that kind of stuff before, but those were nice moments of levity, and Banshee does those surprisingly well.

– Never call for a tribal council vote unless you know who's voting what. These Kinaho dudes clearly don't watch Survivor.

What'd you think about this one? Will you be happy to see more Hood-Proctor showdowns in the near future?

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  • marcusj1973 Mar 03, 2014

    "I was slightly surprised to see Hood so angry about Jason's disappearance and Proctor's likely involvement in that disappearance."

    It shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. Hood explained it all well to Sugar after he asked why he was doing so much to help a kid he didn't know in that basically, he's giving this kid the 2nd chance he wish he'd gotten. Proctor didn't kill "Jason" per say, but killed the wishes and plan Hood had worked so hard to make true.

    "Are we supposed to assume that the meat being grinded was actually the remnants of Jason, or was that just a nicely pointed allusion?"

    I'm pretty sure that's a safe assumption, especially given Rebecca's emotional state in the scene that followed. I'm not sure how hard she was actually contemplating suicide, but that was a big take away for me.

    Far and away though, my favourite moment from the episode is when Hood shows up at Proctor's to basically accuse him of killing Jason.

    Hood: "You gonna go along with this?"
    Rebecca: "He said he was leaving town. I assume he did."
    Hood: "This was your choice. When I come for him, I come for you."

    Now THAT is what I'm talkin' aboot! Hood's not f*ckin' around any more and if Rebecca REALLY wants to enjoy the luxuries and benefits that come from being her uncle's right hand...he'd better be prepared for the consequences. "We don't always know who we f*ck"...not so cocky NOW, are ya?

    Watching Rebecca come to grips with who she's becoming is almost as fun as watching Hood's transition.

    Close second place for quote of the week:

    Sugar: "I can't hear a thing."
    Job: "That's cause you're old and deaf...don't put that sh*t on me."


  • GreyMinerva Mar 04, 2014

    I absolutely agree on the Jason thing. I too thought that this was Hood's chance to redeem his younger self - who no doubt was a cocky little sh*t too - and try to give him the out to a peaceful life that he himself never got/took.

    The last couple of episodes seem to have been aimed at driving home just how f*cked Hood and his life really is, (I'm convinced he's cursed, probably by some Eastern European baba hired by Rabbit ;) ); the dreamhouse he'd bought to live in with Carrie wasn't just doomed to stand empty and unused - the Universe didn't even allow it to exist at all. A couple of hours, and WHOOSH - gone!
    Redeeming himself (and the original Hood) by saving Jason? One careless moment, and SNAP - HE's gone too! (Good thing they got to keep the money, though.)

    No wonder Hood is ready to snap a bit - Life, the Universe and Everything is conspiring against him.

  • marcusj1973 Mar 04, 2014

    I had no idea what they were going to do with Jason, but right up until the very end I figured he was just going to ride off into the sunset. Even Sugar's warning about "dangerous women" didn't tip me off.

    This is just another example of how much better good Hollywood writers are than me 'cause using actions against nothing character as the motivation for the entire back half of a season...genius. And given Hood's identity crisis, totally believable.

    I will say though, I'll miss Jason because without him, I'm guessing we're not going to see the bored look on Rebecca's face as he's doing his best to please her. Hilarious. I guess not all Hood's are created equal ;)

  • WiredKiwi Feb 27, 2014

    Hoooo boy, after that fantastic episode, I have 3 main things on my mind:
    A) Cory Barker - how much has your life been improved by the awesomeness of this series? The rabid fanbase who brought it to your attention says 'you're welcome'.
    B) Now the frenetic pace of the first season's fighting 'n' f***king has slowed and we all have time to catch our collective breath, I am in awe of how sculpted and elegant the script is. The dialogue is enough to give you ice burns.
    C) Sloppy of Proctor to use the commercial grinder. It would be impossible to hose all the Hood out before the next moo needs mincing. Much like how the UK found pieces of pony in their pies, oh the irony if there were traces of Jason in the Banshee burgers and that's what bought Kai down in the end.

  • ceebrown Feb 24, 2014

    Hood's reaction to Proctor probably killing Jason (he knows it but can't prove it - yet) was deeply personal which is why he stood in Proctors driveway for so long with an angry look on his face and his gun in his hand tossing up whether to just go shoot the b...... I just love this show and there are so many possibilities for twists and turns - and violence - before this series ends.

  • current Feb 24, 2014

    A double 'dose' of Lili Simmons this week, now that she's putting her puffies and behind to work on True Detective too. So young and yet so typecast?!

  • Draconax Feb 24, 2014

    Absolutely loved this episode. So many goods things happening here, bringing several storylines together to mesh really well. Loved it. Really excited to see more Proctor (he's seriously one of, if not the, best villains on television), and he and Alex "working together" is really fun to watch (seriously, that scene with the elder and having his face right up against the tire, while holding the keys to his daughter's dorm? Now that is how you intimidate a man).

    The entire extended scene with Hood, Brock and Emmett and the Aryan Nation guys was so enjoyable to watch. I love Emmett's attitude so much in dealing with those guys ("I forgave them afterwards!"). Just a laugh riot.

    Fantastic episode to add to the growing collection of fantastic episodes that is this season.

  • AngelColn Feb 24, 2014

    I don't know. I know that Rabbit was the ultimate final boss in season 1 and seems to be on his way out, but Proctor is the main resident villain (like Superman's Lex Luthor). I think he will be around for a while. And speaking of Rabbit, Did everyone forgot about his brother? Look for Banshee Origins website and on You Tube. Very important clues are told on that webisodes.

  • JumboShrimp787 Feb 24, 2014

    re: "Throughout Banshee's last few episodes, Hood has grown more contemplative with regard to his purpose and role in the town."

    Yeah, I wonder what happened to all that. It's as if the writers / director of E7 did not see the scripts of S2. So instead of this "contemplative" Hood, we get and angry cop, acting on impulse. But wait, this time "it's personal".

    And if Hood staring into emptiness 4-5 times in the episode was supposed to be show him "contemplative" - it did not work.

    On the surface, it was a great episode, full of action, great lines. But underneath, there is only emptiness, lack of cohesiveness, lack of satisfying anything resembling a storyline.

    They have relegated Carrie into an extra, Job into a yes man and a side kick, Proctor into a monster, leaving only brooding / head smashing Hood in the center.

    How can a complex, immersive storyline (as we had in S1) emerge from this wreckage?

  • current Feb 23, 2014

    Rebecca's curiosity for sex and lifestyles outside the Amish family way appear to have 'climaxed' at last. It's gone a bit too keep it in the family of late for her to the Nth degree. But Proctor seems to have set her up as Queen to his Pharaoh in both mind and now possibly body too. So what's the likelihood of her turning on Uncle Procktor, in an effort to not be him in the final analysis?
    For all the fun with the gang of three, I can't see it lasting as a real method of getting rid of Proctor. Hood must realise the only way to end Proctor is to, well, end him. Hopefully Banshee won't slip into the usual tope of thinking merely jailing a criminal is enough to have them retiring from vengeful ways.
    The native lot seemed to literally lay down far too easy. They definitely need Nola and/or that big cray cray bugger to take care of bidness. Ooh, perhaps a deal with Indians, Rebecca and Hood vs. Proctor and his bespectacled companion. All that could be fun but no doubt there'd be plenty of skulduggery over filling the power vacuum sans Proctor. Perhaps Rabbit will make Banshee an uncomfortable warren...

  • AdamHunter Feb 23, 2014

    burn, baby burn
    I wonder if Proctor will blame Hood or someone else

  • LeoraRufus Feb 23, 2014

    Proctor and Hood may be in a battle right now but there is a wild card in the form of Rabbit. I have to ask, is Proctor even aware of this powerful man? If so, how many times can Rabbit or his men enter his territory without Hood becoming less of an issue. It may come down to who is worse for Banshee, Proctor or Rabbit.

  • jugularvenus Feb 23, 2014

    I'm sad that Hood is burning his bridges with Proctor, cos Proc's resources won't be available to Hood if Rabbit comes hopping (like in S1). I just hope Rabbit and Proctor won't go after Hood at the exact same time, cos that's bad news for Ana, Sugar and Job too. Don't want any if them to die!!

  • LeoraRufus Feb 25, 2014

    I think it may come down to which king would you rather serve. I'd be very surprised if Proctor and Rabbits management styles would mesh very well. Hood has taken on a job to serve and protect. Proctor would protect his interests at any costs. My opinion is that Rabbit would be a power Proctor couldn't allow to exist in his territory. Any threat from Rabbit would become a threat to both Hood and Proctor who both have been in their own ways protecting Banshee. I suspect that Proctor and Hood may be at each others throats for some time with a break or two to deal with outside problems.

  • JumboShrimp787 Feb 24, 2014

    Clearly, Hood was not satisfied with only one psychopath after him.

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