Banshee Season Finale Review: March Madness

Banshee S01E10: "A Mixture of Madness”


If I’m anything, I'm a man of the people. After weeks of seeing you, dear commenters, celebrate and ask for reviews of Cinemax’s Banshee, I burned through all of Season 1 in less than two days so that I could bring you such a review. And while I never doubted the taste of the vocal folks asking for more Banshee coverage, I did underestimate just how much I would enjoy the series’ first 10 episodes.

Here’s the thing about Banshee: It’s ridiculous. Hilariously ridiculous. It doesn’t exist in any recognizable form of reality. The initial premise is silly enough in its own right—ex-con comes into small town looking for his lost flame and takes over the identity of the murdered new sheriff—but the show doesn’t stop there. Instead of spending much time putting that con-turned-sheriff Lucas Hood into situations where he’d have to learn to walk the straight and narrow, the show consistently allows Hood to break numerous laws and violate any number of human rights. Further, we expect a Cinemax show to provide lots of violence and nudity, but Banshee even tops Strike Back in these departments. The nudity and sex scenes are amusingly gratuitous and that’s well and fine. But the violence? Wild, and so impressively shot. Every episode provides an extended, well-choreographed, nicely filmed fight sequence, creating an overwhelming sense of brutality and aggression that few shows on television can compete with. Hood’s showdowns with a rapist MMA fighter in “Meet in the New Boss,” the evil albino prison thug in “Behold a Pale Rider,” and Banshee kingpin Kai in “Always the Cowboy” are the three most successfully staged fights I’ve seen on television in recent memory.

Even though Banshee presents a heightened world, the characters and performances keep it compelling. Antony Starr was a bit of a blank slate in the first few episodes, but over the course of the season, his performance (and the show’s nice use of flashbacks) displayed how years of pain and anger turned him into a cold and calculating man. Ivana Miličević’s been in tons of things over the years and it's nice to see her to get to show some range as Anna/Carrie. She’s really the heart and soul of the Banshee, and Miličević makes her character’s plight truly matter. And while Starr and Miličević top-line the proceedings, Ulrich Thomsen and Lili Simmons are Banshee's breakout performers. Kai and Rebecca’s respective struggles with their families in the Amish community are, like many of the things on the show, kind of ridiculous, but really, really engaging. Thomsen and the writers did a great job of transforming the Kai character from a boilerplate villain in the early episodes to a complex, yet clearly still evil man in the final few.  

All in all, Banshee doesn’t even pretend that it's a gritty, realistic portrayal of small-town crime and politics; this a fast-moving, violent, pulpy thriller that aims almost solely to entertain. And I don’t mean that as a slight at all. Above all else, I admire shows that know what they are and what they are good at and take those strengths to the extreme—Banshee does that.

Banshee's knack for self-assessment was on display in “A Mixture of Madness,” the Season 1 finale. The episode culminated the season’s stories in predictably fun and ridiculous fashion. With Rabbit’s infiltration of the town complete, everyone in Hood’s life—both the sheriff’s department and the entertaining super-team of Sugar, Job, and Anna—had to band together to save Hood and protect the man who'd (mostly) had their backs in the past. The early part of the episode was a little slow, but it was in preparation for a second half that involved extended shootouts, torture, over-the-top lines (I especially loved Ben Cross’s “No, THIS is love” while Rabbit stabbed Hood in the side), and flat-out carnage. At one point, I cackled at the amount of violence, ammo, and dead bodies piling up—and then Brock caused Rabbit’s men to blow each other up with a rocket launcher. I mean, seriously!

What worked best about the finale was how it stayed committed to the show’s mission statement of hyperbolic insanity. Anna finally got her revenge on her father Rabbit by shooting him twice in the chest... only for Rabbit to escape while Anna and Hood were having their intimate moment. The main villain survives for another day and another season of torment. Moreover, even with a lot of questions and the FBI hanging around, the show didn’t stop throwing seemingly suffocating obstacles at Hood, as a few hunters discovered the real Hood’s body in what appears to be the most poorly dug grave of all-time. So, it’s going to get worse.

Yet, amid all of that bloody fun, Banshee’s season finale still mixed in a few really great moments that didn’t involve bodies, guns, or blood. Despite the show’s insistence on ridiculousness, it also rarely lets Hood and Anna off the hook. This episode’s flashback with Hood warming up to a prison psychologist—only to learn she was on the Rabbit payroll—gave us another reason to understand Hood’s pent-up anger, but also reflected that, for this man, there really isn’t an escape. Not in prison and not in Banshee, even under a false identity. The same can be said for Anna, who saved her Hood, triumphed over her father, and kept her children safe, only to lose them once some of the truth came out. Hood wanted to resurrect parts of the past when he came to Banshee, while Anna was trying to keep it buried; they both failed. They’ve always been powerless in this extended fight with Rabbit, and despite this small victory, it seems like they’re still going to be powerless.

“A Mixture of Madness” was a fittingly wild conclusion to a wild season of television. I’m glad a certain sect of you spoke up, about Banshee and I’m even more glad that I watched the show. Until Season 2.



NOTES

– I presume that the mayor died in Kai’s planned explosion and that’s weird. The character never had much of a place in the story, or at least the writers certainly didn’t make much of a place for him. Based on the scenes with his wife, it seemed like there was more going on (maybe he’s gay?), but the show didn’t explore it. Perhaps his death sets up another mystery for Season 2, or even better, a Sugar Mayoral campaign.

– Lili Simmons is running away with Cory’s New TV Crush of 2013 race.

– I watched Season 1 in a very short period of time, so I’d love to hear how it differed for those of you watching week-to-week.

– Favorite moment of the first season? Best fight?


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Last fall, I saw a promo for this show called 'Banshee' that looked..."Wait, is that Ivana Milicevic? Ivana Milicevic that has been on "my list" since I was first introduced to her in the short lived 'Mind of the Married Man"? Yup, it sure is...I'm in! What do you mean this is the second season?!? Dammit, I don't have time to fit season one into my rotation!" Thankfully, the Olympics provided a nice little gap and, like Cory, season 1 was polished off in a weekend.

Being up here in Canada, all I knew of Cinemax was that it was a punchline of a network famous for offering little more transparently wrapped softcore porn. 'Banshee' being my only first hand experience with the network, I can't say how well that reputation has been earned. But based on 'Banshee', while nowhere close to being in HBO's league, I'd put it somewhere between Starz and FX when it comes to straight entertainment...and with the past and present offerings from those two, that's a high compliment.

To say, "I did underestimate just how much I would enjoy the series’ first 10 episodes." would be an understatement. My expectations were awfully low and maybe that's why I enjoyed it so. The show is completely bonkers. But if you take out the genius dialogue and editing, 'Pulp Fiction', at it's core, is no less ridiculous.

"...this a fast-moving, violent, pulpy thriller that aims almost solely to entertain. And I don’t mean that as a slight at all. Above all else, I admire shows that know what they are and what they are good at and take those strengths to the extreme—Banshee does that."

I've got FAR more respect for a show that knows what it is, knows how to accomplish it's goal and just goes about doing that without trying to pretend to be something it's not or trying to over reach with it's ambition. I was often reminded of 'Shoot 'Em Up' or 'The Transporter' (if Clive Owen or Jason Statham got their asses kicked on a regular basis) and that too is a good thing.

But for as bat sh*t as the show could be, it never went TOO far and tried to be Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez or Quentin Tarantino. But it also didn't sell itself short and settle for weak stereotypes of it's main characters. The closest it gets is Sugar as the wise ol' black ex con and "yearning for respect" lady deputy...but both characters integrate so well into Hood's that it doesn't matter.

Rebecca was intriguing enough to start the season, but the possibilities going forward of her going into the family business with Kai are fantastic! And Kai, like so many other shows and movies have done before, could have been the typical criminal big fish in a little pond a la 'Roadhouse' but his back story lends to depth that I greatly appreciated.

Job...Job is awesome, end of discussion!

And finally, my dear sweet Ivana's Anna/Carrie. By and large, there really isn't anything new here, but her chemistry Anthony Starr, particularly in the flashbacks, is fantastic! And her doppelganger'esque channeling of Mila Jojovich as she becomes more and more badass is equally great. Female action stars don't get nearly the cred they deserve.

Now it's time to make room for season two, cause I'm dying to see just how much more of a sh*t kicking the producers can put our band of merry misfits through.
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Verrry entertaining!

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It's nice to see "PAY" premium channels FINALLY giving their viewers something different. Its been sad to continue paying for mediocre entertainment when providers like AMC can provide such stellar shows like "Breaking Bad" and "Walking Dead" etc... THANK YOU Cinemax!
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Hands down, this is one of the most underrated TV series ever.

That being said, the Australian version of the series is completely unwatchable, when compared to what the US shows...It's heavily diluted: ALL of the nudity is removed, and the more bloody fight scenes are completely cut, to make it look like a fight starts, and then, after the adverts, someone has won.

But that's Australian censorship for you.

If Aussies want to watch this, you HAVE to get it through other sources i.e. Hulu or Netflix, or otherwise.
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Side note: Corey seems to be the only TV.com staff member, who is actually capable of reviewing a show, or an episode, for what it is, in a way that points out both the flaws and the positives, without leaning one way or another.

The rest of the TV.com staff would do well to learn from him.
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Best Fight is the one you left out: Ana/Carrie vs Olek, that was awesomely brutal :D
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I've just caught up and watched the finale. I'm glad I did because it's an interesting show with well-choreographed violence but I don't feel the need to watch any more of it.
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Great Show I couldn't believe it. Cinemax knows what to do :)
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every episode featured a small clip after the credits. hope everyone caught them.....!
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I did and the final one sets up yet another problem for hood. (Won't spoil it if you missed it)
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10x I didn't
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Nice job their Cory. You said exactly what i felt about the show in those first two paragraphs! Word for word, and I see it already inspired others to follow suit and catch up on the show. I know i've sold it to everyone i know lol. It really was a brilliant first season!

But seriously this show was such a blast, and i think you having seen it in two days must've been even better! Waiting week after week for more was brutal (pun intended).

As for the fight scenes, the one with the MMA fighter and the albino of course top it, but they were all of such high quality and realism.

And the bazooka scene in the final gets my ultimate vote, that was just awesome.

Wish you had mentioned Job more though, easily the most interesting character with
the best one-liners.

Can't wait for season 2, and hopefully more on the native-americans' storyline...the sister is smoking hot! I think I remember her from Brothers & Sisters.
Anyway, can't wait!
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Job has the best one liners in the show. "I wanna be dead and home by morning". lol
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Wasn't it dead OR home by tomorrow though?
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it was definitely "morning". about AND or OR, i'm not sure (I was sure until you brought it up) but i'm not gonna go verify it...
besides, AND is much better :)
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Hate to upset you, but Job says "I wanna be dead, or home, by mornin."

Listened to it several times, even changed my equalizer to dial down the audio and amplify the vocals....It's DEFINITELY "or".

As for everything else, you nailed it.
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:)
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This review made me start on this show and I'm glad I did.

What a hidden gem!
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And you know it! Welcome to superb television ;)
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Such a GREAT show. Can't wait for season 2!
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Not normally at all liking fights and other violence, but somehow the violence in Banshee doesn't seem overdone - extreme yes, but oddly real and integral to the story. When Antony Starr gets hit, he hurts. When he is beaten, he goes down, he takes time to heal and doesn't always win. Weirdly, this is what makes the series so watchable for me - a person who *always* fast forwards through fight/chase scenes in otherwise great shows like Person of Interest.
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I can't agree with this review more! Though no reviewer ever mentions the post-credit cut scenes, where a lot of information is given: Kai and Burton "cutting the meat," Job and the diamonds, Burton's screaming tattoo, etc.
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More Burton in season 2 please. I can't wait for him to meet Job, they seem to have so much in common. 8-)
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such an awesome show. totally underrated!
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Favorite moment was the fight between Cana and Olek!!!!!!

Hands down. Next up is the fight with Sanchez.
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There's so much left that they started and didn't finish, I can't wait for Season 2. Obviously there's going to be further revenge with the Native Americans (the sister said she'll stick around), Kai has a battle with his father/brother/sister/the Amish, Hood being a father, Anna's family dealing with who she is/her past, etc. This is the most I've enjoyed a new show in some time, nice work Cinemax.
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Great review and I'd say it's pretty spot on. I started watching the show when it started but agree with pretty much everything. It's definitely not a show you can take too serious, just have to have fun with it.
I would've like to see more heists though. I understand the show is named after the town it's set in, but still would've like to see them pull off the armored truck heist or something. Instead the whole season focuses on the drama with Rabbit, which would be understandable if he had died but now he's back for another season and I'm getting tired of that storyline.
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I didn't even know this show excisted until your review...so THANK YOU!!! It's absolutely fantastic and I'm only halfway through the first episode.
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However...after marathoning through all episodes I kinda have to object to all the gruesome fights. They actually turned boring after a while, especially the one between Oleg and Anna. Other than that it's nice to see blood when someone gets hit...as it is in real life.
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I enjoyed all the fights very much (and I watched all eps in <2days)
That fight is in fact my favorite one and imho is far better without the cuts to the other things happening, there's a youtube vid that just cuts together all the segments of that fight; works far better :)
(but then I'm someone who watched each fight in the Bourne trilogy again slowed down on the dvd to figure out how to replicate each move, and the gore doesn't bother, nor appeal to me)
And agreed, it's very good that they make the injuries sustained realistic, as opposed to just glossing over it and having everyone still look "pretty" after a brutal fight.
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But in real life you don't heal that fast.
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well, yeah but even that is far more realistic here than in most shows :)
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I've really come to like this show. Especially with how "gritty" it is.

Quick question to other viewers: Does Antony Starr remind anyone else of Bradley Cooper?

They kind of look alike, in my opinion, but Starr's voice really got me thinking about them being similar.
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reminds me of a mix of Stephen Amell from Arrow and Warren Christy from Alphas
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He doesn't remind me of Bradley Cooper at all.
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I think he looks like a cross between Scott Speedman and Stephen Amell...
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This...seriously could be Scott Speedman's brother!
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No. 1 as a TV reviewer there should be no need for you to 'burn through' 10 episodes in 2 days of any series. You or your colleagues should of had someone of this series since the get-go ... that's what a real 'man o the people' would have done. Second, of course Banshee is ridiculous ... its derived from a comic book so nothing new in you synopsis there. Finally, since you've already stated that you had just 2 days to digest the issues of the series ... your review is worthless b/c you haven't thought through all the issues that you would of if you reflected on the season over its several months run. Let's hope that you give the show its due respect in season 2.
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wait, really? What comic book?
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and we don't even know what is hood's real name....
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each and every character on banshee is like an mnm's coated chocolate candy snack.... hard on the outside, soft and chewie on the inside..

fave characters... Job of course, then Kai Proctor... and im still waiting for burton to do something before he becomes one of my favorite.. not sure what it is but he's gonna do something...

fave scene...first episode, the very first chase scene,

fight scenes: hood vs mma fighter, hood vs gay albino(alhomo), anna vs olek, hood vs bikers, hood vs kai.
sex scenes: hood&anna/carrie(very emotional),

fave lines, quotes and others..

job fabulously blowing up he's den,

job to cows:"f**k you! f**k each and everyone of you!",

job to hood: "suck my tit bitch of course i can do it!",

job telling off some chick saying: "shoo, go get pregnant!",

job in some kind of diner being taunted by a couple of hillbillies then he comes over to them, beats them, threaten them to back and before he leaves he refers to the counter "ladies" and to the hillbillies "bitches".
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As great as Hood's fights are I think Anna v Olek has to top it in terms of length and intensity due to the restrictive setting, I'd love to see an edit of just the fight because obviously it's split into about four parts, the fight felt like it must have taken up 10 minutes or so, the choreography and rehearsal for that fight must have taken weeks and weeks, hugely impressive.
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check youtube someone made a vid of all the Ana v Olek fight parts cut together (yeah, w/o all those cuts that left it broken up the fight is far better) :D
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I'd have to agree, that was the best fight scene of the series. Doesn't help that "Hood" always get his ass kicked before coming back to somehow win in most of his fights. Anna put up a much better fight.
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Thanks for finally letting people know about the show :) I agree the story is hardly believable but I think the main characters emotions is what drives the story.. Never seen anything this raw on TV.. especially the fight scenes... Epic ! I think the 2nd season will let us know more about hood's past and can hardly wait to see what blows up :D
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A drinking game involving taking a drink every time there's gratuitousness nudity or violence would definitely leave people in the hospital. Brilliant show!
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Yeah! Banshee love. This show is great; something to look forward to for a bit of Friday night entertainment and a true guilty pleasure as there are copious levels of gratuitous violence and sex.

Did you miss the end of credits easter eggs concluding each episode? The finale had the true Lucas Hood's son checking in with Hood's former colleagues to see if anyone had heard from his father whilst viewing the online video of faux-Hood's MMA beat down. Another complication for S02.

Job - One of the most entertaining characters on tele; I love every scene, the dialogue is hilarious.

Nola Longshadow - What on earth is this woman's profession? Odette Annable must be having tons of fun with that role.

Olek, you were awesome and a little creepy. RIP. You will be missed.

Deva - after an entire season of bratty behavior this precocious child didn't want to poke her finger in the open wounds and find out the identity of her bio-daddy? Seriously? Lame.
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I liked Deva's rebellious punker attitude--didn't find her precocious at all. I loved her telling off the bikers--she reminds me of myself when I was a pre-teen (tmi).

There wasn't much time this season for Deva's character and she hasn't spent that much time with Hood. Also she had been told her real father was dead and didn't learn differently until Rabbit came by at the end and we all know how action packed the end was. Otherwise agree 100%;-)
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It was precisely that vocality with authority or otherwise intimidating figures that I found to be precocious in Deva. She has a certain presence, and the mouth to show it off, that is unusual in a 15 y/o. All that sass and yet she just walks out on her mother without a word at the close of the season. It seemed rather out of character for the girl, but one can surmise she'd been through enough emotional upheaval and the next round could keep for a spell.

Do you recall the epi that disclosed the story about Deva's father being dead? It was my impression that she didn't know Gordon wasn't her biological father at all. Did I mishear that or is that the story "Carrie" told Gordon when they hooked up?
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I thought I was invincible at that age and totally mouthed off to authority figures. The first day in a new school (11th grade) I told my English teacher to fuck off and walked out of class. I mouthed off a lot as a teen and did a lot of stupid stuff at that age. I'm glad I did because then I got it out of my system and behaved in college.

Actually Deva is better behaved then I was--I was very vocal anti-authority (and other acts of rebellion) in my high school years--but I graduated without problems--principal liked me because my grades were good---use to skip school and forge notes saying I had a doctor's appointment~I remember once the principal was in the office when I was turning in a note and he said something like "how original" then I said something about the classics being the best and that was it...in retrospect he was probably going to retire and didn't want to deal with me (good grades but a total mouthy bitch to perceived authority figures).

I'm not like that anymore...really! I become a pretend conformist in college to make the grades to be able to achieve my goals...but I did walk out of another class but that's another story....

Her father being dead was in one of the short clips (I think) at the end of one of the shows. Does anyone out there recall which episode the after episode clip was from (after the credits in one of the shows--where Carrie gives her the locket).

Gordon knew she was pregnant with someone else's baby...my memory is failing me and maybe others remember which after credits clip it was in or maybe it was in one of the extras on Welcome to Banshee (on the cinemax website).

If you like Banshee and have some free time, check out cinemax and there is an area to go to Welcome to Banshee and there's a lot of backstory told--one clip shows Carrie very pregnant in the prison parking lot looking longingly at the prison for her man...she was about to go to the prison but a car spooked her..she also talked to Gordon on the phone--I think there were planning the wedding (weren't married at that point yet...if I remember correctly they got married after she had the baby but I may be wrong...)
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Thanks, I will check out the web extras. I read an interview with one of the writers elsewhere in which he commented on the tiny details embedded in the opening and closing credits, which I only began to catch toward the end of the season, but I guess I'll return to re-watch with a sharper eye.
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Deva was far more realistic as a teen than say, Brody's daughter in homeland.
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Very nice observation there!
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Hey did you catch the Stingers (small scenes after the credits in all episodes)? Just epic!
At least this show acknowledge its madness and goes full throttle most recent shows are just messy.
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I found out about those after last episode.. Yep.. epic is the word.. 10-50 sec insight to the character/story and quite valuable info for the audience...
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I got bored after watching 3 eps... I just didn't find it entertaining. I'd rather watch Spartacus.
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i got interested the moment i saw the camera angles in the first few minutes, entertained at the very first chase scene, really liking it with all the tits and action, and loved it with the performance of the actors, directors, and writers,

on the first episode......
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if after 3 episodes it's probably not for you...maybe try a 4th but if the mma fight didn't do it then I'd say try something different.
Spartacus is great and all it needs is some badass females other then Saxa (who is great but she all they have)
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Story takes a while to get any traction.. Try the rest episodes when you have nothing much else to do.. and maybe you will find it engaging !! Also its getting very difficult to watch spartacus these days knowing the end is quite near.. There wont be anything else to match the sheer epicness of spartacus !! :(
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Great season for a great show!! I was hooked since the beginning. I think cinemax has a hit with this one. I will admit that the show is a little "out there" and may not be for everyone, but i know that there is a huge audience for this show. It is exactly what television needs. It's fresh and different and not exactly what you expect, and then IT HAS YOU! And you can't stop watching. At least that is my experience with the show. One of my only complaints about the show is the 10 episode seasons. Way too short! I was disappointed to find out that season 2 will only be 10 episodes as well. I figured they would expand it a little bit to 13-16 which seems to be the norm with shows like this. Oh well, I guess 10 is better than nothing! I will be waiting for season 2! And for those who haven't got around to checking it out, I suggest you give it a try.
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Thank God, Banshee reviews!!

The finale was crazy. I want to day it wad my favorite episode because it was so action packed. Loved the shoot out, loved the dialogue, (”Save Hood, shoot everyone else”) logged the conclusion.

I didn't know until I rewatched an episode, but after the credits Theres a short scene. The son of the real sheriff from the pilot tried calling about his dad and saw the fight with the boxer from episode three on youtube. Season two will be crazy.

Also, does Kai know he killed the major? Or Rebecca did...?

Best fight goes to hood vs boxing rapist or hood vs albino. I started loving the show when he broke his wrist by blocking the punch with his elbow...awesomeness
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Phew finally some Banshee love! The finale only left me wanting more. And yeah I thought of the Mayor being gay too from his inability to perform with the wife. I can imagine his death causing all kinds of problems in Season 2.
I must say I found the hopelessness of Lucas situation in prison when he realises his shrink was a plant simply chilling!That was awesome TV.
I sure hope Lucas gets out of town before the FBI discovers who the dead body belongs to...or at-least Job's computer generated profile for Hood holds up. Also what about Hood's family how come no-one's come looking for him, And the Chief's daughter what's her story.
And what about Ann and her family, will her daughter find out who's her real dad now. Will she go back to the DA.
So many lovely reveals to look forward to in season 2.
I hope they find something else for Lucas other than the Sheriff...somehow that didn't seat so well with my law abiding ass!
I love the show!
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no one can leave Banshee (check out some of the extras on the Cinemax website)...there are interviews with the producers/writers/cast...someone says that no one can leave Banshee. There is also a super short preview for season 2.
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"Also what about Hood's family how come no-one's come looking for him."

I think they mentioned at some point that he doesn't have much in the way of family. But the family he does have will certainly cause stir something up in the next season. That much is clear from the bonus scenes after the end credits, especially the one in the season finale.
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i absolutely LOVEEEEE this show!!!! please please more more !!!
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My work is done. My soul is at rest. Banshee is acknowledged for its epicness.

One last time, with my dying breath - BANSHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Banshee is the most thrilling, entertaining show right now, and Hood is THE most compelling leading man I've seen in a long time. This guy just owns the screen, doesn't he?

Favorite fight: Hood vs Sanchez, Hood vs The Albino. The show is more than its sex and violence, though. Sometimes it rips my heart from my chest, like Hood's words to Ana in the finale: "I missed you." All in all, a fantastic show and I thank all involved for bringing it to us.
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Yes! Thank you, Cory, for giving Banshee a real chance. It's great to know you enjoyed it as much as the rest of us.

I've been waiting years for this type of action series. Right after seeing that first trailer, I knew it was going to be something special. I simply love how unapologetic Banshee is in every way possible. The stories, characters, fights, cinematography -- it all adds up to one hell of a ride. We need more ridiculous entertainment like this in our lives, and I just can't wait to find out what happens next.
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Fights---gotta be Olek vs Anna..and every other fight Hood has been into. Speaking of Hood, i think its time he really look at deputy Kelly. ..and i kinda like Job. he is too "out there" but he got skills., he's loyal.
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Annas fight! I forgot, that was great too.
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Job is awesome!
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Rebecca /Lili Simmons is so ridicolously hot and cute. And on top of that she can act, what madness is this.

Also good to see Ulrich Thomsen get to play an evil madman on international film/tv as we've enjoyed him in those roles in Danish films over the years :D
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Hip hip hurray - Cory listened!

Fav Banshee fights: Albino (sick fight!), MMA rapist, Anna/Olek, Hood vs Hillbillies in the Crick (cuz it was funny!), some Kai fights too but can't remember the specifics. I also enjoyed Hood jumping/beating on the saucy prison psych when she revealed who was paying her - she was SO smug about it too.
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Thank you Cory and thanks to everyone who posted their comments. This is a time to celebrate and be happy. Our next goal should be Banshee getting a review every week.
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We did it!
Power to the people:D
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I really loved this whole season tho I have to say it seemed to me as someone who has seen Anthony Starr is a few other TV series, that the reason the first coupla episodes were so hard to get into seemed to be Starr's problem talking with an amerikan accent.
He got it by about the 3rd episode which isn't too bad since that's his third accent shift in two & a bit years (kiwi then australian then amerikan).
Before e03 he wasn't projecting himself at all, mumbling in an almost amerikan accent but letting a few twisted kiwi vowels sounds out) and that made it hard to get onside with hood because he wasn't emitting any/much emotion to engage you.
The guy is a seriously good actor so by s02 he should really shine altho the show is named after a town not the peeps who live in it so in theory any citizen could end up dead. Killing off anyone major in S02 is unlikely.
That may have been what killing the mayor was about, if asked the producers can say "we kill off big players. We killed banshee's mayor in s01 finale." even tho the role only appeared for like 15 seconds every 2nd episode.
Gutless producers never let gutless show runners ever let gutless scriptwriters kill off anyone on amerikan tv it seems.
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BANSHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Whoa! Sorry about that. I think it's all out of my system now. Wait, no it's not! ...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Okay, NOW it's out of my system. Let me begin by saying that if TV.com gave out awards to its writers, Cory Barker would have my vote for "Best Makeup and Hairstyling". (I know what you're thinking, Tim deserves it more, but fake awards don't make much sense.) I'm so pleased that someone listened the people/mob, and took up our repeated and very loud pleas that Banshee get reviewed. Tim didn't want to do it (too busy styling his hair, I suspect), but Cory came through in the clutch and acquiesced all us ravenous fans. Thanks, Cory! You'll get that fake award some day. (Seriously, though, you're awesome.)

Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Person of Interest, Homeland, Justified, The Walking Dead, Banshee? ... YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT!

After the first episode I was hooked. After the second episode I was enthralled. And after the third episode I was trying to figure out where Banshee ranked in my Top 10. Yep, I think it's THAT good.

The first thing I noticed about this show while I was watching it for the first time was the absolutely stunning cinematography. Two weeks ago I boldly compared Banshee to Breaking Bad in their shared cinematographic brilliance, and I stand by that comparison. Both shows strive to find that perfect shot. But more than that, they give you views and angles that you've never seen before, and sometimes make you feel like you're watching art unfold. Every single episode has something new and surprising. It simply blows me away. There are too many examples to mention, but here's a ramble of some of my favourite moments:

- Hood walking out of the prison.
- The bus careening towards the camera.
- Pretty much the entire scene when Hood almost got caught by the cops after that failed museum job with Job. (I can't remember the last time a TV show so visually engaged the audience in a chase scene. I can't fully articulate how the camera angles sucked me into the show and had me on the edge of my seat. The scene was fraught with suspense and it was beautiful to behold.)
- The "ask for it" scene.
- There was one time Hood was running for cover behind a car and all of a sudden the camera angle went first-person POV, like a Call of Duty video game.
- Oh yeah, and EVERY SINGLE FIGHT SCENE!

This show drags the viewer kicking and screaming with joy into a fight scene. Never have I been so revolted with glee, so vivacious in the face of such visceral volatility, and so sickly satisfied while watching fictional carnage. I truly believe Banshee is incomparable in this regard. The fights were just so damn real, I could almost feel the bones breaking, and smell the stench of freshly spilt blood. It was brutally awesome stuff.

FIGHT SCENE RANKINGS:

1. Anna vs. Olek.
2. Hood vs. The Albino.
3. Hood vs. The MMA Rapist. (I know! How is this fight number 3?! Banshee is ridiculously amazing, that's how.)
4. Hood vs. The Sheriff Killers.
5. Hood vs. Kai Proctor.

While my favourite episode remains to be the prison flashback with Hood and The Albino, Anna vs. Olek gets top billing in a season full of bloody brilliance. One of the reasons for this is the dubious nature of the outcome. Whereas when Hood entered into a brawl there was little doubt whom would emerge victorious, I wasn't so sure with Anna. The battle ebbed and flowed in each fighters favour, which made it delightfully maddening to watch, but murder on the nerves. Another aspect that elevated it above the rest was how the fight was spliced throughout an entire episode. I love every single storyline Banshee has got going right now, but every time they cut away from the fight, I wanted to savagely throw something at my television. And finally, what made it number one was my legitimate fear that Anna was actually dead. I very rarely get fooled by main character near death experiences, but this one got me. So when Hood discovered Anna in a pool of her and Olek's coalesced blood, and she gasped in his arms, I started maniacally cheering (after I wiped away my totally manly tears).

Another thing I want to mention is the intro and closing credits. I cant think of any other show that so seamlessly incorporates the intro and credits into the thematic mosaic. Here's what I wrote about this subject two weeks ago:

"Everything about Banshee is mind-bogglingly creative. The opening sequence is especially unique. It is essentially a collection of pictures being shown atop a grey and grimy surface, but the pictures change, and in some cases, evolve each episode. For example, at the beginning of the season there was a wedding photo fully enact, but as the season progresses that photo is being torn away piece by piece. And other images that are only shown once often symbolize portending events in that particular episode."

Here's a list of the first season's evolving pictures:

- A Boxing match, ending in a knockout.
- An assault rifle being put together, ending in its disappearance.
- A wedding photo of Carrie and Gordon being ripped away piece by piece, ending in one solitary scrap with Gordon's head being the only thing that remains.
- A chess match, ending in checkmate.

The closing credits are significant because the song selections always relate to the story, but more importantly, there is one final scene at the end of every episode that actually has meaning to the plot. This show is simply too good.

I could go on and on about this show (I haven't even gotten into the individual characters and the amazing dynamics the writers have created in one short season OR the season finale), but I'll close this comment by addressing Cory's "ridiculous" assertion.

Banshee IS ridiculous. It is batshit crazy to all hell. But it revels in its ridiculousness. It embraces it like a brother. But I don't find it to be nonsensically ridiculous. I think a better word for what Banshee has become is surreal. I compare it to a very dark and violent graphic novel brought to life. You've even got your larger than life characters (The Albino, Kai Proctor, Rabbit, Job). I don't know if Banshee is based off a comic, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is. This show has no delusions of grandeur. It knows what it is and doesn't pretend or aspire to be anything more. But in doing so, it contradictorly HAS become something that is so mind-blowingly unique and magnificent, I cant quite put its awesomeness into words. I love this show!

Banshee: (pron.: /ˈbænʃiː/ BAN-shee), from Irish: bean sí [bʲæn ˈʃiː] ("woman of the sídhe" or "woman of the fairy mounds") is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.

Onto season 2. Let the bodies hit the floor.
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I bet you never thought you'd be this in love with another Friday show so soon, or maybe ever. ;)
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Haha! Not in 2609 years! ;)

(But I'm SO glad that Banshee got me out of my Friday depression spiral.)
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I was hoping you would post something FringeFanatic. Your comments are always a pleasure to read.
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Thank you! You're one of the few commenters I ALWAYS look out for. I don't know if it's because of your icon picture (Raylan Givens! Fear the cowboy hat!) or because your comments are informative and insightful ... I'll go with both!
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it's both imo:-)
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Hmmm, despite the fact that I had previously said I can't declare Banshee one of my favorites, that little list you just showed is making me think that maybe it would be in the my top 10 if I take out the ones I still love for its early seasons, and not the last couple years or so (ie. Dexter, Always Sunny).

Also, has there been an after-credits scene for EVERY episode? Damn it. I think I saw four, but I didn't know every episode had em. Ugh, stupid me.
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Yeah, Dexter was banished from my Top 10 after season 6. Such a shame, because it used to be #1 way back in seasons 1&2.

Yep. Every episode. It's torrent time! :)
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Dexter dropped out of my top 20 recently :(
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Incredibly well said. Banshee is entertainment at its finest.
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Thanks! Couldn't agree more. Go Bears!
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Just let them pay you for these reviews fringe!
Besides, Tim has gotten increasingly more absent, bitter and cynical ever since he got married. WONDER WHY
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Haha! Thanks! I'll accept Traveler's Cheques and Gold Bullion. ;)
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Great another song stuck in my head (let the bodies hit the floor).
Awesome review/comment--you said what I thought but much more eloquently.
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Thanks! But don't sell yourself short. I love your comments!

P.S. I think you're the only one who brought it up in the comments, but I've been wondering since episode 8 just exactly what the deal is with Proctor and Rebecca. Is their relationship solely familial? I don't know about everybody else, but I've been getting some heavy incest vibes from those two. ESPECIALLY during that swimsuit/pool scene.

Rebecca: "I hope you don't mind, I found it in the closet."
Proctor: "No... Not at all."

WEEEEEIRD!
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Thanks!

They are niece & uncle who are both banished/shunned from their Amish family/community (all they have is each other in terms of Amish relationships & familiarity). Once Rebecca was banished and Hood wouldn't take her in, then she turned to Kai. He seemed more jealous lover than protective family about Hood and Rebecca being lovers. Supports the ick factor of the relationship.

Kai is all Rebecca has so I think she will use whatever it takes to survive...play the tease or the dutiful niece or become a business partner. I just hope they don't go boardwalk empire on us because I don't hate Kai (just dislike a lot about him but don't hate).

very creepy....I got an incest vibe also but I'm not sure they are going to go there. I kind of leaning toward her and creepy bow tie guy. I think she is very sexual/sensual & gorgeous. Uncle Kai probably has sexual thoughts about her but has enough self restraint not to act on them--at least I hope not.
Just my 2 cents.
All in all, very CREEEEEEEPY!!!! lol
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Haha, as soon as I read that, the song started playing in my head, too. Ugh.
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I'm a little bit proud of us, the people, bringing some sense to TV.COM. And I want to thank you, because I think you and your elaborate ways to express your opinion certainly helped more than my anger-driven rants, threats, blackmailing and a head in a bowling bag in front of Tim's door.(He just dumped it without peeking, probably thinking it was some kind of prank by the neighbors kids)
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Haha! Power to the people!

(Heads in bowling bags are the most badass threats.)
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– Favorite moment of the first season? Best fight?
Hard to say, a lot of the comments here refer to the MMA, the prison or the Kai/Hood fights so I'll go for episode 4 "Better half deaf than full dead" and Hood's insane attempt to rob a museum. Those 14 min were one of the most thrilling and best executed getaways I have seen. Grand Theft Auto and NO WAY the cops gonna get you. Plus I liked how Carry came back to pick up Hood in the most over the top way possible.
The finale:
I'm not sure if it wasn't a little too much, even for Banshee to make Procter BOMB the casino - and someone has a voice box call of the mayor's last moments and a .. boom, maybe? And HOW in the world are they NOT getting any DNA from the real Hood? That fake identity is history, right? And how was Rabbit able to crawl in his hole when he was ... alright, my fault I was thinking - it's f**** BANSHEEEEEEEE!!!
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I didn't like this show until episode 8 then I was hooked. Very disappointed that Anna didn't die though in episode 8 from the blood lose from that awesome fight she had with Olik. And then for her to choose to go save Lucus instead of going home to her son after his kidnapping, that's real mother of the year award right there.
I loved the warehouse shoot out scene, to finally see on TV the real carnage of what a gunshot to the leg can do. WoW that was grusomely great. Also had a loud chuckle when the grenade launder went wrong. Lol.
The music for the this show has been great. And the lil clips at the end of each episode was always something to look forward too, a piece of the puzzle.
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I agree, except I'm glad she survived and give the woman a break she's been being "mother of the year" for like 15 years now. We saw in all the prior eps that she'd put her husband and kids 1st; even if it meant leaving the man she loved to die by slow torture (and even if she was the one who brought him to those who'd do it), and she waited till her family was safe to go save the father of her firstborn! That's awesome :D
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My favorite part of the first fight scene (assuming the first one was the one were the guy tried to kill Kai and not the three second shoot out between Kai and Rabbit's men) was where the guy got his fingers cut off by the garotte and looked at his hand, it was such a cool moment and a good example of how brutal this show is when it comes to violence.
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I had already forgotten that. I didn't like it when I saw it, because it was unrealistic in a bad way, like the bulletproof car.
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You forgot about Sioban! Trieste Kelly Dunn can act! And can play a great lead too!
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Banshee better end up being mentioned in the FTW list or I'm going to go Banshee on your ass:-)
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best line
"What would Hood do?"
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any speculation on whether or not this show makes it onto the FTW/WTF list?
a conspiracy? lol
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More speculation: Is Banshee already a lock for best new show of 2013? I say yes...
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I could be wrong, but, umm...I'm sure the staff will all agree that there is no conspiracy
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yeah, Cory kind of killed that idea by doing a review but the paranoid conspiracy theory (I watch to much tv) built up for so long since the show was ignored by the site for so long--sometimes it's hard to let go of a theory/belief (delusion?)
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ah hell, I was just tryin' to crack a conspiracy joke. I swear though, next time, I'll try harder :)
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I just got on line today and with "fresh" eyes I get it--lol--clever;-) the staff are in on it! I was taking everything to seriously.

Anyway, I briefly checked the "list' and see us fans were "heard". I don't know why it's such a big deal for me but now I can chill out and appreciate the humor;D

I'm bingeing on nip/tuck--never saw it before since it has a medical background (I tend to not like those shows) but it is excellent. It's so addicting I only came to this site while the show is buffering (plus I had to check to see if Banshee made the FTW section).
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Better late than never! Banshee is easily the FTW of the year so far.
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100% agree!
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Staff
Tim urged us to include it this week, but I turned mine in earlier so it won't be making it, probably.
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Then there is no reason it shouldn't be on the list--Tim can include it even if he doesn't like it--if he watched through the MMA fight maybe he would like it but even if not he can still acknowledge it as FTW given the high ratings (at least on this site) and large following/fan-base, especially considering it is on Cinemax. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the Carrie/Olek fight (best fight on tv) didn't make the list.

Feel free to shoot off a quick revision:-) Seriously--email, call, text, tweet whoever is doing the list...lol,

The site can also attempt to be self-depricating and put itself on the WTF list for not including Carrie & Olek's fight and a bunch of other FTW scenes. I'd respect a site's integrity for putting themselves on the WTF list:-) lol, we all screw up. Do you feel the peer pressure:D
Do it, do it, do it

This is the last time it can be included until season 2 starts...season 1 was ridiculously badass that it has earned a FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regardless, thank you for watching & reviewing the show and for acknowledging the vocal fans who comment here so much about it. You earned my respect--whether you love Banshee, hate it, or whatever...total respect for actually "hearing" our roar and doing something (review) about it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you--you deserve a raise or a bonus;-)
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I just noticed that out all the articles/reviews on the homepage today the top 3 with the most comments are yours! Kudos
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