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When watching Banshee one has to take all the unlikely and unbelievable plot developments with a grain of salt. Episode after episode ridiculous situations arise for the infallible Lucas Hood to overcome and come out on top. This week we saw Banshee being run over by an incredibly hostile motorcycle gang. They wreaked havoc on the town and its inhabitants; they assaulted Carrie, stalked Siobhan and burned her house down, and terrorized the town’s festival.
The gang was so villainous that it was almost laughable; after one of their own was killed they decide to enact revenge on whoever was responsible. Deciding to stay in town even though they knew the police were looking for them wasn’t the most intelligent decision, but they were driven by their blind hatred and resentment, allowing Sherriff Lucas Hood to once again exercise his unconventional tactics to save the day. While this gang of criminals seems to be just another obstacle for Lucas to overcome and use to prove his mettle, it brings up conflicts within the town and its citizens that had not been addressed beforehand.
The destruction left behind by the band of criminals raises alarm and fear among the people of Banshee. A public forum is held where the citizens voice their concerns and it is the first time that there is a discussion of state of their police force. With all the criminal activity that seems to make its way to Banshee it doesn’t make sense for there to be almost no police security. While we can assume that there just isn’t any money to pay for a larger personnel it is only natural for one to feel unsafe when the only people protecting you are, as a citizen puts it, “two deputies and a cheerleader.”
It makes sense then, that although pretty much everyone in Banshee is aware of Kai Proctor’s corruption and criminal activity, the general public is willing to overlook that for the sake of their own personal safety. Proctor is able to appeal to the public’s emotions and weaknesses to assert himself as an important figure in the town. When he offers his own protective detail to help with the festival there are no objections from the people of Banshee, they would happily accept his help in exchange for their own silence and appeasement. He comes off as a kind of noble hero, offering to give away free food and sacrifice his security for the people. This illustrates how Proctor has been able to sustain his industry in the town for as long as he has. He wants to maintain that power, but he has had some obstacles come his way lately. He hasn’t been able to manipulate and control Lucas like he had the sheriffs before him, and his ties with the casino have severed because of his arrest. Proctor can see how he could be slowly extracted from the Banshee hierarchy and will do anything to stop it from happening.
Proctor has been shunned by his family and knows what it feels to be on the outside of a community he was once a part of. His ties to Banshee are deep and he definitely feels a strong connection to the county, probably because of the way he had to leave his home. Because of the many things he has done for the town, regardless of their legality, he has a sense of entitlement over Banshee. This idea of belonging to a community or group is an important theme in the episode and the series as a whole. The community of Banshee is its own unit, the people identify strongly with where they come from. Siobhan is prideful of her ties to Banshee; she has lived there her entire life and knows the town well and she is very vocal about it. Many of the citizens seem to share a similar idea of kinship and community. With this unified state comes a kind of aversion or wariness to outsiders. Various examples of this are used in this episode, most notably the band of criminals we see coming into town in the very first shot. The thugs of the motorcycle gang are not only threatening outsiders, but also make up their micro version of society. They feel safe within their little group and their actions are motivated by a sense of loyalty to its members. They feel the sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves and feel protected by that. This idea of community is also their downfall because it leads them to make questionable choices and irrational decisions.
Another outsider introduced this episode is special agent Dean Xavier from the FBI who is sent in to deal with the Proctor case. He is met with some resentment by the local police, as is expected, but asserts himself skillfully. Being a part of the police force is something that they are proud of and take very seriously, so of course they question any outsider coming into their turf. Lucas is still treated like an interloper, especially by Brock who was hoping to become the new sheriff. The members of the police force form their own small sect within Banshee, where interpersonal dynamics are specific to the environment.
Lucas is still figuring out where he fits in in Banshee. He came in as a definite outsider, and above that he stole the identity of the outsider. He identifies with Rebecca, who is also straddling two worlds or two identities. They are living in a kind of limbo, not belonging to any specific group or community. Rebecca not so subtly points out that, “it’s like I’m trying to be two people.” That’s certainly something Lucas can understand. Rebecca is stuck in a rigid and strict lifestyle, one she obviously does not believe in, but is afraid to be shunned, like her uncle and cast away. Like her, Lucas is stuck living the life of a stranger, but it the only way he can be in proximity to Carrie and his potential daughter. Lucas’s inner conflict is one of the most interesting aspects of the show watching his struggle to move on from the past and attempt to build a semi-legitimate life.
As he learns more about the town and is antagonized by Proctor, his kinship to Banshee and its people seem to grow in strength. He is still motivated by personal vendettas, the main reason he goes after the motorcycle thugs is because they attacked Carrie. He feels incredibly protective of her and loves her still; his choices were driven by his emotions and his need to protect her. It is plain to see that his loyalties lay with himself and not necessarily with the good of the people, at least not yet. The show seems to be leading him in that direction, but it is ambiguous. Lucas starts off in the episode planning for a potential robbery of the Longshadow’s casino. There is no denying his past and he can’t help but go back to what he knows, but will he end up going through with it? I suspect there will come a time in which Lucas will have to decide which road to take, but where he decides to go is still up in the air.
- Where are the diamonds? Did everyone just stop caring about them?
- How long till Lucas and Siobhan hook up? I’m surprised the writers haven’t gone to that well yet. Maybe they will resist going that route, I would gladly welcome them just being good work friends.
- Job is great, want more of him now that he is living in Banshee, but I suspect the writers don’t want to overwhelm the audience with such an over the top character.