Review: 'Banshee' - 'A Fixer of Sorts': 18 wheels on a big rig
A quick review of tonight's "Banshee" coming up just as soon as I grab that hood ornament...
"Banshee" is a show that doesn't particularly lend itself to weekly analysis, but "A Fixer of Sorts" was the show operating at such peak efficiency that it warrants mention.
First, the Burton/Nola fight was insane, both for the graphic brutality of it — each of them suffering injuries that would have killed or at least crippled them in a more grounded series — and just the way it was shot, particularly the sequence when the camera appears to do a full orbit around the car while they're fighting inside it. I don't know if that was really a single take or if there's a digital cheat in there somewhere, but it looked amazing. And yet even as those two are tearing each other to shreds, there's still that unexpected thoughtfulness that makes "Banshee" more than just well-executed pulp exploitation. The way we saw their lives flashing before their eyes — not the good stuff, but their most degraded moments — said so much about both characters, and made me regret that we were about to lose one.
Second, Denis O'Hare was a treat as the eponymous fixer, and the idea of a gangster so fat that he travels the country in the well-appointed back of a big rig was inventive and fun, even as it was clear at least one bad guy would wind up under the tires. A nice epilogue to last season's Jason Hood story, and an entertaining diversion from this season's larger arcs with Chayton and Proctor.
Third, while Hood was off on his semi adventure and Burton was busy getting stitched up by Brock's ex-wife, the episode didn't skimp on action for the rest of the crew in Banshee, with Brock, Siobhan and Billy Raven getting into a shootout with the Redbones at Kai's strip club, while the buddy comedy team of Sugar and Job pulled off the next stage of the Army heist caper. Busy, busy, busy, and that's before Siobhan got ahold of the file revealing that her boyfriend isn't who he claims to be.
Also, in case you missed it, we've got some video highlights from the Q&A I conducted in LA last week with Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic and Jonathan Tropper, both above and in this post.
I'll check back in in a few weeks. Episode 5 is a real barn-burner. But how is everybody feeling about the season so far, and about all the ultra-violence tonight?