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BANSHEE 1.02 ‘The Rave’

Lucas' unorthodox approach to law enforcement shakes up both the townsfolk and his co-workers.

Episode Title: "The Rave"

Writer: Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler

Director: SJ Clarkson

Previously on "Banshee:"

Episode 1.01 "Pilot"

 

In last week’s premiere, "Banshee" established itself as a pulpy, bombastic drama about a "small town with big secrets." In this second hour, we learned what a few of those secrets are. And the rather matter of fact title hits it on the nose. They have raves in Banshee. And what’s more, the kids there do drugs.

Really though, "The Rave" wasn’t about an ecstasy-fueled underground dance party in a barn as much as it was about establishing how Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) plans to police Banshee – like a thuggish ex-con who has no regard for proper police procedure or protocol (and we learn that he hates paperwork in this episode).

When Hanson, one of Kai Proctor’s pill pushers, organizes a rave in a barn, Lucas gets tipped off by one of the Pennsylvania Dutch locals. Turns out Lucas unknowingly bedded his daughter, but more on that later.

As the Banshee PD prepares to shutdown the party, Deputy and would-be sheriff, Brock Lotus (what’s up with that name, by the way?) reprimands Lucas for attempting to go inside without wearing a police uniform. Lucas does it anyway and quietly knocks out the baddies before finding Carrie’s teenage daughter, Deva (Ryann Shane) shrieking in horror as her boyfriend goes into convulsions caused by a bad hit of E.

Turns out Deva’s boyfriend is the son of a senator, which makes Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) especially pissed; so much so that he cuts off one of Hanson’s fingers and feeds it to his Rottweiler. He then gives Hanson sixty seconds to flee before the Rotty, which now has "a taste" for him, gives chase. It’s an outrageous scene and definitely determines just what kind of controlling, power-mad psychopath Proctor is. It also makes up for the early scene between Proctor and Hood, in which the Pennsylvania Dutch Don resorts to the clichéd method of getting his point across by talking about protecting his "local business interests" and "solving things quietly." When you’re using the shelf life of a Kobe steak as a metaphor for forced compliance, you need to try harder.

But as Proctor’s Tarantino-esque brutality, it's all the motivation Lucas needs to do his job. If the pilot didn’t make it clear, Lucas Hood is a man looking for trouble. As Sugar (Frankie Faison) pointed out, he’s now a free man, having paid his debt to society. But Lucas’ can’t help sticking out his chest and swinging his fists when something pisses him off. Only difference is this time, he’s got the law on his side, at least for now. The problem is Proctor thought he had the law on his side as well, until Lucas showed up.

This second hour also further established storylines for several Banshee residents. In fact, it felt like we spent more time with Carrie’s daughter, Deva than Carrie, herself. As for Lucas’ lost love, when she’s not failing miserably at raising a teenage girl, she’s full contact sparring in a empty loft with some dude we’ve yet to meet. It appears Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) is not cut out for the life she’s created for herself, raising kids and selling real estate. The more Lucas presses the issue of their past, the more we can probably expect her to drop out of her charade, as she did when struggling with Deva in this episode.

But back to the notion of "big secrets in a small town." Anyone who’s ever lived in such a place knows that secrets are hard to keep. Thus you have to question Lucas’ judgment in bedding a chick he met at Cole Moody’s wake. That is if he’s seriously trying to make a go of this whole "Sheriff thing. Then again, maybe we should just abandon the idea of "good judgment" here, altogether.

If anything, this second episode informed us on what everybody in Banshee wants. Lucas is fixated on Carrie who is equally fixated on staying out of Mr. Rabbit’s crosshairs, as evidenced by the nightmares she had about running off with her former boss’ diamonds eight years ago. And Kai Proctor wants to maintain the stranglehold he has on the small town, something Lucas clearly threatens.

The only problem I foresee with "Banshee" at this early stage is the possibility that the storytelling space starts to feel cramped. Again, we’re dealing with a lot of big characters in a small town where paths constantly cross. Lucky for Lucas, he has Job (who is awesome, by the way), who's apparently hiding out on the Jersey Shore, to help prevent him from getting caught. But how long until Proctor starts looking for dirt on Lucas? As I mentioned in last week’s review, it’s hard enough to maintain a false identity in this Internet age, let alone that of a law enforcement official.

Otherwise, "Banshee’s" second episode was just as colorful yet dark as the first hour and thoroughly enjoyable. How long it can maintain this current pace, we’ll have to wait and see.