Episode Title: "Wicks"
Writers: Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler
Director: OC Madsen
Previously on "Banshee:"
If you were a fan of HBO’s brutal prison drama, "Oz," then this episode of "Banshee," a show about a fake sheriff who was nearly beaten to death in prison by a muscle-bound gay albino, was for you.
We knew the ex-con now known as "Lucas Hood" had a rough time in jail, but Mr. Rabbit, the man he stole from and whose daughter he was boning made sure it was extra unpleasant by having the fair-skinned bruiser beat Hood to a pulp "every single day."
All of this ties into the new guy in town, Leonard "Wicks" Van der Wick. Wicks recognizes Hood (Antony Starr) when he gets off a bus in Banshee and promptly gets thrown in jail in order to force a reunion.
The episode serves as a parable about Hood’s past and how he’ll navigate his new identity going forward. We spend a little time with Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), who’s trying to force a reverend to move off the property his family’s lived on for generations so that Proctor and his Native American business partners can build a new hotel. When throwing money at the reverend doesn’t help, Proctor returns with pictures of himself having sex with the man’s wife. Remember, Banshee’s a small town, so small that before she married the reverend, his wife was a dancer at one of Proctor’s clubs. Coincidentally, Proctor took pictures of their tryst. Oh, and there’s video too, because as Proctor reminds us, "there’s always video". It’s all a little too convenient, but part of the fun of "Banshee" are these dark soap opera moments.
After Wicks reintroduces himself to Hood, the sheriff releases him, gets him a hotel room, some new clothes and sends him on his way with two-grand in his pocket. But instead of leaving town, Wicks gets drunk at the Indian casino and ends up in jail again. But this time, he decides to play his trump card, threatening to out Hood if he doesn’t get a piece of the action.
As flashbacks of Hood’s battle with the albino are weaved through his current conflict with Wicks, we learn more about both men. When they were in prison together, Wicks quite possibly saved Hood’s life, warning him when the albino was planning his next beating. Now you might say it’s time to return the favor and Hood did for the most part, giving Wicks a place to clean up, some new duds and a wad of cash. If only Wicks took his own advice.
By that I mean what he told Hood back in jail about trying to make a deal with the albino. Hood thought they could work something out to spare himself the beatings but the albino wouldn’t go for it. In the end, Hood kills him by turning a barbell into a makeshift guillotine and crushing the albino’s neck with a weight plate. It's becoming clear it's not an episode of "Banshee" if there isn't a scene which makes you turn away from the TV.
And Wicks suffers the same fate when he won’t back down from the sheriff. As Sugar (Frankie Faison) and Hood drink whiskey by moonlight in a rowboat, we see Wicks’ body floating below the surface.
It’s a dark little tale that serves as a reminder that Hood will always be a wolf in sheep’s clothing as Banshee’s sheriff. The episode also started to unravel a little bit of that costume, as well. Carrie’s (Ivana Milicevic) friend suspiciously glances at her and Hood as they whisper by a payphone in the diner. Her husband asks Carrie about her relationship with the sheriff (she’s just grateful he saved Deva at the rave) and Deputy Lotus (Matt Servitto) questions why Sheriff Hood let Wicks go and how he knows him.
The truth about Sheriff Hood’s identity is a time bomb that’s ticking along. We all know how word travels in a small town and people are starting raise eyebrows over Carrie and the sheriff’s behavior. That could all change if Carrie delivers Hood to Mr. Rabbit like she promises at the end of this episode. And if that happens, Hood will wish he was back in the prison yard, about to face off against a hulking albino wearing sunglasses and standing under a parasol.