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Banshee Season 4: The Series Ends on a High Note & There Will Never Be Another Quite Like It [Review]

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The hit action-drama series Banshee airs exclusively on Cinemax and will end after it’s upcoming 8-episode fourth season, which hits April 1st. The incredible television series stars Antony Starr, Ivana Miličević, Lili Simmons, Matthew Rauch, Chris Coy, Ulrich Thomson, Hoon Lee, Frankie Faison, Matt Servitto, Eliza Dushku and Tom Pelphrey.

Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-con and master thief assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff where he continues his criminal activities. His past seems to haunt him by those he betrayed years earlier. This ex-con imposes his own brand of justice where violence erupts at every turn in the not so quiet Amish town, Banshee, Pennsylvania.

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One of television’s greatest has left us after four seasons and there will never be another show quite like Banshee. Violent, dramatic, funny, vulgar, suspenseful, horrifying, gripping and twisted, Banshee has been firing on all cylinders and because of that it was time to see it end on a high note before it started to become stale. Banshee not only never became stale, it got better and better year in and year out, adding new and fascinating characters into an already brilliant and established ensemble cast.

After season three ended in explosive fashion which saw Job (Hoon Lee) kidnapped by mercenaries, we jump ahead in time to see that Hood and his pals have been unsuccessful in locating their friend and because of this, Hood has all but given up and not only quit his job as sheriff, but he’s essentially now a mountain man living in the woods. Antony Starr plays a broken man in season 4. Hood has been put through the ringer as everyone close to him usually winds up dead. Job was the last straw, so he puts himself in exile only to come out of hiding to discover that yet ANOTHER long-time Banshee resident has been murdered and that he’s the prime suspect. To have one of your main characters dead in the season premiere is a ballsy move, but Banshee is a show that packs a ton of balls and well — they knew this was the end going into it. Eight episodes for the final season and they did a tremendous job adding brand new storylines into the mix as well as resolving long-time outstanding ones.

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Major Spoilers Ahead for the rest of Season 4

It doesn’t take long to discover that Job is still alive, so the team eventually finds him and after a rescue, they try and get their wise-cracking friend back to reality… But it ain’t easy – Job has been decimated, tortured and treated worse than anyone has ever been treated on this show just short of death. Hoon Lee is known for his comedic relief mostly, but his dramatic turn as he tries to find himself again over the course of season 4 is remarkable and heart-wrenching. It was nice to see him have the greatest farewell line in maybe TV history too. “Banshee, Pennsylvania…. Suck my tit!” – Like a boss, Job gets the fuck out of there. It was so satisfying watching Hood, Carrie (Ivana Miličević) and Sugar (Frankie Faison) end everything on a high note while bidding one another farewell. I got choked up watching these characters depart and go on their separate ways. They had all earned their happy endings in one way or another.

Now, I will say this. Having a satanic serial killer plot consume seven of the 8 final episodes, was a strange move. After Rebecca (Lili Simmons) is found dead in the opening episode. Yes, they killed Rebecca in the opening episode – holy shit, Hood, Brock and newcomer FBI agent Dawson (Eliza Dushku) investigate a trail of horrific cult-like murders that are related to Rebecca’s. The eventual killer is played by Frederick Weller and he does a solid job playing a sadistic madman, but I found this plotline unusual to be included during a FINAL season and it did feel out of place at times, mostly because it didn’t “feel” like Banshee…

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In fact,  A LOT, of the final season deals with brand new storylines, the one eating up the most screentime being the Neo-Nazi brotherly quarrel between Kurt Bunker (Tom Pelphrey is fucking awesome – cast him in major movie roles immediately because he’s an amazing actor) and Calvin Bunker (Chris Coy). You know – cast Coy in everything too because holy shit this guy – he stole every single scene he was in. It was damn near impossible to follow up Chayton’s big bad performance in season three, but Coy came damn close and in some ways he even exceeded Chayton just due to Coy’s sheer willingness to take everything to 11 – the man was killing it and even though this storyline didn’t feel like a series ender (until the damn finale), it was quite moving.

I applaud the writing team under the guidance of Jonathan Tropper for trying new things on a show that was so close to the end. The more I think about it, I’m glad they didn’t dwell on the past but they decided to add so many new and interesting subplots and characters right until the bitter end. That is a bold move and I think it worked out in the end for the most-part. I would’ve liked the serial killer plotline being resolved a couple episodes earlier, but that’s a minor gripe because the series finale – was a tour-de-force. Everyone had their moment to shine in that episode.

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Burton. Oh Burton. The mighty Matthew Rauch needs to be in more dramatic roles on television. After four seasons of playing the bow-tied, glasses-wearing psychopath Butler/bodyguard to Kai Proctor, I’m happy that he really had his moment to shine in the end. I called the twist by the way – after the opening episode I knew that Burton was responsible. The seed of discontent had been planted long ago between Burton and Rebecca… I was actually sad, like very sad when Burton was laying in Proctor’s lap near-death after a crazy fight with Hood soon after he discovered that Burton was the one who killed Rebecca…

When Proctor had no choice but to put down his faithful assistant, that’s when it truly started to feel like the end was here for this show. Burton didn’t have many lines, but to me he was damn close to the heart of this series. A series which is full of eclectic and bizarre individuals who are all layered with so many fascinating traits – Burton was really the first of them all since the beginning of this show and watching him die was when it really hit me that Banshee was going away – forever.

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We never do find out Hood’s real name – that FBI file that Dawson leaves for him on the bed just had the fake name he gave to police when he was arrested years ago – John Smith. I’m glad they never shoe-horned his birth name into the show. He’s the new “man with no name”. I loved his moment with Brock too when he finally tells the truth about being a criminal…. That was also a huge tipping off point for me, because it made me realize – oh shit, that’s right – this show is almost over – for good. From Ulrich Thomsen’s ode to Scarface as Kai Proctor goes out like a true warrior, to the quiet goodbye between Hood and Carrie – Banshee resolved as a series in the greatest way possible. There are many tremendous series finales, with Breaking Bad being the greatest but Banshee comes damn close… I was sad at first, then I was happy and above all else, I was satisfied knowing that my favorite TV show had come to such a definitive close. Farewell Banshee – now let’s get someone to make some comic book sequels shall we? Who doesn’t want to see Job and Hood in New York planning a new heist? Get to it.

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