Banshee Review: “Ways To Bury A Man” (Season 2, Episode 7)

Matt Servitto in Banshee
From the moment he confirms Kai is responsible for Jason’s murder, Hood seems prepared to make another of those bad decisions he’s been trying to avoid for so long, ready to come at Kai head-on, consequences be damned. Leave it to Sugar to come through in a pinch though, offering the words of sage wisdom alluded to in the episode’s title. Before going after Kai directly as a con, Hood is convinced to approach the matter as a cop, wielding all the power and legal authority that comes with the position. Of course, Hood’s still a pretty crappy police officer, so he hasn’t a clue how to use the resources at his disposal, so he goes to get his second piece of useful advice from arguably Banshee’s best cop, Brock.

I’m liking the direction the show is taking Brock the longer we spend time with him; up until now, it’s seemed that Brock’s issues with Hood have been a matter of policy, but the truth is he’s just jealous someone else is occupying the top spot he thinks he deserves. “Ways to Bury a Man” reveals that Brock is willing to play dirty just the same as anyone else, and he’s quite good at it too. Shaking down Proctor’s strip club without so much as a warrant is probably something he’s dreamed about every time he had to meet Kai there, such that he’s the only deputy that seems unconcerned that the raid turned up diddly squat to actually use against Kai. Brock’s been looking forward to this game for some time, and he’s in it for the long haul.

Hood’s never been one to plan for the future though, and a lead from one of Proctor’s girls is about the only thing that keeps him from going back to Plan A, and just putting a bullet in Kai’s head. The evidence trail sets up the week’s Big Bad for Hood to get into a one-on-one with, but the episode pulls a fun reversal, instead having Hood capture his target (a cog in Kai’s ecstasy production/exporting machine) with ease, and leaving the brawling for Brock and Emmett. The junkyard scrap has a liveliness that sometimes gets lost in the Hood battles, which are precisely choreographed for maximum impact, as opposed to pure entertainment. Here though, we get all-out chaos, and the results are a terrific showcase for how fun the show can be when Hood has friendly company.

That sense of anarchy then drives the rest of “Ways to Bury a Man” home, ending on one of the best Banshee setpieces ever. While Brock thinks it’s best to take down the drug lab with paper work, Hood, and his deputy night shift of Sugar and Job, proves that the 18-wheeler is mightier than the pen, driving Kai’s latest shipment straight into the walls of the lab, then blowing it all sky high. The episode ends shortly after the fireworks, and why not? Let the consequences come next week, says Hood’s face as he admires the flaming wreckage. It’s hard to disagree: how long Banshee will draw blood from the stone Hood just threw through Kai’s window is anyone’s guess, but if it can maintain the excitement and propulsion of “Ways to Bury a Man,” then we’re in for a real treat.

Stray Thoughts

  • Correction: Now Gordon has hit rock bottom. Unless the writers can think of a way to have him sink lower than getting his ass beat in a strip joint by the sheriff, all while ignoring his son’s increasingly dire health concerns.
  • Ana’s in a tight spot this week, as Max’s worsening condition has her hard up for cash. Bringing her and Job together on a separate story could be fun, but why does she insist the pair strike out on the new venture by themselves?
  • The show’s humor has really been shining through nicely the last few weeks. Undercutting serious moments (of which the show has plenty) makes for good gags, like Brock painfully admitting his respect for Hood, and little things like Siobhan noting Brock’s familiarity with the strip club give us a better sense of the characters. Even the “anticlimactic badass explosion” gag, which is now as common as the very thing it’s meant to parody, worked like gangbusters.
  • The show’s done some good work with Siobhan and Brock this season, which is why I’m really hoping we soon get to a point where Emmett isn’t just around as “the black guy.” The skinheads he puts the hurt on at least mention his football-playing past, but it’s frustrating to see some 90% of Demetrius Grosse’s scenes always feel the need to circle back to him being black at some point.
  • In Kinaho news, the vote of non-confidence against Alex show’s no confidence from the tribe council members. Kai’s quite the lobbyist, as you might expect.
  • Seriously, how great would it be if Rabbit just, like, didn’t come back? Like ever.