Spoilers ahead for tonight’s episode, “All the Wisdom I Got Left”
From one week to the next, Banshee continues to push the boundaries of what makes for powerful, must-watch television. How it manages to top itself with every episode is simply astounding. And tonight, certainly, is no exception. Banshee‘s willingness to kill off major characters puts everyone on notice, including its viewers. No one is safe, not even Chayton Littlestone.
Let’s talk about this for a moment—the death of one of Banshee‘s most intimidating characters. (I originally wrote “intimidating villains,” but Chayton was much more than just a big bad. And let’s not forget that many Banshee residents, including Hood, have blood on their hands.) Not too long ago, Chayton boldly declared to Nola “I am the tribe.” He believed his fight against oppression was a noble one, that his people had been unjustly marginalized for far too long. He was simply fighting back against society at large. He considered himself to be righteous, a savior hell-bent on misguided vigilante justice. (Again, he wasn’t the only one who saw fit to take the law into his own hands.) But when he killed Siobhan, he crossed a line. We knew Hood would track him down for a final showdown (in this case, to New Orleans’ French Quarter), but who really thought Banshee would have the temerity to actually off Chayton?
Yet offed he was, in spectacular fashion. Wounded and on the run, Chayton soon finds himself cornered. But instead of surrendering, he goads Hood into killing him. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was shocked by the graphic intensity of the shotgun blast that destroyed most of Chayton’s head. As someone who watches a lot of zombie films, I’m no stranger to gore, but there was something profoundly unsettling about seeing someone’s head blown off in this way. Maybe it was the dangling eyeball. Maybe it was how quickly it happened. Or maybe I really believed a character like Chayton was too much a part of Banshee’s DNA to ever be killed off. Maybe it’s all of the above. Either way, Chayton Littlestone is dead; long live Chayton Littlestone.
But as we know, he wasn’t the only heavy in town. There’s also Colonel Stowe, who is certainly a force to be reckoned with. He knows the people who pulled off the heist were pros, and it’s clear he knows Carrie has something to do with it. (He’s done his homework and knows her father was the infamous Rabbit.) Sooner or later, Stowe’s going to make serious trouble for her. And who knows, we may very well lose Carrie before this season.
Proctor, too, could very well be on the bubble. We may as well throw Emily’s name into the ring while we’re at it. She was a marked woman the second she walked through Kai’s door, and her death would be enough to send Brock over the edge and into truly dark territory. We saw it happen to Emmett, and look where it got him. The question is, will Hood have his back? Will he pull Brock back from the brink of nihilistic rage? I certainly hope so. With Emmett gone, Brock is the lone voice of reason, the moral compass in a town of lost souls. With only two episodes left in this season, time will tell.
Some closing thoughts:
Job and Sugar clearly don’t get along, but they have an undeniable chemistry. Not only do we learn more about Sugar and the guilt he’s been harboring for decades, we also see Job’s compassionate side. He guards it well, but deep down he can’t allow Sugar to be conned. As far as unlikely duos go, Job and Sugar are played for more than comic relief; there’s a lot of pathos behind the banter, and Banshee mines it well. As Job tells Sugar, he’s had enough of this “Podunk tragedy theater.”
There’s an awful lot of pathos hidden beneath those jaunty bow ties Burton wears, too. His is a closet brimming with demons. Soon, they will be loosed upon the world. But the question is, who will suffer their wrath? Could it be Rebecca? She’s certainly not doing herself (or her uncle) any favors by continuing to take business matters into her own hands. At the end of the day, if it comes down to her or Burton in a fight, my money’s on Burton. As to who Proctor is most loyal to, I have to believe it’s to Burton.
Nola’s death was never avenged. (Did Chayton even know she died by Burton’s hand?) So I wonder, who will seek justice for Chayton’s murder? As of now, the only person who knows what happened is Brock, and he’s not going to talk, especially when he still needs Hood to take down Proctor. Never mind that Hood is done with all of it, with the lies, with the bloodshed, and with Banshee itself. To paraphrase The Godfather’s Michael Corleone, just when Hood thinks he’s out, Banshee pulls him back in.