Banshee, Season 1, Episode 5: The Kindred, Review

At last, a new show that is good and getting better.


Banshee has already reached its halfway point and the Cinemax original series is really started to chug along and has found its rhythm. The character development from the pilot episode to the fifth has really excelled, giving us more and more breadcrumbs about the people that make up the sleepy town of Banshee, PA. The layers of the proverbial onion continue to peel away, showing the audience that it is not the size of the town but the people in it. And Banshee is a place that I would not want to get a flat tire in when driving through Pennsylvania. It is a scary thing when everyone in a town, any town, all know each other because that means they also know all of their secrets. Sheriff Lucas Hood is at the epicenter of the powder keg that is Banshee and the fuse is slowly getting lit as we prep for the second half of what is turning out to be a terrific freshman season.

It is the “Banshee Spirit Festival” in Banshee; a 90-year old tradition that is a boon of commerce for the town. Both the Banshee townspeople and the American Indian people whose land the town was built on joyously celebrate the traditional event. It is a nicely staged street festival with all of the local merchants and even the Amish selling food, drink, crafts and other carnival related stuff. A motorcycle gang that go by the name of “The Kindred” (hence the episode title) ride into town just in time for the festivities looking for trouble. And if there is a place to find trouble Banshee is the place to be. The Kindred wear their black leathers with logos and identify themselves with silver snake and skull rings. They have run through Banshee before but this time is going to be different.

Banshee crimelord Kai Proctor has a run in with the American Indian casino owner Alex who is the heir to the Chief whose health is waning. Unlike his father, Alex does not want to be in business with Proctor, especially after his recent arrest for murder of his drug dealing crony Hanson. Despite being freed on bail and awaiting a Grand Jury, Alex expresses himself in no uncertain terms that he does not want Kai involved in the Casino expansion. He is insinuating that his father, the Chief, will not be around much longer. FBI Special Agent Xavier is in town meeting with D.A. Gordon and Sheriff Hood because of Deputy Lotus’ loss of the witness Hanson while in a motel in episode 4. To be fair to Lotus, Proctor’s people brought down the motel with C-4 explosives to get to Hanson. Apparently after blowing up the motel, the protected witness to Hanson’s murder is gone.

Ad – content continues below

Carrie and the kids are enjoying the festival when Deva and Max want to go on a hayride. Already having been ogled by The Kindred, the gang is right near Carrie when she goes to get Max’s asthma inhaler. Naturally the bikers get Carrie in an alley and it is 5 against 1 with the now reformed housewife taking on the thugs. She knows how to handle herself but is overmatched until Sugar; a former pro boxer walks by. Sugar tries to reason with the gang but it is pointless and the old man shows he’s still got it after laying out two more of The Kindred. After he is hit from behind and knocked out, one of the bikers still wants to have his way with Carrie sexually. Oh and he has a gun. The townie Officer Kelly sees what is going on, draws her weapon and kills the man in a “him or me” exchange saving Carrie’s life. When Hood arrives, he calms the young officer and also attends to Carrie as the love is most definitely still there.

The Kindred return the next day to the festival and descend on it, wreaking havoc everywhere; dragging women by the hair from their bikes and knocking down all of the displays. A town hall meeting is immediately called after the incident and the young Mayor is unable to control the townspeople until Proctor steps in and assures the townsfolks’ safety for the last day of the festival. Shaken, Officer Kelly’s house is shot into before being set on fire by The Kindred. Penance for killing their fallen brother. That night, an angry Hood drives to Proctor’s where, in the trunk of his Rolls, is a bloodied Kindred biker who has been forthcoming with the gang’s location. But Proctor wants to know “what’s in it for me?” In the teeming rain, Hood descends upon The Kindred’s hideout with two of those modern day Billy clubs and beats them to within an inch of their life.

It is another terrifically choreographed action sequence for the series and I again was surprised and impressed. Hood has some demons and he excises them with every crushing blow he dishes out. Hood loads the unconscious bodies into Job’s van to take them to Cleveland where there are warrants. Job hands him a new false ID and I got very confused but then I figured it out.Officer Kelly returns to the Caddy for work after the fire and it is her birthday. On her desk is a manila interdepartmental folder marked “Happy Birthday” filled with six silver Kindred rings. Officer Kelly shows a warm smile and her tough townie exterior is broken through for the first time. On the last day of the festival, Carrie and Hood share a silent moment on a bench as they watch their daughter Deva gossiping with other tweens. At this point I am certain that Deva is Hood’s daughter and not Gordon’s, but who knows. While in evidence, Special Agent Xavier is speaking with the clerk angrily because suddenly the two key pieces of evidence in the Proctor murder charge (Hanson’s cut off hand and cell phone) have gone missing. The last officer who signed in was someone the clerk had never heard of before. Nice job Job.

I am officially into the program now after admittedly, I doubted Executive Producer Alan Ball at first. Oh and yes, Hood did manage to get laid at some point in the episode from the super-hot Amish girl Rebecca Bowman (the stunning Lili Simmons) who lives a double life. Amish by day, sexy by night. There was some allusion to a possible score for Hood, Sugar and Job to take down an armored car for the Casino so I am definitely looking forward to next week’s episode.

Put your blinker on TV Geeks, Banshee is your new exit.