This review contains spoilers.
3.3. A Fixer Of Sorts
After two episodes of predominantly setting up future storylines, Banshee threw away any sense of restraint this week for an hour of the kind of all-out carnage and mayhem that only this show could deliver. Starting with the jaw-dropping opening minutes – which I’ll get to in a moment – A Fixer Of Sorts rarely let up, both escalating ongoing conflicts and paying off long standing ones with no shortage of bloodshed. In short, this was one of the best episodes Banshee has ever delivered. The confidence and boldness of the writers was on full display this week, and it’s hard to see how the game can be lifted much more from here.
This represented the first episode this season more or less built around a standalone plot. Back in its first season, Banshee tended to skew toward a ‘case of the week’ structure, with exceptions, before veering into more overtly serialised plotting in the second season. This week, however, we were given a highly satisfying standalone plot that also comfortably wrapped up any lingering threads from the Jason Hood storyline in season two. The idea of a grossly overweight billionaire travelling the country in a luxury house hidden in a semi-trailer is such a brilliantly insane one, the kind of thing only this show could get away with, and so perfectly in line with the series’ pulp/comic book sensibilities. The moment Hood opened the door to see the highway racing away behind him I was on the edge of my seat, and that did not change for the rest of the episode. It’s almost a shame the billionaire with his ledger of prospective victims was so swiftly dispatched, as he could have been a great recurring villain, but then again Banshee has no shortage of those.
As such, we got a highly tense and satisfying hour that also introduced a potential new ally in the form of Robert Phillips, an FBI agent who does not do things by the book and now owes Hood his life. That could really go either way at this point, but I’m glad he made it out of the episode alive. By flashing back to Agent Racine and Jason Hood, Banshee reminded us that it doesn’t forget much of its mental history, so I would be highly surprised if we never saw Phillips again.
Additionally, we have the arrival of Brock’s ex-wife into the Proctor household as a nurse (I know this happened last week but I totally missed it; cheers for the shout out in the comments). With Proctor’s mother urging him on her deathbed to push Rebecca away, is it looking like there is a hint of attraction between the nurse and the crime lord? If so, that’s not about to make relations between the Proctor empire and the police any more amicable. The dominoes are in place and the first couple have fallen already.
With no shortage of mayhem, we saw the further consolidation of our major conflicts. Chayton’s little brother was killed in a poorly thought-out raid on one of Proctor’s clubs, shot down by no less than old friend Billy, who cannot possibly have long to live now. The four way war between the police, the reservation, Proctor and the military is about to explode, with personal grudges on every side, and it’s bound to make for thrilling action when it does. The fact that an episode as wholly satisfying as this one still left me salivating for next week is testament to just how on the top of its game Banshee is right now, and the killer cliffhanger was enough to make me scream at the screen. The rest of the season cannot come fast enough.
Which brings me to the other major game changer in tonight’s episode; the vicious fight between Burton and Nola, resulting in the brutal death of the latter. Was anyone else totally gobsmacked by this? I mean, logically there is no way they both could have survived, considering they’re two of the most ruthless and dangerous characters in the show, but Nola felt like she was only just really coming into her own. Thus far she has existed on the fringes of the show, a wild card yet to entirely show her hand. Killing her at this point is a bold and interesting decision, and if she had to go, giving her one of the finest fight scenes this show has ever depicted (no mean feat) was definitely the right way to send her off. It’s a little sad as she was fast becoming one of my favourite characters, but with the history between her and Chayton it only provides more motive for swift and violent retribution.
So, farewell Nola. I was always excited to see what would happen when you were on screen, and while it’s a shame to lose you, at least you went out like an absolute boss.
Read Gabriel’s review of the previous episode, Snakes And Whatnot, here.
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