Banshee: The Burden of Beauty Review

Banshee is a town that continues to be haunted by the ghosts of its violent past.

This Banshee review contains spoilers for “The Burden of Beauty.”

Banshee Season 4 Episode 2

The town of Banshee has certainly seen its fair share of deaths over the years. Felon or friend, it’s a dangerous place to live and to love. No one is immune to Banshee’s deadly charms—not even if you’re a Proctor. And so this final season of Cinemax’s Banshee goes, giving us hints as to who may have killed femme fatale Rebecca Bowman. There may be several suspects and motives to spare, but very few leads. Solving Rebecca’s murder, however, is but one of many conflicts being introduced this season.

Certainly Calvin Bunker, the leader of the local Aryan Brotherhood, will prove to be more trouble than he’s worth. That he and the Brotherhood are working for Kai Proctor, rather than with him, is suddenly a major sticking point for a smaller fish with bigger ambitions. Calvin’s connection to Dick Webster, a slimy pornographer who uses underage girls in his videos, is already causing problems—not only for Proctor, but for D.A. Franklin, who basically works for the mayor (as most good and bad people alike in Banshee tend to do). Calvin is undeterred by threats, though; they energize him, giving him purpose and a new reason to be mad at the world.

Then there’s Carrie, who’s also raging against the machine. She’s still struggling to get her life back together after Gordon’s death. Even after two years she is still without her kids and her home is just as damaged an incomplete as she is. What I find so interesting about her storyline this season is that such a powerful character could be brought so low by the power of a therapist’s notebook and pen. Carrie scrutinizes her doctor like a hawk even as she tries to speak earnestly of her many demons. She wants her children back, but with every scribble of his pen, she is one step further from regaining custody. And now, with Hood resurfacing, there’s a chance she may never get her kids back. 

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But there’s more to Carrie’s story than just floundering emotionally. When she’s not acting as Banshee’s vigilante, she’s spent the last two years trying to find job. Hood insists it’s a hopeless cause, that their friend is long dead, but that didn’t stop Carrie from chasing down one lead after another. But, just as Hood suspects, these leads have all led to dead ends. As Sugar suggested in “Something Out of the Bible,” he hoped Job was indeed dead, otherwise they were all a lousy bunch of friends. We know Job’s kidnapping is what caused Hood’s dramatic downward spiral, but Carrie and Sugar were right along to keep searching. Job is alive—but for how much longer? And what will happen to Hood once he learns that he truly abandoned Job? More than likely, if he’s rescued, it will be several episodes from now. (And, dear god I do hope he’s eventually rescued from whatever hellhole he’s in.)

Some closing thoughts: 

Even though she’s been murdered, Rebecca continues to enjoy a pretty interesting storyline. She’s always been portrayed as strong-willed and fiercely independent, qualities that have repeatedly gotten her into trouble. This final season is no exception for her, as we learn that she was trying to set up her own drug operation behind her uncle’s back. Her biggest mistake was aligning herself with the Boedicker clan. As we’ve already seen, Aaron Boedicker is not a person to be trusted. Rebecca knows this, but tries to rein him in for not honoring their original deal not to deal meth within Banshee. It’s too soon to say whether or not Aaron killed Rebecca. He certainly had sufficient motive, but I don’t think that’s the case here. One of the best things about this particular flashback is at least now we know how Aaron lost his hand—and why there’s bad blood between him and Hood.

When Hood shows up announced on Carrie’s property, a large metal gate stands between them. As the gate slides open, we see its black bars slowly pass across Hood’s face. It’s an interesting reminder that prison is what ultimately kept these young lovers apart. That being said, this is another important scene for establishing motive. Did Proctor kill his own niece, as Brock suspects? It’s easy enough to believe—but proving it is the bigger challenge.

I really wonder what Clay Burton was thinking as he watched Proctor choked the life out of Eljay Boedicker. Is it admiration, or is it something else, like professional jealousy? Whatever it is, Matthew Rauch played the moment pretty close to the chest, as he usually does.


4 out of 5