The second season opener of most any dramatic series, especially one that ended its first season in such a fiery way as Banshee, is all about picking up the pieces and everyone involved trying to recover from wounds both physical and psychological. And it’s an attempt to let those who missed out on season one get acclimated to the jet stream of the show.
In both of those regards, this first episode of season two doesn’t disappoint. We get run through the paces of the explosive end of the prior series by way of a closed Federal hearing being overseen by the still-dramatically chain-smoking FBI agent Jim Racine. He questions Lucas Hood, his deputies and the embattled Carrie Hopewell about the big shootout involving themselves and Mr. Rabbit’s men, which allows for plenty of textured flashbacks to the bloodshed. And, of course, there’s a quick flash of Lucas and Carrie in bed together. The conclusion: Lucas gets reinstated as sheriff, his deputies get probation and Carrie’s case gets handed over to the district attorney’s office.
The rest of the potentially stray plot threads get tied up in quick succession in the cold open. Rebecca decides to leave her Amish family behind to stay with Kai Proctor (including the clichéd shot of her head dangling out of the window of a car, feeling the freedom in her windblown hair). Sugar and Job steal back the real Lucas Hood’s body from the morgue and rebury it.
But the most important scene comes when we see Mr. Rabbit, lying in the woods and, in the show’s campiest moment, grabbing a squirrel that was sniffing around his hand and crushing it. I’m sure if I wrote about this show’s first season, I would likely hit this note again and again, but am I the only person who remembers Ben Cross back in his Chariots of Fire days, back when he showed some real promise as a dramatic actor? Now, all we get from him are softcore Shannon Tweed flicks and choking on Ukrainian accent in this show.
Once everything and everyone are settled back in their roles, the fuse gets lit on a few plots, with the hottest being Carrie’s big return to the criminal operations of Lucas and his crew. In this case, it was boosting an armored car full of cash from the casino. They almost get away with it too, if not for some sleek young woman on a motorcycle that comes along to get in their way. She’s later revealed to be a crony of the tribe that runs the casino and shows up much later to pick Lucas up in a bar.
While it’s going to be interesting to see how Carrie deals with her upcoming trial, and dealing with the tension of the eventual return of Mr. Rabbit, the biggest question that remains to be answered is the one asked by Job and Sugar: why is Lucas staying? The attachment to Carrie is there, true, as it is to their daughter. But as everyone keeps reminding him, the longer he stays, the better chance he has of getting his head blown off. Lest we forget, though, Lucas hasn’t been one to make the smartest of decisions considering where he’s ended up in his post-prison days. I doubt anyone involved with the show or watching it sees this ending well for Lucas. Let’s enjoy his gruff, scruffy, brooding presence while it lasts, eh?