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Series: Banshee
Banshee is a crime drama on Cinemax It premiered on January 11, 2013.

Antony Starr stars as a No Name Given master thief who served 15 years in prison for stealing $10 million in diamonds. As soon as he is released he goes looking for Anna (Ivana Miličević), his lover and accomplice who was able to elude the police and got away with the diamonds. He seeks out Job (Hoon Lee) a drag queen who is a master hacker and provided Anna with a new identity. Job gives him an address in Banshee, Pennsylvania, a small town in Pennsylvania's Amish country. There Anna has become Carrie Hopewell, a respected real estate agent, mother of two and the wife of the District Attorney. Before he can confront Anna/Carrie, he witnesses a botched robbery when two toughs working for the local crime kingpin Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) try to rob a bar owned by Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison). He is forced to kill the two robbers but they fatally shoot Lucas Hood, the new sheriff of Banshee who just arrived in town from Oregon. He realizes that no one in town has actually seen Hood in person so he assumes Hood's identity and becomes the sheriff of Banshee.

Further complicating matters is that during the diamond heist "Lucas" double-crossed Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross) a ruthless and much feared Ukrainian mob boss who also happens to be Anna's father. Mr. Rabbit's henchmen are now looking for him and Anna and all hell will break loose if they find out where they are.

The promotional materials for the series included a short webcomic that detailed the events leading up to the ill-fated diamond heist and a series of 13 webisodes that gave us a glimpse at the background of the various characters and the events that occurred during the 15 years that the protagonist was in prison.

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: The show has an abundance of them:
    • Anna was an accomplished thief and martial artist but once she became Carrie she spent the next 15 years preparing and training for the time when Mr. Rabbit found her. She is Made of Iron and verges on One-Man Army levels of competence and lethality.
    • Nola Longshadow is also making merits for One-Man Army status by getting the drop on Lucas and his crew and nearly taking them all out, as well as effortlessly beating up three marines.
    • Deputy Siobhan Kelly singlehandedly beats the crap out of her abusive ex-husband.
  • Asshole Victim: Several in the show. One example was Sanchez's manager, who dismissed the women Sanchez raped as "skanks" who only cared about getting paid off. When he refused to give Proctor back his money, Clay Burton did something to him that (judging by the screams) was horrendous.
    • Wicks, Lucas' old jail "buddy" fits this trope. While he did help Lucas in jail, he blatantly admitted that he was doing it as "investing" in Lucas for his own protection. Once he found out that he was sheriff, he began exploiting his kindness. After blowing Lucas' money on drugs and gambling, he threatened to expose his secrets unless he was given a job. Lucas chose to instead kill him.
  • Attempted Rape: Anna is subjected to this by a biker gang. Shiobhan saves her by killing the would be rapist. But it is implied that she might have been able to save herself even without the intervention.
    • The mayor's wife almost got raped by one of the hostage takers. Fortunately, the hostage negotiations interfered with that.
  • Badass: Lucas functions as a One-Man Army, often taking down several men by himself. Actually managed to beat up an MMA prized fighter to the point of crippling him and ending his career.
    • Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the sheriff and the most competent fighter in the entire department.
      • Proctor also deserves mention. Was able to give Lucas a run for his money in their fight with each other.
    • Badass Bystander: Deva's friend temporarily incapacitates a hardcore killer.
    • Took a Level in Badass:
      • The webisodes reveal that before he went to prison Lucas was just a thief and the need to protect himself while in prison turned him into a ruthless Combat Pragmatist.
      • Deputy Siobhan Kelly used to be an abused wife who drunk too much. A few years before the series started, she finally had the courage to divorce her husband and applied to become a sheriff's deputy. When he shows up in season two and tries to force his way back into her life, she shows off her badass creds by beating him to a pulp.
      • Deputy Brock gains a level in "A Mixture of Madness" where he leads The Cavalry to save Lucas from Mr. Rabbit. Things don't go according to plan but he still ends up saving the day
  • Berserk Button: Kai Proctor really hates it when people insult the Amish. He takes it really bad when one of the Amish being harassed is his father.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sanchez comes off as a charismatic guy at first. But he's soon revealed to be a violent rapist who exploits his fame to get away with crime.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Season 1 Finale. Lucas gets saved and Rabbit is stopped. But he manages to escape and may still be alive. Meanwhile, Lucas still owes Proctor a huge favor, Anna's relationship with her family is destroyed, Rebecca begins her Start of Darkness, the mayor is killed, a federal investigator is assigned to Banshee, the corpse of the real Lucas Hood is discovered, and in the post-credits scene, real Lucas' son finds a Youtube video of fake Lucas' fight with Sanchez.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • When Lucas first confronts Anna/Carrie she tells him that Deva is 13 years old. He clearly does not believe her and easily confirms that Deva is in fact 15.
    • In one of the webisodes, Lucas calls Job from prison to ask about Anna. Job tells him that he has not seen Anna in years. Lucas does not believe this but can't do anything about it. For added irony, at that moment Anna is actually sitting right across from Job.
  • Blood Knight: Lucas seems to go out of his way to pick fights where he is outnumbered or outclassed. You can clearly see the joy on his face as steps up to give or receive a beating. It is implied that this is his way of dealing with all the anger and pain he accumulated during his 15 years in prison.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Deva definitely starts off as this. But as time goes on, she becomes more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Break the Haughty: Deva goes through a lot of shit in the series. Her boyfriend dies in front of her, she gets taken hostage by robbers at her school, her little brother gets kidnapped and she finds out about her mom's secret past.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Proctor gives Sanchez's manager a satchel filled with thousands of dollars as payment for agreeing to have the championship fight in Banshee. Clay Burton later comes to "repossess" it after the fight falls through.
  • The Casanova: Lucas. Has had sex with quite a few women in a short amount of time.
  • The Cavalry: Carrie, Sugar, Job and the deputies go to rescue Lucas after he trades himself to Mr. Rabbit in exchange for Max.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The final scene in episode 3 showed a man uploading the fight between Sanchez and Lucas onto youtube. The Stinger of the season finale showed Jason Hood (the real Lucas' son) watching said youtube video).
  • Click Hello: Emmett pulls this on the Cole brothers while they're holding Lucas and Proctor at gunpoint.
  • Combat Pragmatist: After spending 15 years in prison, Lucas does not fight fair. During his fight with Sanchez he bites his opponent to get out of a choke hold. Later he breaks the guy's finger and then snaps his wrist.
  • Contrived Coincidence: All over the place. The show's premise itself is based off the fact that Lucas just happened to be in the same bar that the newly appointed sheriff (that nobody in town saw face to face before since he was from outside the city, something that's never happened before in Banshee) was eating at right when robbers came in and killed him (and got killed themselves, leaving only Lucas and Sugar as eyewitnesses).
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Proctor begins to tailor Rebecca for a role in his criminal empire. And so far, she's on board with it.
  • Cowboy Cop: After witnessing his methods, people assume that Lucas is this type of police officer. Of course, the truth is that he has no training in proper police procedure whatsoever.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: One way to interpret why Proctor got so mad when he found out Rebecca slept with the sheriff.
  • Dark and Mysterious Past:
    • Clay Burton has one. Flashback snippets during "Armies of One" show him being mercilessly whipped by an unknown party, and he still bears the (numerous) scars from this experience.
    • Lucas is implied to have had a rough life even before the prison sentence, and no less than the FBI has no freaking clue who he really is.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Anna masturbated with a shower head while thinking of Lucas. When that wasn't enough, she had sex with her husband.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates:
    • Subverted. Mr. Rabbit loved Lucas like an adopted son but he still would not have approved of Lucas sleeping with his daughter.
    • Rebecca's father would not have approved of her dating anyone outside the Amish community and would have disowned her if he found out that she was having sex with them. Kai Proctor, her uncle, is extremely angry when he finds out that one of the men Rebecca has slept with was the sheriff.
  • Dead Person Impersonation/Impersonating an Officer: The core premise of the series. Lucas is able to pull it off because the real Lucas Hood is from a backwater town in Oregon and the only person in Banshee who knows what he looks like was the old sheriff who died recently. To maintain the ruse, Lucas has Job hack into any website or database where photos of Hood might be displayed.
  • Depraved Homosexual: The Albino prisoner, to the point where he actually calls Lucas his "personal property."
  • Detective Mole: In the season two premiere, Lucas gets called in to investigate the robbery of an armored car from the Indian casino. The same one Lucas, Carrie, Sugar and Job knocked over earlier in the episode.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • The mayor hires an outsider to be sheriff because all the previous local sheriffs have been paid off by Proctor. Ironically, it's implied that Proctor may have turned the real Hood before he even got to Banshee.
    • Right after Lucas is sworn in as sheriff, he breaks into a pawn shop and steals a safe.
  • Domestic Abuse: The webisodes reveal that Deputy Siobhan Kelly was an abused wife before she Took a Level in Badass, divorced her husband and became a no-nonsense deputy.
  • The Dragon
    • Clay Burton is Kai Proctor's right hand man and main enforcer. Proctor seems to be grooming Rebecca to be his representative in official settings since Burton is "limited" in these types of situations.
    • Oleg serves as Mr. Rabbit's main enforcer.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Deputy Brock is the longest serving member of the Banshee police department and everyone assumed that he would be promoted to sheriff when the old sheriff died of cancer. When he finds out that the town council hired an outsider instead, he is not happy.
    Brock: You're making me look like a fool.
  • Due to the Dead: Lucas feels that it is disrespectful to bury the real sheriff hood in the same grave as the scum who killed him so he digs him a separate grave.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Kai Proctor takes it really bad when the Moody brothers harass and insult Proctor's father.
  • Evil Albino: In the webisodes we see an albino prisoner beating up Lucas.
  • Fanservice: Every episode so far (save for the season finale) have had nudity. And the sex scenes are definitely R-rated (and there's at least one in almost every episode).
  • Fearless Fool:
    • Lucas tends to walk right into a dangerous situation and confront dangerous, armed people face to face. One suspects that he might be a Death Seeker.
    • The real Lucas Hood taunts and then attacks two armed robbers. It gets him killed.
  • Fin Gore:
    • A drug dealer sells tainted Ecstasy to local teenagers which kills the son of a state senator. He is brought to a very pissed off Kai Proctor who starts the conversation by cutting the man's finger off with a steak knife. Proctor then feeds the finger to his dog.
    • During his fight with Sanchez, Lucas has no qualms about breaking Sanchez's finger
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul:
    • Clay Burton, Proctor's assistant looks like a stereotypical bookkeeper but one quickly realizes that there is something very dark about the man. When he takes off his glasses, it's because he does not want to get blood on them.
    • The leader of The Kindred motorcycle guy wears glasses and seems like a quiet intellectual guy. However, he is the most bloodthirsty of the lot and encourages one of his men to rape a woman.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: After Sanchez's manager refuses to return Kai's deposit after Hood ruins the fight, we only hear of Clay Burton's response from outside the trailer.
  • Guns Akimbo: In the season two finale, Lucas pulls out a second gun when dealing with Rabbit's men. Interestingly, all it really ends up doing is wasting his ammunition and serving as suppressive fire; he doesn't actually hit anything with either gun.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A literal case of this happens to a group of Ukrainian gangsters. They try to use a RPG to kill the good guys but the gangster carrying the rocket is killed and squeezes the trigger while the rocket is pointed the wrong way. The explosion kills the remaining gangsters.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Anna justifies marrying another man while Lucas was in jail because she was broke, pregnant, and needed a safe house for her daughter.
  • I Have No Son / I Have No Daughter:
    • The Amish community has disowned Kai Proctor and when he tries to talk to his father, Proctor Sr refuses to acknowledge that his son is even there. His father and brother don't speak to him until the 7th episode. It doesn't go well for anyone.
    • The Amish community and her family disown Rebecca in a similar way after she commits one too many transgressions against their way of life.
  • Idiot Ball: Oh Olek, you really should have taken that stake out of Anna before you started carrying her off.
    • Really Lucas and Sugar? You couldn't have buried the real Lucas Hood a little deeper? Where his hand isn't poking out of the earth?
  • Improvised Weapon: Lucas kills one opponent by shoving a sauce bottle down the guy's throat.
    • It'd be quicker to list the things Anna didn't use in her fight in the sheriff's place.
  • Incest Subtext: Between Proctor and his niece, Rebecca. So very much.
  • Jerkass: Several of them in the show. Sanchez takes special note for being an arrogant, violent rapist.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lucas. Is still a criminal deep down. But he will save people who are in danger at the risk of his own life and actually does act like a sheriff from time to time (albeit a rough one).
  • Left the Background Music On: The song playing over the episode-ending montage in "The Truth About Unicorns" comes to an abrupt stop after Lucas slams his fist down on the off button of the radio in Sugar's bar.
  • Like a Son to Me: Mr. Rabbit considered Lucas to be like the son he never had which is probably why he did not have Lucas killed in prison.
  • Loophole Abuse: The sheriff position is elected but the town council knows that any local elected will be in Proctor's pocket so they use a provision in the town charter to appoint a 'ringer' from outside the community.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Lucas has taken beatings that should have crippled him for life but he seems to recover extremely quickly.
    • Carrie takes a beating that almost kills her but she leaves the hospital a few hours later and has the strength to lead The Cavalry to rescue Lucas from Mr. Rabbit.
    • Mr. Rabbit takes two bullets to the chest and is still able to get away through a sewer and elude a manhunt.
  • Mafia Princess: Anna is the daughter of Mr. Rabbit, an Ukrainian mob boss. She herself was an accomplished thief and safe cracker before she went on the run and became Carrie.
  • Mama Bear: Anna has done some morally questionable things, but most of them were to protect her own children. And if you threaten them, God help you.
  • Mook Horror Show: Nola's assault on the Marines in "The Thunder Man" comes off this way.
  • More Dakka: Mr. Rabbit's men are equipped with military grade assault rifles and even have an RPG.
  • Native American Casino: The local Indian tribe operates a casino on the outskirts of town. Benjamin Longshadow, the tribe's elderly chief, wants to replace it with a modern hotel-casino and enlists Kai Proctor's help in making it happen.
  • Never Found the Body: Rabbit gets two bullets in the chest, but the body was never found.
  • Never My Fault: Wicks constantly blamed everybody else for his problems (his sister's husband for thinking he was a negative influence to his kids, the hooker for giving him bad coke, and Lucas for not helping him out enough). He never accepted the fact that his misfortunes were his own fault.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Kai Proctor delivers one to Cole Moody after the Moody brothers harass and assault a group of Amish which included Proctor's father. He beats Cole's face and breaks numerous teeth. He then orders Cole to collect him broken teeth and put them back in his mouth.
    • Sanchez delivers one to a waitress he is having sex with when she protests that he is too rough with her. Lucas does not approve of a MMA champion beating up a woman and delivers a beatdown of his own in return.
    • Carrie and Oleg manage to deliver these to each other. They spent most of the episode beating on each other until they are both on the floor covered in blood and loosing consciousness. It almost ends up being a Mutual Kill.
    • Pretty much every fight in the show counts as this.
  • No Name Given: The pilot and the promotional prequel material never mentions what the main characters real name is. He becomes "Lucas Hood" after the real Hood is killed.
  • Noodle Implements: Whatever it is Clay had on him that he used on the fighter's manager.
  • Out with a Bang: Jason Hood. And that's why he should've avoided Rebecca...
  • Pet the Dog: When Kai Proctor sees the Moody brothers harass and assault a group of Amish loading lumber on a wagon, he calls the Moodys out for their behavior and then orders them to help the Amish load the wagon.
    • Lucas makes no secret of the fact that he dislikes Brock. However, when a recently-arrived FBI agent starts taking potshots at Brock's protection of a witness, Lucas shuts him down with a snapped sentence and a Death Glare. Brock warms ever-so-slightly towards him afterwards.
  • Police Brutality: Lucas really does not care about the fact that as a police officer he is not supposed to beat up handcuffed prisoners.
  • The Pornomancer: Lucas sleeps with lots of hot women with very little effort, ranging from random waitresses to he widow of a guy he recently killed.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Kai Proctor manufactures and sells $250,000 worth of Ecstacy a week. However, he makes sure that none of it is sold in Banshee or the surrounding area. Dealing drugs in his home county would attract too much attention from law enforcement.
    Proctor: I don't shit where I sleep.
  • Prison Rape: Defied by Lucas as he refused to do any sexual favors for the Albino. Instead, he Took a Level in Badass and managed to actually kill him.
  • Product Placement: In the pilot, an ad for fellow Cinemax series Strike Back appears on the side of a bus just before the bus tips over.
  • Really Gets Around: Lucas. One of the first things he does in the series is have sex with a bartender.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Lucas's plan to become the sheriff of Banshee relies on the fact that it will not cross people's mind that anyone could be so brazen and thus by the time anyone decides to do a background check on him, Job will have hacked the necessary databases. Even Lucas can't believe that he is getting away with it and during his swearing in ceremony he has trouble maintaining a straight face.
    • When Lucas goes to rescue a kidnapped Rebecca from the Indian casino, he simply walks in and beats up any guards sent to stop him. He has not jurisdiction and the guards could justifiably shoot him but he figure that if he keeps this going long enough Alex Longshadow will give in to his demand. He is also hoping that Alex is not dumb enough to kill the local sheriff while he is on Indian tribal land.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The Moody brothers are dead set on getting revenge on Lucas. They seem completely oblivious to the fact that murdering the sheriff is an extremely bad idea and that they would never get away with it.
  • Safecracking: Anna is a master safe cracker.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Sanchez believes that he can get away with beating up and raping a woman because all the local bigwigs need the championship fight to to take place and will cover for him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Sanchez's manager believes that whatever trouble Sanchez causes can be handled by paying off anyone that was hurt. Lucas disagrees.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: And when Lucas confronts Sanchez for his crimes, Sanchez subtley challenges Lucas, believing there's no way this "Puny Earthling" could take him down. Seriously, the guy needed to be ready for a match the next day, and even if he knew he could have beaten Hood, there was a very high chance he could have gotten injured somehow. Sanchez let his win stats go to his head, and five minutes later his career was over.
  • Serious Business: Raves in Banshee are a serious affair with a lot of illegal drugs changing hands. They are run by an organized, armed and dangerous group of crooks. When the local cops go out to break up a rave they bring a lot of firepower with them.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Job.
  • The Stinger: There's one for every episode.
  • Tattooed Crook:
    • Kai Proctor has a crucifix tattooed on his back
    • The Ukrainian gangsters have an assortment of tattoos visible on their necks and hands.
    • Averted by Lucas who even after 15 years in prison does not seem to have any tattoos.
  • Tempting Fate: This seems to be a central character trait of Lucas to the point where it seems like he is a Death Seeker. Most people who just got out of prison and have the Ukrainian mob looking for them would not go ahead and impersonate a dead sheriff. Most people who just killed a man would not insist on hanging around the man's wake, in plain sight of the dead man's angry, drunk and armed brothers.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Two toughs try to rob Sugar Bates bar even though they know that Sugar and Kai Proctor are old friends and Proctor does not act kindly toward people who mistreat his friends and family. They then discover that one of the bar patrons is the new sheriff and decide to shoot it out.
    • Cole Moody insults the Amish in Proctor's presence even after Proctor has just demonstrated that he does not approve of the Amish being mistreated. After Proctor gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, Cole tries to kill Proctor at a party surrounded by a hundred witnesses and all the members of the police department in attendance.
      • Seems to run in the Moody family. Cole's brothers apparently believe it's a good idea to run a patrol car off the road, torture and kill the sheriff and pull all of Kai Proctor's teeth one by one before killing him. And on top of that leave the deputy alive and unbound because they have no beef with him. Brilliant plan guys.
    • Lance from "Behold a Pale Rider." What started off as a simple drugstore heist turned into murder of the store clerk, attempted murder of a police officer, taking high school students as hostages, and almost raping the Mayor's wife. This is constantly lampshaded by his partner as he pointed out that Lance's bone-headed actions lead to so much unnecessary trouble. Predictably, they both die by the end of the episode.
    • Jason Hood. Between running off with 62 grand that belonged to a bunch of bloodthirsty mobsters, coming to Banshee and confronting the man who took his father's place without knowing whether or not that man killed the real Lucas Hood and might also kill him just to keep up the ruse, not taking ample opportunities to flee Banshee even after his fake ID was cooked up, and taking up with Rebecca Bowman despite Sugar's warnings about her, he was basically begging to be killed. Kai Proctor and Clay Burton finally grant said wish in "Armies of One", garroting him in the middle of having sex with Rebecca and then invoking With Us or Against Us in regards to her actions.
  • Trauma Conga Line: So many characters experience this. Special mention goes to Lucas, Anna, and Deva.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: A local tough owes the Indian casino a lot of money so Alex Longshadow offers to forgive the debt in exchange for the man murdering Kai Proctor.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Job, the transgender Asian.
  • Villainous Rescue: Lucas is saved by Kai Proctor when Mr. Rabbit's men try to kill him at the police station.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Kai Proctor still deeply respects his father and wants his approval. However, the Amish shun Proctor due to his criminal life and his father refuses to even acknowledge that Kai is speaking to him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: When Lucas' psychiatrist revealed that she was an agent for Mr. Rabbit, he gave her a rather savage beating.
  • Young and in Charge: Mayor Kendall seems to be in his twenties and too young for his position.
    Kendall : I know. I look young. But, that's just because I am.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Lucas was quite hurt when he found out Anna married someone else while he was in prison. Her husband also gets hurt when he strongly suspects that his wife is having an affair (which she did).
    Creator/Matthew StantonDawson's Creek
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