Review of Episode 309-“Even God Doesn’t Know What To Make Of You
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Jennifer Ames and Steve Turner
It’s a common thing on Banshee to be mindfucked by the past. No matter how far or how fast the characters run, the past is sprinting way ahead of them, sitting down and sipping a drink, waiting for those tortured souls to arrive at the next brutal punching of the clock. “Even God Doesn’t Know What To Make Of You” taught us that no matter how we try, the hardest thing in this world is changing what you are. Switching from something that previously defined you and moving into a whole new skin. Asking for another hand from the dealer or requesting a redo or description of the blue pill. We are who we are in this world. Kai Proctor(Ulrich Thomsen) learned that in the hardest way possible this week.
It’s one thing to be mercilessly beaten half to death by a punch of large suited men, but it’s even worse when you have no idea why. Last week, Proctor was reunited with his family and welcomed back home by his father. He was connecting with his youth and finding love in Emily Lotus. It all went up in smoke when The Black Beards hauled him and his new love away like bodies being retrieved by their souls. Kai had no idea Rebecca(Lili Simmons) was dealing under the table with the Salvadorians. When the leader(who just had to be blind and carrying the voice of Louis Gossett Jr. with a couple pulls of reverence added to it) told him what his sweet little niece did, the resignation on Kai’s face was fatal for that brief glimpse of optimism that walked into his life. It dimmed for good when The Black Beard told him he would repay this lapse in judgement with his life. Kai may be a man capable of violence, but he has always retained a principle in his dealings. I love Peristere’s intercutting here with what seemed to be Kai’s internal struggle. Seeing him approach the room of prayer and worship slowly over the episode while being splashed with the final look on Kai’s face. Peristere did it in Evil For Evil in Season 2 and shows us a man in Kai who is slowly slipping back into the skin he has grown comfortable with for the majority of his life. Last week, he was smiling and had a few buttons opened on his shirt. He was loosening up and going warm, not soft. This week, he went back to being cold blooded and wound tight, never to return to his mother’s wishes or his father’s comfort again. Kai Proctor is a man apart.
Seeing Lucas show up with Brock and make that choice to save Emily and leave Proctor may ruffle some, but it’s a simple display of characters showing their true colors. Before you wonder why Lucas didn’t return the favor of saving Kai from a crew of armed men, remember a few things. Lucas wants nothing more than Kai to go away. He has forgotten who killed Jason Hood. Lucas hasn’t forgotten what drove him towards the end of Season 2. Lucas was halfway out of town before turning back in Episode 305 to finish off Kai. Brock convinced him to come back from New Orleans to put Kai away. These are criminals we are dealing with. Different shades of criminal but still men surrounded by darkness. When Kai looked up and stared into Lucas’ eyes, he may have been mad but he also may have simply recognized something. These men are more alike than they care to admit. If Lucas goes guns blazing in that gym, it makes no sense or doesn’t propel the show forward. At the core of all things disruptive on Banshee, the Lucas VS. Kai match is always in play. Lucas had no reason to save Kai and held all the leverage. He also owed Brock. If bullets fly, Emily or Brock die. That’s not what Lucas wants. Right now, Lucas may want a damn nap for all we know.
Or, Lucas could have thought to himself, “Kai has this handled.” As the three leave, Burton and Rebecca are there to finish up the rescue. Rebecca came to Hood earlier to get his help and the sheriff gave her a blank stare. Whenever I see Rebecca and Lucas share a scene, I think of the pool scene after Jason’s death. He leaned in towards Rebecca and asked her if this was her play, protecting Proctor. She then killed Alex Longshadow, who could have helped put Proctor away. Right now, Lucas couldn’t give two shits about Kai or Rebecca and it’s great. The way it should be.
The juiciest part of this steak of an hour belonged to Lucas and Job, from their first interaction at the Forge to their last on the phone with history sprinkled in. Seeing a clean shaven Hood in previews for this week was the first hint of a flashback and right away we see Hood saving Job’s life. Hood works for Dalton and was supposed to eliminate Job for going rogue, but the two men escape(thank you Twin Towers for telling us it’s way back) and head back to Job’s place where we learn that he is the computer hacking God that we all come to love. This history dash was required not only to show us the pals link up but to show that this is how far Lucas has dropped. He once saved Job’s life before nearly getting him killed. As Job says, “We have a lot of history. Maybe that’s all it should be. History.” Hoon Lee does an amazing job of making every single word drop like an atom bomb in that scene. The fact is that Lucas and Job have too much history, and you can only save or nearly one another so many times. History being mixed with the present can make for a toxic mix if sustained for too long. This won’t be the end of these two men working together, but it is the end of their friendship.
Elsewhere, Deva smokes a pipe, gets arrested(her first official arrest entrance into the Cadi), and gets spun around the “My Favorite Dad” wheel. Gordon keeps her there to teach her a lesson(bad cop). Lucas comes and lets her out(good cop). This story line didn’t need much juice except to send Gordon over to the Forge because…
Colonel Stowe is ready to get his money back, and he isn’t using hotel rooms and Statham kick moves to finish this mission. He’s going to torture his foes for a while. Peristere sprinkles the Western over Stowe’s entrance into the Forge. He sits down, asks for a Maker’s Mark and lays those “crazy snake eyes” on Sugar before taunting the older man about a heist that left him broke. When I think of our favorite crew of thieves and their reaction to Stowe and his men, Walter White fills my mind. “Tread Lightly” fellas. Stowe is nuts and wastes little time scooping up Sugar and Carrie because the mission now is, “Get my money and make them suffer.” That won’t happen before Stowe’s computer whiz gets to stick Job with a little knockout music before heaping praise on him. There’s no better way to meet your idol than knocking him out with a sedative and tying him to a chair to interrogate him. If Job could give back, he would say “To who should I sign this prescription bottle of Fuck You to?”
I’ll say something. I got a Banshee fever and what I need is more Bunker! Man, Tom Pelphrey is proving to be a force to reckon with and he’s literally had two hands full of scenes with minimal dialogue. Another lost soul running from his past while trying to resemble something good. Seeing him literally kick the shit out of his past was a pleasant dose of uncomplicated action. He may wear the tats on his skin but he is slowly burning them out of his future. Pelphrey is another actor who can emote a page of dialogue with a few words of dialogue. He’s a decent man privately caging a monster inside him. Just like Lucas, Kai, and Carrie, Bunker can’t run from who he is but he can use that brute force for a good cause moving forward. Pelphrey has created an easy to like dangerous action hero throwback. I can’t wait for him and Lucas to head to Genoa to smash a few things.
This sets up a clash next week of the titans. The crazy Colonel against “Soldier Boy” and his troops. Banshee doesn’t conclude a season without blowing people up, destroying a church or swinging a wrecking ball through nice things. In this town, no one is allowed to be happy. The only thing more certain than death and taxes in Banshee is the most pain a human being can feel without being killed. Jonathan Tropper didn’t create a little house on a prairie here. He blew up that house and pissed on the flames. The Banshee Blues continue next week and things won’t get better. There will be blood, sweat, tears and agony. The Banshee way of doing things is making it all hurt.
Extra Shell Casings-
*Someone please show Stowe the Olek-Carrie fight. Keep that women tied up, fella.
*I love the small things in life. In this case, the moments where Burton and Lucas lock eyes.
*Hat tip to P.J. Bloom and Evyen Klean for another rousing rocker of a credits closer.
*The Look on Kai’s face when Emily wanted to stay with him was worse than any physical harm he could have done to her. That was emotional neck snapping there.
*Sure, the badass walk away from bursting flaming dead bodies has been done to death, but at least Kai laid out a prayer on those Black Beards before lighting the torch. “I thought it was God. No, it was just his grief.” Thomsen is so good at showing us the gray area between good and bad.
Here is how I see things playing out in the Season 3 Finale.
Lucas either leaves town or gives himself up for Carrie/Job/Sugar’s safety. This could end the episode(nod to Jumbo Shrimp on Twitter for the prisoner idea) or it could set up a final fight between Hood and Stowe.
I really don’t think the whole crew makes it out of Episode 310 alive.
Carrie will go back to Gordon because that is where she needs to be. Deva needs a stable home.
Kai will get revenge on the Black Beard boss but will be indicted and sent to jail, thus giving Hood a little satisfaction and leaving Rebecca to Burton to control.
Brock will become sheriff, a place he’s wanted to sit for a long time.
Aimee may join the Cadi to give them another female presence(that Kinaho boss of hers kind of sucks).
I normally don’t like predictions but I am taking a few stabs here. What do you think happens? Tell me in the comments section below.