The best TV show of 2014’s first quarter? OK, the safe, obvious answer would be HBO’s True Detective, but let’s think outside the box here for a second. An equally appropriate answer would be Cinemax’s Banshee, even if not enough people have been talking about it. That’s their loss.
As violent and over-the-top as it is intelligent and tightly written, Banshee impressively walks the line between hardcore genre thrills and nuanced, character-driven drama. Last year’s debut season was a real eye-opener, but Banshee’s second season (which ends its run next Friday)? A marked improvement on an already solid series. Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), the mysterious ex-con who’s hiding out in Amish Country under the assumed identity of a small-town sheriff, has juggled the ongoing threat of former boss Rabbit’s vengeance, the everyday headaches of policing a community run by a crime lord, and the mental anguish that comes from seeing your former lover, and daughter’s mother, trying to salvage her life with another man. And in between all of that, of course, Hood finds time to roundhouse-kick his way through bloody brawls with oversized goons and decapitate foes with speeding trucks.
This season, in addition to Hood, Banshee has spent a lot of time with Amish girl turned crime lord underling Rebecca Bowman (Lili Simmons). The niece of law-breaking kingpin Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), Rebecca’s found herself involved in murder and lying to fuzz, but in this week’s episode (airing Friday night at 10 p.m. EST), her ever-present conscience helps Proctor’s mistress avoid certain death after selling him out to Sheriff Hood.
Check out just how Rebecca pulls it off in the exclusive Banshee clip above. If you’re not already up on TV’s current best-kept secret, let this be your official wake-up call to start watching Cinemax’s first-rate adrenaline rush of a series immediately. After all, 2014 television is more than Rust Cohle and spaghetti monsters.
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