Banshee “Tribal” Review (3×05)

6 Feb


“Everything you touch turns to blood.”

There’s no question that Banshee consistently features the best action sequences on television, but what makes it a complete show is its ability to surround that action with compelling character and theme explorations. Take the entirety of “Tribal”, for example, which revolves around an attack carried out by Chayton Littlestone and the Redbones on the Banshee Sheriff Department; yes, we get insanely awesome shootouts, but the episode also finds room to delve into certain relationships, into new characters, and into the idea of change.

After all, the idea of change is what we see discussed early on in the Hood-Siobhan flashbacks. Aside from the flashbacks serving as foreshadowing for Siobhan’s eventual death, they–along with the conversations we later get in the present–serve as questions about Lucas Hood and his capacity for change. The episode does a nice job of laying out the final arc for Hood and Siobhan, moving from the latter not wanting help at the beginning to realizing that the former still has admirable qualities, qualities that shine through as he’s saving a bunch of people from the wrath of Chayton Littlestone. In the end, though, it’s absolutely true that everything he touches turns to blood. If Siobhan represented a possible way out of his constant cycle of life, how will he act moving forward? How will, say, someone like Brock act?

Right now, it looks like revenge–hopefully, we go somewhere a bit more interesting than just that, as awesome as it may be to watch–is the word, and it’s a suitable catalyst to what has been a very entertaining showdown between Hood and Chayton. “Tribal” is also the perfect episode to kick off the second half of the season with, as it’s a showcase of everything that this show excels at; it builds up the tension throughout, and scenes consisting of the “calm before the storm” are just as powerful as the actual fighting. This is a master class in sustaining of tension, and the camera work and choreography both play major roles, as always. There’s a claustrophobic feel to the setting that really adds to the intensity of the fight scenes and character interactions, and the perfect shot arrives after Siobhan stabs one of the Redbones, not noticing as Chayton walks up from behind. It’s chilling.

Equally chilling is that entire final sequence, one that consists of Chayton snapping Siobhan’s neck, Hood and Proctor both sobbing over their lost loved ones, and finally, Hood with a stoic expression as he sits outside the station. It’s a wonderful acting sequence for Antony Starr, and it’s an instance where a man is pulled back into a seemingly never-ending cycle. The one person who symbolized change has been ripped from his hands, and all that’s left for him to do is avenge her death. The more he touches, the more things turn to blood.



-Farewell, Trieste Kelly Dunn. You’re awesome, and I always thought you were by far the most attractive person in the show (and that’s saying something). Also, this show is really reminding me of Spartacus in terms of killing off more interesting characters than most shows are even able to create.

-Once Hood told Siobhan his real name, I knew it was over for her. At least she got one more awesome kill before she went out.

-I’m really interested by Kurt Bunker. We saw him once before earlier in the season, but this is his big intro episode; it’s really impressive that the writers find a way to weave in all his exposition into such a big hour. It’s also interesting how his desire to change–to transcend his physical appearance–ties in a bit with Hood.

-I’m also interested in seeing how Brock is handled from here on out.

-I enjoyed Hood and Proctor teaming up. And then of course, they both lose someone at the end.

-That post credits scene…man, just twisting the knife here, aren’t you, show?

-I still trust the writers, but I do hold a few uncertainties about killing Siobhan off. She had so much potential as a character, and I really want to see something other than a revenge storyline.

Photo credit: Cinemax, Banshee

2 Responses to “Banshee “Tribal” Review (3×05)”

  1. dr know February 7, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    They had to kill her off because with her alive Hood could never stay in Banshee. Writers painted themselves into that corner by having her open the file. Sad to see her go, but hope she lands a lead on a new series somewhere.

    brutal season

  2. Mel February 9, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    One of the best episodes of the season. I really liked the tension between the DA and the ex-Nazi guy. For some reason I see those two getting it on later in the season. (Don’t ask me why). Love this show and it got better this season though I didn’t think it could.

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