“You can’t kill me. You’re just a man, and no man can kill me.”
When this show says it’s going to do something, it does it. It wastes no time playing cute games or throwing in filler, and as much as a Chayton-Hood showdown would make for an exciting season finale, it works just as well here in episode eight. “All the Wisdom I Got Left” is a satisfying, thrilling, and brutal close to the Chayton-Hood storyline, and once again, it is Banshee operating at its best.
The setting is key toward crafting the mood of this episode. The show creates a surreality around the New Orleans environment, taking us from a swamp to an underground fight club to a cemetery to the waterside, and it’s almost as if the only two inhabitants of the city are Chayton and Hood. It’s only fitting, considering how many clashes they’ve had over the last few episodes and how personal the dynamic has grown since Chayton snapped Siobhan’s neck. Even in the fight club, the two lock eyes in the midst of a rowdy group of spectators, and it’s as if all else around them stops moving as they fight to a gritty stalemate. At this point, you know that it is on, and it only gets better from there.
The knife fight between the two later on is a brilliantly choreographed and directed piece of work–as is the norm for this show–but the subsequent sequence that ends in Chayton’s death also illustrates another aspect of this rivalry: the fact that Chayton underestimates Lucas Hood. He spends quite a bit of time mocking Hood and Siobhan, and well, I guess you can’t blame him for thinking he’s indestructible when he looks the way he does. Over the past two weeks, though, we’ve been seeing a few cracks in his seemingly impenetrable physique, and we’ve seen evidence that Hood can wound him, can get to him. Instead of him being the attacker–like he was during the attack on the station–he’s now the one being chased through New Orleans. In this episode, there is some acknowledgment of Hood’s determination and skill at the end by him, but ultimately, Chayton dies with the mindset that he is supreme, that he is a warrior who understands “purity [and] true purpose”.
In the end, Lucas Hood is the one who lives, but he is still profoundly affected by recent events. Now that he’s avenged Siobhan’s death, he simply wants to get out, to leave Banshee and its sheriff department behind. At the same time, though, this is what he does and this is who he is, and everyone around him realizes this. Brock knows that he’s not really a cop, and asserts that he just doesn’t really care anymore about who Hood is. He just wants to take down Proctor and to keep his town safe, and as much as Hood is deeply affected by his line of work–as human as he really is–he is also someone who is drawn to this danger. And so, he heads back to Banshee, ready to face whatever is thrown at him next.
-Dammit, Chayton, I thought you were going to rise from the dead in the post-credits scene.
-The chase scene really reminds me of the first sequence of the season. Also, I love how Lucas’s final line before blasting Chayton away–“Hey”–is not some badass, cliche catchphrase. It fits with the character, and it’s simple, yet powerful.
-The Kai-Burton flashback is very well done here: disturbing, yet moving at the same time. This show is able to not only insert little moments like these without having them feel intrusive, but also to find nuance and pathos in the unlikeliest of places. The balance found week to week is truly something to be admired.
-Speaking of Burton, how ’bout that scene between him and Rebecca, right? Burton’s probably one of the most fascinating characters I’ve seen on television in a while.
-I wrote solely about the Hood-Chayton storyline in the main review, but there are still some excellent scenes throughout the remainder of the hour that I did not mention. The Job-Sugar plot is poignant and well handled by Hoon Lee/Frankie Faison, and it’s a nice exploration of the idea of taking accountability for the past. It’s a different angle to take on the “make them pay” mentality of Colonel Douglas Stowe (or of Hood with regards to Chayton Littlestone).
-So, right after Kai is accepted back by his father, he gets taken by Frazier’s men. It’ll be interesting to see in the next two episodes how the Rebecca-Kai divide plays out, as the former’s actions are certainly leading to major consequences for the latter.
-Stowe is shot from the back at the end, just like Littlestone is at the beginning.
-Two left this season. Also, the show has been renewed for an 8-episode season four!
Photo credit: Banshee, Cinemax