Review: ‘Banshee’ – ‘Tribal’: Assault on precinct Cadi

alan-sepinwall
Senior Television Writer
02.07.15 36 Comments

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A review of last night's “Banshee” coming up just as soon as I explain all these white supremacist tattoos again…

When I got to the end of last week's episode and saw Chayton's army preparing a siege of the Cadi, I just whooped with laughter at the realization that the show would be going full-on “Rio Bravo,” or “Assault on Precinct 13,” or any vintage Western where Native Americans surrounded the fort of the noble white heroes. When I spoke with Tropper before the fan event last month, he said “Die Hard” also came up a lot in the writers room as the episode was being conceived.

During the Q&A itself, Tropper said that their goal is to do at least one episode a year that's completely different from anything else they've done; in season 2, that was “The Truth About Unicorn” (the episode where Lucas and Carrie visit the house he once hoped they would retire to), while this year, it would be this one. That makes the two experiments as different from each other as they are from the show itself: one mostly quiet and almost dreamlike, the other dark and relentlessly violent and tense.

And even for a show that's made its bones on crazy action set pieces – and that did perhaps its best one so far a few weeks ago – “Tribal” was special. It lived up to any expectation created by that great set-up, offered a wide variety of action even within the limited set-up where the Redbones were outside for much of the hour, it gave virtually every character trapped in that place an interesting moment of heroism, and it had a chilling conclusion with Chayton snapping Siobhan's neck.

Siobhan was almost certainly doomed once she found out Lucas' secret – not to mention his real name, which Tropper has said he has no intention of ever revealing on the show (at the Q&A, he says he doesn't even have an idea of what it is, preferring to think of him like Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name) – particularly since it feels like the show has to loop back to Lucas and Carrie eventually. But I'll miss the energy Trieste Kelly Dunn brought to the show, even as I understand that in an episode like this, someone significant (as opposed to a relative newbie like Billy Raven, or reformed racist Bunker) has to die to keep the whole thing from feeling like a cheat.

What did everybody else think? Was “Tribal” badass enough for you?

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