I just saw Banshee 2.1 - the first episode of the new second season, to air on Cinemax on January 10, 2014 - courtesy of a screener from Starpulse. Here's a brief review, with no specific spoilers:
- All major characters return, in the same condition they were in at the end of the first season.
- Hood sleeps with an unlikely beauty - her initiative.
- Zeljko Ivanek's on board as a new character - a Fed interrogator.
A few more words about Ivanek - he's starred in either series-wide or more limited arc roles in more gritty television dramas in the past few years than I can keep track of, including 24, Heroes, Damages, Big Love, The Event, True Blood, The Mob Doctor, and most recently, just this Fall season of Revolution, in which he played a cunning, vicious interrogator dying of cancer.
He plays almost the same character in Banshee, without the science fiction of Revolution, but also driven by his cancer. It's a credit to Ivanek, then, that although his character in Banshee is familiar - which makes him different from most of the other characters on Banshee who are sharply original and like not much else we've seen on television - he's a welcome addition to the story, if only because he can pull rank on the irritating FBI agent who was one of the few irritating characters in the first season.
But speaking of investigations, it still remains a mystery - at least in the first episode of the second season - how Hood can continue to avoid being unmasked by the FBI or anyone seriously looking into who he is. I get that Job did a good job forging the digital data at the beginning of the series, but couldn't the FBI have someone in its West Coast offices do a little investigation into the real Hood - say, discover an offline print of a photograph of the real Hood - and therein find that our Hood in Banshee is not the person he claims to be?
Without giving too much away, I can tell you that something's brewing in Banshee which might bring the real, deceased Hood to law enforcement's attention.
Meanwhile, the series is still bursting with tension and action and compelling people ranging from Kai and his niece to Sugar and Job and Ana and all the deputies in the Banshee sheriff's department. I'll be back here after January 10 and before January 17 with a sneak preview of Banshee 2.2.