Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-con and master thief assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff where he continues his criminal activities. His past seems to haunt him by those he betrayed years earlier. This ex-con imposes his own brand of justice where
I'll let you guys in on a bit of a trade secret: It's so much easier to write about a bad episode of television, or even one that's just disappointing. And we all spend so much time imagining what big episodes and finales are going to look like that sometimes it can be easier to nitpick about anything that doesn't live up to our expectations. But writing about this season of Banshee, as the show morphed from something that was fun and promising to something that was more assured, complex, and, by this finale's end, emotionally satisfying, I've come to appreciate what it's like to write about a series that's truly found another gear.
"Bullets and Tears" wasn't my favorite episode of the season (that honor still belongs tothe formula-breaking "The Truth About Unicorns"), but it was the proper, meaningful conclusion to the show's first 20 episodes. So I could spend time in this review talking about things here and there that bothered me—mostly the kind of plot conveniences that are bound to pop up—but what's the point? By the time Hood jumped out from behind that pillar in the church, ready to sacrifice himself for Carrie one more (and last) time, I was actually convinced he was going to take down a half-dozen dudes with automatic weapons. "Bullets and Tears" was so on-point with its character beats and resolutions that it was pretty easy to move past any lingering issues.
Much of the episode's success was due to its structure, wherein the present-day action in New York with Hood and Carrie going after Rabbit one final time nicely folded back on their last few days together before Rabbit framed Hood and got him sent away for 15 years. The majority of the information explored in the episode's flashbacks had already been alluded to in the show's narrative (and basically out-and-out explained in bonus online content), but it wasn't the information that really mattered—it was the sentiment. Jonathan Tropper's script really hammered home how these characters had come full circle in some ways, and went back around in others. Hood and Carrie were in love, Rabbit didn't appreciate that, and he ultimately sacrificed himself for her. We knew all that, and yet as the flashbacks started to bleed into the present-day scenes, particularly as the characters returned to the same locations, the impact of all this history was palpable.
It's perhaps easy to forget all the damage Rabbit caused 15 years ago, especially when Hood and Carrie are having their own issues, but when Banshee returned to this story and to the sense that Hood and Carrie simply could not let this go on any longer, the stakes were as high as they could get. Though that was clear by the end of last week's penultimate episode, "Bullets and Tears" did a fine job of underscoring it again as Hood and Carrie would not be stopped, no matter who they ran into while trying to secure guns, or how outmanned they were inside the church. Hood and Carrie aren't exactly lovers anymore, but they're not just friends, either. There's a depth to their relationship, defined by all this blood and drama, that was on full display here. Antony Starr and Ivana Miličević were as good as they've been all season, particularly because they were tasked with playing their characters in multiple time periods as well as through a wide range of beats. That's why the early detour to load up on weapons that introduced Fat Al was especially great; it allowed the two leads to have some fun before diving headfirst into the decade-plus drama with Rabbit.