Banshee‘s first season was a bit of a surprise last year: it’s not a show that tries to be very smart or philosophical, trading in big monologues and symbolism for violently entertaining fisticuffs and an abundance of adrenaline. It was pulp-TV lightning captured in a bottle: the show’s ability to harvest tension from any situation (even those with one-dimensional character) made it one of the most exciting new shows of 2013.
My biggest concern with the season finale, “A Mixture of Madness”, was its unwillingness to push the narrative needle forward. Rabbit was shot (but not killed), and a mayor nobody cared about died, continuing the pissing contest between Alex and Kai Proctor, and creating a political power vacuum in the town. Not-Lucas wasn’t forced out of Banshee, and neither was Carrie: essentially, “Madness” was a lot of action-packed, anti-climatic noise. That same stagnation plagues the 49-minute running time of “Little Fish”, an episode that is either explaining what happened in the season finale, or scrambling to justify retaining the show’s status quo (Lucas gets to be sheriff again, Rabbit’s hunt continues, so on and so forth) for the next batch of episodes.