Antony Starr with Ivana Milicevic
At the beginning of its first season, Banshee executive producer Greg Yaitanes said that beneath the show's sexy, violent action was the beating heart of a love story. And while there's plenty of the former in the Cinemax drama's bullet-riddled Season 1 finale (Friday, 10/9c), Yaitanes promises payoff to the latter.
Banshee: Cinemax blends sexy pulp with a tragic love story
"We tackle both and come to very satisfying answers on both," Yaitanes tells TVGuide.com. "Any great noir needs a great love story at its center. And for us, we wanted to see the messiness that comes with that."
Messy might be an understatement. When last viewers saw Lucas Hood (Antony Star) — an ex-con who assumed the role of sheriff in a small Pennsylvania town — he was seconds from being blown away by the well-armed goons of Rabbit (Ben Cross), the Ukrainian gangster Lucas ripped off with the help of Rabbit's daughter, and the love of Lucas' life, Anna (Ivana Milicevic). Although Hood survives the firing squad with a little help from an unexpected source, he eventually ends up back in Rabbit's clutches after sacrificing himself to save Anna (known Carrie Hopewell) and her entire family.
Even so, all hope is not lost. Hood's friends new (Frankie Faison's Sugar and the rest of the Banshee Sheriff's Department) and old (Hoon Lee's Job) will band together to attempt one final, bloody rescue. ("Three words: Banshee dream team," Yaitanes says with a laugh.)
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But will Carrie, who remains unable to fully tell her husband Gordon (Rus Blackwell) the truth about her past, join that fight? "Carrie is going to put in the impossible situation of having to choose between Gordon and Lucas," Yaitanes says. "The answer to that relationship doesn't come without a price. You can't have it all — you have to make a choice."
Because the show was shot before Cinemax decided to order a second season, the finale does wrap up a great deal of its Season 1 plot. "We get into stuff that most shows would wait several seasons to address," he says. "We don't leave anything on the table. I thought the best compliment we got was when the president of Cinemax said, 'I can't wait to see how you guys write your way out of this one.' [Our goal] was to give the fans a very satisfying and complete season — [but] to leave them hanging in the best possible way."
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Indeed, the season ends with a tantalizing promise for Season 2 — but, just like with every episode this season, you have to stay through the end credits to see it. "Every episode has ended with a captured moment," Yaitanes says. "They were pretty innocuous at the beginning, but for [Episodes] 8, 9 and 10, they were relevant pieces of storytelling. If you don't stay for the credits on this episode, you will definitely miss the final scene, which I would not want anybody to miss."
Banshee's Season 1 finale airs Friday at 10/9c on Cinemax.