If Season 3 of Cinemax's Banshee hadn't already been ordered, you might think Friday's Season 2 finale was the last chapter in the cable network's sexy, pulpy action-thriller.
"This brings a two-year storytelling plan all together," executive producer Greg Yaitanes tells TVGuide.com. "[We're] able to give a full fan experience to everybody who's invested in these characters for two seasons, and now they get to see how the secrets of the past inform the present."
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Indeed, the first third or so of the episode is one long-running flashback that revisits the relationship between Lucas (Antony Starr), Carrie/Anna (Ivana Milicevic) and Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross) in the days just before Rabbit betrayed them during a diamond heist that landed Lucas in jail for 15 years. Meanwhile in present day, Lucas and Carrie are gearing up for the mother of all gun battles as they try to take Rabbit down once and for all.
Although Yaitanes admits that some fans might expect the finale to come out guns blazing, he believes the impact of the episode is made far greater by revisiting the past. "Our intention always with Banshee is to surprise people and subvert the expectation," he says."Everybody would think that we're going to pick up where we left off. With telling the story of the past, I feel like they're not flashbacks. I feel like we're investing in true, long chunks of story. It's a compelling story to see how we got there.
"It's just one story told through separate times," he continues. "We're not losing momentum as we go. [We're] using the past to push along the story of this reckoning that's going to happen. [The stories] very much all start to build and all collide in the final moments."
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Although those stakes are plenty high, Carrie and Lucas could also still be reeling from an emotional moment in the penultimate episode, when Carrie confessed to her husband Gordon (Rus Blackwell) that their daughter Deva (Ryann Shane) is really Lucas' child. But Yaitanes says the duo won't be sidetracked from their mission.
"For Carrie and Lucas, their singular focus right now is on ending Rabbit," he says. "They've left Banshee in Banshee. But that means it's also waiting for them upon return. If they return."
If they return? So just how dangerous is this final battle? "One Cinemax exec referred to it as the Banshee 'Red Wedding,'" Yaitanes says with a laugh, referring to the game-changing, brutal episode of Game of Thrones. "Banshee is the kind of show where anybody can go at any time. I think about halfway through the episode, you'll realize how serious we take that."
Banshee's Season 2 finale airs Friday at 10/9c on Cinemax.