[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Friday's finale of Banshee. Read at your own risk.]
Banshee's Lucas Hood has finally had his fill of bloodshed.
On Friday's Season 3 finale, Lucas (Antony Starr) made plans to storm Camp Genoa to rescue his fellow thieves Carrie (Ivana Milicevic), Job (Hoon Lee) and Sugar (Frankie Faison) from the clutches of Col. Stowe (Langley Kirkwood), who was holding them hostage until the money the group stole from him was returned. However, Lucas knew he couldn't take on an entire military base alone — so he recruited none other than Carrie's estranged husband Gordon (Rus Blackwell)!
Although Lucas and Gordon commando-ed their way through most of Stowe's men (and allowed Carrie & Co. to escape in the process), when the smoke cleared it was revealed that Gordon had been fatally wounded, and he died in Carrie's arms. Worse still, Job was also shot and abducted by Stowe's hacker, who took off with Job's unconscious body in a helicopter. Distraught, Lucas returned to the BPD headquarters, where he promptly told Brock (Matt Servitto) that he was resigning.
But will Lucas actually leave behind his badge for good this time? And what will the show look like if he does? TVGuide.com chatted with executive producer Greg Yaitanes about everything that went down and what's ahead in the show's fourth season. Plus: How much longer can the series go on?
What was the significance of the flashbacks in this episode?
Greg Yaitanes:One of the things that [we've established] on Banshee is that you never run from your past. It always manages to find you, it's just a matter of time. We really wanted to sell the theme that this was not the first time that we've seen Lucas reinvent himself. We hinted last season about his military background and we wanted to give fans an opportunity to see that and see one of the characters, Dalton, who really shaped who Lucas is and why Lucas is the way he is.
What's going through Lucas' mind as he prepares to storm Camp Genoa?
Yaitanes: Those are the only three people, aside from Deva, that Lucas really cares about and knows well. And he knows that ultimately everything comes back to him. He knows that this somehow ties back to his responsibility.
But, of course, he doesn't come alone! How did you guys land on Lucas teaming up with Gordon?
Yaitanes: We talked about Gordon's military background and that he was a sniper in Iraq. He has shrapnel and you see him in the pilot smoking weed and he's dealing with his shoulder. One of the things that I always wanted to make sure with Banshee is that it didn't seem like we were pulling stuff out of our hat every season. It's important that Banshee has a big mythology and that we've been tying together ideas from the very beginning. The best moment for me is actually Gordon and Lucas deciding to team up. I love when he walks into the porch and stares at Lucas and goes back to his car and comes back in with a gun. That was a great moment.
What does it say about Gordon that, even after everything he's been through with Carrie, he's ready to go to battle?
Yaitanes: Gordon's always come from a place of trying to protect his family and hold his family together. Going to get Carrie and rescue her is no different. No matter what, that's the woman he loves. He is absolutely desperate to hold that together and it's a no-brainer.
Unfortunately, that fight cost Gordon his life. Is that why you guys spent so much time on the character this season?
Yaitanes: The decision to bring Gordon to the foreground was about Gordon's redemption, but again, things are not without their consequences. Losing Rus — I never had something where I've had so many actors knock on my door trying to see if they could change the story. Everybody lobbied. He was so loved in the cast, and it was a loss for the show. It was right for the story, but we loved working with Rus so much, it was tough.
What effect does Gordon's death have on Carrie? Does she blame Lucas?
Yaitanes: Without giving away too much, it'll definitely ripple into our plans for Season 4, how this affects Carrie. It affects the whole family. When we return to Banshee in Season 4, the Hopewell family isn't as we know it now.
The team suffered another loss when Job was taken. How does that impact Lucas?
Yaitanes: You see how heavily it weighs on him at the end of the episode, and it's something that will be part of our narrative for Season 4. We have to get Job.
Is Gordon's death the thing that makes Lucas resign, or is it more about Job being taken?Yaitanes: I think that has to do with everything. Episode 6 really explores, "What if I never came here?" He's just hurt too many people. He's caused too much death. It's the truth and he's finally come to terms with it. So, in a way it's the most mature you ever see the character. I've always seen this as the coming of age of Lucas Hood. Banshee is very much a story of a man who was emotionally frozen in time when he was arrested and had to do all the growing up for that time in a very short period of being in Banshee for the last three seasons. We're seeing the most responsible and the best choice that he could be making by putting [this] to bed and moving on from our sheriff premise of the show.
So, Lucas' resignation will stick?
Yaitanes: Absolutely. Lucas is not the sheriff of Banshee. That was legitimate. After a lot of fakeouts with giving up the badge, this is going to stick. We don't want to leave a story on the table, and we go into every season like it's our last. Fortunately, it's not, but we wanted to tell the natural end of the basic premise of the show and also keep people wondering where the show's going to go. As someone who's read the first three episodes of Season 4, I can tell you that the first 10 minutes of Season 4 will have jaws on the floor.
Are you guys thinking about an end game for the show at this point?
Yaitanes: Oh, absolutely. The good thing is our relationship with Cinemax is such that when it's time to end Banshee we'll be given an opportunity to end it respectfully. I feel like the show is closer to its end than its beginning, but it's always had a limited premise and lifespan. We always push hard to make sure every episode is better than the one before it, and that takes an enormous amount of energy and creativity and work. I feel like we have a really solid three acts that we told with Lucas' story, and I'm very excited about the next chapter.
What was behind the decision to only do eight episodes in Season 4?
Yaitanes: I think it's just a function of a model that's developing. We saw a 22-episode season and then a 13-episode season. We started a 10-episode season, and now we're seeing eight. I'm directing Quarry right now for Cinemax... and it's an eight-episode order. You're seeing more shows being produced, but shorter orders in order to just have more content. That would be my speculation.
What can you tell us about Quarry? How does it compare to Banshee?
Yaitanes: It's the story of a Vietnam vet that returns home, set in 1972 Memphis. He's struggling to get back in and is recruited by the Dixie Mafia to become a hitman. So, it's a much more grounded pulp-type story than Banshee. It's a phenomenal cast with Peter Mullan and Logan Marshall-Green in the lead. I've been loving trying to create the period and getting the feeling of the time. It was a unique time in American history. I'm directing the entire season, so I'm able to bring one vision to it which is really a privilege.
Speaking of your directing, how did you conceive of that great, multi-camera heist sequence earlier this season?
Yaitanes: It's born out of our limitation. As ambitious as we are, we ultimately have a budget to work with. I've been wanting to visually have a departure episode and I saw an opportunity here to compress the schedule and also do something extremely creative. It was literally the time of my life. It was three days of shooting for everything you saw from beginning to end in that 20-minute sequence, which was normally scheduled for six or seven days. It was just very freeing. The actors were the storytellers, the cameras were creating tension, we were literally in it with them. We know that we have to do what we can do well and not try to be something that we're not. You've seen a million heists. You've seen them be clever, you've seen everything under the sun done, but you've never seen it done like this. That's where we left our mark. So, I'm pretty proud of that episode.
You've been tweeting a lot about the #BansheeSaga. What is that?
Yaitaines: After the finale, we're going to debut the Banshee Saga for all the people that have not participated in our social platform. Every season we create an episode's worth of content — and it's been available at welcometobanshee.com for the fans to enjoy — which always goes into the origins of the characters. So, we've taken the origin material of Lucas Hood and we've created this promotional episode that really [is] a genesis pilot that will tell the story and everything that happened to Lucas Hood prior to the beginning [of the show.] It drops you on the front door of the pilot, so, you could really watch this before seeing the pilot and then binge the series and really get the full picture of the story we're telling. It's really the first time it's been done.
Any final teases for what we can expect next season?
Yaitanes: I think you're going to see more of an ensemble next year. The show was always conceived to be an ensemble with Lucas Hood heading up that ensemble, and yet I never felt like the show had a lead actor. I felt like it was the kind of show that different story lines can emerge in the foreground much the way you've seen with Brock coming to the foreground this year. I feel that where the show's going will be an even richer, complex, interwoven ensemble, which is something that we really took to this year. It'll be everything that people take from the show, but you're going see a completely unexpected season that will leave people guessing as to where we're going with it, especially after the first 10 minutes.
What did you think of the finale?