Friday, February 28, 2014

"Author's Cut" Updated Kindle Edition of The Pixel Eye published by JoSara MeDia

I'm pleased to announce that JoSara MeDia has just published a Kindle edition of my novel, The Pixel Eye.

The Pixel Eye was originally published by Tor Books in 2003, and was praised by The New York Times ("the nuttiness of the premise and the grittiness of the near-future New York ambiance are equally appealing"), Library Journal ("Levinson's latest novel featuring the resourceful and wise-cracking D'Amato delivers another satisfying mix of hard-sf intrigue and detective story set in New York City"), and reviews in numerous other places.

Squirrels are spying on us in the park. Mice may have organic bombs set to go off in their brains. Holograms are taking the place of real people, some of whom are deceased. Phil D'Amato investigates a case that pits civil liberties against national security as he seeks to ward off a major terrorist attack on near-future New York City.

Like the JoSara author’s cuts of The Silk Code, The Consciousness Plague, and The Plot to Save Socrates, this new edition of The Pixel Eye restores bits of my original wording lost to copy-editing.  But it also contains significant updates in the world inhabited by forensic detective Dr. Phil D'Amato. The NSA existed in 2003 but was not often in the headlines.  It plays a significant role in this 2014 edition of The Pixel Eye.   

Also note that although The Pixel Eye is my third novel detailing the cases of Dr. D'Amato (after The Silk Code and The Consciousness Plague), it is an entirely standalone story, not a sequel, and can be read before the first two novels.

The new ebook edition of the novel has a specially commissioned cover by Joel Iskowitz, who designed the covers for The Silk Code, The Consciousness PlagueThe Plot to Save Socrates, and Unburning Alexandria ebooks, and  whose designs have appeared on stamps around the world, US coins, and murals.

I again chose JoSara MeDia because this small, savvy publisher did such a good job with The Silk Code, The Consciousness Plague, The Plot to Save Socrates, and Unburning Alexandria ebooks, as well as the Unburning Alexandria paperback published last summer. JoSara MeDia has published award-winning authors in multiple formats, including print, eBook, and enhanced eBooks as iPad and Android applications. JoSara MeDia also works with non-profit organizations, such as the Texas State Historical Association, assisting them with strategies and solutions to get their content available in these multiple formats.

  • "The nuttiness of the premise and the grittiness of the near-future New York ambiance are equally appealing" - The New York Times
  • "a breezily chilling story ... enough to send a shiver down most readers' spines" - Publisher's Weekly
  • "a thoroughly enjoyable book, extremely readable, and brave" - SF Weekly
  • "D'Amato is a charming narrator and an intriguing character" - Cinescape
  • "Levinson's latest novel featuring the resourceful and wise-cracking D'Amato delivers another satisfying mix of hard-sf intrigue and detective story set in New York City" - Library Journal
  • "Levinson's descriptions of the unique hustle and bustle of New York City are right up there with Jeffery Deaver's." -
  • "The Pixel Eye, much like Orwell's 1984 and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, presents a chilling vision of the future that hits way too close to home for comfort . . . a thought-provoking book that should be on anyone's reading list." - Royal Library

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Revolution 2.14: Time Travel!

Revolution was back with the 14th episode of its second season last night, which ended with a surprising turn to my favorite staple of science fiction: time travel.

I've been not overly thrilled with the nanite story so far, especially the mystical elements, which take the series out of science fiction and into fantasy and mythos. So, on that account alone, it was great see Aaron suddenly transported back to 2014 as he struggled to put the nanites out of business for good, by introducing a virus destructive of the nanite code.  My assumption is that the nanites had to be responsible for whisking Aaron back in time, as a way of saving themselves from his attack.  Any other source would be a ridiculous and unfounded rabbit out of a hat.

And time travel could be just the thing to really galvanize Revolution.  The Faraday time travel story did wonders for Lost, even though it couldn't save that series from the worst ending to a great series in human history.  And the possibilities of what Aaron can do back in 2014 to change or regulate the future are legion and tempting.

Meanwhile, back in the future, Charlie gets some good cards in her hand, as well - or, actually, a handful of fighting men who are under her sole control.  This could be another way of jump-starting the series, with Charlie now in a commanding rather than supporting role in the narrative.

Does Revolution need jump-starting?  Well, it's been a pretty good season.  But, yeah, it could use a little jolt, and time travel, if done well, is always in the market to do that, even if the new Charlie command doesn't work out.

See also Revolution 2.1: "The Last Surviving Friend" ... Revolution 2.2: Reanimation ... Revolution 2.4: Nanites and ... Maybe Aliens? ... Revolution 2.7: Firestarter Aaron vs. the Creepster ... Revolution 2.9: The Boy and the Attitude ... Revolution 2.10: Mexico and More ... Revolution 2.11: Captives and Nanites ... Revolution 2.12: Eugenics and Lubbock ... Revolution 2.13: Steve Tyler, Mummy

And see also Revolution: Preview Review  ... Revolution 1.2: Fast Changes ... Revolution 1.14: Nanites and Jack Bauer ... Revolution 1.15: Major Tom and More 24 ... Revolution 1.16: Feeling a Little Like the Hatch in Lost ... Revolution 1.17: Even Better Nanites ... Revolution 1.18: Whodunnit? ... Revolution 1.19: Cheney's Bunker ... Revolution Season 1 Finale: Good Pivot

Like time travel?   Try The Plot to Save Socrates ...


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Intelligence 1.8: Heart of Darkness, Cyberstyle

It was flashback time on Intelligence 1.8 on Monday, with a combination of the least amount of high-tech gadgetry we've seen on the show so far, and the most backstory for Gabriel.

This makes for a nice enough episode, but one which resembles the CBS mega-hit NCIS more then it does the science fiction on Person of Interest, Revolution, Almost Human, and Intelligence.   Still, the developing chemistry between Gabriel and Riley was good to see, as was Gabriel before he had the implant.

And the story of Norris - who partnered with Gabriel in the flashback, and is the crucial character in the present part of the narrative - has echoes of Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coppola's Apocalypse Now, which is to say, important and moving.   The toll of war on those who survive can make them something less than human - or less motivated by the empathy that most of us have - and Norris provides a powerful contrast to Gabriel on this score.  Both survived.  Gabriel was embedded with a chip which connects him directly with the Internet.   Norris was not.   And who is the more human?   It's Gabriel, despite or maybe because of his techno assist.

This also makes a point which is consistent with my view of technology, and the view of a small number of other academics and theorists.  The Nobel laureate biologist Sir Peter Medawar once said that technologies are what make us human.   You can see evidence of this every day.  When someone puts on a pair of glasses, is she or her less human?  No, they are more human, because by seeing better, they can navigate their world better and more effectively accomplish their human goals.    When someone puts on on Google Glass, are they less human?  No, I would say they are more human, for the same reasons that corrective glasses better enable out humanity.

Gabriel and what he represents are not that big a step beyond Google Glass in its enablement of humanity.  That's one of things that makes this series so good.

See also Intelligence Debuts ... Intelligence 1.2: Lightning Changes ...Intelligence 1.3: Edward Snowden and 24 ... Intelligence 1.4: Social Media Weaponry ... Intelligence 1.5: The Watch ... Intelligence 1.6: Helix meets Rectify and Justified ... Intelligence 1.7: Nanites


Like science fiction about chips in the brain?  Check out The Pixel Eye

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

House of Cards 2: Even Better than Season 1, and Why

I saw the second season of House of Cards over the weekend - thanks to Netflix seamless streaming - and loved it.   It's better than the first, which is saying a lot, because the first was outstanding, too. Spoilers galore follow.

Among the highlights 

  • Frank's killing of Zoe at the end of the first episode - not only a stunning bolt from the blue, but thoroughly plausible given what we saw of Frank last year.  The killing also had the virtue of getting Zoe off the show - her relationships with Frank last year was the least believable part of the first season.  Later on in the second season, Frank says to Claire that he's not risking any more affairs, which makes good sense for a Vice President
  • Frank also establishes his direct commentary to the viewing audience at the end of the first episode - and, in general, this commentary works a little better than it did the first season
  • Molly Parker, who's great at anything she does, was exciting and refreshing as the new Whip Jackie Sharp, the best new character in the series, who shined in every scene she was in, including those with Kevin Spacey, who gave another incandescent performance.   Her affair with Remy, who also had an even better season than last year, was also one of the two most interesting affairs on the show.
  • The other interesting affair is Rachel's with her lover Lisa, also a compelling new character, albeit with limited screen time.
  • Good to see Rachel kill Doug - not only justified for this sicko political henchman, but another character who, although he had his moments, was mostly a drain on the show.
  • The Freddie story is not a highlight because, although it was ok, I would have rather seen Freddie and Frank continue as they were last year.  I suppose that couldn't last, though, because you can't have a President going out every morning for ribs.
  • Frank's manipulation of events to finally become President of the United States is sheer genius.
  • Ashleigh Banfield's interview with Claire, in which she reveals that she was raped, was superbly acted by Banfield.  (I can't say the same for most of the other real anchors who appeared in the second season.  Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity were ok.   Chris Hayes and Chris Matthews were stiff.  I don't know why real people have so much trouble playing themselves.  I know if I had to play the part of a professor, I'd do just fine :)
  • I loved the opening credits and the music last year, and even more so this year.   When the strings come in near the end I grieve and soar.
So see House of Cards, second season, and treat yourself to one of the best pieces of television to come down the pike.

 photo THECONSCIOUSNESSPLAGUE5_zps8e1b18e3.jpg

Like political fiction?  The Consciousness Plague has a big scene in Washington, DC.

free sample of The Consciousness Plague


 photo house_of_cards_season_2_premiere_zps4b44a27c.png

Monday, February 24, 2014

Almost Human 1.12: If Guy de Maupassant Had Been a Science Fiction Writer

A really fine Almost Human 1.12 tonight, with touches of O'Henry and The Twilight Zone, all wrapped up in nanobot plastic surgery for love story.   Nanites are making their rounds in science fiction television this season, appearing in Intelligence as a separate episode last week, and as one of the foundations of this whole season of Revolution.

But Almost Human brings them to bear in a love story worthy of Guy de Maupassant and the classic short fiction mentioned above.  In de Maupassant's "La Parure" ("The Necklace") published back in 1884, for example, a young woman borrows her friend's pearl necklace, accidentally loses it, borrows a huge amount of money to buy a replacement, and works like a dog for years to earn the money back. At the end of the story, she learns that the original necklace she borrowed was made of paste, and not worth much at all.  Or, in The Twilight Zone's "Eye of the Beholder" (1960), a woman undergoes repeated plastic surgeries to improve her appearance.   We see the doctors only from behind, and the woman's face only in bandages.  At the end of the story, the doctors inform her that the surgery has failed.  The camera finally shows us her face - she's beautiful - and pans around to show the faces of the doctors and nurses, which are grotesque in this alternate or alien world.

In tonight's Almost Human, the villain kills beautiful people to improve his appearance - he injects nanites into the victims to harvest the desired facial characteristics, but the injections leave the victims with fatal heart attacks.   He does this because he's in love with a beautiful woman - they have fallen in love online and have never met in person - and he doesn't want her to be disappointed with his looks, which were ruined in an earlier experiment.   He finally meets the woman near the end of story, only to learn that she is blind, can't see what he looks like, and loves him for who is - that is, the person she got to know online.   So, all of his killing was for naught.

All of this yearning for love ties in with Kennex and his loneliness.  And in a very nice final touch, he asks Stahl to go to a bar with him, just as her date - a Chrome - shows up to take her to that very bar.

Almost Human has shown itself to be completely human in the richness of the stories it has given us, a rarity in science fiction television, more rare than nanites.   The season finale is next week, and I hope Fox gives it at least another year.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Helix 1.8: Glacial Speed

I know that things move slowly in the extreme cold, but in the case of Helix 1.8, that apparently applies to the speed with which the story unfolds.   The one good result of this is that we're still in suspense about what is really going on.  But there's only so long that a plot can stay in the deep freeze.

Ok, one big change did occur in 1.8, but that concerned a major player who was just introduced to the series last week.   It was satisfying to see Sutton garroted to death, especially after Alan and Sarah's attempt to get rid of her figuratively blew up in their faces and not enough in Sutton's to more than muss her hair.   And, yeah, it was good to hear Hiroshi say we're back in charge, and with it the hope that we'll soon be getting some answers.

But where are they?  Implications of aliens and beasts, almost reminiscent of what resides beyond the wall in the north in Game of Thrones, are shown to us in every episode, but it's time we found out more about them and their connection to what's going on in full view on the screen.  The eyes like silver dollars are a good clue, but we saw that last week, and learned little more about them tonight.

In many ways and with just a few exceptions, Helix is still playing like a very good prologue to what we can only hope is a better story beyond.   Prequels can work very well, but only when we already know what they are prelude to.   In the case of Helix, we can only guess, and not with very much information, about what lies ahead.

There's lots that's possibly good about this series, and I just hope that the upcoming episodes confirm this.

Like biological science fiction? Try The Silk Code


Banshee 2.8: Sneak Preview Review

Continuing with my sneak preview reviews of Banshee - this time, episode 2.8, set to air February 28, 2014 - courtesy of a screener disk provided by Starpulse. As always, these reviews will deal in generalities and avoid specific spoilers.

Racism is the theme of this episode of Banshee - with an escalation of Hood's attack on Proctor - in two separate threads of the story.

Among the most significant elements -

  • Someone we haven't seen hurt before gets punched out in the street and ends up in the hospital
  • Someone we haven't seen under arrest before ends the episode screaming in handcuffs
  • Someone who was the soul of self-control loses it for entirely understandable reasons and  may as a result be occupying a different position in the story
Hood continues his unique brand of keeping the peace, enabling the escape of criminals in the act at the start of the episode and ready to countenance a highly unlawful act near the end.  Meanwhile, he uses extra-legal means to go after Proctor.  Brock and Siobhan variously notice some of this, and guess who tries to have a heart to heart talk with Hood about it.

Only two episodes left, and the battle between Proctor and Hood is boiling.

And I'll be back here between February 21st and 28th with my sneak preview review of episode 2.9.

See also Banshee Season 2 Premiere: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.2: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.3 Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.4 Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.5: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.6: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.7: Sneak Preview Review

Like crime stories that involve the Amish? Try The Silk Code


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I'm on Monster Storm Tonight on National Geographic Channel

NatGeo's How to Survive the End of the World series returns tonight at 10pm Eastern (with repeat at midnight and tomorrow at 6pm Eastern) with its fourth episode, "Monster Storm," and, yep, I've made my way to that bunker again, in an undisclosed location (but it's in a catacomb in Brooklyn), to give a little "expert" commentary on the media and cultural implication of the planet nearly wiped out.

You may recall that I did this for the first three episodes - "Zombie Earth,"  "Hell on Earth" (volcanoes), and "Frozen Earth" (see vid clips below) - and it's been a wild two months in the ravaged streets, let me tell you.   What happens is after my expert commentary, I walk through a door, but it takes me into another dimension.  So I've gone from a world plagued by zombies to a hellish world of molten lava everywhere to a world with bone-chilling temperatures that make the last two months that you've just experienced feel like a walk in the park.

It's good to be in the bunker again, with that Monster Storm approaching.  I'm glad to see David Bartell has made it too, with the extensive packet of notes he carries.   Switching hats to another perspective, for a second, these scenario shows are based on sound scientific and sociological analysis and speculation.

Anyway ... the rain's beginning to pick up, I'm going to see if there's anything decent to eat in this bunker, and I'll see you tonight (I hope) at 10pm.  In the meantime, clips from the previous three episodes follow ...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Intelligence 1.7: Nanites

Nanites made their way on to Intelligence 1.7 last night, in the high-tech bio-tech science fictional manner which the series does so well.  Nanites have played a quasi-metaphysical role on Revolution this season, and will be the subject of a How to Survive the End of the World episode on the National Geographic series this season (the "Monster Storm" episode airs this Wednesday - all episodes feature brief appearances by me as an "expert" in an undisclosed underground location).

The plot features a latter-day uni-bomber who fields nanites that invade and quickly kill the body.   His targets are his competition, and eventually the elder Dr. Cassidy is "mechanically infected".  The nanite bomber turns out to be one of Cassidy's "favorite" students, but not the brightest, and his quest for fame and power got the better of him.  Cassidy survives a close call, but I wouldn't go to him for a letter of reference if someone was applying for a job at Fordham University, where I teach.

The personal chemistry between Gabriel and Riley is still percolating, which is good and I hope continues and develops into more.  Riley's defense of Gabriel as human, because he makes choices rather than responds to commands, is not only gratifying to Gabriel but makes an important point that goes beyond a man embedded with a telecommunicating chip.  To the extent that we just respond to stimuli or orders or anything without deliberation in our work, we are behaving more like robots than human beings.

Intelligence has struck a winning balance between high-tech and human life, in a way I find more satisfying and real than, say, Person of Interest, which also explores this intersection.  I'm looking forward to more.

See also Intelligence Debuts ... Intelligence 1.2: Lightning Changes ...Intelligence 1.3: Edward Snowden and 24 ... Intelligence 1.4: Social Media Weaponry ... Intelligence 1.5: The Watch ... Intelligence 1.6: Helix meets Rectify and Justified


Like biological science fiction? Try The Silk Code

The Following 2.5: Turning Tides

One way I like to keep track of what's happening on The Following is noting, in each episode, how many of the following Ryan and any of the good guys are able to bring down.  Often the only killings in the show are victims and law-enforcement.  In fact, nearly an episode goes by without some innocent being killed by one of the psychos, or a cop or FBI agent wiped out by one of them.

Tonight, in episode 2.5, we get a refreshing reversal.  Although the young woman that Lily kidnapped to serve to Joe is indeed slaughtered by him, Dexter style, Ryan at the end of episode has taken out two of the following, including Gillian, one of the worst psychos of all.  That's a pretty good tally for the agents of good, and one which we didn't see too often last season, and only one other time this season, when all of Emma's group were eliminated.  But they were already sidelined, and didn't pose much of a threat.

Also a development for the better tonight is Mike finally realizing that Joe is alive, which Ryan's niece Max is starting to acknowledge, too.  The only chance of getting Joe and his new band is all law enforcement working with Ryan.

But the forces of bad are coalescing, too.  Joe may be accepting Lily as a benefactor, and certainly as a lover.   The twins are still alive and very much kicking.   And Emma, while not forgiving Joe for abandoning her, is at least on the premises, and will be a force to reckon with as Ryan and the FBI close in.

But the most deadly weapon Joe may have at his disposal may be Mandy.   She has already demonstrated her attachment to Joe and willingness to kill for him, and as powerful a force as Lily may be, Mandy may be more so.  A lover of his own age and stature in Lily, and a surrogate daughter in Mandy, will be formidable allies indeed.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Almost Human 1.11: The Metaphysics of Flesh

Tonight in Almost Human 1.11 we get another good future crime story - involving both the digital and the tangible - as well as an important piece of the ongoing Dorian biography with implications for the overall Almost Human narrative.

The crime story is centered around a smart home, which we're just beginning to see emerge in the 21st century.  Our homes today can and are constructed to regulate temperature, what's on television, and other benign and helpful things, as well as call police when intruders - i.e., people who don't have the requisite code or other characteristics - break in.   How big a step would it be to program homes to kill an intruder whom the home deems a danger to its denizens? In a stand-your-ground world taken to its logical, deadly, sick extreme, a smart home kills a teenage boy who climbs over a wall in Almost Human 1.11.  This in turn sets in motion a revenge plot in which Kennex and Dorian must overcome masterful hacking and killer androids - or a combination of cyber and physical - to stop further killing.

The smart house, like the smart car, and smart phone, represent the continuing evolution of what the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty called the "metaphysics of flesh".  Homes and cars and phones of course are not flesh, but they can be animated and driven by information in the same way as living beings.  Important and instructive to see this on a television show.

Also expansive to see another hacker on the side of the good in addition to Rudy - in this case, Nico, who manages to out-hack Emily, the master hacker seeking revenge.  But Rudy plays the more significant role in the ongoing story, discovering that Dorian has been embedded with human memories.    Rudy removes that module, but the reason for the embedding remains to be uncovered - including who did it - and will likely have a decisive role in the series.

There are just a few episodes left of Almost Human this season, with still no word that it will be renewed.  I hope it is.   What certainly hasn't helped in building an audience for this good series is that, for whatever reason, it episodes have been presented out of order.   The labyrinths of television programming can rival the metaphysics of androids and smart homes of the future.

See also: Almost Human debuts: A Review ... Almost Human 1.2: Sexbots ... Almost Human 1.3: Change of Face ... Almost Human 1.4: Almost Breaking Bad ... Almost Human 1.5: Clones and Holograms ...Almost Human 1.6: The Blackmarket Heart and Double Dorian ... Almost Human 1.7: Meets Criminal Minds ... Almost Human 1.8: Guided Bullets ... Almost Human 1.9: Literally Bad Robot ... Almost Human 1.10: Killer Genes


Like science fiction about bio-programming? Try The Silk Code

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Black Sails 1.4: The Masts of Wall Street

If you think of most of the action dramas on cable television these days - whether taking place in the present, like Banshee and Strike Back, or in the past like Da Vinci's Demons and Vikings - the story moves along pretty quickly, sometimes at blinding speed (in the case of Strike Back), with every episode whipping the narrative forward around sharp and dangerous curves.   In contrast, Black Sails is dangerous, all right, but it's story almost seems to stand still at times.   And that's a change of pace for television that I very much like.

In episode 1.4, much of the action centers around a ship in the sand, and the pirates' attempt to make it more suitable to their needs.   The ship stands there, like a majestic skeleton to a nearly forgotten past, except in Black Sails it's very much happening.   The ship, of course, as would be any massive sailing ship, is an emblem and enabling technology to the life and pursuits of the pirates.   In a world before planes, the sailing ship was the only way to move across great distances.   But in Black Sails, this distance is as much political and economic as physical.

Richard Guthrie provides us with some important back story, including the way Flint and Miranda got together and its social context, but also his take and opposition to Flint's vision of a utopian pirate island untrodden by the monarchies of the day.  We already knew that Flint and Miranda are cultured people, and that money is the lubricant of this whole on-the-margin society, but in 1.4 we get a taste of the economic sophistication of many of the major players.   The pirate leaders and their colleagues, male and female, are in many ways more akin to The Wolf of Wall Street than any show now or ever on television, and that makes Black Sails worthy of note as well.  Or, looked at in other way, we could say that the pirates represent the 99% in the Occupy Wall Street of that day.   The ship in the sand stands at the fulcrum of those two forces.

Any way you look at it, Black Sails is as much a feast for the intellect as it is for the eyes, and a pleasure to see on television.

See also Black Sails: Literate and Raunchy Piracy ... Black Sails 1.3: John Milton and Marcus Aurelius


Friday, February 14, 2014

Helix 1.7: Bright Eyes

Finally some progress in our understanding of what is going in Helix in 1.7 tonight, mostly from Constance Sutton played by Jeri Ryan, who arrives with an expeditionary team to get some answers, results, and in general command of what is going on.

The first thing we learn is that Sutton and her team are not government but the facility's corporate controllers, and we soon hear from Sutton, in a conversation with a distressed Hiroshi, exactly what the corporation wants: a virus and a cure.  A virus, moreover, which will kill everyone the corporation wants dead, who will be given the virus but not the cure.  Further, to make matters even worse, Sutton learns from Hiroshi that the zombies are products of a second virus, which didn't quite work out, but turns its victims into foaming, raving lunatics rather than just killing them dead.

And there's one more thing: Sutton's eyes have an alien gleam - literally.  So who, then, is the "we" that Sutton references when she says that "we have waited too long"?  Aliens?  Humans who were already exposed to some kind of virus?   Not enough info on that, as yet.

But Julia, who was exposed to the virus, has lost all of her symptoms and developed a new one: she, too, now has bright eyes.

So the fog may be finally beginning to lift around Helix.  And this time l liked the music - "Fever" by Peggy Lee, which makes good accompaniment to a virus, alien brewed, engendering, or otherwise.

Like biological science fiction? Try The Silk Code


Banshee 2.7: Sneak Preview Review

Continuing with my sneak preview reviews of Banshee - this time, episode 2.7, set to air February 21, 2014 - courtesy of a screener disk provided by Starpulse. As always, these reviews will deal in generalities and avoid specific spoilers.

Revenge is the theme of this episode of Banshee - revenge for what happened to young Hood at the end of 2.6.

Proctor is actually a far more effective enemy to Hood than Rabbit has been - because Proctor is younger, just as tough, and at least as smart as Rabbit.  Proctor has been strengthening his ties with Alex all season, and this continues in 2.7, to the point that Alex is now completely in Proctor's debt.   Is there any real chance that Hood can bring down Proctor and his allies, assorted and some sordid?

You can make your own predictions - and the answer will be presumably be known, at least in part, by the end of this season.  But I think not.  One thing that Hood's focus on getting Proctor does seem to be resulting in is a little more cooperation between Hood and Brock, which we see to good effect in 2.7, as Brock tells Hood that nabbing Proctor will be a long haul.  But this has its limits too, and in the end the only allies that Hood can count on are Sugar and Job.

He can count on Siobhan, too, as far as the Banshee police, and probably on Carrie, too, if push came to shove, which it usually does and more on Banshee.  But Carrie has her hands full with a family crisis in 2.7, which is also one of the best episodes we've seen in a while about the Hopewells.

And I'll be back here between February 14th and 21st with my sneak preview review of episode 2.8.

See also Banshee Season 2 Premiere: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.2: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.3 Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.4 Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.5: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.6: Sneak Preview Review

Like crime stories that involve the Amish? Try The Silk Code


Banshee 2.6: Sneak Preview Review

Continuing with my sneak preview reviews of Banshee - this time, episode 2.6, set to air tonight, February 14, 2014 - courtesy of a screener disk provided by Starpulse.  As always, these reviews will deal in generalities and avoid specific spoilers.

This episode of Banshee had two big surprise twists, each stunning and unforeseen in its own way, though there was groundwork in retrospect for each of them.

Among the major elements of 2.6, some of which have to with the twists, some of which do not, we have -

  • a new character in town, with an accent, who handles himself very well
  • Brock stoking his suspicions of Hood, and getting a little evidence in hand
  • lots about young Hood, who again gets some good loving, and more
  • Proctor in his cat house, and just what you'd expect to see there
Proctor continues to be the fulcrum of this season, making things happen even more than Hood, who in this episode reacts more than instigates.   One of the best things about the series and the way it's been presented is that the essential insanity of Hood's position - pretending to be someone he isn't - is never far from the surface, and threatens to erupt and disrupt at every turn.  It's not the source of the major shockers in episode 2.6, but it plays a role, and makes at least one of the shockers that much more unexpected.

And I'll be back here between February 14th and 21st with my sneak preview review of episode 2.7.

See also Banshee Season 2 Premiere: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.2: Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.3 Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.4 Sneak Preview Review ... Banshee 2.5: Sneak Preview Review

Like crime stories that involve the Amish? Try The Silk Code