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'Banshee' preview: Greg Yaitanes on blowing up cows

By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol

RedEye

1:06 PM CST, January 17, 2014

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A badass fight in a women's prison, another in a hotel room, sex, threats and exploding cows. Fanshees will see all that and more in the second episode of the new season of "Banshee," airing at 9 p.m. Jan. 17 on Cinemax.

"I think Episode 2—like if you want someone to understand what 'Banshee' is—that is a great episode because it is a full menu of everything you can get on our show," said exec producer Greg Yaitanes, who also directed the episode.

Two of the wildest scenes involve the exploding cows you can see in the preview above. The feud between Banshee's resident crime lord Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) and Kinaho Tribal Chief Alex Longshadow (Anthony Ruivivar) heats up when Longshadow decides to blow up some cows at Proctor's stockyard.

I won't spoil Proctor's retaliation against Longshadow that comes later in the episode, but what he does is so utterly Proctor—and so "Banshee"—I was giggling with joy when I watched it. During a recent phone chat, Yaitanes talked about how the production enjoys the extremes, but only if the crazy ideas make sense within the framework of the story.

"We are fearless in going there. Like if we want to do it or we think it serves the show, then we go for it and don't hold back in the course of it," he said, chuckling a little. "If we're gonna blow up a cow then we're gonna like have cow parts raining down on them and ... you get excited for how that pays off and you don't see it coming."

Episode 2 also reinforces another hallmark of "Banshee": Yaitanes and exec producer/writer Jonathan Tropper don't go easy on the female characters. Explaining that the female cast members throw themselves into the fights "even harder than the guys," Yaitanes said, "We are an equal opportunity fight show."

In Episode 2, stars Ivana Milicevic and Trieste Kelly Dunn are both swept up by what Yaitanes calls "the Lucas Hood effect." As you can see in the two other previews below, Carrie Hopewell (Milicevic) is sentenced to prison for shooting up Rabbit's hole last season and Deputy Siobhan Kelly (Dunn) has to deal with the return of her abusive ex to Banshee. Both women square off against different foes in separate fights that Yaitanes and Co. edit together in what could be called an operatic, epic scene if it weren't so brutal.

Yaitanes said the two fights were conceived, choreographed and filmed separately, but with an eye to mashing them together in the editing room to create "this great Russ Meyer throwback in some ways." Meyer directed the cult classic "Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!"

"Oh my God, I love that scene," Yaitanes said. "It's like everything you want to have happen. Everything you want to have happen in Episode 2 happens."





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