The intensely violent Cinemax drama series Banshee is promising a bolder and even more ambitious third season. With the aftermath of the events of last season still looming over them, and an even more dangerous threat in town with Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers) hell-bent on righteousness, ex-con and master thief Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) discovers the possibility of a huge but highly risky big-money heist and must re-enlist Carrie (Ivana Milicevic), Job (Hoon Lee) and Sugar (Frankie Faison) to help him pull it off.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, show creator Jonathan Tropper talked about reinventing certain aspects of the show, why they enjoy adding to and changing up the team dynamic, just how big of a threat Chayton Littlestone will be, having Episode 5 be their diversion episode, what having a real relationship will look like for Lucas, testing the friendship between Lucas and Job, and what his collaboration with executive producer Greg Yaitanes has brought to the show. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are spoilers.
Collider: Greg Yaitanes told me that what you’ve conceived for Season 3 is going to make this the most anticipated season, so far, and that it will make fans more anxious to see Season 4, when it’s all done.
JONATHAN TROPPER: Yeah, we’re definitely reinventing certain aspects of the show in Season 3, that are going to continue, moving forward. Bringing Chayton back is going to unleash a whole new kind of hell onto the streets of Banshee. Also, with Rabbit gone, Lucas and Carrie have to figure out what their life is about now. They’re not together. Carrie has destroyed her family. Lucas now has a daughter who knows about him, with Deva. There is a lot of complicated stuff to work out. In the meantime, Lucas and Carrie and Job and Sugar are deciding to be criminals again. They want to get back to what they’re good at, which is stealing. So, there’s a lot going on.
How much fun is it to play with that team dynamic now, and how challenging is it to add new faces to that dynamic?
TROPPER: It’s always fun. We add to the dynamic a lot, otherwise it would get stale. There’s a number of new characters coming into Season 3. With the death of Emmett, we have some new deputies coming in. And with the disappearance of Rabbit, we have one or two new bad guys coming in. It’s always a lot of fun to think about who you’re going to bring, what they’re gonna do, and where they come from. We want everyone to come from somewhere. That’s the fun of creating a new season. In a procedural, you can have the same characters, over and over again. But with a show like ours, it has to continue to evolve, or else it gets stale really quickly.
What sort of problems will Chayton Littlestone be causing, this season?
TROPPER: Chayton is a complicated guy. He has these really sincere beliefs that are based on a certain righteous anger because his people have been totally screwed over by the government, so he feels that he is not behold to any laws of the state or the country. He wants to reclaim what was rightfully his, that was taken from his ancestors. At the same time, he’s a sociopath and a stone cold killer. He brings a certain rage and charisma, where he can get a lot of people to follow him. So, Chayton is setting up shop in Banshee, where he’s already wanted for a bunch of crimes. He can’t live in a house, so he’s gotta live off the grid. At the same time, he wants Proctor to pay for the death of Alex Longshadow, and he wants Lucas to pay for what he’s done. He’s out for blood.
With Rabbit gone, where are the biggest threats coming from, for Lucas Hood?
TROPPER: So, the most immediate threat to Lucas is Chayton. Secondly, it’s Proctor. And thirdly, there’s still a lot of loose ends left out there from when Agent Racine died. There are some bodies in that field, who died in Season 2. There’s still a bunch of loose ends from his past that could wake up, at any moment, and come get Lucas. You’ll see some of that, also.
You’ve talked about how you like to do a diversion episode in every season. Will you be doing that again?
TROPPER: Yeah, every season, we like to pick at least one episode and do something slightly different than what people are expecting. This season, it’s Episode 5 again. We just like there to be a centerpiece to our season. In Season 2, it was a very quiet and introspective episode. In Season 3, it’s the exact opposite. It’s probably the most tense and exciting episode of our season, but again, it’s different from any other episode of the season. We like to think, “What’s our Episode 5?” It’s a good little institution to have because it forces you to think creatively. We don’t just plan 10 episodes. We also want Episode 5 to be a different kind of episode, that tells the story in a different way. We really welcome the opportunity, whenever we can, to expand our vocabulary on the filmmaking side, on the writing side, and on the acting side. We look for ways to do that, so that we’re not just the same show, every week.
What does having a real relationship look like, for Lucas and Siobhan, and how long will that last before it blows up in their face?
TROPPER: As you can imagine, it’s not something that will last. What Lucas is looking for, and he’s never had, is true relationship in adult life. He got out of jail and came to Banshee, and it’s been a total mess. Now, he’s met this woman that he has an uncomplicated love for. There’s no past there. There’s nothing to come and haunt them. It’s something that he really wants, and it’s something where she can really offer him a level of peace that he’s never had, so we don’t want to explore that.
Where will things be at with Job, this season?
TROPPER: Job’s friendship with Lucas will be tested, this season. Everything that Job does is in service of his friendship with Lucas, but it’s been pretty one-sided. At some point, in Season 3, Job’s patience and loyalty will absolutely be tested by Lucas.
What has your partnership and collaboration with Greg Yaitanes brought to the show?
TROPPER: We come at it with a very joint understanding of what the show is. I think we both fully get what the show is, but we have different things that we focus on. We keep each other honest, in a lot of ways. Sometimes there are things that I want to do, and Greg says, “That’s not going to be good enough.” And sometimes Greg wants to do something where I say, “That’s not really what this show is.” We have a great dialogue. We police each other and, at the same time, we both agree with what does work. When we both agree on that, which is most of the time, we then fight for it with the network and the actors to get it to happen to the best of our abilities. I have to write it that way, and Greg has to work with production to make it happen that way. That’s a really great partnership.
Banshee Season 3 airs Friday nights on Cinemax.