This review of Into The Badlands contains spoilers.
Into the Badlands Season 2 Episode 8
Getting back into the badlands was Sunny’s main mission this year – which makes a lot of sense, given the show’s title and all. This episode is where he finally makes it in, but it comes at a price: serving as a clipper for Baron Chau, whose cogs kidnap him, Bajie, and M.K. This isn’t too bad story-wise because it continues the series’ latest trend of forcing its menagerie of characters to interact with each other to keep that plot thing moving. It’s a pretty decent plot so far, even if it has some focus issues, since it works fairly hard at keeping us on the edge of our seat with thrills lifted straight off of the assembly line. But now the show has surrendered itself to the power of “convenient coincidence” where situations converge because it saves time, speeds things up, and keeps the momentum going.
For an episode about Sunny’s return to the Barons’ territory, it sure does focus a lot on Veil and The Widow. The latter continues to take Into the Badlands by storm, by the way. Watching her take down Baron Hasan and the rest of her competition so easily is what makes her the “real” star of the show, and I’m glad we’ve been treated to action sequences featuring her and her army of butterflies aplenty. Sunny’s narrative arc collides with her own when he helps Chau set up the red menace using M.K. as bait. Because she had her eyes on him last season, remember? He was going to help her get to Azra. Or maybe he was just going all black-eyed and freak out on her. Something. Anyway, M.K. makes the perfect leverage to ensare the Widow into a trap that may or may not have been well designed.
But said ploy was merely a means to an end for Sunny, who really needed to figure out where his baby mama is being held. Running into the Widow (and eventually joining forces with her) not only helped him do that, it facilitated a clear pathway into the show’s big season finale conflict: Sunny vs. Quinn – a fight we’re dying to see.
Alright, so technically we’re not that desperate to see it. It’s more like we’re ready to get it over with because it feels drawn out at this point. And here I am making minor complaints that the show is too fluky to expedite the main action. Sigh. I really am hard to please. But seriously, folks. Let’s get this drama out of the way so we can build a more stable foundation for Season 3.
By the way, Baron Quinn continues to be a creep and force Veil to marry him in a private ceremony lead by Lydia. If that sounds like an awkward situation, you’re not wrong. Lydia can swallow quite a bit when it comes to the man she loves to hate – or is it hates to love? (I think that completely depends on the story’s needs on an episode by episode basis.) She makes her allegiance to Veil and anyone who’s not her bearded ex-husband clear when she attempts to run away with Henry so Veil can try and kill Quinn during their, um, “honeymoon.” Blecch. She doesn’t get very far, but she does discover Sunny’s presence in the process thanks to a printout that a cog received. Apparently they have bubblejet printers at Avalon station. Hmm. Makes sense, I guess.
Other than that, it was cute to see M.K. and Tilda reunited for a brief moment towards the end of “Sting of the Scorpion’s Tail.” It’s clear from her reaction to even hearing his name that she still has feelings for him despite her recent sapphic tendencies. But are they still mutual? Yeah, probably.
Oh, and would you look at that. Once again, Bajie shows up just in time at the end – again. He doesn’t do much to bail our (other) main characters from double crossing Chau’s clippers, but he did manage to wind up at the right place at the right time once more. Convenience, folks. That’s the name of the game.