Into the Badlands Season 3 Episode 10 Review: Raven’s Feather, Phoenix Blood

Looking for some Widow on Widow action? This episode of Into the Badlands will give it to you — and then some.

This Into The Badlands review contains spoilers.

Into the Badlands Season 3 Episode 10

Ask anyone who their favorite character on Into the Badlands is, and they’d probably say “The Widow”.

And why wouldn’t they? She stole the show since day one (no offense to Sunny) and continues to be one of its main focal points. The Widow’s come a long way since we first met her, that’s for sure. And while watching “Raven’s Feather, Phoenix Blood”, I realized that more than ever.

“Raven’s Feather, Phoenix Blood” is an experimental episode for Into the Badlands. In it, The Widow goes on a spontaneous vision quest to get her “gift” back. This takes place in an alternate reality where The Widow is a deadly red-clad baron known as the Phoenix who rules the Badlands with a velvet fist. Her right hand man is none other than a version of Gaius Chau, who is also dressed in all red. As the Phoenix, the Widow has access to all the powers of her “gift” which she has used to claim the BL for herself. She spends most of her journey exploring this twisted version of her reality, trying to locate a mysterious baron named The Raven who is out to get her.

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Spoilers! The Raven is actually just the Widow herself. So, at the end, we’re treated to what may be the show’s most beautiful action sequence ever: a Widow versus Widow fight to the death.

This fight gives The Widow a chance to reconcile the light and dark sides of her personality once and for all. Since both have been at odds with each other ever since the show began, this gives us a strange and much needed sense of relief. It’s not that The Widow’s redemption arc doesn’t make sense. It’s that as an audience, we needed to have that inner struggle externalized and presented in a visual way. Basically, we needed a character study with a wire-fu sword battle — and we most certainly got it.

Although this indulgent act of doppelganging gorgeousness is the main attraction (and climax) of “Raven’s Feather, Phoenix Blood”, plenty of other important stuff happens too. Much like the previous episode, everyone has something to do, say, and reflect on, and it all keeps the plot moving forward towards its final stop.

The most intriguing bits involve navigating through the complex web of relationships between Pilgrim, Cressida, M.K., and Nix. Nix openly displays the control she has over her gift and expresses that she doesn’t trust Pilgrim fully, which is dangerous to do amongst his followers. Especially Cressida.

Can I just say that Babou Ceesay, Lorraine Touissant, and Ella-Rae Smith are excellent additions to the cast? I can’t imagine this show without them anymore. Baron Quinn was a good bad guy, but the dynamic between Pilgrim, his followers, and just about every other character is a fertile ground that reaps rich dramatic reward. 

Having survived the fallout of “Chamber of the Scorpion,” Sunny goes all Will Forte in Last Man on Earth and starts talking to a bunch of mannequins he hides out with in some abandoned department store. It’s cute, but I’m noticing that although Daniel Wu is the lead of the show here, he’s becoming just another character who is integral to everything but doesn’t need as much screentime anymore.

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When we do see Sunny nowadays, he’s got this lost look in his eyes. Maybe he’s trying to keep up with all the plot twists that involve him this season. (Believe me, there’s a lot.) I like that he’s working with Nix in secret, and I like that she found and approached him in his makeshift fortress of solitude. But she’d better be careful playing both sides…

I haven’t spoken much about Bajie in these reviews, but Nick Frost has really grown into the character and lately, you can tell. He has some great moments in this episode where gives The Widow and Lydia a good dose of real talk. If you think about it, he’s the only character that provides any levity or intentional comedy here. And when he does, it’s mostly gallows humor. But any other type of humor wouldn’t be out of place in a show like this, which features a graphic death every fifteen minutes or so.

“Raven’s Feather, Phoenix Blood” showcases one of the show’s best fight scenes ever. It lets us explore the inner landscape of one if its most popular characters. It’s another strong entry in a season of mighty episodes, which makes me wish it had another season or two in the works. Who knows? Maybe there will be.

Keep up with Into the Badlands Season 3 news and reviews here.

Stephen Harber is the writer and creator of the Batman/Doctor Who Adventures, a fanmade manga tribute. Read more of his work here, and follow him on Instagram @onlywriterever


4.5 out of 5