As a fan of the sweeping grandeur that highlights the pacing of “Into the Badlands,” I can also appreciate the quieter moments of intensity. Last week’s episode introduced Baron Chau’s brother Gaius (Lewis Tan) and their sibling rivalry colored the events that took place.
Beginning with the knowledge that Gaius Chau has been imprisoned by his powerful sister for 18 months, we also are provided the reason why: treason. Having used some of Baron Chau’s turncoat Clippers to free her cogs, Gaius is pressed into the service of his sister when she begins to execute what’s left of his crew. Baron Chau has a reason for getting her brother’s considerable skills under her thumb: she knows Pilgrim and his acolytes are quickly encroaching and poaching from her.
In the barren wastelands, Sunny, Bajie and Henry meet a seemingly benign blind man who shares a meal with them. Waking to an empty tent and the effects of a sleep agent coursing through their veins, Sunny and Bajie quickly realize they’ve been played. The blind man kidnapped baby Henry and set them on a path to an old, underground hospital. Seeing fetuses in jars, the creepiness factor is on level 9 before the scary ninja cannibals appear. Sunny and Bajie are in trouble.
Elsewhere, Tilda tries to talk sense into MK about avenging his mother’s death. Although there is obviously love and care between the two of them, Odessa’s observation that “The boy you knew is gone” is spot on. MK is determined to find and put down Sunny, by any means. The friendship he shares with Tilda isn’t enough to dissuade him from his path.
In the old underground hospital of horrors, Sunny and Bajie are given the rare opportunity to not be eaten by the blind cannibals. Their leaders offer them two options, join or be a meal. Given 24 hours to decide, Sunny tells Bajie the truth of how the blind cannibals came to be. Previously renegade Clippers of Quinn’s, a strapping late 30’s Waldo and very young Colt Sunny were sent to stop their raiding. Instead of just stopping them, they blinded them and cursed them to the wastelands.
On the island fortress where Pilgrim and his cult reside, a storm is brewing. Having gone to retrieve their cogs, The Widow and Lydia are caught in the crossfire when Gaius Chau attacks. The fight sequences between Gaius and Dark Force Castor are some of the most stunning blade work seen onscreen. Also notable, the cooperation between The Widow and Pilgrim fighting side-by-side to overcome Gaius’s crew. The stunt coordination is simply marvelous for the entire “Into the Badlands” operation.
In the midst of the carnage, when Gaius is disarmed by Castor, the latter turns his sights on The Widow. Spinning toward her, his Dark Force is turned off like a light by Pilgrim saying “Peace be with you.” It’s an amazing development and The Widow is shocked and awed at Pilgrim’s gift of control. They make a tentative peace and go their separate ways.
In the horror hospital, Sunny and Bajie are surprised to see Nathaniel Moon dragged in. While tracking his quarry, he was tricked by the blind man and shackled as well. The one positive in the situation is his steel hand with the weaponry was removed. Using his core strength (hello Daniel Wu!), he’s able to disarm their guards and the male leader of the blind cannibals. Nathaniel is nothing if not stubborn and refuses to assist Sunny and Bajie fight their way out. So they leave him. Shackled. And one-handed. Oh well.
Sunny and Bajie being well, Sunny and Bajie take down the blind cannibals and retrieve Henry. They release Nathaniel anyway and he insists on an honorable fight. Sunny explains that blood for blood won’t satisfy anything anymore and Nathaniel actually listens. He tells Sunny and Bajie to leave the Badlands and never come back. We shall see if he takes that advice.
You can catch Into the Badlands Sundays at 7PM on AMC