And so we come to the end of it all: Sunny, Bajie and Henry’s journey. Pilgrim’s visions of Azra. The Widow’s war. “Into the Badlands” upped the ante exponentially for season 3. And the finale gave its audience everything it had.
As Sunny and Bajie (with a relapsed Henry) make their way into Pilgrim’s fortress, they see an old friend. MK. While Sunny is pleased and introduces him to Henry, MK’s hackles immediately rise. Barking out “Give him the baby!,” he goes in on Sunny. Using his Dark Force, he beats him to the point of unconsciousness. As he has him laid out, about to snap his neck, Pilgrim brings MK out of his trance forcibly and welcomes Sunny as Sanzo, his old acquaintance.
Courtesy of Aidan Monaghan/AMC
As Cressida patches Sunny’s wounds, she and Pilgrim inquire how he’s forgotten his own name. Pilgrim greets Sunny as “brother”-which Bajie quickly reminds him that everyone who calls you brother is not your brother. Pilgrim speaks of their former life: Sunny’s older sister Kannin, their peaceful life under Azra until the Black Lotus destroyed it all. He implores Sunny to help him save “the wretched world.”
In the caverns of The Widow’s stronghold, Minerva and Gaius make plans to destroy Baron Chau and ending the war. Heeding the promise she made to her traitorous cogs, Minerva wants to take out Chau with just Tilda, Gaius and herself. In a surprise move, Gaius pledges his fealty to The Widow-an honor his own family never received. It’s a testament to the bond these two held over the many years. Through time, distance and familial hatred, their lives intersected and solidified a mutual respect. They sealed their alliance not with a treaty or handshake but with a kiss.
Courtesy of Aidan Monaghan/AMC
At the fortress, Pilgrim’s acolytes find a chamber during their archeological dig. Descending into The Meridian Chamber*, Cressida declares it to be “the birthplace of Azra.” Knowing they need the catalyst to renew Azra, Cressida thanks Fate for bringing him (Sunny) home.
As The Widow and Gaius made plans to overtake Baron Chau, so too did Viceroy Lydia and Regent Moon. While he pleads with her not to join the fight, Lydia reminds him that she is the best strategist they have and a warrior. She also states that should The Widow fall, the people will need a new baron. And the people need to see their leaders fighting beside them. It is an impressive moment for an impressive woman…and Nathaniel shows his appreciation for her in a searing kiss before their onslaught.
*Appears to be an underground nuclear testing facility*
In the Meridian Chamber, Bajie reads the words of Azra and discovers that the Ancient Ones were the people who destroyed the world 500 years before. While Cressida believes unlocking the Chamber would bring forth unlimited potential to the masses, Bajie sees it as a way for Pilgrim to control a large army of Dark Force gifteds. Bajie is understandably freaked out and begs Sunny to leave with him, to find a different cure for Henry elsewhere. A true father’s love knows no bounds though and Sunny is only thinking of Henry’s health. He refuses, Bajie tries to covertly pilfer explosives to blow up the Chamber but is captured by Pilgrim’s guards.
On the frontlines, Nathaniel and a small Widow’s vanguard make a final charge and stand against Baron Chau. It is cinematic, dramatic and epic. They are fantastically outnumbered but they fight on. As Viceroy Lydia looks on from her tactical post on a hill, she sees Regent Moon about to be beheaded. Riding in like a Valkyrie of old, Lydia crossbows Chau’s clipper straight through the eye, saving Nathaniel but taking an arrow to her side in the process. She implores him to not let her die, saying “We have so much more to do.”
Infiltrating Winter’s Bone through underground passageways, Tilda, The Widow and Gaius take on Baron Chau. Following in the exact pattern Chau thought she would, Minerva is surrounded and when the multiple arrows loosed from the notch, I gasped. I gasped again when said arrows stopped in midair, halted by a Dark Force gift. The Master stepped outof the shadows and told Minerva it was time to put their differences aside, for the greater good. Touching her forehead, she flowed the Dark Force gift back into Minerva. All power, all concentrated into one of the deadliest persons alive.
Unfortunately, the catalyst made good on his promise. In the Meridian Chamber, Pilgrim lets Henry and Sunny’s gifts flow through him as the machine turns on for the first time in five centuries. As little Henry looks on peacefully, now cured of his affliction, Sunny thanks Pilgrim. As his eyes open, fully blackened, Pilgrim intones, “No, thank you Brother.”
The gauntlet has been thrown for season four.
You can catch the entire season three of Into the Badlands on AMC.com or on demand