The post-apocalyptic martial arts drama Into the Badlands debuted last November on AMC, delivering some of the finest action sequences ever seen on TV. The brief season of six episodes spun together a unique world dominated by dueling barons who maintain the peace by essentially keeping everyone else in servitude. Most of the dirty work in this gun-free culture is carried out by skilled enforcers, named Clippers, who possess an array of talents in hand-to-hand combat and old school weaponry.
The series was the third-highest rated first season in U.S. cable history, averaging 5.6 million viewers per episode in Live+7 ratings. Not surprisingly, AMC renewed Into the Badlands for a 10-episode season 2, though fans will have to wait until Spring of next year to find out what happened to our heroes: Sunny (Daniel Wu), the deadly Clipper who was seeking a better life with his family outside the Badlands; M.K. (Aramis Knight), the mysterious young apprentice Clipper who has uncontrollable mystical powers; and Tilda (Ally Ioannides), traitorous daughter of the formidable baroness The Widow.
The cliffhanger finale of season 1 left Sunny as a prisoner on the River King’s boat, his destination and fate unknown. The newest images from season 2, which you can see in the gallery below, show Sunny with fellow prisoner Bajie (Nick Frost of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and a recent stint as Santa Claus on Doctor Who.) AMC describes the burly, bearded Bajie as “an irreverent and unlikely new ally to Sunny,” though he harbors some secrets of his own.
The new images also include looks at two of the many badass women on Into the Badlands, Baron Quinn’s wickedly ruthless second wife Jade (Sarah Bolger) and a blood-spattered, sword-wielding Widow (Emily Beecham). The Widow’s inclusion in the gallery, as well as the official season 2 synopsis from AMC, indicates her daughter Tilda decided not to poison her after all.
“Season 2 of Into the Badlands finds Sunny and M.K. separated and scattered to the wind, each imprisoned in unlikely places. While M.K. struggles to control his powers, Sunny is determined to fight his way back into the Badlands to find his family or die trying. On their journey, Clipper and Colt are assisted by mysterious, new allies whose motivations may be anything but pure. Meanwhile, the Widow continues to consolidate power against the other Barons, while a dark and mysterious threat prepares to exact revenge on them all. Alliances are struck, friendships betrayed, and by season’s end, Sunny and M.K.’s lives will be forever altered with devastating consequences.”
It looks like season 2 may be even darker and bloodier than the first season, and even more complicated. The extra four episodes hopefully means the story won’t move too fast — with a year and a half separating the seasons, it may take viewers a little time to get back into all the complex machinations and shifting loyalties. While the exhilarating martial arts sequences are what initially hooked audiences, Into the Badlands will be trying to keep fans tuning in for the ongoing mysteries and intriguing characters.
Season 2 of Into the Badlands returns to AMC in Spring 2017.