WARNING: Spoilers for the Into the Badlands season 3 finale.
Into the Badlands' ending was happy and sad, complete and open. While the season 3 finale closed the door on a number of important plotlines, the episode also teased what would have been the story for season 4.
Ahead of the series finale, Into the Badlands had set up an explosive conclusion to the final battle between Sunny (Daniel Wu) and Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay). Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) and Lydia (Orla Brady) were both killed as a result of Pilgrim's crusade, with the villain determined to spread the Gift all over the world and kill everyone who doesn't have it. To stop him, Sunny, Bajie (Nick Frost), and Kannin (Eugenia Yuan), managed to recruit the Black Lotus. As assassins trained specifically for killing Dark Ones, the Black Lotus are exactly what Sunny needs to defeat Pilgrim.
Into the Badlands' series finale, appropriately titled "Seven Strike as One", it unites Sunny, Bajie, Kannin, the Widow (Emily Beecham), Gaius (Lewis Tan), Moon (Sherman Augustus), and Tilda (Ally Ioannides) for one last showdown with Pilgrim and Cressida (Lorraine Toussaint). It's the first - and last - time fans get to see these seven characters come together for a common cause. Here's what happened in Into the Badlands' ending - and what could have been next.
Pilgrim Is Pure Evil Now (And Crazy)
Pilgrim's downward spiral in Into the Badlands began when he absorbed the Gift from Sunny's son, Henry. Since then, Pilgrim has been relentless in his pursuit of his dream of a "new Azra". With the series finale, Pilgrim's descent into madness is finally complete. Pilgrim, who was once a sympathetic villain, has allowed his dark plan to consume him.
Cressida loses her faith in Pilgrim when she realizes that this "new Azra" includes only death and destruction. She sees what Pilgrim has become when he murders someone simply for choosing not to accept the Gift, and Pilgrim is outraged when Cressida too refuses the Gift. She explains that the Gift should be a choice, but Pilgrim is fully committed to his principles.
Moon Loses His Honor & Allows Cressida To Escape
When Sunny leads the Black Lotus to Pilgrim's door, Cressida decides not to stick around. Cressida tries to escape by boat, but Moon arrives to intercept her. Driven by revenge, Moon is determined to kill Cressida for what she did to Lydia. Cressida appeals to his sense of honor, but fails to convince him to let her leave in peace. Moon's next words, "f*** honor", reveal how far his character has come since he was first introduced in season 2. Like a true warrior, Moon's code of honor was the driving force behind all of his actions, but Lydia's death has undone all of that.
Despite his efforts, Moon isn't able to avenge Lydia. When Pilgrim's men attack, Cressida is given time to escape. Moon vows to find her wherever she goes. Since Cressida is no longer a threat, it's unclear if this is a loose end that would have been addressed in Into the Badlands season 4.
M.K. Dies Fighting The Seven Warriors, Completing His Tragic Arc
When the seven warriors split up, half of them head to the Meridian Chamber and face off with M.K. (Aramis Knight). Aided by his Gift, M.K. has a brutal battle with the Widow, Gaius, and Tilda. Even with all their skills, the three of them are outmatched. The tide is turned when Tilda throws herself in front of M.K.'s sword to save the Widow. Both the Widow and M.K. are stunned when it appears that Tilda has been killed. Feelings of anger trigger the Widow's Gift to return after being dormant for decades. The Widow's Gift seems to be the most powerful of them all. She quickly defeats M.K. and stabs him in the chest, killing him. Tilda, on the other hand, manages to survive.
Afterward, the Widow expresses regret that M.K. had to die. M.K.'s death marks a tragic end for a character who was once Sunny's closest friend.
Pilgrim Is Defeated In An Epic Fight
While the Widow, Tilda, and Gaius are busy trying to destroy the Meridian Chamber, Sunny, Bajie, Kannin, and the Black Lotus have their hands full with Pilgrim and his army of Dark Ones. An epic fight breaks out, and as the battle reaches its end, only Sunny, Bajie, Pilgrim, and Kannin are left standing. Kannin is knocked unconscious and Sunny is fatally wounded. Bajie uses chains to suspend Pilgrim in the air, giving Sunny the chance he needs to finish off Pilgrim. Sunny's eyes glow right before he falls to the ground and, after his death, Bajie pledges to take his son out of the Badlands and raise him properly.
In Death, Sunny Gains A New Mission
Though Sunny died taking down Pilgrim, this isn't the end of his journey. Sunny awakens in the realm that exists between life and death. There he meets the Master (Chipo Chung), who was recently killed by M.K. She tells Sunny that in his final moments, his Gift was reignited and that the return of his Gift will allow him to live again. According to the Master, Sunny still has a lot of work to do. She explains that an evil buried long ago that's "more powerful and insidious than any human" is about to return, and it will make the world more dangerous than before.
The Master trusting Sunny with such a huge responsibility is something that has never happened before on Into the Badlands. While Sunny is a heroic character, he's spent most of his time fighting for the good of only a few people, whether it be Veil and M.K. in seasons 1 and 2, or his son in season 3. It appears that season 4 would have elevated Sunny to a new level of heroism.
What Would Happen In Into The Badlands Season 4
The final scene of Into the Badlands series finale reveals the "evil" that the Master spoke of. In the aftermath of the battle with Pilgrim and the destruction of the Meridian Chamber, one of his followers, Eli, discovers a revolver buried in the dirt. The episode ends with the ominous shot of Eli firing the gun.
It goes without saying that the impact firearms will have on the Badlands will be tremendous, considering how much everyone relies on swords, bows, and martial arts. Firearms would certainly change the Badlands forever.
The reemergence of guns will also have a profound effect on the Widow's plans as well. Though it appeared that a happy ending to Into the Badlands was in order with Widow hoping to build a new beginning for the Badlands, the rise of such a deadly weapon will surely threaten that future.
Of course, now that Into the Badlands is over, this story will most likely never see the light of day, though it's possible that the series could continue in another format, or with a different network.