Monday's episode of Into the Badlands finally explained the circumstances behind the fall of Azra, the mythical city that has remained one of the show's biggest mysteries since season 1.
The lost city of Azra was first mentioned in the series premiere of the post-apocalyptic martial arts series. At the beginning, Azra served as a strange and mysterious link between Sunny (Daniel Wu) and M.K. (Aramis Knight), who both had unexplained ties to the faraway place. Many doubted the existence of the utopian city, while others, like the Widow (Emily Beecham) and Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay), have been desperate to find it. What is known about Azra is that the city eventually fell, and only a few survived, including Sunny and Pilgrim.
The final season of Into the Badlands has provided some much-needed answers about what really happened to Azra. Pilgrim explained to Sunny that the city was destroyed by a group called the Black Lotus. Ankara (Clare Higgins) recently told Sunny and Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) that the Black Lotus is an ancient cult devoted to murdering anyone who possesses the Gift. In the latest episode, "Cobra Fang, Panther Claw," Ankara revealed that it was her fault that Azra was destroyed. Years ago when she was still at the Monastery, she and a scribe named Magnus (Francis Magee) set out to find Azra. Ankara was betrayed by Magnus, who turned out to be a member of Black Lotus. Magnus left Ankara for dead and laid waste to the city with his men. Now Magnus is back and on the hunt for Ankara.
Ankara's story fills in some of the blanks regarding the mystery of Azra, but more is sure to be discovered in the coming weeks, as the fight with the Black Lotus heats up. At the end of the episode, Magnus murders Ankara and stabs Bajie (Nick Frost) in the chest. Bajie's fate is left uncertain. Magnus' actions have increased the chances that the Black Lotus are the real villains of season 3.
While Sunny and the others have been so focused on fighting Pilgrim, the Black Lotus has emerged as the most immediate threat. Sunny's inevitable clash with Magnus could lead to more questions being answered about Sunny's past, the secrets of Azra, and the true nature of the Gift, which was never meant to be a weapon. It's possible that Magnus will reveal the Gift's purpose, and why the Black Lotus was willing to destroy an entire city just to kill everyone with the Gift.