The midseason premiere of Into the Badlands dropped a surprising revelation regarding the true purpose of the Gift. Throughout the series, the Gift has been utilized as a powerful weapon that turns those who possess it into Dark Ones, who are essentially ruthless killing machines. However, it appears that so many people on the show have been misusing it.
AMC recently announced that Into the Badlands had been cancelled. The remaining eight episodes of season 3 began airing on Sunday with a two-night event. Sunday's episode picks up with Sunny (Daniel Wu) facing the consequences of his decision to help Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay), as well as the confrontation between the Widow (Emily Beecham) and the Master (Chipo Chung). Both conflicts are centered on the Gift, the strange and mysterious power that has been sought after by several characters. After a long journey, Pilgrim has finally regained the Gift. Sunny is relieved to have it gone from his son, while the Widow is still desperate to have it back.
The Widow is badly injured after a brutal battle with the Master. According to the Master, she intervened in the Widow's war with Baron Chau (Eleanor Matsuura) so that the Widow could shift her attention to Pilgrim, who threatens all of the Badlands with his growing forces. The Master reveals that Pilgrim has the Gift back. She uses her power to heal the Widow's wounded arm, and explains that the Gift "was never meant to dominate or control." Instead, its purpose was to heal and set people free. The Master doesn't elaborate further, so its exact nature and origin is still a secret.
This ability to heal has been used before, but it was previously thought to be just one of the Gift's many uses. If the Master is correct, then the Gift is much more complicated than anyone ever thought. So far, the Gift has been used primarily as a weapon. Activated by the spilling of blood, the Gift turns off emotions and amplifies the fighting prowess of the Dark Ones. Pilgrim's two children, who both had the Gift, were turned into weapons of war. Pilgrim used them to mindlessly wipe out his enemies.
Pilgrim has now found a way to give the Gift to others. He has passed it to a small group of his loyal followers that he now calls the Harbingers. Others who he deems worthy of the Gift will join them until Pilgrim is able to amass an entire army of Dark Ones. If he's successful, no one in the Badlands will be able to defeat him - so even if the Gift isn't a weapon, it certainly looks like one.