The latest episode of Into the Badlands just delivered one of the show's most gruesome deaths. Yet although the death of Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) is easily one of the darkest moments in series history, its actual impact on the show's characters and the story isn't quite as deep as audiences might have expected.
Recently in Into the Badlands, Nix has steadily become a trusted ally to Sunny (Daniel Wu). After Nix's loyalty to Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay) was tested by Castor's death, Nix turned against Pilgrim and helped Sunny (Daniel Wu) escape. When Nix's betrayal was exposed by M.K. (Aramis Knight), Nix had no choice but to flee with Sunny. Since then, Nix has been fighting alongside Sunny, Bajie (Nick Frost), and the Widow (Emily Beecham) against Pilgrim and other threats.
In the penultimate episode of Into the Badlands, "Requiem for the Fallen," Nix takes a stand against Pilgrim when he leads an attack against the Widow's base. Unfortunately, Nix is no match for Pilgrim. After defeating Nix, Pilgrim snaps her neck and slowly rips off her head with his bare heads. However, later in the episode, her former friend, M.K., doesn't appear to be saddened at all by Nix's death. He dismisses her as just another person who lied to him. Sunny, on the other hand, is visibly disappointed when he comes across Nix's severed head. Sunny tells Bajie that he wishes he was able to save her like she saved him. Yet in the next instant, Sunny's attention shifts to the fate of his missing son, Henry.
Though Nix has been an important character in Into the Badlands season 3, her death didn't leave much of a mark. This is largely due to the fact that Nix never really had a chance to form much of a connection with Sunny and the others. After leaving Pilgrim and joining up with Sunny, Nix was mostly utilized as a skilled warrior who's only useful in a fight. She never spent much time with any one character, as every time someone needed a hand - even if it was someone she didn't know - Nix was sent along to help.
It's worth noting that the person closest to Nix in Into the Badlands was Pilgrim, the man who murdered her without remorse. Early on in the season, one key aspect of his character was his genuine love for his most loyal followers, particularly his surrogate children, Castor and Nix. Being forced to kill Castor hurt Pilgrim deeply, while his willingness to murder Nix shows how angry Pilgrim was at her betrayal. It's also a sign that because of the Gift, Pilgrim is no longer the person he once was, so in a way, the only meaning to be found in Nix's death is how much Pilgrim didn't care.