[This is a review of Into the Badlands season 1, episode 4. There will be SPOILERS.]
Into the Badlands sets up the inevitable war between Baron Quinn and The Widow that is sure to deliver all the sword fighting and fast kicks you can handle. Quinn is losing more than just his mind in this week's episode, entitled 'Two Tigers Subdue Dragons'.
It is said that the greatest empires are destroyed not from the outside, but from within. This is true for our sickly Baron Quinn, as Sunny continues his search to find a way out of the Badlands. M.K. is getting better, but he's far from controlling his inner demons. While visiting Veil at her store, M.K. opens that mysterious book and it appears that a piece is missing. The outline of the object resembles Sunny's trinket that he carries with him from when he was a boy. Perhaps that will act as some kind of key to translate the strange language?
Quinn is not only losing his best Clipper, but his son Ryder has switched sides and aligned himself with Zypher and The Widow. Ryder is a tough character to get behind, or even root for. He's kind of pathetic, but who can blame him with parents like that. To add more insult to injury, the only woman he's ever loved (Jade) is about to marry his father. Okay, so maybe we do feel bad for him, but he's probably the least interesting character on the show. Here's hoping that he surprises us before the season finale.
The Widow and her daughters are quickly developing into the most engaging part of the story. After an outburst from Tilda for ruining a moment of happiness, The Widow tells her strong-willed daughter that the reason for starting this war is so that women no longer have to fear men and their supposed authority. Apparently Tilda was taken advantage of as a child by The Widow's now deceased husband. There's nothing wrong with having the women in charge, but The Widow seems to be playing a different kind of game.
While Ryder and Zypher have dreams of taking over as barons of their respected territories, The Widow is looking ten moves ahead and it's all linked to that book M.K. has. The question is, why is that book so powerful? The Widow is probably looking to rule over more than just one territory. There's no doubt that she's in this for the long haul and Emily Beecham is electric as The Widow whenever she's onscreen.
Daniel Wu has been fantastic as Sunny, but his story was pushed to the side this week with him only showing up for a kick-ass fight in a cemetery and visiting the River King in search of passage out of the badlands. The River King's price is a high one, but it doesn't seems likely that Sunny would betray M.K. even though he acts like the boy is just a means to an end. Though we didn't get confirmation, it's implied that Sunny and Veil agree to help the Baron with his condition, since the Baron's death would mean an all out war, which wouldn't help them in their escape. Veil's eyes show she is simmering just under the surface and it will be interesting to see if she can keep her cool while fixing Quinn's tumor.
Into the Badlands is set up to explode in bloodshed in its last two weeks. What did you think of this week's episode?
Into the Badlands continues with 'Snake Creeps Down' next Sunday @10pm on AMC.