[This is a review of Into the Badlands season 1, episode 3. There will be SPOILERS.]
We are already at the midway point of the first season of Into the Badlands with a less than stellar episode, entitled 'White Stork Spreads Wings'. With Ryder struggling to make a recovery, Jade takes the initiative to invite Sunny's girlfriend (Veil) to the family homestead.
In a series filled with over-the-top beautifully choreographed action, this week uncharacteristically focused on story, which is not its strong suit. Watching Quinn and his family squabble over past deeds and future marriages was not as captivating as the show's two previous outings. To be fair, Badlands continued to be interesting this week with everything away from Ryder on his potential death bed.
The Widow's coming out party last week was fantastic and her fight with Quinn was another well directed piece of action. Sadly, due to her need to run and hide, we see very little of the lovely red-haired baron. Her daughter Tilda is now caught between two sides of the war. She obviously cares for M.K. and has doubts about her mother's "goodness," but it's still unclear who she will side with in the end. Here's to hoping she teams up with Sunny, M.K and Veil when they make for their eventual escape.
M.K.'s interactions with Veil were another highlight from this episode, with some playful moments of banter, especially when she tells Sunny that his new colt will be good practice before their child is born. Also, the young would-be Clipper has the The Widow's book with a picture of the city he calls home adorned on the cover. Veil said she's never seen a language like this before, so the mystery deepens as to the origins of that book.
Veil is another woman torn between her duties to help the baron and protect Sunny, but one has to wonder if she also desires vengeance for her adopted parent's violent death? Baron Quinn's sudden appearance at her shop was one of the more tension filled scenes, as he asks her to save him from the tumor in his brain. Helping the Baron in any way seems like a bad idea since he usually kills those who offer him council (well, except for Sunny).
Seeing the deadly wheelchair driving ex-Clipper named Waldo beat up M.K. was a moment of pure delight. Veteran actor Stephen Lang (Avatar) brings a certain carefree charm and charisma to a show where stoic prowess is more the norm. Hopefully he will serve a greater purpose in future episodes. M.K. still needs to master his abilities, so it will be interesting to see if it's Sunny, or Waldo who will instruct him. With only three episodes left, M.K. is running out of time.
Sunny's past is beginning to catch up with him in the form of a gorgeous blonde named Zypher. Actress Ellen Hollman from Spartacus: War of the Damned effortlessly plays the ultimate bad ass with brains, brawn and beauty that could lead to Sunny's undoing. We have yet to see someone give our favorite Clipper a challenge. Perhaps Zypher will be that opponent?
Into the Badlands may have stumbled a bit with its uninteresting family drama, but the series still succeeds when the focus is on Sunny and his quest to provide his family with a better life. What did you think of this week's episode?
Into the Badlands continues with 'Two Tigers Subdue Dragons' next Sunday @10pm on AMC. Check out a preview below: