Into The Badlands – Season 2 finale (S02 E10)

Wow! It’s been one heck of a season with so many twist and turns. There’s death, blood-loss, betrayal and so much more.

Sunny and Quinn got to finally have their standoff, and it went a little more than we’d hoped. Sunny lost one closest to him, in one sacrifice that’ll see the baddest Clipper in all the Badlands as a father as the series progresses.

Tilda did survive the duel with her mother last episode (I guessed it already), and she got to sail away into bliss with her girlfriend.

The Widow got to offer Waldu the thing he craves the most, Baronage. Waldu becomes the Baron in another move by The Widow towards survival. I so much love the Widow: she’s unarguably my best character this season.

Who else?… Lydia. Quinn’s wife did survive this season; that woman is a real survivor.

Most surprising of all this finale is Baije, and how much lies he’s been telling. He’s closer to achieving Azra than we think. At this point, Azra is seeming more like an endgame for most characters than another location. Time will tell as it goes.

This season has been decent, though it suffers from what most sophomore seasons of sleeper hits do – the zeal to not stray far from what made their series a surprise hit in the first place yet still progressing the storyline.

***  ***  ***

Below is a detailed recap as made by  Carly Lane on SyfyWire (Blastr.com)

Sunny’s escaped the Widow’s clutches, but he needs to make a pit stop on his way to Quinn’s territory. If you’ll recall, Waldo had clued him into the location of ye old Clipper shed, which boasts (among other things) a sick-looking motorcycle and some new duds for him to change into. This is the third wardrobe change Sunny’s performed in as many episodes, but it’s always nice to see him back in that familiar shade of blood-red. During the makeover montage, we get Quinn monologuing to baby Henry about his willingness to protect his family — no matter how much blood is spilled in the process.

At the sanctuary, the Widow is nursing her wounds from her fight with Tilda when Waldo cruises in. He warns her there will be repercussions for her declaring war against Quinn and Sunny, and whoever emerges will come for her. The Widow doesn’t appear to have much concern for her own well-being, which leads Waldo to inquire about someone else: Tilda. Once I got over the shock of Waldo expressing any sympathetic feelings for Tilda whatsoever, the Widow gives a vague-ish answer to his question — but we do know she’s not dead. (Technically, Tilda’s fate was confirmed by the writers after last week’s episode left it looking somewhat ambiguous.)

Waldo remains skeptical, so the Widow presents him with an offer he can’t refuse: a Baronage. The Widow seems to have a bead on exactly how to cater to someone when they start to show signs of disloyalty. It’s what makes her one of the deadliest foes in the Badlands: her ability to discern someone’s most deep-down desires. Waldo points out that there’s no way for the Widow to know he won’t use his resources as a Baron against her, but the Widow counters with her own interpretation of the situation: Waldo isn’t a traitor, he’s a survivor — and if he wants to look after his own interests, he’s going to need her in the coming days.

Quinn’s now graduated to giving his Loyalists a motivating pep talk — probably a good idea, given that Sunny is one of the deadliest men in the Badlands (something that Quinn himself readily admits). His rallying cry is interrupted, however, by Lydia’s attempts to spin doubt in his men’s minds. She reveals Quinn’s ultimate plan, and the fact that he’s rigged the whole station to blow up. One way or another, they’re all going to die. Lydia doesn’t get the reaction she was hoping for, though; turns out Quinn has already clued all of his men in on the specifics. They know what’s in store, and they signed up anyway. As for Quinn, Lydia’s endeavor to corrupt his men is the final nail in her coffin. He’s willing to forgive her literally trying to kill him, but this appears to be on a different level entirely. Lydia knows he won’t be the one to kill her himself, and she’s right. Quinn has her dragged away, even as Lydia vows to live until she can watch Sunny kill him.

The relationship between M.K. and the Widow is still in a fairly tense place. He doesn’t want his powers back, she wants to force them back on him. When Bajie gets dragged in by some Butterflies M.K. soon realizes that his friend has had some pretty selfish motives all along. He went to the monastery not only to help Sunny, but to steal the compass from the Master’s quarters. He showed up at the Widow’s sanctuary not just to help, but to try and get the Azra book. Bajie’s pleas fall on deaf ears, and M.K. walks out on him. As for Bajie’s livelihood? Well, that all depends on whether or not he translates the book for the Widow.

Lydia’s being forced to dig her own grave while a pair of Quinn’s soldiers watch. She’s able to take advantage of a lapse in their concentration by dispatching one of them with a shovel, though the other quickly chases her down. But who’s that coming to her rescue? Why, it’s none other than Sunny! He makes quick work of the second Loyalist, and all Lydia can do is gaze upon his beautiful face. Same, Lydia, same. She warns him about the trap Quinn’s set, but it’s not enough to deter Sunny: “I’m not turning back without my family.”

Tilda’s alive! She’s coughing up blood and currently stashed in one of the Widow’s prisoner cages, but she’s alive. Thankfully, she only has to put up with Bajie’s attempts at dry humor for so long; Odessa comes in shortly thereafter to free her. She balks at the idea of freeing Bajie too, which leads Tilda to discover that Odessa was the one who tipped the Widow off about him and M.K. in the first place. Even though Tilda wants to help, she’s not in fighting condition right now — and Bajie admits he’s no match for the Widow despite having trained her. The only one who can help M.K. now is Sunny — and he’s likely on a suicide mission. Tilda frees Bajie under one condition: that he go after Sunny himself. (Also Bajie calls Odessa Tilda’s “weaselly little friend”, which is amusing but also pretty rich coming from him.) They hotwire a car and use it to escape, dropping Bajie off a short distance from the station. The last we see of Tilda and Odessa, they’re driving off into the sunset – or, more accurately, the snowy horizon.

Meanwhile, M.K. and the Widow are still having their little tete-a-tete; he calls her out almost instantly on her shenanigans. If he does get his powers back, the first thing he’ll do with them is kill her. The Widow makes her own offer: if she wins, M.K. becomes her instrument. This just took a really dark turn, y’all.

Speaking of dark, Sunny’s finally made his way to Quinn’s station, and it’s quiet – too quiet – until a baby’s cry pierces the silence. Quinn’s standing with Henry in his arms, but if Sunny wants to get to him he’s going to need to go through the dozens of Loyalists armed with crossbows holding flaming arrows. Sunny brandishes Silver Moon’s sword and cuts his way through them, but he’s not invincible – one of the arrows catches him in the chest, and another in the leg. Before he can endure another onslaught, Quinn fires one of the arrows at a rigged explosive, burying Sunny in the rubble. If Quinn thought that was enough to knock a good man down, he thought wrong – Bajie shows up just in time to drag him out, and the two of them start slicing their way through the remaining Loyalists. You haven’t seen blood spray on this show until you’ve watched this finale episode. These bros have no chance, but it’s thoroughly, viscerally entertaining to watch Sunny and Bajie cut them down to size.

A reunion between Sunny and Veil is overdue at this point, but it’s super swoonworthy to watch Veil suddenly sense Sunny is there just before he kicks open the locked door and pull her in for a smooch. (Which, damn. That kiss should win its very own EGOT.) They’re interrupted by a Loyalist who broke off from the main group, but Bajie’s there to take care of it so Sunny and Veil can go get their son. Once the sidekick has been thoroughly subdued, Bajie starts to walk away, effectively ignoring the one rule of combat: always make sure your opponent is 100% dead. Although Bajie recovers long enough to get the upper-hand with a broken piece of windowpane, the Loyalist gets off a stab before he dies. Bajie is just as determined not to suffer the indignity of death by scissors in the gut as I am not to watch him die on-screen.

That brings us to our final face-off, the big moment, the one everyone’s been waiting for: Sunny versus Quinn. Quinn warns Sunny to put down his sword if he cares about his son, but Veil’s whispered response in Sunny’s ear is defiant and determined: “Kill him.” She’s got faith in her man, that’s for sure. The swordfight that follows is beautifully choreographed and full of murderous intent. One of these men is not making it out alive. When Veil tries to escape with Henry, Sunny takes advantage of Quinn’s distraction by throwing his sword through his chest. One would think that would be enough to fell Quinn for good, but they launch into another set of blows before Sunny gets the upper hand and stabs Quinn again.

Finally, finally, Sunny and Veil get to have their own version of a family reunion, and finally Sunny gets to hold his son in his arms for the first time. Maybe this is the cynic in me talking, but it all feels a little too easy – and I’m devastated to be proven right. Real life doesn’t always get a happy ending, especially not in the Badlands. Sunny’s been trying to get back to his family since the beginning of the season, only to have it ripped away from him before they can reach the light. Quinn manages to grab Veil, but offers to release her in exchange for Henry. Veil pleads with Sunny to take Henry and go. In the end, Veil makes the decision to drive the sai Quinn is holding against her neck through the both of them. Quinn finally lies dead, and with her own dying breaths Veil asks Sunny to make her a promise: to teach Henry to be good. Oh, Veil. You deserved so much better than this storyline, but if you had to go, taking Quinn out with you was bittersweet in its badassery.

Bajie’s actually made it out of the station, and takes Sunny’s motorcycle to a location we’ve never seen before: a remote broadcast tower. Now equipped with both the compass and the book, he puts the two together to activate a series of dials. As he slumps over the controls due to blood loss, we hear the signal going out – to Azra, perhaps? We’ll have to wait until season three to find out.

 

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