Synopsis of 2×6 – 2×10: The second half of Into the Badlands is more House of Cards than Homer’s Odyssey. Alliances are forged, promises are broken, and sacrifices must be made. If you forget what happened the first half of the season, check out this episode 1-5 review.
Sunny makes his way from his last outpost with an injured prostitute and her daughter in tow. Who do they find along the way? None other than MK, escaped from the Abbots that have been training him to control his gift. MK, along with finding out that he killed his mother, also has lost his gift.
A fight in a Christmas shop leaves Sunny poisoned, and MK and Baije must heal him. This means a return to the Abbots for the both of them. Turns out Baije was once an Abbot himself, having trained Minerva (aka The Widow) as a child.
After they heal Sunny, and steal the compass to Azra, they soldier on through the wall. This is when allegiances are made and broken from one episode to another. Baron Chau teams up as do The Widow and Quinn. Sunny and The Widow align while Quinn marries Veil. On and on until someone gets hurt. That someone is Tilda, who realizes her Mother is as cruel as the other Barons.
In the end, Sunny gets his family back, not without a price. Veil sacrifices herself to save Henry and her lover, killing Quinn in a final death stroke. Sunny is left to raise his child alone.
What’s more interesting to me is Baije sending out a signal using the compass and the Widow’s book. He’s been searching for the lost city of Azra his whole life. Now he’s just that much closer.
Season 2 as a whole is very rough and tumble, with its fight sequences as glorious as Season 1, and its storytelling a little more focused. With the addition of Nick Frost, some much-needed comedy and wit has been added to the agenda. And yes, Frost can fight with the rest of them. Don’t forget, this man made his film debut fighting Zombies to the tune of “Don’t Stop Me Now.” The Badlands got nothing on him.
Veil’s ending left a lot to be desired. Someone must make a sacrifice, I get that. And it can’t be Lydia, who’s off who know where after escaping. It might have been Baije or MK or even Tilda, but they all have their own adventures. As some would sardonically say, “Veil served her purpose as a woman, so clearly she’s of no use,” flagging the male patriarchal narrative viewers know too well. Women are meant to birth babies and nothing more. There’s also been talk that the Veil’s sacrifice was a cheap exit for a show that thrived on its diversity and smart story-telling. Even showrunner Al Gough spoke about how he didn’t know Veil’s death would affect the fans as keenly as it has.
But with an upcoming Season 3, and with showrunners and producers focused on the best narratives possible with the most diversity possible, I think Season 2’s mistakes can be forgiven. No matter what, if you enjoy martial arts, a high quality production value, and enjoyable characters, you’ll enjoy this season of Into The Badlands.