Into the Badlands: I Already Miss It

ITB-KeyArt-1200x707Six episodes. SIX. Goddammit AMC, why do you do this to me? Those clever sons of bitches. To ensure they do not invest too much into a show most of their shows (maybe all?) have short first seasons. I hate it. I hate it so much because I love their shows. So now, after six heart-racing episodes of Into the Badlands, I sit here re-watching them all because, goddammit, I love this show. So in honor of these six episodes, I’ve got six questions for the (hopefully) upcoming Season 2 of Into the Badlands. Spoilers Ahead.

1 – Is Quinn really dead?

Quinn has been the primary baron that we’ve followed during season 1. I can’t imagine that they would kill him off. Martin Csokas has done an excellent job of playing a charismatic psychopath – a man who will charm you with his smile one minute and then put a knife in yourinto-the-badlands-episode-101-quinn-csokas-935 back the next. As his health in the show has deteriorated, Quinn has struggled to maintain control over his recklessness and urge to flex his power. He’s a solid villain and it would be a shame to allow such strong character build-up go to waste. Assuming he’s alive, I can’t wait to see how he responds to Ryder’s (his son) betrayal and Sunny’s attempt to clip him. With very little time to live, nothing to live for, and a significant violent streak – this could get brutal.

2 – Can the M.K./Tilda relationship be fixed?

into-the-badlands-102-tilda-ioannides-mk-knight-1200Okay, so M.K. has been kidnapped and Tilda is debating whether or not to killer her mother. But it’s obvious that this is supposed to be his love interest and at some point their bringing these two back together. Unfortunately their chemistry has really been nil and although I’m curious to see how her presence allows M.K. to control his bloodlust, they really have just used his describing her as “something pure” as a way to explain how it works. The show seems to be pushing you into investing in their relationship but there needs to be more effort than the two of them saving each other periodically for it to be believable.

3 – What is to happen with Jade?

First of all, anyone who thinks Jade didn’t poison herself hasn’t been paying attention. Lydia did not poison that woman. But I’m intrigued by the Jade character because she has done an badlands-s1e5-quinn-and-jade-e1450332669102exceptional job placing herself at the ride hand of Quinn… who now may be dead. She has moments of likability but clearly has more guile than she gets credit for. Which Jade is she? The one that is friends with Veil and can identify with the cogs? Or is she the woman who pretends to be weak while cleverly eliminating her competition from within the fort? Where does she go from here? I’m intrigued.

4 – Where does <insert any main character’s name> come from?

The Widow – is she a “dark one” like M.K.? She alluded to it in the finale but it’s clear she never trained with the Abbots (speaking of, who the hell are the Abbots!?). If she had, why doesn’t she harness that energy? Speaking of M.K. – where is he from? What is the Azra they speak of? What is this cult that Lydia came from? How did Quinn rise from cog to baron (you can get some hints here at the AMC online comic page)? What was Sunny like as a colt? If Veil is obviously part black, how the hell are her parents white?

into-the-badlands-season-1-cast-1200x707All these questions beg for flashbacks. If there was ever a show that would benefit from character flashbacks a la Arrow, it’s this one. I’m so curious to see how these characters became who they are. Waldo is the ass-kicking cripple that we no nothing about! But from the looks of it, he was the baddest motherfucker before Sunny came to the scene – can I get to know him? Six episodes is not enough to learn about these characters. I NEED MORE!

5 – Can they continue to put together the best fights ever seen on TV?

Watch this video. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

That happened in the show’s first ten minutes! Look at that detail. He stabs a guy through the chest and pulls it out his back to stab someone else again. With a fucking spear (well, what looks like a huge spear or a very long horsecutter). The sound is excellent. You can actually feel the different types of blows through the way they cut the audio. And that was the show’s first fight scene. It continued to get better leading up to…

What the fuck are they doing with TV these days? A wushu expert and an MMA champion? And these “dark ones” – there powers are just strong enough to add a new element to the fight choreography without pushing it too over the top of “now that’s just fucking ridiculous.” This season inundated its audience with terrific choreography and creative use of weapons, environments, and even the supernatural – where do they go from here? You can tell that Wu is heavily influenced by both Jackie Chan and Jet Li because while his fighting style is definitely grounded in Wushu a la Jet Li, his use of his surroundings and the way he navigates through fights and actually gets hit is much more Chan. It’s beautiful.

6 – And the final question: how much bigger can this world get?

When watching the first season, it fight like each episode was like stepping one step further in viewing perspective. Every episode brought in more elements that were initially at the fringe of your sightline and brought them into focus. Think about this: there are SEVEN barons in this world. We’ve met three. That means there are four more barons, and four more regents, out there waiting to show us their personal brand of ass-kicking. And you know that they’ll each have their own style because the creators have done a great job of giving every group their own identity. Zephyr does not fight like Sunny who does not fight like the Widow who does not fight like… you get the the idea. And that’s just the barons. Who is the River King? Who are these Amish cult people? At some point they’ll need to stop expanding but right now, I’m excited for more.

Bonus Question: Who is Sunny?

Sunny is the classic lone warrior who may never be able to come back from the terrible things he’s seen and done. Veil now knows that his sword was used to kill her parents. She was the one thing he had going for him as far as humanity goes. Now… he’s gotten his ass kicked, Veil may not love him any more, and he’s been captured by what seems like a very mean guy who he tried to trick. Things aren’t looking up for Sunny. And now that it seems that he and M.K. share a homeland it begs the repeat of question five – where the hell does this guy come from?

There are so many things happening right now – Sunny has been captured by the River King. Lydia has been exiled. The Abbots are driving their pedophile truck away with M.K. in a chest. Is Tilda killing the Widow (prediction… no)? I can’t wait to see what AMC has in store for us in Season 2. Until then, I’m going to go watch these freaking fight scenes again. So awesome.

And on that note, I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite fights of the show so far. The Widow is pretty badass but man, Sunny is awesome.