Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Into The Badlands, Season Two, Episode Eight: Sting of the Scorpion's Tail,

The Widow made a deal with the devil when she chose to make an alliance with Quinn. It is however allowing her to deal with the other Barons. This week, Hassan is having trouble with supplies and his cogs are deserting quickly.  No matter what threat the Barons pose, The Widows offer of freedom from tyranny if the cogs join with her is too much to resist.  The Widow however isn't content with simply depleting Hassan's forces and this week she shows up to take his head. When The Widow meets with Quinn to discuss their success, she learns that not only did he take out another Baron but he took out the Baron's wife and children as well. This is enough to have Tilda grabbing for her weapon only to have The Widow shut it down.  The Widow may not like that Quinn has killed innocent women and children but she sees this as something she has to tolerate until the other Barons are dealt with.

While The Widow is in a meeting with Quinn, Tilda talks with Veil.  Things aren't going well for Veil now that she and Henry are back in Quinn's custody. Veil has no problem letting Tilda know that the Widow isn't the saviour that she pretends to be, otherwise The Widow never would have subjected a woman and her innocent child to Quinn.  Veil believes that Tilda made a mistake by not poisoning The Widow when she had a chance and that she made a mistake by not killing Quinn when she had a chance.  Veil is thus implying that the blood of whoever dies to satisfy the power lust of the Widow and Quinn is directly on their hands. Tilda is clearly upset seeing Veil this way but at this point, she's not ready to turn her back on The Widow, whom she calls Mother. Tilda is desperately holding onto the idea that the Widow is different from all of the other Barons and that she wants freedom for everyone.

They've traveled a long way but Bajie, M.K. and Sunny are finally ready to cross the border into the Badlands.  M.K. and Sunny hang back while Bajie makes a trade with a smuggler for passage for the three of them.  Bajie is not impressed when neither M.K. or Sunny praise him for his efforts, or even say thank you. Sunny is concerned that they are gong to be double crossed but Bajie points out that their coin is good and that he trusts the smuggler as much as one can trust a smuggler.  As it turns out, Sunny's suspicions were correct and the smuggler does indeed betray them in order to earn twice the money.  Finding themselves out numbered and out armed, Sunny, Bajie and M.K. have no choice but to surrender themselves to Chau's forces.

It short order, Bajie, M.K. and Sunny find themselves the newest residents of Chau's jail cell. Bajie of course sees the upside and points out that at least they've made it back into the Badlands.  At this point Bajie, M.K. and Sunny don't have many options and so Sunny decides to lean on the one piece of leverage that he does have. Before Sunny was betrayed, he  was the most famous clipper in the Badlands.  Sunny calls over one of Chau's men and reveals his tattoos, saying that Chau is going to want to see him.

Chau welcomes Sunny back to the Badlands and informs him that much has changed in his absence.  She also drops the hammer about Quinn still being alive. Chaus knows that she's next on the Widow and Quinn's hit list and she's determined not to end up headless like the other Barons.  Chau is quick to realise what an asset Sunny can be and she offers him the job of Regent. Sunny however isn't interested in returning to murder for a Baron and proposes an alternative deal. Since both of them want Quinn dead, Sunny suggests that they use M.K. to draw The Widow out into the open instead. Sunny is certain that The Widow will want M.K. because she doesn't know that he no longer has his powers. To accomplish this, Sunny suggests that Chau have one of her men pretend to defect and tell the Widow that Chau is planning on trading M.K. to the River King in order to get supplies to defend her turf.  Chau doesn't bite immediately but in the end decides to go with Sunny's plan because it costs her nothing if Sunny dies and if he does manage to kill Quinn, and at least neutralize the Widow, the war will be over.

Sunny returns to the jail cell to get M.K. and Bajie yells at Sunny about his betrayal. Bajie is particularly pissed because he saved Sunny's life.  In his anger, Bajie doesn't see Sunny drop a silver bookmark in his pocket.  Later, alone in his cell, Bajie is ranting to his new cellmate about Sunny when he discovers the bookmark. Bajie uses the bookmark to pick the lock to get out of his cell and he slips outside and steals a motorcycle. Before Bajie leaves however, he sees M.K. in the back of a truck and decides to follow, rather than simply going his own way.

Back home, an upset Tilda decides to confront The Widow on her treatment of Veil.  The Widow says that she chose to punish Veil for trying to turn Tilda against her.  Tilda of course doesn't see this as a good enough reason, so The Widow argues that Veil is just one person and that by turning Veil over to Quinn, she now has the ability to save so many people. Furthermore, with Quinn's people leading the charge against the other Barons, it means risking the lives of the butterflies less.  The Widow and Tilda don't get to finish the argument because Odessa enters the room to report that one of Chau's people is claiming that he is defecting.  Just as Sunny planned, Chau's man drops the detail about M.K. being sold to the River King.

What better way is there to celebrate slaughtering a family than to force the two women you're holding captive to sit and have a supposed family dinner with you. Quinn is very aware that he is dying and that means that he wants to do something about his legacy.  Now that Ryder is dead, he's going to need a new heir and the quickest way to do that is to marry Veil and adopt her son as his own. Quinn makes it clear that if Veil doesn't agree that he is capable of raising the child by himself.  Lydia tries to intervene and point out that Quinn is basically living in an underground bunker and has nothing to pass on but this falls on deaf ears. Quinn decides that Lydia is upset about him taking another wife and points out that as a Baron, he can have as many wives as he wants. It's a stark reminder to the myriad of ways in which he has betrayed Lydia over the years.

Now alone with Lydia, Veil can freely speak about how disgusted she is with the idea of marrying Quinn.  Even more than the marriage however, Veil cannot tolerate the idea of consummating it. Quinn is after all the man responsible for killing both of her parents.  It's a sign of how far gone Quinn is that he would believe that Veil would be okay with this. Lydia is quick to point out that if Veil does follow her impulse and kill Quinn, that his forces would be quick to kill her and Henry. Lydia comforts a weeping Veil and promises her that after this is all over that she'll find a way for the both of them to escape.

In the back of the truck, believing that he has been sold out, M.K. is hella pissed off. Because M.K. won't shut the hell up, Sunny whispers to him a little bit of his plan, along with his belief that Bajie is long gone and safe now. What M.K. and Sunny don't realise is that Bajie didn't simply take off when he had the chance and is following the truck closely.  In short order, The Widow and her forces ambush the truck to supposedly save M.K. The Widow thinks that she has the situation well in hand until she finds Sunny's sword at her throat.  Having no interest in dying, The Widow reveals that Quinn has both Veil and the baby and promises to lead Sunny to them if he joins forces with her. When Sunny hesitates, The Widow points out that she cannot tell Sunny where Veil and Henry are if she's dead. It's all the prodding that Sunny needs to change sides yet again and the fight is on.  As fight's go, it's a pretty good one.  Sunny is still on edge after everyone is dead but The Widow assures him that they both want Quinn dead and that she always keeps her secrets.

Having no choice, Veil goes through the marriage ceremony with Quinn.  When it's done, Veil hands over Henry to Lydia and charges Lydia with keep Henry safe no matter what. Lydia realises that this means that Veil is going to follow through with her plan to kill Quinn. While Veil and Quinn go off to a room to consummate their marriage, Lydia attempts to escape with Henry.  Lydia doesn't get far before she's caught. Fortunately, shortly afterwards, one of Quinn's people reports to his superior in front of Lydia that Sunny has returned and that his vehicle was hijacked by the Widow.  Lydia is adamant that Quinn be informed right away and she rushes into his chamber just as Veil is about to unleash her killing blow. When Quinn learns about Sunny, he gets up and leaves and an astounded Veil sits up slowly. Lydia repeats to Veil that Sunny is indeed alive.

The best part of this episode for me was watching the ways in which Lydia and Veil have established a relationship. Both women have been abused by Quinn and both women rightfully want to see Quinn dead. It seems to me that they also care for each other which is something we really haven't seen between women on Into The Badlands. Yeah, I know that The Widow and Tilda have a relationship but far too often The Widow treats Tilda in the coldest fashion which is enough for me to doubt the Widow's feelings.

The Widow and Sunny coming together is going to make them a difficult team to defeat.  Sunny should be careful because the Widow has shown a penchant for switching sides in order to manipulate a situation to her own benefit quite a few times now. The Widow cannot be trusted because she always about the ends and not the means.  Even though The Widow claims to be fighting for the end of oppression, the fact that she aligned with Quinn of all people puts her commitment to ending on shaky ground.

It's been a long time coming but everyone is finally back in the Badlands and clearly we are heading towards the big end of season showdown.  This time Quinn has to die.  He has a brain tumor that is killing him and just about everyone in the Badlands wants him dead. I hope that the writers pull the trigger on this one and end this character now before moving onto something else. Quinn has absolutely had his day and they've spent more than enough time building up the anticipation to his death.

I was happy to see M.K. and Tilda be reunited but now that we've seen Tilda have a same sex kiss, I don't want to see them be a couple. It's season two and Tilda's kiss is the only same sex interaction we've seen.  I want Tilda and M.K. to be friends who confide in each other because otherwise that kiss will be little more than blink and you miss it inclusion.  I'm not expecting much from Into The Badlands in terms of inclusion anyway but I don't want to see them ruin the little bit they've bothered to include.