Monday, May 15, 2017

Into The Badlands, Season Two, Episode Nine: Nightingale Sings No More

The Nightingale Sings No More is the penultimate episode of the season which for me is a good thing because the build up to the big showdown is starting to get weary.  The fight scenes have always been epic on Into The Badlands, but because the acting isn't anywhere near as good as the action, Into The Badlands often suffers from some imbalance that has me waiting for the next fight scene to happen.

Minerva, or The Widow as she is called by most for the most part has claimed that she's taking the high road in order to free all of the Cogs and end the oppression in the Badlands.  It's caused many people to flea and earned the allegiance of many, including Tilda.

Quinn is becoming more and more unhinged. He's all too aware at this point that Veil and Lydia have been whispering to each other. Both women have good reason to want Quinn dead but rather than taking direct action, they've decided to bide their time and wait for Sunny.  That's not a bad strategy, even if it does turn them both into damsels in distress waiting to be saved. Quinn is determined to make their lives as miserable as possible and even goes as far as to separate Veil from her child.

Through a flashback scene, the writers finally confirm what was quite easy to guess - flea is Minerva.  The person that Bajie is looking for is The Widow. We do however learn that the book has been in Minerva's family for quite some time and the only word her father taught her is Azra.  We've spent two seasons hearing about Azra and are no closer to knowing if it's an actual place and why so many are desperate to get there.  The big reveal about Minerva's back story in part explains why she wanted M.K. so badly.

We've watched the Widow go through shifting alliances throughout this season and each pivot has raised concerns - especially with Tilda.  Minerva's actions haven't been morally grey despite her stated goal of freedom for everyone because the ends don't justify the mans when you're turning over a vulnerable woman and child to Quinn of all people. It's this act in fact which blows up Minerva's short lived alliance with Sunny.  We all knew that alliance wasn't going to last long right?

Quinn sends a suicide bomber, bribing the young man with ice cream.  I love ice cream as much as the next person but to die for it? At any rate, Quinn's suicide bomber declares Sonny and Minerva's partnership over, announcing that Veil now recognizes Quinn as the father of her child.  Sunny rightfully calls bullshit on this because of course he knows that Quinn is responsible for the death of Veil's parents. The bomber explains that Veil did this because The Widow handed Veil over to Quinn.  Sunny asks if this true and the Widow responds by throwing a star at him.  The suicide bomber sets off his explosion which gives Sunny just enough cover to flee. On his way out, Sunny is saved by Bajie and they make a plan to meet at the cabin on Quinn's old plantation. 

Rather than grabbing MK and heading straight to the cabin, Bajie decides that what they need to do is get the book.  Bajie even reveals that he stole Sunny's compass from the Master before they left. Bajie and MK do manage to grab the book but they are stopped by the Widow and her forces before they can leave. The Widow makes it clear that she believes that Bajie abandoned her. 

When Tilda hears about MK's imprisonment it's the last straw for her. The Widow drops the gauntlet by telling Tilda that she wants to be called Baron rather than mother. At this point, Tilda is certain that there's no difference between The Widow and all of the Barons and even goes as far as to suggest that Veil was right and that she should have poisoned the Widow when she had the chance.  When the Widow slaps Tilda, the fight is on and it's freaking epic.  Unfortunately for Tilda, while she's a good fighter, she's not at the level of the Widow and soon finds herself begging the Widow to just kill her.  Rather than obliging Tilda, The Widow simply kicks her in the head, thus knocking Tilda unconscious. 

Other than the reveal that The Widow is Flea, the story really didn't progress that far.  The main purpose of Nightingale Sings No More, was to move the characters into position for the big show down in the finale. After finding whatever it is that Waldo thinks will be helpful, Sunny will finally be doing battle with Quinn and this time, I hope it's to death. It's time for Quinn's character to exit stage left and for a new big bad to rise.  Personally, I believe that the antagonist next season will be the Widow because she and Sunny are clearly at odds.

The fight scene next week had better be epic because we have put up with a hell of a lot of bad acting to get there.  The meta has been revealed slowly this season and we still have a lot of unanswered questions.  What or where is Azra and why has it featured so largely in the story?  What exactly do the characters hope to achieve when they get there?

I know that I should be excited about a showdown between Quinn and Sunny but I really do think that Veil and Lydia have a better case for wanting revenge.  Veil's parents were both killed by Quinn and he sexually assaulted her.  Lydia's son was killed by Quinn, plus she's had to live through years of his foul treatment.  I think it would be far more satisfying seeing either Veil or Lydia kill Quinn but because Sunny is the star and his pain comes from and center, if Quinn is killed, one can be sure that it will be Sunny who will deliver the killing blow.