After their dramatic fight against Pilgrim, the Widow travels home to find someone hiding in the boot of her car. It’s Gaius, Baron Chau’s brother
It turns out that Gaius and the Widow - or Minerva as Gaius calls her - have history. The Widow was once the abused cog of Gaius’s evil father (who his evil sister pretty much emulates). Gaius was all kind, evil sister was abusive and Gaius and Widow has some kind of a thing going on, especially since he rescued her. There’s a definite connection there
Not that The Widow is willing to admit this since, as she tells Lydia, she pretty much distrusts all men since they’ve all been abusive arseholes to her. Lydia can relate but she also thinks that she needs to trust someone and Gaius is looking trustworthy
The Widow is also not thrilled with Nathaniel not killing Sunny or trusting his assurance that Sunny doesn’t want vengeance
Now that Chau doesn’t have her own problems because Pilgrim turns up on her doorstep and says he needs a 1000 workers from her. Or they’ll chop off more heads. The problem is that Chau doesn’t exactly have a whole lot of people spare given the whole war thing. Their answer is to send her troops to the Refugee camp and recruit people with a whole lot of violence
Sunny and Bajie finally find Ankara, Bajie’s old mentor and Bajie is really not happy. But she does seem to have a way to temporarily cure Henry - or at least stop him drying right now. It suspiciously involves drowning the baby but seems to work. But it is temporary - she says there’s only one way to actually solve Henry’s problem - take him to see Pilgrim. And she’s super super super excited about Pilgrim
She also does some delving in Sunny’s head - which throws her across the room. It seems he is “the Catalyst” which is ominous but unexplained. He has lots and lots of super Dark One power but has been blocked by some other ominous uber powerful figure when he was a child and my they’re dropping plot hooks galore for the next season.
As Bajie’s mentioned before, he dedicated his entire life to following her quest for Asra putting so much time and effort into sending out a signal for Asra which wasn’t answered. Well Ankara disputes this - it has been answered, apparently by radio using morse code. Y’know I kind of expected something more mystical than morse code here… and she now has a message back from Pilgrim. Yes Bajie is the message that Cressida and Pilgrim have been following. Worse the message Pilgrim is sending back is full of ominous phrases like “cleansing” which Ankara is super happy about because she expects the Badlands to be cleansed with chaos
Bajie wasn’t told that bit of fine print and is super unhappy
His mix of guilt and loyalty and complex Bajieness means he decides to stick to Sunny as he goes looking for Pilgrim because no matter what actually happens; Sunny is concerned about baby Henry
Nyx takes MK to Pilgrim and Pilgrim and Cressida quickly lay on the love bombing to get him recruited on side. They offer friendship and understanding and Pilgrim’s clear ability to control MK’s power: they also are happy to commiserate with his quest for revenge. He’s quickly hooked in which they’re especially happy with because MK can go all Dark One without cutting himself.
One person who isn’t happy about this is Castor who is savvy enough to know his replacement when he sees it. He gets all agro in MK’s face but backs off when he gets an ominous nose bleed: especially as he also realises how much more powerful MK is
Pilgrim at least feels guilty about this, clearly upset by Castor’s decline and even willing to shout Cressida down who seems more concerned with getting the most out of Castor’s remaining life while he still is alive.
So Cressida goes behind Pilgrim’s back and manipulates Castor into giving them one last grand sacrifice for the cause - going into battle with Chau’s Regent and clippers attacking the refugee camp
Ok… but why? I get being ruthless enough to want to get as much from Castor as you can before he pops his clogs, but surely use him on something useless? Did you really think Chau needed a Dark One to take on refugees?
He joins the attack and we finally get some shiny moves with lots of fighting. Odessa and Tilda are there and they kiss and it’s romantic and I cannot be the only one who thought that this kiss meant one of them was going to die! Especially when Tilda took on Castor
But Nathaniel, the Widow, Gaius and her clippers arrive just as Castor’s Dark One power goes on the fritz. Chau’s Regent is driven off - he may be able to match Gaius but not Nathaniel. The Widow brings down Castor but they all decide to retreat in the face of superior numbers - taking Castor with them
Now will Pilgrim avenge Castor? Or will he be angry that Castor has attacked his purported ally? Especially since Castor is…. Expendable
Back with Pilgrim the recruitment effort continues to convince MK they’re all friends… showing off his excavation with big shiny speeches and they come back to find Cressida in some kind of vision painting the wall with blood - she’s painting clipper marks, which MK informs them of. And he recognises the pattern - it’s Sunny’s
Cressida declares him to be the catalyst who must be protected… which doesn’t please MK