Into the Badlands 2×01 ‘Tiger Pushes Mountain’ review & recap
Into the Badlands returned in full force tonight with major kills from The Widow (Emily Beecham) and an epic fight with a chained up Sunny (Daniel Wu).
When the Widow bites, it’s for the kill. The fight scenes with Beecham left nothing to imagination. There was blood and guts spewing everywhere. One would think they are taking a page from their fellow AMC show The Walking Dead. Fortunately, she left poor Jade alive to be a witness to the Widow’s strength. The Widow isn’t messing around and she wants them to know it. Beecham, who began training when first cast on the series, has the choreography down to a science, while managing to also look absolutely gorgeous.
Wu is back with a more torn down and scruffy look. One would think he’s become helpless and skinny within the six months in the mines, but he’s more determined than ever to get out. The image of Veil and her growing tummy are what keeps him going. Unfortunately, he’s going to run into trouble with his new “buddy”, Bajie. Like in the story Journey Into the West, Bajie was Sun Wukong/The Monkey King’s sidekick who was always jealous of him and brought him down. This could possibly tell us a bit more about Frost’s character. With how the episode ended, it’s definitely leaning towards that way.
The production and set design was incredibly beautiful. The mines and the temple exteriors looked like actual artwork. The interior set design, especially in the temple, were accurate for the ancient temples seen in parts of Asia. The soundtrack to tonight’s episode are really fitting. With Rag’n’Bone Man’s hit single Human at the start of the episode provides a little insight of Sunny’s perils while also just being a good song.
MK hasn’t changed much within the six months (other than his fantastic hair). He’s still impatient and determined than ever to get out. He has a lot of growing up to do, but with the Master’s help. He may be able to. Chipo Chung is an excellent addition to the team as the Master. Together, they seem to be comparable to another popular duo – The Widow and Tilda. If these two forces were to ever meet to fight, it’s be one hell of a fight.
The big reveal is what everyone is really wanting to talk about. How is Quinn still alive? What is he doing with Veil? We last left Quinn stabbed by Sunny, but it wasn’t definite that he was dead. He was left for dead. His men, the ones who remained loyal to him, could have found him and forced Veil to care for him. Veil is now his prisoner. She really had no place to go. This is the most plausible thing I could think of. Hopefully, he still has the brain tumor that will eventually kill him. Then, we’re done with him for good. Unless the monks could use their life force to save him? Oh man. I need to stop thinking these thoughts.
The season premiere has shown us great martial arts within an hour’s worth of television. Into the Badlands has done it again. Bravo, guys.
Sunny’s Story continues
Six months after the season one finale, Sunny finds himself a slave to the mines. He is determined to break free to find Veil and their child. While getting inspected for mine work, Sunny attempts to fight his way out of enslavement with an epic fight – all while chained to a headpiece. He eventually gets taken down with the mine boss taunting him.
He has a dream he is next to a pregnant Veil next to him. He holds her stomach and promises to find her. He wakes up from this dream next to Nick Frost’s Bajie, who introduces himself to Sunny. They walk together in the mines with Bajie telling Sunny how he became enslaved. Bajie gives Sunny some advice – just keep digging.
While washing themselves from their work, Bajie sees the tattoos on Sunny’s back and realizes he’s a Clipper. Bajie says he won’t tell anyone. Sunny asks Bajie what he heard about the Badlands? Bajie updates him: Quinn is gone; there is disorder in the Badlands; and, nomads are running around. The mine boss interrupts their conversation to introduce fight night, which has the mine boss’ warrior fight the pickers who don’t make their quota – which results in their brutal death. Sunny asks Bajie for a map of the place. He does so and asks Sunny to take him too. Sunny says no, so Bajie does the unthinkable – goes to the mine boss to reveal Sunny’s past.
Meanwhile, Veil has given birth to her son. We look to see who she is with… and it’s Quinn.
Meet the new Baron in the Badlands
Ryder visits his home and looks in his childhood room. Jade comes in and asks him why he’s back at the home, which they closed to move on with their lives. Living in Jacobee’s home, because they took his territory, Ryder still can’t get over his father in his head – still taunting him. Jade assures him that Quinn is gone and that Ryder is the baron now. They are a couple again.
Ryder and Jade head to the oil factory, but an explosion causes them to separate. Ryder is taken away by his men. The clipper tells Ryder they will find Jade and protect her. Jade and her men of clippers see the Widow coming for them. One by one, the Widow kills them off. She lets Jade live and gives her a warning – to stay away from her oil fields.
At the Butterfly sanctuary, Tilda, now regent, would like Widow to meet the people of the town they are saving. She meets some women who were dolls at the oil refinery. The Widow says she hopes that they will work with them – because she would like everyone to have free will – the choice to stay or go. Several clippers, who were prisoners from the oil refinery, said they would like to leave because they do not believe in her cause. The Widow allows them to. Unfortunately, Tilda takes things into her own hands and have them killed because of what they did to the dolls – all without the Widow’s permission.
Oh, there’s MK
Meanwhile, MK has been training with the monks who took him last season. He asks his Abbott, Ava, if he could meet the Master to answer his questions. His Abbott knocks him down responding that the Master will see him when he’s ready.
While resting in his room with the other recruits, they hear a strange sound far away. They shrug it off. One of the recruits wants to get out of the temple, but MK wants to control his power first. MK sneaks out of the room and enters a room with animal origami. He then finds Sunny’s compass (the one with Azra on it). He turns to find a woman monk who confronts him to why he’s there. He demands to see the Master and why they have Sunny’s compass. She tells him to hold her broom while she goes and gets the Master. She tosses the broom to him, which causes him to be tossed across the room. He realizes she is the Master. He demands her to show him how to use his power. She tells him that this is his home now and they will teach him to control his gift. MK isn’t having any of it and demands to leave. She tells him if he could get passed an origami bird, he’s free to go. He tries to leave, but is cut by the paper and transforms. He attacks her, but she is able to stop him and return him to his normal state. He is taken back to his room. When he leaves, she uses her powers to fix her injury from stopping him, which uses a lot of her life force.
While training, the Master releases Ava from her duties and takes MK as her novice. She asks him if he’s ready for the hard part.
Into the Badlands airs on Sundays at 10pm EST/PST on AMC