‘Into the Badlands’ 3×02 ‘Moon Rises, Raven Seeks’ recap & review

With the introduction of Pilgrim and his people, we begin to learn more about their relationship with Azra and the dark eyes” ones. These kids -Castor and Nix, who believe Pilgrim and their journey to Azra, are willing to do anything for him, including die.

This episode really tells us more about the Dark Qi people and what could possibly happen to Henry if he isn’t saved. It doesn’t look too good, but somehow Bajie, the Widow, and Sunny were able to get rid of their powers, so maybe there is hope for Henry.

Daniel Wu as Sunny – Into the Badlands _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/AMC

Check out the recap below:

Pilgrim and his crew are following the compass deeper into the Badlands. Cressida, his right hand and adviser, tells him that they will fulfill his destiny. His soldier, Nix, tells Pilgrim there is something wrong with Castor. Castor is injured from the battle and tells Pilgrim that he will be fine. Pilgrim understands and tells both Nix and Castor how proud he is of them.

Pilgrim then steps out and sees Cressida walking into the fields of the Badlands. He follows her as they look at an island in the middle of the river – the First Temple of Azra. Cressida tells him this is where he will build their new kingdom.

The Widow is in her castle drinking tea as Moon approaches in her Regent outfit. She gives him a new metal hand – which reflect’s Rza’s The Man with the Iron Fists and similar to Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet. The fist also provides special buttons which can trigger knives and other killing mechanisms. Widow and Moon are interrupted by M.K. confronting Widow for taking his opium. She introduces M.K. to Moon. M.K. insults Moon, which causes Moon to teach M.K. a lesson by battling him. M.K. tells Moon he was trained by the best clipper in the Badlands. Moon realizes it’s Sunny. M.K. taunts Moon more by stating the truth: “Sunny took your hand, didn’t he?” Moon gets pissed off and they battle some more, which causes Moon to kick M.K.’s butt.

Sunny questions why Henry has the Dark Qi. Bajie explains that the gift is passed down through blood – and it’s definitely not from Veil. Sunny is in disbelief regarding this, but Lydia reveals she was there when Waldo first found Sunny as a child. He was wearing the mark of Azra around his neck. Sunny asked if the Master and the Abbots could help. Bajie shoots it down that the Master would take the child and Sunny would never see Henry ever again. Lydia recommends another person, Ankara – a former Master who went into exile. Bajie has heard of “the witch” but she is impossible to track. Lydia tells him they could find her through her father’s journals – who recorded all his information about the Master and the Abbots. They would have to go north through the war. Sunny asks Bajie for help to take him and Henry there.

The Widow gives Moon a mission and to find the Iron Rabbits and get back her prisoner – Bajie. Moon recognizes the name and has some unfinished business with him, but the Widow tells Moon that she needs him alive. The Widow does want the Iron Rabbits dead.

Bajie is drinking alone contemplating what he’s going to do. Sunny confronts him and asks him what he knows of Ankara. Ankara was Bajie’s master and she believed there was an Azra. She was determined to find it but was banished from the Monastery. Bajie believed her about Azra and spent most of his life trying to find that book – now, he regrets doing all that work, because he doesn’t believe it truly exists.

 

Babou Ceesay as Pilgrim- Into the Badlands _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/AMC

 

Meanwhile, Pilgrim and his crew build rafts to get to the island where the castle of Azra is. They enter the abandoned castle to find it containing dinosaur bones and standard Natural History Museum exhibits. It was at one point a museum of the past. Remember, the Badlands is set in the post-apocalyptic future. Cressida and Pilgrim explore the area to find more historical artifacts – including mummy tombs, samurai exhibits, and more dinosaur bones. They are able to turn the power back on in the museum. A member of Pilgrim’s crew has his doubts and calls it a tomb.

Cressida tells Pilgrim he must rid of the nonbelievers. Pilgrim gives a speech to his people to inspire them. He tells them he will build a new Azra and senses doubt within the group and asks them to step forward. He blindfolds himself and tells the doubters to attack him and will let faith decide if they can defeat him. Of course, blindfolded Pilgrim kills them, which shows his followers that he is the person to lead them. He tells them all to have faith in him.

Sunny is determined to find Ankara himself. Bajie warns him that she’s crazy. They are then interrupted by Tilda, who Sunny instinctively puts a knife to her throat. Bajie tells Sunny that Tilda no longer works for the Widow. Tilda tells Sunny that she could help him. Suddenly, we see the refugees and totem people running away. Sunny, Bajie, and Tilda see Moon walking through the village. Moon demands to speak to the leader – Lydia who is carrying Henry. Lydia and Moon knew each other – as Moon was also a clipper for Quinn at one point. Moon tells her the reason he is in her camp because the Iron Rabbits have stolen from the Widow. Lydia tells Moon that they have nothing here, as the people in her camp are all refugees.

Sunny goes into Lydia’s hut to retrieve his sword – which used to belong to Moon, but it makes noise, which causes Moon to walk towards her hut. Tilda then comes out of the hut and asks Lydia who Moon is. Tilda pretends she is part of the refugees who was abandoned by her mother. Lydia then walks away with Moon telling him she could go with him to talk to the Widow herself. Lydia hands Henry to Tilda and whispers not to fight or follow.

Sherman Augustus as Moon, Orla Brady as Lydia – Into the Badlands _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/AMC

At the Azra castle, they find more artifacts of the past – postcards, toys, and a Viewmaster toy containing images of famous landmarks of the past – the Colosseum, Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall and Niagara Falls. Castor asks Nix what she thinks happened to these people. Nix tells him what Pilgrim told her: They were punished for ignoring the signs of destruction. Castor looks in the Viewmaster again and sees an image of Azra.

All of the sudden, Castor’s ear begins to bleed. He tells Nix not to tell Pilgrim. Castor is worried he won’t live long enough to find Azra. Nix believes they will find it together. We see Pilgrim has been listening to them the entire time.

The Widow visits M.K. in his cage and finds him dealing the withdrawal from opium. She then tells him she is finding Bajie as they speak. M.K. tells her to leave Bajie out of this. M.K. then taunts her to get her own powers back. She has tried but the power is no longer inside of her, but the power is still inside M.K.

Cressida congratulates Pilgrim for getting the doubters to believe. She tells Pilgrim that the Catalyst, which could assume is Bajie, sent the signal to the coordinates. Pilgrim asks where this catalyst is – she tells him that fate will lead them there. Pilgrim wants proof. Cressida comforts him and asks what is the real problem. Pilgrim tells her he’s worried about Castor. She warns that he has become too attached to the dark qi children (Nix and Castor) and they tend not to live long. Cressida tells him that he must perform the sacrament tonight as part of a ritual.

A Butterfly, who seems to have a thing for M.K., brings M.K. some drugs, which he injects into his system. We now see he has become a full-on drug addict. During this binge, he has a vision of his mother and is then transported into some sort of field where he meets his dark qi again. His Dark Qi side tells him that suicide is the coward’s way out and calls him pathetic. The regular M.K. says he doesn’t care anymore and has nothing to live for. We find out that the Dark Qi is stuck there because Regular M.K. believes he killed his own mother. Dark Qi M.K. tells him that the Master lied to Regular M.K. and begins beating the crap out of him to remember the truth. Regular M.K. then sees the truth – Quinn’s men attacked M.K.’s village. As his mother warns M.K. to run, she is killed by one of the Clippers. The killer is then revealed to be Sunny. M.K.’s world is shattered and we see the return of the Dark Qi in M.K.

Aramis Knight as M.K. – Into the Badlands _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/AMC

Moon returns to the base with Lydia. We learned that Lydia and Moon had a relationship in the past – he asked her to run away with him in the past. We can feel there is still romantic tension between the two. Lydia walks towards the Widow and Lydia asks Widow for peace. The Widow tells Lydia that she wants to build a better world, which Lydia then asks why the refugees are running towards her instead of the Widow. Widow says that being under her wing requires sacrifice from the people. Lydia won’t take her crap and warns her that she won’t be one of the Widow’s lackeys. The Widow wants Lydia to be an adviser and run the poppy fields, but she demands that Lydia gives the Widow the Iron Rabbits.

Sunny is heading north to No Man’s Land to save Henry. Tilda wants to help and offers him the Widow’s truck and uniforms to get past the frontlines. Sunny warns her that helping him won’t give her redemption. He still blames her for Veil’s death.

M.K. won’t wake up from his overdose. The Widow tells the Butterfly to find a healer.

Back at the museum/castle, Cressida is performing the sacrament and offer a sacrifice. She calls upon Pilgrim to lend him her strength and he cuts himself to provide her his blood. He then asks for her forgiveness, which she accepts, as he cuts her back as part of the ritual. He then adds hooks to her back and pulls her up like an angel. She begins to experience visions.

Lorraine Toussaint as Cressida, Babou Ceesay as Pilgrim – Into the Badlands _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/AMC

Review: 

Holy crap. My mind is blown from this episode. I didn’t think Into the Badlands could make me even more emotionally invested in M.K.’s story. I really gave up on the kid, but to find out that his mentor, Sunny, killed his mother. I don’t know if the Dark Qi M.K. showed him it to cause the darkness to come out or if this really happened. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened because Sunny was a killing machine back in the day, but at the same time, an innocent woman with her child? I am so torn on how I feel about this because I am truly in denial about Sunny murdering M.K.’s mother. But, at least, M.K.’s dark qi is back and I can’t wait to see the battle between him and Sunny.

As for Pilgrim, I am really enjoying this storyline. I feel like Pilgrim is actually a good man, but is driven this way because of Cressida and her “visions”. He actually wants to do good and find a new home for his people. He also genuinely cares about Castor and Nix like his own children. I really am feeling Pilgrim and his story.

I’m not feeling the Widow’s determination. She is willing to hurt refugees fleeing war and use Lydia as a pawn in all of this. I know she’s a badass woman, but I am growing tired of her antics. Although, I am intrigued by Moon’s past relationship with Lydia. You could totally tell they had a thing for each other and if it came down to Lydia and Widow, I have a feeling Moon would save Lydia.

As for the fighting today, I really love watching Aramis Knight show off his fighting skills. He’s gotten better and better each season and it shows. Great swordplay between M.K. and Moon. I can’t wait to see more.

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Laura Sirikul
Laura Sirikul 1799 posts

Trekkie. Jedi. Whovian. Sherlockian. Hobbit. Sanrio. Comics. I am Spartacus. Warrior Princess. Superhero. Nerd. Follow me @lsirikul