The fifth episode of Into the Badlands saw Quinn family drama as the focus. There was quite a bit going on in this episode. Quinn’s territory needs to remain productive, but an attack by The Widow in the last episode leaves the poppy fields understaffed. Quinn’s territory is also understaffed because some Cogs defected to The Widow.
Jade (Quinn’s fiancée) has a background as a Cog and suggests that Quinn uses some Clippers and the surviving Cogs to make up the numbers. It is also mentioned that Quinn should show his Cogs more respect and offer education. Quinn and his first wife Lydia are apprehensive towards the idea as it could plant seeds of rebellion. The Baron finally agrees to pool his workers, but has an episode during his rallying speech and is carried off to the doctor.
The Baron is still being treated by Veil and makes the poor decision to press emotional buttons by bring up the Cog doctor’s dead parents—killed by Quinn’s command—and mentioned that they were killed by her romantic partner Sunny. Veil has an opportunity to kill Quinn while handling a tube connected to the ailing Baron, but shows mercy.
Towards the end of the episode Quinn is being nursed by Jade. In talking about how she and Lydia got along in tending to the poppies she falls ill.
M.K. is approached by Ryder—yes there’s Ryder nonsense—and the two talked in passing before M.K. asked about the pendant his mother gave him. Ryder took it earlier in the season and it has become an item of interest since the design is that of a sanctuary city. Ryder says that he traded it in and asks M.K. about the pendant’s design and origin, but got nothing.
He goes to talk with Waldo about loyalty and his future and Waldo tells him he loyal to the one in charge due to his physical condition. He suggests that Ryder go and see his grandfather, a religious leader who lives out of the way for more information about the pendant.
Ryder’s discussion with his grandfather is mostly about faith, but he does find out that the pendant is a symbol for a land that Cogs believe they originate from and is a sanctuary out of their slavery to the Barons.
The Widow and Tilda
Having taken in refugees from Quinn’s territory, The Widow is still searching for the gifted boy—M.K.—and is now drawing from her new Cogs and cutting them to try and activate their power. Tilda, The Widow’s daughter and main Butterfly—the Widow’s Clippers—questions The Widow’s purpose for looking for the young man, but it’s pretty obvious that she wants to use him to seize power from her main threat.
Sunny and M.K.
Sunny is annoyed with M.K. because of his holding back when he could’ve killed Tilda in the cemetery. M.K. forgot the fight because he passed out after Tilda talked him out of attacking her. Sunny seems to believe him given how unpredictable his Colt’s power is. The two discuss their plans to leave the Badlands before Sunny tells M.K. that he’ll be joining him on the hunt for The Widow.
Following his talk with Ryder, M.K joins Sunny in hunting down The Widow and her Butterflies through the woods. Sunny stops M.K. and another Colt and sets off the traps, showing the two that they would’ve been over skewered. Unfortunately, another Clipper steps on a bear trap and the steel teeth break bone.
The Clipper will keep his leg, but Sunny’s group decides to camp in the woods since the Clipper wouldn’t be able to head back on his leg. That night M.K. is to take first watch and runs into Tilda who has been watching the group.
The two discuss M.K’s power before Sunny pops up. Subduing her, Sunny is informed that Tilda helped him control his power. Having to keep up the ruse, Sunny captures the Clippers and taken back to the Fort to be tortured and interrogated about the whereabouts of The Widow. This is interrupted when The Widow arrives to free Tilda.
What follows is the fight scene of the episode. Yes, it’s another Widow fight and yes it’s great. The Widow takes on Sunny while M.K. saves Tilda from a Colt who is beating on her. He harms himself and becomes invincible before killing the Colt. I really, really hope there’s one Widow fight per episode in season two, these have been the best of the season and really the main thing to look forward to. As expected, Sunny is no slouch.
At the end of the fight, a wounded Widow is helped out by Tilda. Sunny gives chase, but they’re long gone. The episode closes with Quinn having witness everything—including M.K.’s transformation which was only known to Sunny and Tilda.
Overall it was a great episode. There was more background here and you can see that the writers intentionally progressed from the show’s start as a white knuckle episode to draw people in and keep them glued week after week to very busy episodes that gradually turn up the energy level.
Next week is the final episode of the season—AMC loves these soft-run first seasons—we’ll see if the writers finish strong.