Editor’s Note: In this recap there will be potential spoilers–if you haven’t watched this episode yet, continue at your own risk! You can review previous Into The Badlands recaps here.
The Nightingale Goes Silent
In the penultimate episode of the 2nd season, boundaries are set while critical relationships are pushed beyond separation. Secrets and motives are revealed. The true colors of some of the principal characters begin to show and boy, it’s not pretty.
I had a hunch for the longest that there was something rather fishy about Baijie. Sure, he’s jovial and provides the show with comedic relief but he was elusive, only revealing information as he deemed necessary to achieve his goal. At the start of the episode we are teleported 20 years back into one of his past memories at the monastery. Who doesn’t love a good flashback? We encounter Flea, his protégé for the first time, a redheaded petite girl. Immediately I thought, Could she be the Widow? Both of them are redheads and can fight like no other. During this scene, Baijie discovers a book in Flea’s possession- the same book that MK found about the city of Azra. As I suspected, Baijie withheld information from both Sunny and MK. Amongst the three amigos, he has been looking for Azra the longest. Not only was he privy to who Flea was, or rather became (The Widow) but he also knew where to find her. He manages to make his way to the Widow’s property appearing as a destitute cog in order to gain entry.
While some characters reunite during this episode, critical alliances are broken. Quinn is a lot smarter and is more cunning than he appears. He somehow manages to convince one of his clippers, Gabriel who has been vital in his comeback to the Badlands, to give up his life in hopes to break the alliance between Sunny and the Widow. Loyal as he is to the Baron, Gabriel goes along with Quinn’s plan, strapping several bomb devices to his body and disguises himself as a refugee in order to get onto the Widow’s property. Once there, he holds one of the Widow’s butterflies hostage and kills her in front of the Widow. Let’s take a sec and pour some out for this fallen butterfly; she was a sistah and her twistout was on POINT! Gabriel tells Sunny that Veil is now Quinn’s wife and that the Widow traded her and Henry to Quinn. He sets the bombs off shifting the tides. Sunny runs while fighting for his life against an army of the Widow’s clippers and butterflies. Baijie arrives in the nick of time and saves him from a rather sticky situation.
Although some alliances are no more, others are further solidified. Baijie and MK reunite. Baijie reveals to MK that Flea, his former protégé is in fact the Widow. MK tells Baijie that the book that he lost was in her possession. Baijie decides to reveal that he had the compass that MK told him about. They decide to work together to reclaim the book that MK lost and work together to get to Azra. However, their plans to retrieve the book are thwarted as Odessa revealed their plans to the Widow. However, her unwavering loyalty to the Widow is clouding her judgment which she will soon learn. Further along the Badlands, Quinn was privy to Lydia and Veil teaming up to fight him as he told this to Lydia while she fixed him his dinner plate. His domestic dispute with Veil earlier in the episode pushed him to lock her up in the sunlight room which Lydia ends up later in the episode also. Lydia begins to see that Quinn plans to do whatever it takes to protect Henry even if that means that she and Veil are collateral damage. While they are in the room, she confides in Veil and tries to persuade her that they have to escape soon and that they cannot wait for Sunny.
The pursuit of freedom and redemption are prevalent themes in the show. Tilda, for example, is a character in conflict with what she truly desires: freedom and the chance to start anew and her loyalty to the Widow. She is reunited with MK in the episode, the boy she once appeared to be seriously crushing on. During this season, her perception of the Widow has been tested through what she has experienced and through conversations (i.e., the conversation she had with Veil). MK talks to her again about Azra and asks her to come along with him. Tilda refuses the offer because her love for Odessa compels her to stay. Sunny, MK and Baijie are all respectively also seeking freedom and redemption. Sunny wants to leave his former life as a Regent and escape from the Badlands with his family. MK wants to return to what he believes is his homeland. Baijie’s motives in finding Azra are still unclear. Why is he so gun ho in finding it? It appears that their paths crossed by fate as they are all trying to find refuge in Azra. Formerly, they sought a way out by themselves but it appears that they will need each other to get to Azra.
Freedom and the opportunity to start over, like anything else, comes at a price. For Tilda, it cost her life. Tilda’s unwavering loyalty to the Widow began to falter throughout the season as she saw sides to the Widow’s character that she never saw before, things that were antithetical to the philosophy the Widow preached to her cohorts. The Widow noticed Tilda slowly drifting apart from her. In this episode, they duel and what a sight to behold! This is one of the show’s best fight scenes to date! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time speculating who would be the victor. Unfortunately, Tilda was slain and I felt all the feels. She didn’t deserve to die that way and certainly not by the hands of the Widow, a woman she once was allowed to call “Mother!” Well, No Happy Mother’s Day to you, Minerva! You won’t get any flowers, candy or expensive meal from me, girl! And I LOVED the Widow right up until this episode. How could you not? The woman uses her accessories as weapons for crying out loud! You can’t get any more badass than that! Her mission is to rescue women from the hands of evil men; I’m with it! She has been all Beyoncé, “Who Runs the World? Girls,” the ENTIRE series. However, her decision in killing Tilda was completely unnecessary. They could’ve simply agreed to disagree and she could’ve let Tilda go off on her own. She is willing to do anything she needs to in order to achieve what she wants even if it means killing her beloved Regent. The Widow is not just a bad mama jamma, she’s scary as hell. Perhaps Quinn isn’t the worst evil in the Badlands. Perhaps it is her and that makes me cringe.
Next week is the season finale! Let me know your thoughts on this week’s episode and what you predict will happen during the finale!