In Season 2, Episode 8 of Into The Badlands “Sting of the Scorpion’s Tail”, we have solidified the fact that the Widow and her cohorts are not to be messed with. And it’s with that in mind that the opening scene of episode 8 is arguably one of the best stylized scenes of the entire series thus far.
We start with the Widow’s “butterflies” sneakily attack Baron Hassan and one of his clippers while hiding behind sheer sheets. The location they cornered him in was extremely clever, as he seemingly went to war with shadows. Talk about a disappearing trick! He haphazardly tries to defend himself when the Queen of the Damned walks in: The Widow. Under the mercy of her sword, he still tries to defend himself with a knife he smartly tucked under his sleeve. But I beg to question, why does he even try? Not only is he greatly outnumbered but it is the Widow he is facing, the sheer definition of a badass.
Meanwhile, Bajie, Sunny and MK still attempt to make their way back into the Badlands. Bajie manages to get them onto a school bus that promises to drive them across the wall. The woman whom he makes the deal with was reminiscent of the river woman in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Is AMC trying to throw us an Easter Egg? I was already suspicious of this apparent deal Bajie made. Since the end of episode 7, he has shown that he has ulterior motives. Does he truly have Sunny’s and MK’s best interest at heart or is he simply using them? I prefer the former as I want to keep my image of the jovial and rather witty version of Baijie in tact however, there seems to be something or several things that he is hiding from the others. Furthermore, since when have school buses ever been known to take you to good places? From my experience, they’re usually uncomfortable, often smelly and take a long time to get from Point A to Point B. Lo and behold, my skepticism was proved right. The deal that Bajie made with the “river lady” led them right into Baron Chau’s enclave.
This episode is the turning point of the season. Many important conversations take place between the principal characters leaving many to question and have regrets about some of their past decisions. Would they be in the dire predicaments they’re in had they not let their emotions get the best of them? Doubts begin to creep into some of the characters such as Tilda. Veil reminds her that the Widow may not be the kind of woman she thinks she is as she traded her and Henry back to Quinn, fully knowing the kind of man he is. Later, Tilda learns why she did that and her Savior image of the Widow begins to slowly crumble. The Widow reveals that she handed Veil and her son over to Quinn as punishment for trying to make Tilda be against her but painting it as she did it for the greater good. The moment that left me on the edge of my seat and nearly snatched my edges was when Sunny and the Widow joined forces to combat Baron Chau’s clippers. I transformed into a cheerleader yelling from the sidelines. Bringing together the show’s best fighters in this temporary alliance was everything a fan of the show could’ve asked for and more but how long will this team last? The Widow traded Veil before to Quinn; will she truly unite Sunny with his family or is this another ploy on her behalf? I can’t help but think that this alliance is already fraying as both personalities are quite prideful although they equally detest Quinn. A huge battle is on its way and Quinn may not be up for the fight as his health continues to decline. I know, living underground in that abandoned train station is probably hot and stuffy but the man looks like a stale piece of white bread knocking at death’s door. Lest he forget or refuses to acknowledge the tumor that is increasingly growing in his brain. Either way, he has it coming to him.
It’s important to note the pervasive symbolism running rampant throughout this show. In this episode, one of the symbols used are the clipper tattoos. Although these tattoos appear regularly during the series, there are two key pivotal moments in this episode where the markings stand out particularly. While locked behind bars, Sunny gets the attention of one of the prison guards. He asks the guard to see Baron Chau. The guard scoffs at him until Sunny shows him the tattoos on his back. During the last episode, Sunny’s tattoos served as bitter reminders of his murderous past that he continues to struggle to reconcile, however during the jail scene, he uses them as leverage to see the Baroness. The tattoos serve as a living resume, displaying the kind of warrior a man is in the Badlands and in the outlying territories. In this case, Sunny is known to have the most tattoos. There was only one other man who had more than him and, well, we know what happened to that man– Sunny happened. The second scene in which the markings appear is during the scene where Quinn and Veil attempt to consummate their marriage. Quinn doesn’t have nearly as many as Sunny and yet he survived Sunny’s attack. That said, do the markings truly represent a man’s strength or resilience? Right before Quinn and Veil sleep together, Lydia brings word that Sunny is alive to both of them. The news of Sunny’s return to the Badlands will ensure yet another face-off between Quinn and Sunny, the Baron and his former Regent.
The use of colors in the show is also a major story device. Colors serve as a unifying force and display what group you are apart of or pledge allegiance to. For example, the Widow’s cohorts wear blue. When Waldo became the Widow’s Regent, he begun to wear blue instead of his former red hued garments that he wore when he worked for Quinn. In this episode, after Quinn revealed that he wanted to marry Veil, Lydia helped Veil change clothes from the green garments she wore to red for the wedding ceremony. Previously, she wore green as a woman who worked independently as a doctor in the Badlands. Wearing red like Quinn displayed that she was becoming part of his people. When Veil stepped out with Henry to walk down the aisle towards Quinn, Henry was wrapped in purple cloth. After Lydia closes the wedding ceremony, Veil hands Henry over to her. Lydia, unlike Quinn and Veil wears purple. Veil asks her to protect Henry by any means necessary. Could it then be that Lydia and Henry’s matching colors be a foreshadowing of her raising Henry in the near future? Will something happen to Veil that will prevent her from being there for her son? Perhaps this is another chance for Lydia to take care of a child after losing her own. I’m hoping for the latter; she deserves a break after all that she has been through with that hellish husband of hers.
I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that Veil and Lydia join forces to avenge the death of their loved ones. Heck, throw Jade in there too. I would love to see all of his wives, former and present, come together to fight him. The future is female, right?
Let me know what you thought of this episode of Into The Badlands
“Sting of the Scorpion’s Tail” by leaving a message in the comments!