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TV Review: Into The Badlands 2.6 “Leopard Stalks Through Snow”
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Into The Badlands 206 Header

Into The Badlands
Episode 2.6 “Leopard Stalks Through Snow”
Directed by Paco Cabezas
Written by Matt Lambert
Created by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Starring Daniel Wu, Orla Brady, Sarah Bolger, Aramis Knight, Emily Beecham, Oliver Stark, Madeleine Mantock, Ally Ioannides, Nick Frost, Marton Csokas, Chipo Chung
AMC
Air date: Sunday, April 23rd, 2017, 10pm

The second season of AMC’s Into the Badlands keeps on rolling along its bloody path. Last week, Sunny (Daniel Wu) and Bajie (Nick Frost) found a path back to the Badlands, but it came at a cost, and that cost proved too much for Sunny’s conscience. In an amazing technical display, Sunny (and a little Bajie) kicked butt and absconded with a vehicle, leaving a new enemy in their wake. Back inside the Badlands, the Barons were reeling after Quinn (Marton Csokas) surprised everyone at the Conclave, leaving his son dead. Tortured by Ghost Ryder (Oliver Stark), and riddled by a brain tumor, Quinn is left a stammering, shaky leader who holds baby Henry at knifepoint. Veil (Madeleine Mantock) was able to convince Quinn to surrender Henry to her. At that moment, Lydia (Orla Brady) led her former husband and dead son’s army against Quinn, a distraction that allowed Veil to escape. The major conflict last week was an internal one, where The Widow (Emily Beecham) wrestled with her choices after the conclave. Waldo (Stephen Lang) advised her to capture Quinn for the Barons to get back in their good graces, but The Widow isn’t one to compromise so easily. She chooses an alliance with Quinn against the other Barons, something I personally cannot wait to see develop.

Spoilers below for tonight’s episode of Into the Badlands:

Lydia’s attempt to attack Quinn; how should we say… met with limited success. We open with a gruesome overhead shot of strewn body parts, and Lydia lying amongst the wreckage bleeding, ears ringing. Quinn greets her, with Marton Csokas’ creepy scowl, “Hello Lydia.” Veil is aided by a stranger in the woods to avoid capture by Quinn’s men. Lydia and Quinn engage in quite the verbal joust, an ex-lover’s quarrel, and that ends… well how some ex-lover quarrels end. I don’t know how Marton Csokas pull off being despicably creepy and reeking of sex appeal at the same time. His Quinn is one of the most intriguing and complex characters on TV.

Tilda (Ally Ioannides) is facing kickback from fellow Butterfly, Odessa (Maddison Jaizani), once the Quinn alliance is brought up. We get some backstory into Tilda and The Widow, and it’s a dark, brutal story. Kudos to Ioannides in carrying through this scene. A caravan arrives and low and behold, Veil is rescued by The Widow… who now has a HUGE bargaining chip with Quinn.

We pick up with M.K.(Aramis Knight) foraging in the woods for food, and somehow controlling his powers when attacked. He is rescued by Ava (Eve Connolly) and they run off together to escape the monastery. They come upon a shambled motel and I’m reminded again of what originally drew me to this show; the apocalyptic nature of it. The history teacher in me hears “barons” and “forts” and I forget this ISN’T medieval times. Again, storytelling and set design, just some of the things Into the Badlands does as well or better than the competition. Ava warns M.K. that the Abbotts are on the hunt, but he’s more excited by the potential of his darkness being gone.

Bajie and Sunny bring Portia (Farzana Dua Elahe), the rescued “Doll” to a healer. There, Bajie freaks out when the Abbotts show up led by Abbott 1 (Cung Le, a former MMA fighting champion who looks chiselled out of stone). His panic leads Sunny to leave him behind, and again gives some clues and hints towards the backstory of another character. Why does Bajie fear the Abbotts, but more importantly, why does he trigger their detection devices? Is Bajie like M.K?

As The Widow makes her pitch to Quinn, I notice something else. Quinn’s sword is very similar to Moon’s. Marton Csokas and Emily Beecham have an intense one on one palaver, which serves to remind me why they’re my favorite characters on the show. He knows Veil gave up his location, but she won’t give up Veil. It seems they are at an impasse.

M.K. and Ava are hiding out when the Abbotts show up and… I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Christmas lights go on. Sunny and M.K. has a brief reunion interrupted as the Abbots enter and Holy Crap (!), we get a Sunny/Cung Le fight!!! And… just, HOLY SH*T what a fight scene, and I am again left jaw unhinged.

Into the Badlands continues to be an absolute force on AMC this year. There is NO sophomore slump here. In fact, the cast and the writing are so on point, the characters and the world around them are continuing to develop before our eyes. Tonight was the perfect blend of gory action with subdued storytelling. Sunny is finally back together with M.K. We learned a lot about Bajie and Tilda. And there is certainly a power shift now in the Badlands as Quinn and The Widow are a unit… YES!

Into the Badlands returns next Sunday night at 10:00 only on AMC.

Video

Into the Badlands: ‘Battle w/ the Abbots’ Talked About Scene Ep. 206


Sunny, Ava, and M.K. battle with three Abbots sent by The Master.

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