Spoiler Warning: If you haven't watched the Season 2 episode of Into the Badlands titled "Sting of the Scorpion's Tail," you might want to turn back now. Besides, as we all know: No one escapes the Badlands.
It's time to head back to the Badlands for yet another episode with some of our best-loved characters! We're getting closer and closer to this second season's epic showdown, and this week's ep finally brings all of our main cast back to the same side of the Wall. If you're in need of a mild refresher on the journey so far, feel free to check out past recaps here.
Previously: Our most favorite retired Clipper Sunny spent some time down on his Dream Farm after receiving the Hand of the Five Poisons from a since-dead Abbot, but this glimpse into Sunny's mind revealed more about his fears for the future than anything from his past. In the real world, M.K. and Bajie joined forces to save Sunny's life -- and Bajie seized the opportunity to snag himself that sweet compass in the process before they started heading for the Wall. Back in the Badlands, the alliance between the Widow and Quinn is off to a bloody good start -- and that's exactly where we pick things up again this week.
We open with one of the Barons, Hassan, dealing with the aftereffects of the alliance between the Widow and Quinn. His cogs are deserting his territory by the hour as a result, but that's definitely not the least of his problems: the Widow's Butterflies, practically silent whispers in blue, launch an attack on Hassan and his remaining Clippers. One of the best visual aspects of this scene involves Hassan trapped between rows of billowing curtains, the shadows of the Butterflies darting all around him. He's hopelessly outnumbered, and when he finally finds himself at the end of the Widow's sword he offers his support to her. As far as Minerva is concerned, it's too little too late -- as we recall, he did vote to exile her from the Badlands before -- and now she only needs one thing from him. Bye-bye Hassan's head, which is decisively removed from the rest of his body. Cue opening credits!
Sunny, M.K. and Bajie have made it to the last checkpoint before the Wall and now it's up to Bajie to make good on his word to get them through. (M.K.'s wearing his corpse couture again, and the sight of him in those clothes he took off that poor hanged boy doesn't squick me out any less than it did when he first swapped his wardrobe. Get some new threads, M.K.!) Bajie manages to trade the Fury Road car they swiped from Nos to secure them passage through, but doesn't quite get the reaction he'd hoped for when he breaks the good news to the others. There's no time for them to stand around and pat Bajie on the back though, because the smugglers he bribed to take them under the Wall are ready to head out. Sunny, Bajie and M.K. board an old tricked-out yellow school bus (which is probably one of the coolest revamped vehicles I've ever seen on this show) and it's go time.
It seems that Bajie may have spoke too soon regarding his negotiation techniques. The smugglers that promised to get them under the Wall aren't providing them passage; they're selling everyone to Baron Chau to serve as her cogs. Sunny immediately smells something fishy before the bus stops -- could it be the dozens upon dozens of Chau's Clippers blocking their path through? Either way, Sunny refuses to let his group get captured without a fight and the bus winds up riddled with crossbow bolts as a result. However, there comes a time when fighting becomes futile and for our motley trio, now is that time. They ultimately surrender to Chau's Clippers -- but I'd bet my last dollar that Sunny's already working on a plan.
The newly forged alliance between the Widow and Quinn is tense, to say the least, and it appears that part of breaking that tension is to engage in the time-honored tradition of exchanging their enemies' heads at Quinn's hideout. The Widow presents Quinn with Baron Hassan's head in a box, and Quinn has Baron Broadmore's -- but there are seven other boxes stacked up in a neat pyramid behind him. They contain the heads of Broadmore's wives and children -- and the Widow is incensed over the fact that Quinn would kill innocent parties. “No one stays innocent forever,” Quinn argues. “You yourself taught me how dangerous a girl can be.” Tilda's quick on the draw to defend her Baron with a knife, but the Widow orders her and the other Butterflies to stay behind and keep watch -- which is when Tilda lays eyes on Lydia and Veil, both essentially Quinn's glorified captives.
Sunny, M.K. and Bajie have been hauled off to Chau's cages, but there's one bright side to their situation that Bajie helpfully points out -- at least they're back in the Badlands. You can almost see the wheels in Sunny's head turning at this juncture. He doesn't need to kill anyone to get them out of here -- and he's not going to bullsh** their way out either, because Bajie's technique is what got them into this sitch in the first place. Soon afterwards, Sunny talks one of Chau's Clippers into getting an audience with her -- and a quick flash of the tattooed kill marks on his back is all it takes.
Now out of the cage, Sunny gets the opportunity to make a deal with Chau -- who fills him in on the brand-new allegiance between Quinn and the Widow. She's also hip to the fact that they've been slicing and dicing their way through the other Barons -- and that she's the next name on their kill list. (Insert Kill Bill siren sound here.) She makes Sunny an offer to become her new Regent. Sunny declines, but counters with his own proposal: he'll lure the Widow out and use her to locate Quinn in exchange for his freedom. How will he persuade the Widow to show her face, you ask? Because he has something she wants: M.K. As of right now, he and Bajie are the only ones who know that M.K.'s dark abilities are dormant, but if they can pretend otherwise it'll be enough to tempt the Widow to make an appearance. Chau's skeptical, but Sunny ultimately convinces her with the truth: he wants Quinn dead as much as she does.
At Quinn's station, Tilda takes advantage of a little alone time with Veil to try and apologize for what her mother did. "If she's so benevolent, why did she trade me back to that psychopath?" Veil counters and for once Tilda is left speechless. If Tilda had been strong enough to poison the Widow, if Veil had acted quickly enough to kill Quinn, neither of them would be in this current situation -- and even adorable baby Henry is paying for their inaction.
When Tilda confronts the Widow back home, Minerva defends her actions by claiming she did so in retaliation for Veil's treachery. "I wanted to punish her for trying to turn you against me," she replies, but Tilda flinches away from the Widow's touch. "How many of your sisters did we save because Quinn's forces are leading the charge?" If the cost was the sacrifice of one person who held no allegiance to them, it was all worth it in the Widow's mind. Before their argument escalates, Odessa walks in with one of Chau's Clippers -- who's supposedly defected from his Baron. In actuality, we know that this is all part of Sunny's plan -- convincing the Widow that Chau plans to trade M.K. to the River King so she gets the idea to intercept and take him for herself.
Now dressed in the white leather of Chau's Clippers, Sunny returns to the cages to take M.K. with him. Bajie protests his being left behind, and Sunny makes a big show of pretending not to care -- but takes advantage of their proximity to drop a metal bookmark he snatched from Chau's library into Bajie's pocket. Don't say he never did anything for you, Bajie, especially since you use said bookmark to pick your way out of your cell, steal a motorcycle and drive to freedom.
Quinn's idea of one big happy family is to have dinner with both of the women he's forcibly holding captive in the bowels of his station … fortress … thingy. Now that Ryder is dead, Quinn wants to confirm the next heir to inherit his legacy: Henry. However, according to the rules of the Badlands Henry will only be a legitimate heir if Quinn and Veil are married. At first Veil refuses, but then Quinn implies he'd be perfectly happy with raising Henry as a solo parent.
Later, Veil is visibly revolted at the thought of not only marrying Quinn, but consummating the marriage with the man who murdered her parents -- but, as Lydia reminds her, it's not only her life that would be endangered if Quinn dies. Henry would suffer the retaliation of Quinn's loyal soldiers as well. As Veil sobs, Lydia gently cups her face and makes her a promise: once this is over, she'll find all of them a way out. These two have become the most unexpected allies in their shared situation, and what's more: I am so completely here for women having each other's backs in a time of trouble. MORE OF THIS, SHOW.
Sunny, M.K. and Chau's Clippers make their way to the fake rendezvous point -- and even though Sunny's sure Bajie is long gone by now, he's actually following close behind on his commandeered motorcycle. The Widow and her Butterflies swoop in, but of course this is exactly what Sunny was planning on. What he didn't anticipate was the Widow having a lead on Veil and Henry's location, let alone Quinn's: “I'll tell you everything that Chau can't, but not if I'm dead.” In season one, we saw these two come to blows in a particularly memorable fight scene beneath Quinn's fort; now, they choose to fight side-by-side against Chau's Clippers. (There's a moment right before the fighting starts, in which both Sunny and the Widow seem to acknowledge their tenuous partnership with a shared look, that made me chuckle out loud.) After all of their opponents lay dead, the Widow extends another olive branch: they both want Quinn out of the picture, and it only makes sense they work together to see that outcome through.
Fortunately for Veil, she's interrupted from Quinn's attempts to carry out the wedding night by news of Sunny and the Widow's team-up. And while Lydia had initially attempted her own escape with baby Henry, she's the one who barges in on them with the message -- dually blocking Quinn before the situation worsened and preventing Veil from using the single-blade razor she'd strapped to her thigh. As Quinn leaves to deal with the problem, Veil's equal parts relieved and hopeful over hearing that Sunny's still alive. Hold on just a little longer, girl. Your man is coming for you!
And that's it for another episode of Into the Badlands! Only two more eps to go before what will undoubtedly be a kickass conclusion for Season 2 ... and the best part is that we've got a third season coming. Do you think the Widow's tendency to betray her allegiances is going to catch up with her in a bad way? Will next week be the week that Sunny and Veil finally lay eyes on each other again? And am I the only one who had a brief "aww" moment over M.K. and Tilda's BFF reunion? Let's chat away in the comments or on Twitter -- you can poke us at @Syfyfangrrls.