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Teamwork makes the dream work on Into the Badlands

Contributed by
May 13, 2018

Spoiler Warning: If you haven't watched the Season 3 episode of Into The Badlands, “Blind Cannibal Assassins” you might want to turn back now. Besides, as we all know: No one escapes the Badlands.

Hey, Badlands fans! I don’t know about you, but I was definitely not anticipating that everyone’s paths would be converging so soon this season. Not that I’m complaining. Either way, let’s delve into tonight’s episode, shall we?

Previously: Tilda and the Widow made up! Well, sorta. They basically made meaningful eye contact after being at odds for months, which in the Badlands represents some form of reconciliation. Meanwhile, Sunny and Bajie are still on their journey to find the Mad Witch, but Nathaniel Moon’s now hot on their tail. Oh, and Lydia is the Widow’s viceroy with some hot new duds and digs. We’re going to need to keep an eye on that one.

This week, we’re kicking things off at a new location: White Bone Manor. It’s where Baron Chau has been running things from her side of the war—as well as keeping her bro Gaius (Iron Fist’s Lewis Tan) prisoner. He’s been locked up for almost 18 months for freeing Chau’s cogs, and apparently, the only reason she hasn’t killed him is to spare their poor ailing mother. Instead, she offers him a potential route to freedom: take out Pilgrim, who’s been making her border patrols miserable, in exchange for a get-out-of-jail card. Gaius initially declines, but when Chau threatens to kill the traitorous Clippers who helped Gaius set those cogs free, Gaius reluctantly accepts shortly after the first body falls. Looks like the Badlands has a brand new player in the game.

After the opening credits, we join up with Sunny and Bajie, now having crossed the frontline of the war and still making their way to Vulture’s Peak in search of Ankara. A blind man camping out alone invites them to share his fire and his food and the two accept, but Sunny’s reluctant to linger any longer than necessary. Unfortunately, the man has spiked their food with a sedative, and in the morning, both the man—and baby Henry—have gone missing. That’s not their only problem. Nathaniel Moon is hot on their tail, having learned of Sunny’s venture into the wasteland. 

He’s also not the only one in search of Sunny. Back at the refugee camp, M.K. is set on leaving as soon as possible in order to confront his former mentor. Tilda tries to stop him (with a little backup sass from Odessa), pointing out that perpetuating the cycle of violence will never be the right solution. M.K. won’t be deterred, though, and Tilda watches him go with tears in her eyes, realizing that the boy she knew might be gone for good.

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Tracking the blind man leads Sunny and Bajie to a tunnel, and after some debate back and forth over who should head into the dark hole first, they emerge in the depths of an abandoned hospital’s maternity ward. There, amidst the disturbing nightmare fuel of babies in jars(?!), Sunny discovers the etching of an armadillo symbol and signals to Bajie that they need to leave immediately—right before a group of blind warriors steps out of the darkness and surrounds them with spears.

Pilgrim’s not just a headache for Baron Chau, but for the Widow, too. Over 200 cogs have deserted her poppy fields after receiving a flyer encouraging them to join up with the prophet. The Widow decides that it’s time to inform Pilgrim who’s in charge, and both she and Lydia trek out to the temple—while Gaius and his renegade Clippers make their way to the same place. Hmm. I wonder what will happen when they all get there. One who won’t be, however, is Nix. She’s been tasked by Cressida with seeking out a new “dark one” who has just emerged, though she’s still worried about Castor’s failing health. 

The blind warriors now have Sunny and Bajie in chains—and oh, there’s the lovely revelation that they’re also cannibals because apparently, the surrounding vegetation is too full of toxins to eat safely. They declare they’ve taken baby Henry as one of their own, but Sunny gets a fun choice: either be eaten or join the Blind Cannibal Assassins (which would be a great band name, by the way) and get his eyes poked out during initiation. Sunny’s already had a sobering revelation, though: these blind assassins are former renegade Clippers who once kidnapped and mutilated Quinn’s son, Ryder. As punishment, Quinn instructed his Regent, Waldo, to blind them—and Sunny, as Waldo’s Colt, took part. He’s the reason these people are where they are. “Violence equals power,” Sunny muses, “and now it’s come back to haunt me.”

The Widow and Lydia have rolled up on the temple via boat, but Gaius and his band of rogue Clippers aren’t far behind, swimming in to pick off some of Pilgrim’s acolytes patrolling the perimeter. While Cressida and Lydia trade philosophical barbs about religion, the Widow and Pilgrim are sizing each other up as leaders. Pilgrim is a believer in Azra; the Widow considers it little more than a “dusty fable.” Cressida extends an invitation to Lydia to join them, who admittedly wavers in the wake of Cressida correctly calling her out for losing her own faith. Once everyone regroups to the main hall, Gaius and the Clippers have sliced and diced their way into the temple. The Widow spots Gaius’ crossbow just in time and uses one of her throwing knives to redirect the arrow from Pilgrim’s head. From there: THE FIGHT IS ON, PEOPLE.

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Pilgrim and the Widow make quick and bloody work of Gaius’ Clippers, but Castor goes for Gaius himself, and the result is an absolutely beautiful fight scene. It’s a shame when it has to end, and it’s an even bigger shame that Gaius winds up stabbed—but he’s still alive to fight another day, so I’ll call that a win. Meanwhile, Cressida comes to Lydia’s aid, and something tells me that this is the beginning of a beautiful (albeit tentative) friendship. Same goes for Pilgrim and the Widow. My guess is that they’re realizing they can be much stronger together than apart—at least when it comes to their mutual enemy, Baron Chau. But after Castor beats Gaius, he doesn’t stop fighting—and nearly goes for the Widow before Pilgrim steps into his path and utters something that makes the earth shake and turns off Castor’s gift. The two groups begrudgingly agree to leave each other to what they do best, and Lydia and the Widow soon depart. Meanwhile, Nix has come to an injured M.K.’s rescue, so Pilgrim may have a new recruit after all.

Nathaniel’s quest to find Sunny puts him in the path of the blind man—and soon he’s being thrown into chains right alongside his enemy. Confronted by the sight of each other, Sunny’s forced to admit that they’re going to have to work together if they want to escape. Nathaniel refuses, but Sunny doesn’t need him, he needs that mimic hand. Using its hidden blades to make quick work of their guards, Sunny then extends an invitation to Nathaniel to help them fight off their captors. Nathaniel refuses, but there’s still more of the blind assassins to contend with—so Sunny and Bajie leave Nathaniel in chains and proceed to take down the remaining warriors. Even blind, they’re still formidable opponents, but they’re no match for our fave Sunny.

When the last of the assassins have fallen, Sunny retrieves his son from the woman he blinded when he was a Colt. He extends an invitation to her to join them, but she’d rather end her life than accompany them. And then, it’s time to leave—but not before, surprise surprise, freeing Nathaniel too?! Nathaniel wants a rematch up on the surface, but Sunny’s words are eerily reminiscent of Tilda’s. He won’t continue the cycle of “blood for blood,” and something in Nathaniel falters too when Sunny gives him back his sword. He won’t leave Henry without a father, but he warns Sunny not to come back to the Badlands. The Widow still wants his head. “First we survive blind cannibals,” Bajie points out, “then Moon decides not to kill us. Maybe miracles do happen.” Sunny, however, seems less confident.

Wow. Could it be that people are actually prioritizing friendship over death this season? I’m probably way too optimistic, but a girl can dream. What do you think will happen next week? Feel free to share your reactions in the comments or tweet us @Syfyfangrrls. And don’t forget to check out our interview with Lewis Tan about his first appearance in tonight’s episode!