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Spoiler Warning: If you haven't watched the Season 3 episode of Into the Badlands, “Requiem for the Fallen,” you might want to turn back now. Besides, as we all know: No one escapes the Badlands.
We're at the penultimate episode, folks — not just for this season but for this series as a whole, and a part of me can't quite believe we're nearly at the end, especially since it feels like we've only just gotten started! We get a small chance to circle the wagons tonight ahead of the final fight next week, and honestly, I have no idea what's in store. All I know is that I'm not ready to say goodbye.
Previously: Round one between the Widow and Pilgrim, DING DING DING. At this point, I think it's safe to say that it was ... a bit of a draw? We lost a few in the process (RIP, Lydia), and not everyone made it out unscathed (cough MK cough, although I'm not too broken up about that one). But there were some big reveals along the way (like the fact that the Widow might be pregnant?!), and something tells me that we're only just getting started in terms of the twists and turns that lie ahead.
The Widow and her armies are in full retreat mode right now, probably so they can have the chance to regroup and charge into battle once more. But Pilgrim’s snuck into the heart of the Sanctuary to try and confront her directly, calling her out as a coward for trying to make her escape. He’s not counting on Nix, his former pupil, stepping up to the challenge of fighting him, declaring in no uncertain terms that her choice to take him on is revenge she’s seeking on behalf of Castor. Even without their gifts in play, it’s an intense fight, but Nix is fighting from anger and leaves herself vulnerable — like a sword through the gut vulnerable. Nix can’t resist leaving him with a final prophecy of her own even while she bleeds out: “Your Azra will be a wasteland just like your soul.” But Pilgrim tells her it’s time for her to join Castor in his fate — and then soundly and brutally rips her head off. Hoo, boy. This show is really not holding ANYTHING back now.
After taking time through the credits to reel from that vicious opener, it looks like our mourning period has only just begun. The Widow and her surviving followers have to gather their forces, but for now, it’s time to say goodbye to the fallen. With Minerva and Tilda looking on, Nathaniel buries his love. The Widow confesses that her intention had been for Lydia to rule the Badlands in her place, but Nathaniel questions whether there will be anything left to rule when all is said and done. There are no Barons, no territories, and what will happen next with an inevitable second round with Pilgrim on the horizon? Meanwhile, the Widow gets a blood test to confirm what Cressida’s told her — and the witch wasn’t lying. She’s pregnant. Maybe that’s what gives her a slightly different perspective, once Sunny and Bajie roll up to join everyone at the refugee camp. She’s starting to think fighting Pilgrim is a futile effort, even when Sunny suggests they need to set aside their differences to take him on together.After escaping her captors, Cressida has returned to reunite with Pilgrim, and the finishing touches on the Meridian Chamber are now complete, repairing the earlier damage that Sunny had attempted to cause. Everything is ready for the final stage of Pilgrim’s plan — everything, that is, except for MK. He’s definitely looked better after winding up in that explosion at the Sanctuary, face half-burned, but he’s also refusing to turn off his gift, which Pilgrim points out is going to be a problem the longer he stays immersed in that darkness. MK claims he’s trying to use his chi to heal himself (while also staying high on some version of hookah?), but clearly that’s not working or he wouldn’t be as bad off as he is. Pilgrim tries to give him a pep talk about the way he looks, but my guess is that ego boost isn’t going to accomplish what he wants it to — and besides, he’s got another reunion to reckon with. Kannin’s here!
She’s received warmly by Pilgrim himself, but Cressida is less than thrilled about this new arrival. Kannin claims she’s shown up to help Pilgrim see the truth, having been clued in by Sunny about what his plans are. The real legacy of Azra, she claims, is genocide, and its original elders always had plans to wipe out those who didn’t possess the gift. Well, as far as Pilgrim’s concerned, who is he to stand in the way of what the elders wanted to accomplish? Insert Kannin’s face along with the “I’ve made a terrible mistake” quote from Arrested Development here. If she thought she was going to be able to talk Pilgrim back from the ledge, she’d underestimated his willingness to carry out his diabolical plan for the Badlands — but she also warns Cressida not to remain blinded by her love for Pilgrim. If she really cares about him, Kannin says she’ll look deeper to seek the truth.Sunny convenes a small group to brainstorm their next move. The Widow is firmly in the camp of retreating, while Sunny, Gaius, Tilda, and Nathaniel all want to stage a counterattack when Pilgrim isn’t expecting it. They know their current army, as it stands, is no match for Pilgrim’s, but then Bajie suggests something so outrageous it just might work: Recruit the Black Lotus to help them in their fight. They’re all assassins trained to kill those with the gift, enemy of my enemy is my friend, yada yada yada. Sunny’s got his doubts at first, but Bajie insists that it’s time to fight fire with fire, even if it means calling on one of their opponents to take down their greatest enemy.
Meanwhile, Kannin’s fears about Pilgrim are basically confirmed when he takes her down into the Meridian Chamber — and she decides it’s time to put a stop to his evil intent. Pilgrim, to his credit, is much less intimidated by the challenge than he would’ve been when they were younger, and the two of them battle against the Chamber’s stone circle, gift against gift. (UGH, am I gonna miss this show’s gorgeous fight sequences.) But Pilgrim gets the upper hand, backing Kannin into the Chamber’s center stone — and takes away her gift using its power! He doesn’t kill her, though; instead, he tells her to go to Sunny with a message of what she’s seen. It’s next-level petty, and I admit to cackling when it happened, but also! KANNIN!Perhaps Kannin’s gotten through to one person, at least, because in the quiet of her own room Cressida performs a ritual to give herself a vision — and what she sees leaves her thoroughly unsettled. Pilgrim, his eyes black, stands in the middle of a decimated, burning field, bodies piled high, and after declaring this his new Azra, proceeds to snap Cressida’s neck, jolting her from the vision with a terrified look on her face. One of them may not live to see Pilgrim’s plan fulfilled, after all, a fate that’s chillingly hinted at when Pilgrim drops the foreboding line that she’s the only one he can trust — not to mention a kiss that doesn’t exactly smack of romance and leaves her shaking like a leaf.
Sunny, Bajie, and Gaius corner a Black Lotus agent at a remote outpost, sending him out to Magnus with the request for a meeting. Eventually, Magnus does arrive, though he doesn’t try to entertain the idea of an alliance for one second and immediately draws swords, along with the small group of assassins he’s brought along with him. It’s real good to see this trio of new friends fighting together, kicking Black Lotus butt — but it’s not Sunny who gets the upper hand on Magnus. Instead, Kannin shows up to crash the party, and both brother and sister take down the man who hurt her, giving Kannin the opportunity to snap his neck. But Sunny is there to help her to her feet in the aftermath, and Kannin steps forward to tell the Black Lotus their commander is dead and order them to lay down their weapons in pursuit of a cause greater than themselves. It’s time for everyone to fight to protect the Badlands, together.
— Gaius FINALLY finding out that the Widow is pregnant was a roller coaster of emotions: happy to excitement to support to a promise to protect her, no matter what. I appreciate that this episode left her ultimately expressing to him that keeping the child is her choice, but come on. If anyone can be a warrior AND a mother, it’s the Widow. She’s THAT awesome.
— “You banged Flea! You brave, horny idiot.” There are no words to describe just how much I love Bajie having THAT reaction to finding out that Gaius and Minerva are expecting a tiny badass.
— Another roller coaster of emotion for me? THAT TILDA/ODESSA REUNION. Granted, I was a little less than pleased that it came paired with the addition of, uh, Odessa’s new lady (wtf), but Tilda’s tearful insistence that she loves Odessa too much to sacrifice her in any way broke my heart.
— Okay, but Bajie pointing out what we’ve known all along — that he’s basically Henry’s mother — was a delightful tidbit snuck into a scene that frankly should’ve gone longer, with Gaius asking for parenting advice.
OK, there's only one episode left, and my foremost thought at this point is: I'M NOT PREPARED for the onslaught of feelings I'm undoubtedly going to experience. Who do you think makes it through to the end, and who's doomed 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 Lorraine Toussaint about tonight’s episode!