Spoiler Warning: If you haven't watched the Season 2 episode of Into The Badlands titled "Monkey Leaps Through Mist," you might want to turn back now. Besides, as we all know: No one escapes the Badlands.
Welcome back to another episode of Into the Badlands! As of now, we're officially halfway through Season 2 -- which is equal parts hard to believe and also kind of easy considering SO MUCH has happened already. If you need a refresher on everything that's gone down so far, check out all of our recaps here.
Previously: Sunny and Bajie may have been scarce, but the real action was happening back in the Badlands, where Quinn (Marton Csokas) and his Loyalist army decided to crash a conclave of Barons just as they'd voted to strip the Widow (Emily Beecham) of her title and banish her for good. Amidst the chaos, Tilda (Ally Ioannides) swooped in to save the Widow's life, but someone else lost theirs: Ryder (Oliver Stark) -- and at the hands of his own father, no less. Veil (Madeleine Mantock) attempts her first escape and fails, much to our dismay, while M.K. (Aramis Knight) plots to do the same, since not all is as it seems over at the Master's monastery. Let's dive back in, shall we?
Okay, so, let's just get this out of the way. Ryder is dead. D-E-A-D. Not just a little dead. Capital-D Dead. And no, he's not coming back … or is he? Given that the first shot we see is of his lifeless body laid out on a table, it's safe to assume this is the last of Ryder on this physical plane. Jade (Sarah Bolger) -- who's still managing to look flawless in spite of her grief -- announces to the remaining Clippers in attendance that as Ryder's partner and legitimate successor, the powers of the barony now transfer to her. She's sworn in with a bit that involves some flowery language and the use of a sword to slice open her palm (which, ow), and the Clippers kneel before her. "Quinn will pay for what he has done," she promises. Cue opening titles.
Sunny and Bajie are back! Now that they've unhanded Nathaniel Moon (pun intended), they're still on the move to the Big Wall -- but Bajie remains convinced he has a way to get them through it (or under it, technically). The smell of gasoline and moonshine greets them shortly before they encounter Bajie's contact -- Nos (Marc Rissman), who prefers people refer to him as "the Commandant." (Any dude who gives himself a title is probably going to be a jerk.) Bajie believes he'll be on the receiving end of a warm welcome from Nos -- he did save the man's life once, after all -- but that's not exactly the case. According to Nos, Bajie actually left him twisting in the wind, financially speaking, but the metal trader embraces him with open arms. They offer Nos Nathaniel Moon's obsidian sword in trade for passage through the Wall into the Badlands. Nos accepts the deal.
At the Widow's sanctuary, Tilda apologizes to her Baron for disobeying her order to stay behind. She admits that she wouldn't have followed if she hadn't sensed something was wrong. As far as the Widow's concerned, there's nothing to forgive -- since Tilda's actions ultimately resulted in saving her life. In the Tilda vs. Waldo (Stephen Lang) showdown, it looks that things are neck-and-neck for which adviser currently has the top spot, and as the Widow dismisses Tilda to have a private word with Waldo, she shoots him a look as if to say, That's what you get for underestimating me.
Waldo proceeds to point out -- and rather smartly -- that because the other Barons will be so busy trying to figure out how to deal with Quinn, they won't be focusing on the Widow, and she can use that to her advantage. If she offers herself as an ally to the other Barons, she can help them extinguish Quinn. Predictably, the idea of groveling doesn't suit the Widow, but Waldo informs her she has one of two choices: "Align, or die."
Sunny and Bajie dine with Nos, and the whole scene mostly revolves around letting us know what a garbage person Nos really is. Listening to him tell it, he's just a simple trader - but there's a gross underbelly wherein women are being forced to "entertain" the travelers who pass through his territory on their way to and from the Badlands. Sunny sneaks in a subtle jab about Nos being a "special kind of man" to have that kind of operation, barely masking his disgust, but in the conversation that follows Sunny finally learns that Quinn is still alive. Initially he refuses to believe it since he was the one to deliver the killing blow. Nos adds that it's probably because Quinn has a good healer, and realization immediately dawns on Sunny's face. Now he knows where to go to get his lady love and child back, but it might be harder than he originally thought.
Quinn seems to be experiencing something of a Lady Macbeth-type situation in the aftermath of the raid on the Baron party - he's seeing blood on his hands where there isn't any, but he's also having visions of someone very familiar. #GHOSTRYDER!!! The phantom image of Ryder taunts Quinn about several things: trying to play house with Veil and baby Henry, being callous enough to murder his own son, etc. While it appears that Ghost Ryder is probably a result of that not-so-shrunken tumor, this product of Quinn's brain serves to accomplish one thing: create doubt about what Veil has been doing. If she's saving his life, then why is Quinn getting weaker by the day? Ghost Ryder's suggestion: hold a knife to Henry's throat, and Veil will have no choice but to be honest. (I'mma take a moment to be honest and admit here and now: Ghost Ryder is, uh, kinda hot.)
Lydia shows up at the fort and she's not too keen on being summoned -- but Jade hasn't exactly invited her over for tea, and she gives Lydia a Cliff's Notes version of what happened at the conclave, punctuating it with the fact that Quinn is still alive. Lydia doesn't want to believe Jade at first, but the moment she lays eyes on Ryder's dead body, the mother requests some time alone with her son to grieve. When Jade returns, Lydia calmly informs the other woman that Quinn has a bunker in the woods -- but she's going to accompany the Clippers to his location, and she gets to be the one to kill Quinn. Oooooh, I'm loving this twist.
As for Veil, things aren't looking too hot for her at the moment. Since Edgar turned up dead when he was supposed to be keeping her under lock and key, now it falls to her to answer for how he died. Veil (who, by now, has lying down to an art) tells one of Quinn's Clippers, Declan (Karl Shiels) that Edgar had tried to force himself on her -- so in retaliation she'd whacked him over the head. Declan's not buying her story -- especially because Edgar was gay -- and besides, he's got leverage: one of Quinn's head X-rays which clearly shows that the tumor is still living large. It's time for Veil to start healing Quinn for real, Declan threatens, unless she wants to share Edgar's fate.
At the monastery, M.K. takes advantage of an outdoor training session to finally run away. Later, he encounters a tree with several dead bodies hung from it. M.K. takes one down to give it a proper burial, but also uses the opportunity to change his clothes -- except for a pendant made out of rusted metal, which he leaves behind. Methinks that will have some sort of significance moving forward, but mostly I'm just disturbed by M.K.'s choice of corpse couture.
Sunny's trying to rest up for his big trip through the Wall, but he keeps getting interrupted - first by a young girl named Amelia and then by her mother Portia (Farzana Dua Elahe), who Nos has sent to Sunny's tent as a means of, um, adult entertainment. Sunny doesn't take the bait, and in the conversation that follows Portia makes a request: she wants Sunny to kill Nos. Much to Portia's disappointment, Sunny's not interested - not only because he doesn't Clip for money but because he doesn't Clip anymore, period.
Veil returns from her mild interrogation session to find Henry missing - and when she eventually locates him he's in Quinn's arms. Quinn, however, isn't looking too stable as he rocks the baby back and forth - and oh, there's also a big ol' knife in his hand. In the fully engrossing scene that ensues, Quinn's got two voices to contend with: the twisted Ghost Ryder in his head and the pacifying Veil in reality, who eventually kisses Quinn as a means of distracting him long enough to take Henry from him. It's possible that Quinn knows he's been manipulated by yet another woman, but he's also not looking too good right now - he's deteriorating physically and mentally, by all appearances.
Sunny and Bajie are prepared to head off on their merry way in a car that wouldn't look out of place in Mad Max: Fury Road, but before they go Nos drops a small bomb: he knows Portia asked Sunny to off him, and he's tortured her as a result. Against Bajie's pleading to leave, Sunny makes his own demand: he wants to take Portia and Amelia with them for the sword, since it's worth more than enough to cover their freedom. Nos refuses, punctuating his villainy by jabbing a dagger into Portia's side, but Sunny's got a bunch of henchmen to deal with. He might be unarmed and outnumbered, but even as he fights his way through Nos' men he finds weapons all around him. One guy takes a hubcap to the face; the next, a box containing moonshine-filled bottles. Bajie secures a bleeding Portia in the car and then whacks Nos over the head, subduing him long enough to get Amelia as well. By the time Sunny hops on the back of the car and they speed off, it's clear he's left another enemy in his dust.
The Widow has been mulling over her options since Waldo first presented his argument, but she informs the retired Clipper she's come to a decision. Rather than align with the other Barons, she's going to form an allegiance with Quinn to take them all down. "We tried it your way," she says. "Now we're playing it mine." Waldo's task from here on out is to find Quinn - but he'd better hope none of the other Barons find him first.
Unfortunately for Waldo, someone's beat him to the punch on the Quinn situation: Lydia and Ryder's old Clippers. Some of the men make their way into the abandoned station, but they probably should have known it wouldn't be as easy as walking right through the front door. One of them seems to set off a booby trap and the whole entrance blows up. Alerted by the explosion, Quinn and his men head to safety - but when he looks for Veil, she's nowhere to be found. In all the chaos and confusion, Veil has made good on her plans to escape, and flees through the woods with baby Henry in her arms.
And there you have it: another episode of Into the Badlands is now behind us! Do you think we'll finally get our Sunny/Veil reunion next week? Is Quinn not long for this world after all? Are we actually going to see Lydia and Jade join forces against their former husband? Let us know your thoughts on the episode in the comments or on Twitter at @Syfyfangrrls.