Spoilers within for the Into the Badlands Season 3 episode "Leopard Catches Cloud."
Sunny didn't exactly get the warm homecoming he was hoping for on this week's Into the Badlands midseason finale. First, a reunion with MK turned into an all-out brawl that nearly became deadly for Sunny before Pilgrim stepped in, but that was nothing compared to what happened later, when Pilgrim manipulated Sunny's trust in order to steal baby Henry's gift for himself. Now, it looks like Pilgrim might usher in that age of blood and destruction after all — and we're going to have to wait until the show returns from hiatus to find out what happens next.
SYFY FANGRRLS had the opportunity to speak with our favorite former Clipper(!) Sunny himself, actor-executive producer Daniel Wu, about whether he thinks Sunny and MK's relationship is beyond repair, Sunny's friendship with Bajie, and why Sunny's decision to trust Pilgrim may have been the biggest mistake of his life.
When I talked to Al at the beginning of the season, he teased a bit that in his quest to help Henry, Sunny was going to uncover things about himself in the process. What was your reaction to learning that you would get to dive into more of Sunny's backstory this season?
I was really excited because I think Sunny is quite enigmatic, and there are a lot of questions about Sunny. I think the audience has questions, but also I, as the actor, had a lot of questions, and it's the first time I've ever experienced this. Badlands is the first television show I've ever done. Usually I'm in movies, so you know the character already before you come in — whereas with Sunny, it's like the audience and the actor are getting new information as the season goes along.
Obviously I get it slightly earlier than you guys, but it gets revealed, and so this part of Sunny's backstory was a big deal for me, just to realize, "Oh, wow. Okay. There's this connection with the gift, first of all. And then second, with that connection with Pilgrim and the real issue they have." But all of that then ties into the bigger picture of the story, so it's kind of interesting Sunny has turned into the key to quite a lot of the things that are happening this whole season.
There's been some pretty juicy reveals already, like the fact that Sunny has a sister that he doesn't remember and didn't previously know about. Is she someone that we are possibly going to have the chance to meet in the future?
Yes. Yeah. I'm trying to think because I forget at what point she gets revealed and all that stuff, so... yes, you will see that. You will see Sunny's family.
I've also talked to Nick Frost, and most of your scenes so far this season have been between Sunny and Bajie, so what's it been like to grow the dynamic between their characters, and how has their relationship changed since last season?
Yeah, I think that it has matured incredibly, the two of them. I think Sunny needs guidance because he's really never trusted anybody but himself. The situation comes up where, okay, MK comes along, and basically all of season one he's trying to decide whether he can trust this character or not, is this character telling the truth, but there's something drawing him to this kid, and I think it's the mutual dark power.
And once he meets Bajie, obviously at the very beginning of season two, there's this massive distrust, he doesn't think that Bajie is worth anything to him, but then Bajie slowly reveals that he knows a lot about the Badlands, and this, and that, so he was a kind of guide to get him back to the Badlands, and by now, they've got a strong bond. I think this is probably the closest bond other than Waldo that Sunny's ever had in his life. So he becomes a brother, he becomes a confidante, but there's distrust also because Bajie did steal the compass and go off and set off that signal, so Sunny isn't quite sure what Bajie's total agenda is in the end, but he has to trust him because at this point, now they're kind of in it together. And Bajie, again, knows a lot of information that Sunny doesn't know about.
I'm glad you brought up MK, because the first big fighting scene we get in the episode happens as a result of Sunny and MK's reunion. And MK gets seconds away from killing Sunny before Pilgrim intervenes. Do you think there's any possibility for MK and Sunny to reconcile down the line, or is that relationship fractured now?
I definitely think this has fractured it, I think MK's ... I don't know if you want to call it a dream, or if you want to call it a vision, but whether it's the truth or not, he firmly believes that Sunny has killed his mother and he's hellbent on that revenge. And I think that's a sad break-up of the relationship now, so if it does get repaired, it will be something very, very difficult to repair, because MK adamantly believes that Sunny has killed his mother, but whether that's true or not, that's also up in the air as well. What is the truth there? Is that memory a memory, or was it a hallucination?
You spoke earlier about Sunny and Pilgrim. Pilgrim references multiple times that they had this previous connection, even though Sunny seems to question that. And we've gotten some flashbacks for a couple of characters, many of them tied to Sunny specifically, so are we going to get to see more of his history with Pilgrim via flashback in the future episodes?
Yeah. I think we ... let's say this. Let's say that we can see more of their history and their connections to Azra. I think definitely you're going to see a reveal of their relationship and how it's tied to his sister, and how that's related to Azra and Pilgrim's mission.
The end of this episode is a pretty big cliffhanger, where Pilgrim has basically taken Henry's gift for himself. What kind of a wrench is that going to throw into the situation for Sunny personally, and can you hint at all at how it's going to affect the situation in the Badlands moving forward?
Yeah, I would say that that was probably Sunny's biggest mistake. Probably ever in his life. If you ever had to blame one big mistake, it was him allowing that to happen for the sake of Henry, but I think he was put between a rock and a hard place, and I don't think he fully understood the repercussions of that action. All he cared about as a father was his child, and the side effect of that was giving the power over to Pilgrim, and I think that was something that Sunny is going to live to regret forever. I think more so than what happened to Veil or anything else. It's not just on his family, but it's going to affect every individual citizen in the Badlands.