Spoiler Warning: If you haven't watched the Season 3 episode of Into The Badlands, “Leopard Snares Rabbit” you might want to turn back now. Besides, as we all know: No one escapes the Badlands.
Hey, Badlands fans! This week’s episode was full of slightly more subtle twists and turns than the eps prior, but there’s still a lot to unpack here. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Previously: There were a lot of revelations, but the biggest one has to be that Sunny is actually the one who murdered M.K.’s mom. My guess is our favorite former Clipper has absolutely no idea of the role he played in M.K.’s twisted past, but we’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, in scary new character land, we ended on a particularly wild scene involving Cressida, Pilgrim and a whole lot of hooks. Eep. Oh, and Nathaniel Moon is working for the Widow. That’s actually important in regards to where we pick up now.
A carrier pigeon flies across poppy fields and forests alike. It’s carrying a message to Tilda and her band o’ thieves as they plan another attack on the Widow’s supply trucks, and that message is a warning: Get out now. But there’s no time to warn the others; the Widow’s Butterflies are already surrounding the camp. Tilda quietly instructs Odessa to pull their stolen truck around to attempt a speedy getaway, and then dispatches most of the Butterflies single-handed—but Nathaniel Moon is going to prove a harder enemy for Tilda to take down.
Nathaniel’s newly forged hand is an impressive match for Tilda’s sword, and he pursues her into the surrounding forest. At one point, she spirals down headfirst from the treetops to try and gain the advantage, but Nathaniel is not easily bested. “I did promise the Widow your head,” he says. After tossing a wood pallet in Nathaniel’s direction, Tilda decides to run and fight another day instead—only to come face-to-face with the rest of her thieves in heavy battle with the Widow’s forces. Nathaniel knocks Tilda out with a heavy blow, so Odessa steps up to take her girlfriend’s place in the fight while Tilda gets carted away in the truck. Odessa’s knowledge of Tilda’s whereabouts is more valuable than her head, so it looks like she’s just become the Widow’s next prisoner.
Sunny and Bajie have driven north in one of the Widow’s stolen trucks, but making their way past the frontlines as the war rages on—and with a baby, no less—is going to be easier said than done. There’s only one way through, called Sniper Alley, and it’s basically impenetrable, guarded by Baron Chau’s archers. Anyone who doesn’t die immediately will die eventually from poison-tipped arrows, and all the surrounding buildings are rigged with booby traps. We suspect that if anyone can get through, it’s Sunny. He just has to come up with a way. Given that he’s dressed in the blue color indicative of the Widow’s men, he also spins a yarn about being the new Regent in charge. Bajie seems to be rubbing off on him a little bit.
Odessa’s serving some badassery even while clapped in the Widow’s irons—and she’s definitely not giving up Tilda that easily. The Widow suspects that Tilda's rebellion is merely a phase, all part of her desire for her mother to acknowledge her as a real threat—and once she has it, she’ll be back. It chafes a bit to hear the Widow refer to Odessa as an “inconsequential fling,” but she’s just trying to get under the young woman’s skin—especially because she wants to know who warned Tilda that her Butterflies were coming to begin with. “Could be anybody,” Odessa counters, “because no one is buying your bullsh*t anymore.” I do love Odessa’s sass, but it’s going to earn her a few new bruises in the process.
Meanwhile, Lydia’s agreed to become the Widow’s new viceroy with some familiar old digs to boot (remember Ryder’s old house?), but she’s not as harsh of a turncoat as we originally suspect. As it happens, she was the one who sent the warning ahead to Tilda and her group. Nathaniel recognized her handwriting after reading the note, but he isn’t seeking out Lydia to turn her in. He seems to be more than happy to share a glass of bourbon with a former fling. Lydia doesn’t deny her role in playing both sides, but Nathaniel warns her about the danger in this game. She’s not the only one, Lydia reminds him; after all, he used to be a man who turned his back on the Badlands so many years ago. There’s a fondness between them even when Lydia calls him pig-headed for his revenge kick against Sunny, and they nearly share a kiss before Nathaniel departs. I’m going to be on Ship Watch for these two, even though we all know that love never ends well in the Badlands.
Sunny’s rounded up a few of the Widow’s fighters to attempt his plan, including a particularly brassy girl named Wen. Using the glare of the sun and some big mirrored panels, Sunny, Bajie and the rest try to make their way up Sniper Alley. They’re nearly through when Sunny realizes there’s only one archer to deal with based on the trajectory of the arrows, but Wren gets shot in the leg and Sunny abandons his plan to move forward, loading the injured girl in the back of a truck and retreating for the time being. (Side note: watching Daniel Wu lean out of said truck while driving it might win this week’s Badass Moment.)
Without morphine on hand, Bajie uses the combination of his gift and a few pressure points to give Wren some relief from the pain, but the situation is still critical given the poison coursing through her body. Eventually, Bajie makes the decision to have the healer cut off Wren's leg to save her—and Wren is furious about it. Without a leg, she can’t even so much as work in the poppy fields. Bajie insists that some day change will come in the Badlands, but Wren’s less confident: “If it does, it’ll arrive too late for me.”
Well, the Widow was right about one thing; Tilda’s shown up, and she’s looking for answers from Lydia—who quickly confirms a) no, she didn’t rat Tilda out per se, and b) yes, Odessa is still alive. With that new info in hand, Tilda puts down her knife and actually allows herself to hear Lydia’s words of advice: if she wants to change the world, she’s going to have to find a way to live in it first. Lydia sees the potential in Tilda to be a better leader, but that’s going to involve playing the game and compromising “right up to the line, but not over it.”
As Sunny prepares to head back into Sniper Alley, one of the Widow’s trucks has arrived at the Sanctuary in search of supplies—on the order of their Regent. That’s news to Nathaniel (you know, the actual Regent), and when he learns that the one calling himself Regent is a man with black hair bearing a black sword with rings (you know, his old sword), he’s got the first clue as to Sunny’s whereabouts. Uh oh.
But Sunny is busy using his own archery skills with a classic bow and arrow to make it past Chau’s lone sniper, and when he finally gets into the building he’s forced to play a game of cat-and-mouse, chasing the sniper throughout the levels. “I’m just trying to get a sick kid through the lines,” he calls out, but when that doesn’t endear him to the sniper he’s forced to do things the hard way. Using one of the booby traps to wound the man, but not kill him, Sunny instructs one of the Widow’s fighters to hold him as a prisoner of war. “Understood,” the boy replies, before pulling a knife to slit the sniper’s throat instead, insisting that he deserved his fate. Sunny’s not about to add to the body count when Henry’s health is at stake, though—and he realizes that there are only kids on both sides of the lines fighting their Barons’ war. He was like that too, once.
Tilda confronts the Widow on her turf to make a deal: in return for Odessa, she’ll stop raiding the Widow’s convoys. But that’s not enough in the Widow’s mind. She wants Tilda to rejoin her, in any capacity she chooses. In this war, the Widow needs everyone she can get on her side. Tilda’s got a condition of her own, though: if the Widow frees M.K., she’ll join up. But M.K.’s already taken it upon himself to get loose, having activated his gift while in the middle of a particularly brutal force-feeding session from the Widow’s Clippers. After tossing them through the window, he sets his sights on the Widow next, and Tilda steps in between them. “Not this way,” she says, managing to get through to M.K. long enough to leave the scene with both him and Odessa—but not before sharing a meaningful look with the Widow before she does so.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely wasn’t expecting that Tilda and the Widow would come to an alliance so soon this season. For once, I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen next. Feel free to share your reactions in the comments or tweet us @Syfyfangrrls. And don’t forget to check out our interview with Ally Ioannides about tonight’s episode!