TV Review: Into The Badlands 2.8 “Chapter XIV: Sting Of The Scorpion’s Tail”
By Dr. Zaius
Monday, May 8th, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Into The Badlands Episode 2.8 “Chapter XIV: Sting Of The Scorpion’s Tail”
Directed by Stephen Fung
Written by LaToya Morgan
Created by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Starring Daniel Wu, Orla Brady, Sarah Bolger, Aramis Knight, Emily Beecham, Oliver Stark, Madeleine Mantock, Ally Ioannides, Nick Frost, Marton Csokas, Chipo Chung AMC
Air date: Sunday, May 7th, 2017, 10pm
Last week on AMC’s Into the Badlands, Sunny (Daniel Wu) was forced to confront the demons in his head after being poisoned by the Abbots. It was Bajie (Nick Frost) and M.K. (Aramis Knight) who had to rescue Sunny for a change by breaking INTO the monastery both men had previously escaped. This led to an awesome battle between the two and the Master (Chipo Chung) and the Abbots. Meanwhile, Quinn (Marton Csokas) and Widow (Emily Beecham) got off on the right foot in their alliance, as Quinn got Veil (Madeleine Mantock) back and captured his former bride Jade (Sarah Bolger). With Sunny saved, it’s onwards to the Badlands to regain his wife and child. He’s willing do anything, and let nothing stand in his way.
Spoilers below for this week’s Into the Badlands:
Baron Hassan (Alan Wai) finds himself quickly under attack as we are not wasting time. The Butterflies have him backed into a corner, and in that corner is The Widow. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned is the saying, and The Widow lives up to that, the bright red blood splattering on the white sheets. It’s amazing how the crew on ItB makes gory violence look so beautiful.
Bajie barters his way under the wall and into the Badlands, and is rightly skeptical of Sunny and M.K for doubting him. That being said, nothing is ever easy with these three. Turns out you can’t trust smugglers, and they’re stopped underground by the Clippers of Baron Chau (Eleanor Matsuura). While they figure out their next move (aside from ducking crossbow arrows), Quinn and The Widow exchange gifts as a show of good faith… the heads of opposing Barons.
“Hey, at least we’re back in the Badlands,” Bajie says, literally beating me to the punch as I was typing that very sentence. Sunny has a history of being a very bad prisoner and Bajie knows it. Sunny doesn’t want to kill everybody, but rather talk it out, and flashes his clipper-marks to get the attention of Chau’s men. He and Chau exchange proposals. She wants him to become her Regent and join her against Widow/Quinn. But he knows how to lure The Widow away and once he’s taken her out, they get Quinn, and Sunny walks free.
“Why should I trust you to deliver?”
“Because I’m the only one who wants Quinn dead more than you.”
Back at Quinn’s and the tension is disturbing between Quinn’s horny mongrels and Tilda’s butterflies. Ally Ioannides shows so much range of emotion with the subtlest movements. I can’t wait until she finally explodes. Seeing Veil back in Quinn’s captivity shakes her confidence in her own mother’s judgment. That seems to be going around as Sunny, dressed in clean and beaming Baron Chau white, tells her of M.K. and how The Widow believes him to still have the dark power. He is the bait in the trap. It’s at this point where I am both terrified and excited at the looming Sunny vs. Widow showdown. Sunny is a great hero, but I have been Team Widow since season 1.
Quinn meanwhile, is just surrounded in women… With ex-wife Lydia alongside future wife Veil and baby Henry at the dinner table, Quinn lays out his plans. Bajie stops cursing Sunny out long enough to realize Sunny aided in his escape. He steals a clipper’s motorcycle and follows the convoy en route to spring the trap on The Widow. As Chau’s “defector” arrives, the editing in the scene is just perfect. I LOVE the juxtaposition of Tilda’s happy face upon hearing M.K.’s name, cut straight to a teary-eyed and shaking Veil as Lydia dresses her for her “wedding”.
The wedding scene is another visual delight in a show that specializes in them. The torch lighting and red wedding attire is a sight to behold. Even the framing of the shots is meticulously organized. God, Quinn is just the most disgusting human being and yet I just can’t hate Marton Csokas. This season he’s murdered his own son, seduced his ex-wife, banished his OTHER ex-wife and now married a woman whom he’s kept kidnapped and locked away after murdering her parents.
The final fight just puts the icing on the cake of another spectacular episode. Stephen Fung’s direction shows his skills as a fight choreographer, longshots on the actors’ faces as they battle, and the ability to resist the rapid fire jump cuts that makes so many modern action films and series unwatchable. This was a tour-de-force for everyone involved. The script keeps you guessing and balances the different emotions of different characters flawlessly, and kudos to LaToya Morgan who wrote tonight’s episode. I feel Quinn is being set up to face all the women he’s wronged in an epic final showdown. There’s Veil, Lydia, The Widow, Tilda… Chau is still alive. Girl power is alive and well in the Badlands.
The worst part of it now being Monday on the clock is that means I’m left waiting 7 long days for Into the Badlands to return, next Sunday night at 10:00 pm EST only on AMC.
Into the Badlands: ‘Quinn & Veil’s Wedding’ Talked About Scene Ep. 208