TV Review: Into the Badlands 2.9 “Chapter XV: Nightingale Sings No More”
By Dr. Zaius
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Into The Badlands Episode 2.9 “Chapter XV: Nightingale Sings No More”
Directed by Paco Cabezas
Written by Justin Britt-Gibson
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 14th, 2017, 10pm
Last week on AMC’s Into the Badlands, Sunny finally returned and found himself right in the middle of the Baron Chau (Eleanor Matsuura) vs. Widow (Emily Beecham) stand-off. Sunny (Daniel Wu) aligned with Chau, but when the moment was at hand… teamed with Widow on the promise of finding Veil (Madeleine Mantock) and getting to kill Quinn (Marton Csokas). M.K. (Aramis Knight) was used as bait but at least that got him closer to Tilda (Ally Ioannides). Tilda meanwhile, was starting to see mommy Widow for who she really is, especially after Veil called her out. It might be an explosive Mother’s Day for The Widow if Tilda plays that card.
Spoilers below for this week’s Into The Badlands:
Twenty years ago, Bajie (Nick Frost), then an abbot at the monastery, trains a young girl with powers – A girl who speaks of Azra, the same homeland that M.K. speaks of… a girl named Minerva (The Widow). Back in real time, Bajie pulls a Jim Carrey in Liar Liar, and beats the hell out of himself to appear as a wounded runaway cog seeking sanctuary. Nick Frost is hilarious in this scene, reminiscent of his classic role in Shaun of the Dead. Inside the sanctuary, Sunny and Widow cozy up and it’s obvious that her interest in M.K. is not deterred by his lack of powers.
Speaking of cozying up, M.K. tries to reconnect with Tilda. She tells him about Odessa (Maddison Jaizani), and just then Odessa walks in and is scared off by M.K. She has witnessed his powers and warns Tilda to stay away from him. Back at Quinn’s new “fort,” he treats Gabriel to the ultimate luxury, ice cream. This is all to get young Gabriel (John Bell) to deliver a package to the Widow… a bag full of explosives. Marton Csokas has a way of making everything he says sound seductive. It makes him such a creepy character, and one of the best pure villains on television. Lydia (Orla Brady) looks on, as Quinn cradles baby Henry after slapping Veil and sending her away.
Sunny has another reunion, this time with his old mentor Waldo (Stephen Lang). There’s a fondness to their interaction, full of unspoken assurances. Every shot on this show feels exquisitely planned. The framing of their faces as they talk, conveys emotion and raw feeling that makes the conversation almost unnecessary. It’s a great scene.
Widow meets with M.K. and tells him he can get his “gift” back. She obviously knows from experience how to control it. Refugees arrive to the Sanctuary, Gabriel amongst them. Sunny and Widow arm up with the promise that after Quinn’s dead, he and Widow go their separate ways, but he knows better.
“Somehow I don’t think anything is ever simple with you,” Sunny tells her. Just then Gabriel arrives and totally blows things up… pun totally intended. Before suicide bombing himself and a bunch of Widow’s butterflies to bits, he reveals to Sunny that it was Widow who traded Veil to Quinn. After surviving the blast, Sunny makes a quick escape, thanks in part to another save from Bajie, and heads off towards the Fort. Bajie and M.K. try to steal back the Azra book, but Widow and her Butterflies stop them. I love the back and forth between Bajie and Minerva. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but one of the things I fell in love with about Badlands almost right away in season 1 was how amazing ALL the characters are. Seriously, there is not one boring character, and thus every scene feels meaningful.
And of course, for Mother’s Day, we get a vicious battle between mom Widow and daughter Tilda, after Tilda called her out on her betrayals. “Don’t start what you can’t finish.” This episode was just fantastic from beginning to end, with each scene driving the motivations of the characters towards what should be an epic finale. The Widow is left with no allies, and must deal with M.K. and Bajie. Sunny is on a collision course with Quinn, and Quinn just may be his own collision course, as he is preparing to bring down his own fort with explosives if need be.
Be there next Sunday at 10pm ET for the season 2 finale of Into the Badlands on AMC. AMC is running a season 2 marathon starting at noon on Sunday, so you can catch up on any and all of the great episodes from this season.
Into the Badlands: ‘He’ll Be Safe Here’ Sneak Peek Ep. 209
Sunny reveals to the Widow that M.K.’s powers are gone. Don’t miss the next episode of Into the Badlands, Sunday, May 14 at 10/9c.