So... that fight scene. THAT FIGHT SCENE. What a shame that there’s only one episode left. Badlands took several episodes to really get going, and now that it’s finally crazy good, the season is almost over. Which leads me to a humble plea: AMC, please bring this show back for a second season. Spoilers ahead.
The brawl in this past episode was the most satisfying part of the series so far. Maybe one of my favorite TV moments of 2015, actually? Again, we are never treated to fight scenes like that on television. I was watching last night’s ep with a couple of buddies, and 15 minutes out, even said to one of them, “Dude, where’s all the fighting this week?” Cue the Widow. Tilda’s locked in the cell, when suddenly, an enemy bolas rapid-spins its way out of nowhere to strangle and incapacitate the douchey sentry. “Don’t worry, Mother’s here!” the Widow declares before launching into a full-on, Sunny-attacking assault.
And then M.K. cutting himself so he could unleash the beast, and save Tilda himself? Yup, all the martial-arts-romance feels. These two are like Romeo and Juliet, except one has demon-like supernatural powers that unlock upon bloodshed, and the other rips people’s ears off with her teeth.
The reason why this fight scene was effective was because it was a violent manifestation of complex web of relationships between Sunny, Minerva, M.K., and Tilda. Make no mistake, this battle was the most climactic, important one so far, and one of real consequence to the plot. It was the most deft instance of the show matching the story’s drama with the intensity of the acrobatic battles.
We should also praise Aramis Knight and Ally Ioannides for their work on this show. Not only are the teen actors battling adults and keeping up with them in the physical aspect of the project, but I like their acting as well. Speaking of performances—Marton Csokas, who you might remember as Lord Celeborn from Lord of the Rings, kills it as Quinn. But, from a critical perspective, Quinn’s flatly evil, antagonistic function is still boring for me. Does he have zero redeeming qualities or what? Then again, I guess it’d make any battle with him more satisfying, as we’d clearly be rooting for whoever his foe is, whether it’s the Widow, M.K., or Sunny. Or all three?! Maybe throw Ryder, Jade, and Lydia in there, too. Make it a House of Blue Leaves-type showdown, but leave the bad guy solo instead of the hero.
Last week, a post appeared on Daniel Wu’s Facebook page announcing that Into the Badlands had been renewed for season two, but apparently that was untrue, and the post was clarified. It’d be a shame to not renew the show now, because it’s finally ramping up to something that can be a real marquis show for AMC—not to mention it’s so unlike anything that’s on TV right now. (Or has been, since Kung Fu in the ‘70s.)
Fingers crossed. What’d you guys think of last night’s episode?
Photo by James Minchin III/AMC
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