Into the Badlands Season 3, Episode 4: “Blind Cannibal Assassins”
After three episodes artfully setting the stage, the heart of the new season began in earnest. Both The Widow and Chau are dealing with The Pilgrim in their own ways, MK sees his mission of personal vendetta interrupted, and we see the life Sunny has repeatedly tried to leave behind come back to bite him.
What we have witnessed so far with the primary characters crossing paths has been a lot of fun, which makes Sunny’s (at least temporary) departure from the Badlands a bit worrisome. My suspicion is, this is why Lewis Tan’s Gaius Chau was introduced in the episode. While Sunny is broken off from the heart of the story, Gaius serves as a stand-in, of sorts.
You know it isn’t a good sign when a character is introduced in a jail cell, and his digs aren’t nearly as plush as MK’s cell. Gaius is the brother to the Baroness, and a threat to her. Much like Fredo Corleone, Gaius is only being kept alive to prevent his mother’s heart from being broken.
Gaius is in this situation because he tried to get some cogs to rise up against his sister. She convinces her brother to go on a suicide mission of sorts, under the threat of killing Gauis’ friends if he doesn’t play ball. Gaius wants some fresh air, and to not see his friends die, so he goes along with the plan.
The Pilgrim and The Widow
While Chau plots an attack on The Pilgrim, to her credit, The Widow chooses the path of diplomacy, after The Pilgrim’s fliers cause a couple hundred of her workers to leave the poppy fields. She packs up Lydia and her sword and goes for a chat.
Both Widow and Lydia are doubtful of The Pilgrim’s line. Widow has been burned by the promise of Azra before, and Lydia verbally jousts with The Pilgrim’s Prophet, who tries a personal attempt at recruiting Lydia to the cause.
The negotiations are interrupted when Gaius’ ninja squad makes their move on The Pilgrim’s stronghold. It’s a fight reminiscent of the restaurant fight in Kill Bill, as during the attack, ninjas seem to burst from every corner of the room.
The Widow and Pilgrim dispatch Gaius’ squad. The Widow believes she saved The Pilgrim’s life and in exchange for it, she demands he leave her workers alone.
Sunny and Bajie
The pair are on the road to find the witch, and save Sunny’s son’s life. On the road, they meet a blind hermit, who offers them some food and a place to rest. They accept, not thinking that it is a trap. The old man drugs their food, kidnaps Henry, and takes him to his lair.
The bunker is filled with blind cannibals who give Sunny and Bajie the choice of joining the group or being eaten. While in chains waiting on their fate, Sunny realized that as a Colt, he helped put these people here. In retribution to cutting off part of Ryder’s foot, Quinn had his regent, with a teenage Sunny in tow, blind and banish the upstarts responsible for mutilating his son.
Moon gets snared by the same cannibal trap, and threatens to end things if he is released. Sunny doesn’t have time for this Badlands honor garbage, because he has to prevent his son from getting eaten. It sets up another hallway fight of two against the group of blind warriors, which requires as much brains as brawn to come out on top.
In the end, Sunny and Bajie win the day, and set Moon free. Sunny gives a speech about the past, and how the path of blood and honor is the wrong one, and he gives Moon’s sword back to him. Henry’s presence saves Sunny, as Moon considers the debt square, warning that The Widow is still after Sunny.
Thoughts and Impressions
The parts about Sunny’s past definitely cast some doubt about whether he is really the one who killed MK’s mother. As a young Clipper, Sunny followed orders to the letter, and his participation in the blinding of the upstarts sure makes it seem like killing innocents wasn’t a bridge too far for young Sunny.
Overall, this was another quality outing. There was decent plot advancement, interesting character interaction, and the fight choreography continues to be on a much higher level than previous seasons.