Prepare to ‘Carry Tiger to Mountain’ on this week’s Into the Badlands. Spoilers ahead.
Okay, for real — if someone delivered me a car with Gaius Chau (Lewis Tan) in the trunk I’d send them the nicest thank-you note ever. The Widow (Emily Beecham), however, is more confused than grateful. Gaius recognizes her, but clearly she doesn’t remember him. I smell a flashback!
And a flashback we shall get.
Young Gaius is celebrating a birthday by watching the creepiest puppet show ever. Meanwhile Minerva (what?! The Widow has a first name? I just kind of assumed it was “The”, but clearly I forgot something along the way) is a lowly servant in the house. When Gaius says hello to her it causes her to drop a tray of drinks, resulting in a nice little beating and punishment. Gaius’s father demands he give Minerva (nope, still sounds weird) 10 lashes. When he fails to, Juliet (KLFSJ) gleefully steps in. Now we see why The Widow hates Baron Chau so much.
Back in present day, Gaius offers to team up with The Widow to destroy his sister. Lydia (Orla Brady) seems to see value in this but withholds that advice.
We briefly check in on Sunny (Daniel Wu) and Bajie (Nick Frost) on their journey to meet Bajie’s mysterious master.
As far as gifts that I would be upset about, I’d count a bunch of severed heads as such. That’s what Baron Chau (Eleanor Matsuura) receives from Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay) and Cressida (Lorraine Toussaint). They don’t believe that the attack from last episode was purely Gaius’s idea. They demand workers from Baron Chau and give her a pretty unreasonable deadline by which to deliver them.
Nathaniel Moon (Sherman Augustus) returns to The Widow, who wonders what took him so long. Guess he didn’t feel the need to elaborate on his encounter with Sunny, Bajie, and the people who tried to eat him for dinner. The Widow doesn’t seem too pleased with his decision to peacefully settle the score with Sunny, but she leaves it be for now.
Meanwhile in the pass of Caradhras — I mean, on a mountain somewhere — Sunny and Bajie visit Bajie’s old master Ankara (Clare Higgins). She wonders if he came to kill her. Seems like it was a real healthy relationship. She’s less than overjoyed at Henry’s presence (but for real, how cute is that damn baby?).
Back at casa Pilgrim, Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) has rescued M.K. (Aramis Knight) from the woods. I’d be lying if I said that M.K has started to bug me this season, from his wallowing in self pity to his horrendous haircut. I’m hoping we see some action out of him soon. Pilgrim shuts down M.K’s dark one hissy fit real quick. Looks like Pilgrim and Cressida’s conversion tactics work pretty quickly on M.K. (Ugh again, why he’s bothering me this season — so easily swayed). Castor (Dean Charles-Chapman) seems to have some older-sibling-level jealousy at M.K’s arrival.
Ankara can’t permanently remove Henry’s dark gift, but she can at least provide temporary measures. He’s not looking so hot, so Sunny agrees to hand him over to the crazy lady. She siphons some of Sunny’s strength into baby Henry. This show gets dark, but did we really think they were going to murder a baby?
Anakara lays some crazy backstory on us about Sunny. Apparently he’s a catalyst for the dark stuff and it flows through him? We get some flashbacks, and Ankara’s poking and prodding around Sunny’s brain gets her thrown across the room. We also get some talk of fate and destiny, yada yada. What she does tell/show us though, is that Bajie’s signal to nowhere from the end of last season didn’t go unheard. Pilgrim is the one who answered his call. This ends well…
Nix shows M.K the absurd View Master we saw earlier in the season. Castor gets real jealous and makes some immature accusations about already getting replaced. Cressida is all ready to cut Castor from their lives real fast. Pilgrim is slightly more sentimental about it.
Baron Chau brainstorms somewhat unsuccessfully where she can acquire Pilgrim’s insane body request from.
Castor approaches Cressida requesting a cure. Cressida sends Castor out on a secret mission (read: behind Pilgrim’s back) to make sure Baron Chau delivers.
Lydia encourages The Widow to hear Gaius Chau out. What Lydia gains from that situation is not quite clear, but she’s always up to something.
Gaius is once again locked up and shirtless (seriously, where do his shirts go?) as The Widow visits him. We get a little more of their backstory as we learn that Gaius freed her from her punishment.
Ankara gives Sunny and Bajie a map to Pilgrim and Cressida.
Pilgrim takes M.K out on a casual… barge / raft ride? He takes them to a site where workers appear to be digging up… nothing?
Meanwhile Castor goes on his secret mission, and we get the clip we exclusively debuted. He rides into the refugee camp “to lead them.” The Widow sends Gaius and Moon out to defend the camp.
And as we saw in the clip, Tilda (Ally Ioannides), and Odessa (Maddison Jazani) are there to defend. Tilda goes all Indiana Jones with her whip on Castor. Their showdown is interrupted by reinforcements from The Widow. Chau has to face off against his sister’s second in command, while The Widow takes on Castor. There’s some superb editing in this fight. The Widow captures Castor, and the rest of the company retreats.
Sunny and Bajie continue on their journey. Bajie is clearly feeling guilty about the result of his message inflicting Pilgrim upon the badlands.
Cressida is having some sort of cray cray vision and is finger painting a bunch of lines that look an awful lot like Clipper tattoos in blood. M.K. in some new duds identifies the lines as such, and for the second time this episode we hear Sunny declared a catalyst. Pilgrim demands that no harm come to Sunny, as their destinies are apparently tied.
This episode dropped a lot of random info tidbits on us and proceeded to not follow up on them. As per usual they’re building to something bigger, and as the players are one step closer to converging, I’m starting to ask more and more: is it going to be worth it? While I’ve enjoyed seeing the hints of the world that was (like the giant dinosaur skeleton in casa Pilgrim), it feels like there should be a huge payoff.
‘Carry Tiger to Mountain’ also sets the stage for some serious love triangles. If this were a different show I’d say it was preparing for a happily ever after, but this is Into the Badlands.