‘Into the Badlands’ Finale Review: “Seven Strike as One”
This week, Into the Badlands, aired its final episode on AMC. Fans (myself included) are hoping the martial arts series will have new life elsewhere. #SaveIntotheBadlands. Here’s a recap and review of the finale, “Seven Strike as One”.
The episode kicked off with Widow gifting Sunny Waldo’s old sword the day before they head out. His unexplained disappearance is still a bit of a hanging plot line. In a pretty epic shot, our seven; Sunny, Kannin, Widow, Tilda, Gaius, Nathaniel, and Baije gather on a hill overlooking the Black Lotus forces.
Later, Minerva watches Sunny say his goodbyes to Henry before asking his advice on bringing a child into this world. He tells her that it’s the only thing worth fighting for.
Across the badlands, Pilgrim sends out his followers to kill anyone who doesn’t side with them and bring back those who do to receive the gift. Before they head out, M.K. gave them tips on accessing their gift without cutting themselves.
As night falls, Pilgrim informs Cressida that it’s time for her to receive the gift. She’s hesitant but he won’t take no for an answer, declaring himself her god.
Baije and Sunny plan to hit Pilgrim and his dark ones while the others destroy the meridian chamber as a fail-safe. Their mindset: if Sunny loses at least Pilgrim can’t make more dark ones. Nathaniel refuses to go with Widow, wanting to get his revenge against Cressida for killing Lydia. On the road, Widow tells Gaius she’s keeping the baby. Soon, they come across a ravaged nomad camp where bodies of men, women, and children lie.
Right as Cressida refuses the gift again, Sunny and co. storm the fortress. She tries to warn Pilgrim about her vision and his lack of control. He smacks her and declares that post-battle she will accept the gift with no argument. Outside, Minerva, Gaius, and Tilda head for the chamber with explosives. It doesn’t take long for M.K. to roll in and fighting to start.
With intricate choreography, everyone is wrecking everyone and you can’t help but be hyped watching it all go down. A few stand out moments from early on in the battle are M.K. choosing to knock Tilda out instead of killing her, and Nathaniel dropping an f-bomb when he corners Cressida while she trying to flee. She asks him where’s the honor in killing her when she’s unarmed. His reply, “F*%$ honor”.
Death and New Beginnings
The tides begin to turn after Cressida escapes and Sunny, Kannin, and Baije take on Pilgrim together. In the chamber, Tilda regains consciousness and jumps in front of M.K.’s attack on Minerva. She takes a blade to the stomach and loses consciousness in Minerva’s arms. The thought of losing her daughter causes the warrior’s gift to reemerge. She kills M.K. before rolling out with Gaius and unconscious but gravely injured Tilda.
Inside the fortress, Pilgrim stabs Sunny in the side. In a blast to the past, Kannin uses the same hooks that we saw in the first half of the season. Baije grabs the chains, hoisting Pilgrim into the air. Dazed but determined, Sunny leaps off of Baije’s back in a pretty cool shot and stabs Pilgrim in the chest. Sunny falls and seemingly dies, his eyes flashing gold momentarily.
Outside, Gaius blows up the meridian chamber as they drive away. Later, Kannin and Baije hold a memorial for Sunny, placing his body in a candlelit cave. In his mind, Sunny meets the Master who tells him that his gift reawakened and is slowly restoring his body. Instead of sending him back, she tells him to follow her as they must prepare for a coming evil.
That coming evil seems to be the weapons of old as we see Eli, who somehow survives after escorting Cressida out, find a gun buried in mud. The gun is still loaded and functional. The last shot is of the gunpowder igniting as he pulls the trigger.
Final thoughts on the Into the Badlands finale
Pleased that M.K. is gone? Yes. Anxious about never seeing the next chapter after a finale that ends with a foundation for more story? Double yes. The finale of Into the Badlands gave us a ton of amazing choreography, a few cliche lines, and a glimpse and what could be next. One of those cliche lines comes when Pilgrim says something along the lines of, “If they want war, we will give them war”. No biggie, but I cringed.
Overall, “Seven Strike as One” is strong if not a bit too fast-paced finale that leaves me desperate for Into the Badlands to be renewed so we can see Sunny’s return and this coming evil. A big shoutout to the cast and entire crew for all the amazing costumes, stunts, choreography and overall awesome that this series has given us. I’m not ready to say goodbye!
I’m giving “Seven Strike as One” a 9 out of 10.
Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. She’s a freelance writer and alum of Towson University where she studied advertising, public relations, and creative writing. Follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 (GirlsofManyFandoms) and kiramira_.