‘Into the Badlands’ Recap and Review: “Enter the Phoenix”
AMC‘s martial arts drama series, Into the Badlands, returned Sunday night with its season three premiere titled “Enter the Phoenix”. Last season everything was falling apart as Quinn came back to wreak havoc on the Badlands, killing his son, holding Veil and Henry hostage before killing Veil when Sunny came to save her. On the other side, Tilda had a showdown with her mother that left her broken and bruised. M.K. lost his powers and Bajie sent a message out to Azra. The season three premiere is definitely worth a watch. Spoilers ahead!
The opening moments of season three found the Widow and Chau’s forces at war as the last two remaining leaders in the Badlands. The forces clashed in a sea of white and blue leaving the ground bathed in blood. On the coast, the fierce baron of the Butterflies located Nathaniel Moon among a grave of defeated foes. Apparently, plenty of people have been coming after the former clipper after news that he lost his hand got out. The Widow proposed that he be her regent but he his only goal was to find and kill Sunny.
After the pair engaged each other in a well-choreographed fight scene and ended up in a stalemate, the Widow promised to help Moon find Sunny if he agreed to be her regent. While Sunny searched the forest for food with little Henry, Tilda, Odessa, and another came across Bajie as a prisoner when robbing trucks in the forest.
After Widow and Moon returned to the Sanctuary, Widow went to see M.K. who was less than impressed with the fact that it’s been six months and she’s been no help in getting his powers back and Sunny hasn’t come back for him. The Widow told him that Sunny has forgotten about him and she’s all he has. Elsewhere, Sunny had his work cut out for him after being attacked just after he discovered Henry was sick. There’s a bounty on his head and his life just got more complicated.
Lydia is now the leader of her father’s people, taking in war refugees with the help of Tilda and her group known as the Iron Rabbits. When Tilda returned with not only food but Bajie, Lydia refused to allow the man to stay and suggested that Tilda and the rabbits keep away for a while to keep the Widow’s forces away from their camp. All Tilda wanted to do was go to war with her mother, but neither Lydia or Bajie was willing to help her.
Sunny took Henry to a neighbor who advised him that he needed to visit a nearby refugee camp to see a healer. It turned out the husband sent the bounty hunters his way for money. Sunny spared him, not wanting to take the man away from his children.
In the camp, Sunny was wary of lingering too long but ended up running into Bajie who was busy playing games and winning money. Bajie was more than happy to see his friend and shocked that Veil didn’t make it out of the fight with Quinn. Across the camp, the healer tried to draw Henry’s blood only for his eyes to turn black. Sunny and Bajie are horrified to discover that Henry has “the gift” and it’s manifesting at such a young age. When Sunny requested they seek out answers from Azra, Baije revealed that he sent out a call but nobody answered.
On the borders of Chau’s land, a mysterious caravan had Chau’s clippers in defense mode. When they refused to drop their weapons, the leader of the group (played by Babou Cessay) summoned two young fighters who had “the gift”. The pair killed all but one clipper and the leader gave him a message, “Tell you people what happened here. A reckoning is coming. Join us or die.”
Review of the Into the Badlands season premiere
The action and choreography that keeps you locked in is back! The showdown between Moon and Widow was everything I’ve been missing. The addition of more gifted people makes me nervous because it’s unclear if anyone but Sunny and Bajie together can defeat them and that’s just barely after Sunny almost died the last time he fought them to protect M.K. Speaking of M.K., he’s gotten sassy in the last six months since we’ve seen him. I’m hoping he’s made real progress in his training and can hold his own a bit better.
I was nervous going into this premiere because Veil was one of my favorite characters. I wasn’t sure and I’m still not certain how I’ll really adjust to her being gone. I would have loved to see how she would have reacted to Henry having “the gift”. That development made me want to know Sunny’s backstory even more too.
I’m giving season three, episode one of Into the Badlands an 8 out 10.
Into the Badlands airs on AMC Sundays at 10 PM EST.
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_.