Into The Badlands Season 1, Episode 5: “Snake Creeps Down”
Original airdate December 13, 2015.
Quinn’s son Ryder tries to find out more about the mysterious city beyond the Badlands that M.K. is from and seeks out his mother’s father for information. Quinn’s brain tumor gets worse, and since he’s lost his Cog workers, he has his warrior Clippers work the field to bring in the crop. M.K. and Sunny go out on an expedition to search for more about The Widow’s whereabouts, and one of her warriors Tilda comes to warn M.K. that The Widow suspects him to be the one with the mysterious powers she’s looking for. Tilda is captured, and The Widow comes to rescue her, but it’s M.K. who cuts himself to unleash the unknown power to save Tilda.
I like how The Widow is sort of playing out to be this crusader for a new society where Cogs and women are treated better and can live with more freedom and less fear of violence. It’s kind of cool how her secret agents keep showing up here and there as these femme fatale ninja assassins.
I’d have to say overall that the female characters are well done. Sunny’s love interest, Veil, is like this soothing beacon of intelligence and kindness. She’s kind of flat right now, but a pleasant presence whenever she comes on screen.
Of course, there’s The Widow and her crew of assassin girls, including Tilda, who seems to be M.K.’s love interest match or possible just potential BFF.
Then, there’s the the Baron Quinn’s two wives. His first wife Lydia may possibly be my favorite character. She’s downright vicious and the embodiment of the hell hath no fury. His second wife Jade, who is actually in love with Ryder, is an able woman, but still on the naive side. I almost wonder if Quinn takes second wives just to rile up the monster in his first wife because he likes that part of her, but that’s probably just wistful thinking on my part.
The Not So Good
Maybe it’s just past my time to enjoy kung fu movies the way I used to. I continue to see a lot of throwbacks in this show to the old wu xia films of old or semi-old, and some of it seems rather nostalgic. I find myself having to will myself to pay attention when the fights come on now, which is not just true for this show but most action on screen these days (unless it’s combat sports of course, where I can’t blink for fear of missing something).
Faded nostalgia aside, though, I still think there is a lack of real force and physics in the fight scenes. I don’t really feel a sense of danger.
M.K.’s powers seem to be more than just “beast mode”, as he uses some sort of qi blast to save his girl Tilda. This can “excuse” some of the whole flighty dancy aspects of the martial arts, but it’s too little too late. I’m already lost on the action part of it all. I think this more magical part of it needed to be established a bit earlier. I know it’s like a mystery and what not, but I think it could have been built into the training scenes, with some discussion of like harnessing the energy of the life force for combat. It was just help sell the whole flying out of the balcony and then flying back in a la Superman bits going on.
Sunny’s still kind of just standing there, the great man of inaction. I thought things were really going forward with him since he went to see the river guy last episode, but nope, he’s still just hanging around.
Luckily, I have the wife on wife violence to entertain me in the meantime.
Still lacks a heavy punch in all the martial arts action, but at least some characters are coming around nicely and the world is still adequately interesting enough.