Recap: Into the Badlands – Force of Eagle’s Claw

By Miclpea
SPOILER ALERT-Do not read if you have not seen season two-episode two of Into the Badlands.

Quote of the week: “Unless you master your past, you will always be a slave.”

At the end of the season premiere, the following had occurred:
– Quinn was still alive and living with Veil and her baby.
– Bajie betrayed Sunny.
– The Master announced that she would personally train MK.
– The Widow took Ryder’s gasoline refinery in a tour de force of martial arts prowess.

Daniel Wu as Sunny, Ivan Kostadinov as Mouse

Episode two, Force of Eagle’s Claw, opens with Sunny in chains. The Engineer, the boss of the mining camp, has plans for Sunny to be the new camp champion. However, poor Bajie is chained to Sunny to take part in Sunny’s fight against the camp champion. The Engineer explained to Bajie that he does not like a person who is disloyal to his friends. The camp champion enters to battle Sunny and Bajie to the cheers of the mob of miners and a bruising battle ensures. The fight begins. Sunny’s original plan was to escape during the fight. Now Bajie has to go with him. They manage to defeat the camp champion in a particularly gruesome scene involving a large fan blade. The original plan still worked and they escape.

As Bajie and Sunny travel the land after their escape, it is obvious Sunny is out of his element. However, Bajie isn’t. After killing and eating a rat, Bajie uses one of the bones as a key to free them from their shackles. Sunny tries to leave Bajie; but, fortunately for Sunny, Bajie tags along with him. Bajie knows that they need each other. Sunny refuses to admit this fact to himself. Sunny knows he cannot trust Bajie, but Bajie’s self-interest and street smarts will keep them alive. Sunny has to trust someone in this strange land, unfortunately, it has to be Bajie.

Back in the Badlands, Tilda attempts to sneak up on Waldo. She fails. Waldo lectures her about being a Regent. Waldo imparts some of his hard-earned wisdom which he has learned over the years. One bit of wisdom he tells her is this: “For people like us, there is no safe place.” Later, when Waldo meets with The Widow, he tells her Ryder has called a meeting of the Barons: a conclave. He tells her they need to try diplomacy first. If diplomacy does not work, they can always use swords later. The Widow has confidence that she can win the war, but she is not as sure that she can win the peace.

Orla Brady as Lydia

Meanwhile, Lydia is leading an idyllic existence with her father’s congregation. During a wedding celebration, the congregation is attacked by a pair of nomads. While everyone else does nothing during the assault, Lydia jumps into action and single-handedly kills the nomads. Her father is not pleased, as he would have preferred death to her fighting or killing the nomads. Lydia later goes to Ryder to ask for protection for her father’s congregation. She offers to help counsel Ryder with his problems with The Widow. Ryder, in his typical arrogant fashion, refuses her help and throws her out of the house.

Lydia is not the only one with problems. The Master tries to have MK face his past by taking him to a room of mirrors. There she places him in a trance which makes him remember. In the memory, MK sees all of the people he killed on the cargo boat. His darker self tells MK that he does not belong there. As he awakens from his memory of killing all of the people, MK retreats into himself as he refuses to confront what his dark side has done.

Eventually, MK decides to face his past. In a beautifully and brilliantly choreographed fight scene, MK fights his

Aramis Knight as M.K., Chipo Chung as The Master 

darker self. As the inner struggle continues, the Master realizes that MK is losing the battle. She pulls him from his trance. There is no resolution with his past, his guilt, or his darker self. This lack of progress clearly bothers the Master.

MK is not the only one dealing with his past. We finally learn how Quinn is still alive. Veil saved him. She sewed up his cuts after Sunny stabbed him. Now Quinn is protecting both Veil and the baby. Quinn claims Veil’s and Sunny’s child, Henry, as his own in a barbaric baptism ceremony involving the drinking of blood and the death of a Clipper who disrespected Veil. Quinn tells the entire group that it is death for anyone who disrespects Veil or the child.

Daniel Wu as Sunny, Nick Frost as Bajie

The episode ends as Sunny and Bajie walk over a hill to discover a great, heavily fortified wall which separates them from the Badlands. Sunny had no idea the wall existed or how he will be able to get over the wall. Bajie, on the other hand, does. Bajie also reveals the astounding fact that the Barons did not build the wall. It was built long before the Barons ever came into power.

By the end of episode two, we know Quinn is alive and plotting to take back what is his. MK’s darker side is clearly more powerful than he is and the Master is worried. The Widow is willing to kill all of the other Barons, if necessary, to bring about change. Sunny and Baije have to cross a great wall that separates the Badlands from the rest of the world, while trying to avoid recapture by the Engineer. Veil does not know that Sunny is alive.

Will MK master his powers or will his dark side master him? Does the Widow stand a chance if all of the Barons align against her? Will Sunny be recaptured? How will he cross the Great Wall? Hopefully, episode three will give us some answers.

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I love going to conventions around the US. I'm an ardent fan of all things science fiction and especially The Expanse. I write for Friends of CC and I have written a science fiction script with a friend.