Ally Ioannides and Emily Beecham really shone this week in their shared fight scene, expertly balancing emotion and action.
The traps and power plays being set for the season finale are beautifully intricate and has us counting down the minutes until it airs.
We don't want Tilda to be dead. Period.
Bajie's constant switching of sides is making him less likable than he should be, while M.K.'s implicit acceptance that what he saw in the mirror room is truth seems unrealistically simple.
Loyalties are put to the test when secrets are revealed in Into the Badlands 2X09 “Nightingale Sings No More”
After Bajie’s admission that he joined Sunny in the Badlands to search for his old protege Flea, we finally got a chance to see how they first met. As with M.K., she arrives in a heavy chest to the temple. Unlike him, Flea explodes out of her container and goes immediately for the swords in her belongings. With the same flaming red hair, it only takes one glance for us to realize with shock that Flea is Minerva. After seeing her in action against Chau’s clippers during the ambush, he figures out that The Widow and Flea are the same. He heads to the Sanctuary and acts his way into gaining entry, just in time to save Sunny as he escapes to find Quinn. He finds M.K. and cons him into agreeing to steal The Widow’s Azra book, but Odessa turns them both in and they are captured.
Quinn may have a giant goober in his brain, but he hasn’t lost an ounce of his strategic prowess. After sending Gabriel to commit the ultimate act of loyalty, he becomes angry with Veil when she rejects his advances in front of his clippers. He takes Henry away from her and locks her up, and while talking with Lydia, he reveals that he knows the two women have been conspiring. He also hints that if he is to die, he will make sure she goes with him. Lydia does eventually manage to get Henry away from Quinn so that Veil can feed him, but on the way to the ventilation room, she spots the bombs that her husband is setting around the underground fort. After handing Henry over to his mother, she lets her know that their time is up and they must escape without Sunny.
During a brief reunion with Waldo, his former mentor makes sure that he understands trusting The Widow would be a bad move. Sunny teases him for a moment before agreeing, and Waldo discloses he’s kept some supplies in his old clipper shed before they bid each other farewell. Sunny has just agreed to leave with The Widow to attack Quinn when Gabriel arrives, and the young clipper exposes her secret of trading Veil back to the baron before blowing himself (and those around him) up. Our favorite clipper is quick to turn his back on his alliance and fights his way out of Sanctuary walls, and after charging Bajie with caring for M.K., he heads off to fight Quinn alone.
Now that we’ve seen what happens in “Nightingale Sings No More,” we only hope the title doesn’t refer to Tilda. If Quinn has gotten to live, we demand that she does as well! While we wait to see if our outrage gets us the result we want, let’s revisit some of the episode’s jaw-dropping moments, huh?
There’s always another side to the story when it comes to Bajie, and this time it might get him killed
We’ve been wondering about the identity of Flea since Bajie (Nick Frost) first mentioned her by name, and this week we found out in the most shocking way. After following Sunny and M.K. back to the Sanctuary, Bajie purposely injures himself to con his way in. Right before he runs into a tree, he reveals that Flea and The Widow are one-and-the-same. While we picked up our collective jaws off the floor, he weaseled his way past the guards and into the complex, where he saves Sunny from an attacker before thanking him for setting him free. Asked to protect M.K. (Aramis Knight), Bajie finds him out in the yards and proceeds to lie about having to get the Azra book from The Widow while revealing he has the compass. They sneak into the Sanctuary only to be confronted by her and a group of her clippers.
The Widow: “Hello, Bajie.”
Bajie: “My little Flea. My, how you’ve blossomed.”
The Widow: “I wish I could say the same for you.”
Bajie: “You’re cheeky as ever.”
The Widow: “I had a good teacher.”
Bajie: “At least something stuck.”
The Widow: “I give you shelter and this is how you repay me?”
M.K.: “All you care about is what I can do for you.”
The Widow: “Oh, and you think Bajie’s intentions are genuine? He’ll abandon you the first chance he gets, just like he abandoned me.”
Bajie: “We’re not leaving without the book, Minerva.”
The Widow: “Come and get it. I remember, when I was a little girl, you vowed to help me decipher this book’s secrets. It’s time you delivered on your promise.”
Bajie, Bajie, Bajie. Just when we think that the con man has become reformed, he does something that makes us question our judgment. Granted, we know that everyone in the Badlands has some sort of ulterior motive (whether noble or not), but we’re genuinely confused trying to figure out his true intentions. The only thing we can figure out is that he, along with pretty much everyone else, wants to find Azra, and he’ll do anything to get there. We’re super curious about what really happened between him and The Widow, but we also know both are quite adept at bending the truth to suit their needs. Either way, there’s no love lost between these two, and since we suspect it’ll take us another season to figure Bajie out, we’re rooting for him to live.
In the Badlands, timing could mean the difference between damnation or salvation
After news of Sunny’s return to the Badlands arrives at West Avalon, Veil (Madeleine Mantock) feels emboldened to make her true feelings towards Quinn known. After bringing him Henry at his request, he leans in for a kiss and she slaps him. He slaps her right back before sending her to the ventilation room to “calm down” without Henry, and she immediately regrets her decision. Lydia (Orla Brady) eventually manages to reunite the two but also informs her that Quinn has rigged the entire place to explode. Meanwhile, Sunny has just agreed to join up with The Widow to fight Quinn when Gabriel appears. Upon hearing his accusation that she was the one who traded Veil back to Quinn (and her lack of denial), he quickly abandons their brief alliance. She drops the act and sends her clippers after him, but Sunny fights his way out and heads off on his own.
Veil: “Henry! Oh -”
Lydia: “Here you go.”
Veil: “Hey. My poor, poor baby. Hey. Thank you. You were right, I shouldn’t have provoked him. We just have to keep our heads down a little longer.”
Lydia: “That’s not gonna work anymore. Quinn has rigged this entire place to explode. He will kill every last one of us before he’ll let anyone take that child. We can’t wait for Sunny any longer, we’re gonna have to find our own way out of here.”
We’ll admit it, we spent quite a bit of the episode groaning about how perfectly Quinn was able to time his subterfuge while the others struggled just to put a plan in motion. Don’t get us wrong – we can’t help but admire that man’s tenacity, but he is technically more villain than hero. There was no way he could have known that The Widow would be with Sunny right at the moment Gabriel showed up, but yet, he managed to blow up (pun totally intended) their already tenuous alliance before they could come after him. In the meantime, all signs point to Sunny and Veil having a near miss, which has us convinced that Alfred Gough and Miles Millar sat giggling gleefully as they wrote this episode. The suspense is killing us, and we still have one episode to go!
Clipping Tilda’s wings may have been the first step to self-destruction for The Widow
With all the recent events Tilda (Ally Ioannides) has witnessed in her role as regent, we know she has been growing increasingly disillusioned with The Widow (Emily Beecham). Despite disclosing her reason for being so loyal to her adoptive mother to Odessa (Maddison Jaizani), we have observed her become more unhappy over time. Everything came to a head this week when Sunny and M.K. arrived at the Sanctuary, reminding Tilda of how The Widow treated M.K. in the past and of her decision to send Veil back. After the fiasco in the courtyard with Gabriel, she seemed to finally accept that what others have been saying about The Widow is true. When her mother harshly questions her loyalty later, Tilda finally breaks and accuses her of the one thing Waldo was worried about – that power corrupts everyone, including once altruistic baron.
Tilda: “All right, you wanna talk about trust? Then where’s M.K.? He wasn’t in his room, so what have you done with him?”
The Widow: “He’s safe.”
Tilda: “Don’t lie to me.”
The Widow: “Do you really think I’d hurt him? I’m trying to protect him. What kind of person do you think I am?”
Tilda: “I don’t know anymore. Power’s changed you. Now you’re willing to sacrifice innocent lives for your own interests.”
The Widow: “I’d choose your next words very carefully.”
Tilda: “You’re no better than any other Baron. Swindling people with declarations of goodwill, only to stab them in the back.”
The Widow: “What did I do to deserve such contempt? I gave you the world.”
Tilda: “Bullshit. You’ve got everyone fooled. Minerva. Everyone, but me. Maybe Veil was right. I should have poisoned you when I had the chance.”
This scene was by far one of the most painful of the whole series – right up there with Veil’s parents being killed off by Quinn. We hoped, as both characters did, for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, but our hearts were broken as the baron chose her agenda over the girl she raised as a daughter. We were thoroughly impressed with how Ally Ioannides and Emily Beecham balanced the raw emotion of the moment with the incredible fighting. They never forget this is ultimately about two women grieving for the loss of the most important relationship in their lives. As for The Widow, the one thing she has not accounted for is the impact Tilda’s demise will have on those around her. Odessa (and maybe Waldo) will likely refuse to stay, and word will spread she behaved like other barons have. By killing Tilda, she may have just lost the war.
Final Verdict: Into the Badlands “Nightingale Sings No More” proves no one is safe when power is up for grabs, and we’re equal parts terrified and excited for what’s to come
To say that we were in a perpetual state of anticipation would be an understatement. “Nightingale Sings No More” was an emotional roller coaster that was equal parts terrifying and irresistible. Gough and Millar once again proves they have what it takes to weave together a complicated web of deceit, betrayal, love, and action. They remind us that the Badlands are named that for a reason, teasing us with the possibility that Sunny and Veil will just miss each other, and of course, we’re all hoping our eyes deceived us when it comes to Tilda. All we know is that after this episode, we’re setting multiple alarms to make sure we don’t miss the season finale (and thankful for season 3)!
Oh, the questions we have after all is said and done! The no brainer that is on all of our minds is – Tilda! Is she really dead, or just knocked out? What will happen if she does wake? What’s going to happen to M.K. and Bajie? Will The Widow ever realize that Waldo and Tilda were right? Any chance Quinn’s tumor will get him before he gets everyone else? How will Lydia and Veil escape?
There were lots of great moments this week, but also some that left us scratching our heads. For one, we’re rather frustrated with Bajie’s hot-and-cold act by now. His lack of consistency could just be because of his con man past, but it causes him to come across less endearing than we believe the show would like him to be. We’re also a little irritated with the fact that M.K. would trust what he saw in the mirror room over the multiple people who have insisted he question the validity of his vision. It’s more realistic that M.K. would look for any reason to believe he didn’t kill his mother, so for him not to latch onto the possibility that what he was was wrong just doesn’t sit well with us.
Despite these points, we feel that “Nightingale Sings No More” was a pretty solid lead-in to the coming season finale. With the showdown between Sunny and Quinn inevitable and The Widow committing an act she never would have imagined only months before, it’s clear that both the rules and the players have changed tremendously. The traumatic fight between Tilda and The Widow – executed beautifully by Ally Ioannides and Emily Beecham – is a perfect representation of what war is bringing…betrayal, loss, and death.
While Quinn and The Widow are the barons to watch, we’re not going to rule out Chau and her clippers. She could be the unexpected winner if the others get too wrapped up in revenge or if their compounds implode from mutiny. As for Sunny, we can only hope he reaches Veil and Lydia before they try to escape on their own, while Bajie and M.K. must fight battles of their own.
With cliffhangers but a certainty with the season finale, we can only wonder about which plot lines will be resolved and which left hanging. We know the showdown between Quinn and Sunny is inevitable, but whether it ends with a reunion is completely up in the air. We know The Widow will do whatever it takes now to get her gift back, leaving M.K. in a very bad place indeed. Bajie, well, he’s Bajie, so who knows what he’ll be up to. No matter what, we can expect that the season finale will be the most shocking yet!
Before the Badlands implode, let’s figure out what questions still need answering…
- What do you think really happened between The Widow and Bajie?
- What is it going to take for The Widow to get her gift back? How will she make M.K. go along with it?
- Speaking of which, is it just us or did Odessa turn M.K. and Bajie in out of jealousy?
- How will The Widow’s clippers and cogs react to the news that she’s killed Tilda?
- Could Tilda still be alive? It’s so hard to tell based on what happened…
- We have no doubt Quinn will blow up the entire new fort if it’s required, but will his clippers go along with that? Could that trigger a revolt?
- Just how does Lydia plan on getting Veil and Henry out along with herself?
- Where do the Abbots fit in all of this? We don’t believe for one minute they gave up on Bajie and M.K….
- Do you think Waldo will stick around once he finds out Tilda’s dead (assuming she is)?
- Were we the only ones who admired the timing of fall in the Sanctuary courtyards with the fall of The Widow’s well-laid plans?
- Who do you want to rule the Badlands? Tell us in the comments below!
Into the Badlands airs next SUNDAY, MAY 21ST, 2017 at 10/9C on AMC
Into the Badlands 2X09 “Nightingale Sings No More” Review