Review – “Into The Badlands” Season 3 Premiere

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Season 3 of Into The Badlands returned last night and it didn’t hold back. The badlands are at war, and only 2 barons remain: The Widow and Chau. A lot has changed from where we left off at the end of season 2. So lets start with a trailer and a synopsis for season 3.

Synopsis

Season 3 of Into the Badlands finds Sunny living off the grid, doing his best to provide for his infant son, Henry, in the wake of Veil’s death. It is only when Henry contracts a mysterious illness that Sunny must join forces with Bajie and journey back into the Badlands, where The Widow and Baron Chau are entrenched in a drawn-out war that has destabilized the entire region. No longer supported by Tilda or Waldo, The Widow must find new allies in Lydia and in Nathaniel Moon — the former regent who lost his hand to Sunny and Bajie in Season 2. But when a mysterious nomadic leader called Pilgrim arrives in the Badlands on a mission to restore Azra and usher in a new era of “peace,” old enemies must band together to defend the Badlands.

Review – Season 3 Premiere – Enter The Phoenix

Emily Beecham as The Widow – Into the Badlands _ Season 3, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/AMC

Season 2 had its great moments and its bad moments. I found myself less engaged in season 2 then I did with the first season. The fight scenes and choreography were no less impressive in season 2. However, the one thing that made the story interesting was the mythology and the relationships.  I feel like the MK/Widow side of the story, and Sunny’s connection to Azra as well were not well enough explored or fleshed out in season 2. The connection between these 3 and the legendary city has been teased since the first episode of season 1. However, very little progression had occurred there. That is clearly going to change.

Season 3 starts off quickly getting Sunny and Bajie back together. It turns out that Sunny’s son has the gift, which only further confirms Sunnys connection to Azra. Bajie admits that he reached out to Azra but got no response and thinks the entire myth is bogus. Little does he know that someone heard the call and answered it. As the caravan of people we assume are from Azra approach Chau’s territory, things get bloody fast.

Tilda is working for Lydia, who is running a refuge camp. However, Tilda oversteps her role of getting supplies by hijacking a prisoner transport. A transport that belonged to the Widow and happened to be carrying her former teacher, Bajie. I am glad to see her character growing away from the Widow and lashing out a bit more then she did in season 2.

Aramis Knight as M.K. – Into the Badlands _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/AMC

MK is back in the hands of The Widow. He is locked up in a cage but its not without its perks. He has two women in his bed, but as the camera pans over to him standing at the window, things are not all sunshine and rainbows. MK has many cuts on his arm, indicating he has continued to try his gift. MK comments to the Widow that they have tried all manner of blades with no success. The Widows claims she wants to help him get it back. For whose benefit remains to be seen. The Widow is also desperate to get back at Sunny or at least find him by putting a bounty on his head. She has a tendency to switch sides based on what suits her best.

With all of the despair and pain he has decided to take to opium to make it all go away. I am not a huge fan of them going down a drug addict route for MK’s character. Previews for the rest of the season seem to point to that, but we will see. I do like the fact that his character has moved away from the angsty teen. He more of a young adult fighting for his place in the world.

Putting it all together, Into The Badlands season 3 opening episode has managed to bring all the story points and characters we wanted back into focus. The mythology is back front and center. However, the war in the badlands and the expansion of the world is not forgotten. Remember that season 3 will have 16 episodes. That is as many as seasons 1 and 2 combined. We will have a lot of time to work through a lot of story.

So tell me which characters you were most excited to see return and which story line you are most excited to explore this season.

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Robert Prentice