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'Into the Badlands' recap: 'White Stork Spreads Wings'

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Patti Perret/AMC

Into the Badlands

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

Remember when I joked in last week’s recap that every single episode of this season of Into The Badlands should start with a killer fight scene because that’s exactly what the show does best? Well, here we are again, with “White Stork Spreads Wings” kicking off with an epic battle, this time between two of the fiercest characters on the show: Quinn and the Widow.

Quinn, along with Sunny and a number of assassins, are storming the Widow’s residence as revenge for the ambush on Ryder. It’s a stunning sequence with great choreography that makes the episode feel immediately urgent and exciting. Because this is only the halfway point of the first season, the showdown doesn’t end in death. Instead, Matilda and the Widow escape through a secret passage when Quinn is overcome with a pain in his head caused by his growing tumor.

The raid is a good excuse for M.K. to find his way into the Widow’s house and steal that book about Azra that he spotted when he was taken in during the previous episode. M.K. steals the book despite Sunny’s instructions to remain outside, but that’s kind of M.K.’s deal; he never, ever does what he’s told.

When Quinn returns to his residence, his wife Lydia is not too happy to see him. She’s had to spend time with his next wife, Jade, and also watch as their son slowly dies. When she confronts him about his lack of interest in their son’s well-being, he responds in a very Quinn kind of way: He has sex with Jade in the next room while Lydia hears the whole thing while sitting beside their dying son.

While there’s an obvious divide between Lydia and Jade, the latter is actually after the best interests of Ryder because, as it turns out, she’s in love with him, not his father. This show is so bonkers, you guys. Anyway, she sees only one option to save Ryder’s life. She goes to visit Veil, the doctor who’s also Sunny’s lover and who also turns out to be a childhood friend of Jade’s. Like I said: bonkers.

Veil agrees, somewhat reluctantly, to help her out. She heads to Quinn’s house and assesses that Ryder’s brain needs to be relieved of pressure, meaning she has to drill a hole into his skull. It’s so gruesome and disgusting, but it works, and while Lydia is mad that Veil is even in the house, she’s at least grateful that her son is alive.

Quinn briefly interacts with Veil after the surgery, telling her, in the most menacing way possible, that he’ll have to find a way to repay her in the future. Then he drops a bit of a bomb: He knows that she and Sunny are together. Quinn leaves it at that though, which is typical. He’d rather hold something over you than immediately act on it.

When Ryder wakes up though, Quinn is ready to get some information. When he learns that a “Doll” named Angelica from the Tick Tock Club was part of the setup, he sends Sunny to investigate. Sunny doesn’t get anywhere though as Angelica fights him off long enough to escape to the balcony and then jump off and kill herself.

NEXT: Meeting for the mind[pagebreak]

Meanwhile, M.K. is being his hasty self and trying to rush his training. He’s sick of not fighting, which as anyone who’s ever seen a kung fu movie knows, is basically the last part of your training. Apparently they don’t have The Karate Kid in the Badlands. M.K.’s attitude eventually gets him pushed off a ledge by Sunny and then beat up by Waldo, an old Clipper in a wheelchair. Will he finally learn? I doubt it.

Still, Sunny is trying to teach him patience, and maybe just being in his presence will help. He takes him to Veil’s place, as Sunny needs to get sown up. When he’s there, M.K. learns that Veil can read, and that means that she could perhaps tell him what the book about Azra says about the unknown city.

That’s for later though. Back at Quinn’s house, Lydia is laying into Ryder for being weak and an unfit heir to the position of Baron. She’s disappointed that the son she’s spent so much time defending can’t even think for himself. When you conider that Jade is totally in love with him but also marrying Lydia’s husband, I have a feeling things are about to explode between the two women of the Quinn residence. Also, I kind of feel bad for Ryder? He’s got some seriously terrible parents.

After Sunny gets all stitched up he organizes a meeting with Zephyr, an old flame of his. He wants her to clip Quinn, to get rid of the worst Baron of the bunch. She, of course, disagrees, but she says she might be able to set up a meeting with someone called Jacoby. Who knows what it all means right now, but the takeaway is that Sunny is gunning for Quinn and that’s a dangerous game to be playing.

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The question that remains though is: How long will Quinn be around for someone to kill him? It’s clear that his tumor is killing him, and with Ryder not fit to take his spot, will Quinn’s hold on his land just fall to the rest of the Barons? Will they raid once he’s dead, or will they come up against a force led by his best Clippers?

Whatever happens, Quinn is doing everything he can to stay alive. At the end of the episode he makes his way to Veil’s office. Initially it’s a threatening scene. M.K. is there as well, hiding around the corner after coming to Veil to see if she could read the book about Azra — it turns out she doesn’t recognize the language though.

Just as it looks like Quinn is about to make a violent move toward Veil, he reveals his true intentions. He’s seen that Ryder is healed, and now he wants Veil to do the same for him. Will Veil do it? Will she save the man who she and Sunny are trying to escape? And what about M.K. finding out about Quinn’s tumor? As this season reaches its halfway point, there are a lot of pieces that seem ready to collide.

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