Recap: Into the Badlands – Nightingale Sings No More

By: Miclpea

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

Quote of the week: “It seems that dear Mother Fate has brought us together for a reason.”

The episode opens 20 years in the past. Bajie has someone in one of the boxes used by the Abbots. The prisoner breaks out of the box and attacks Bajie. It is Flea, who is a small, red-haired child with awesome fighting skills. Bajie subdues her using the special Abbot techniques. Bajie asks her if they are good and Flea nods yes. He releases her from her paralysis.

As Bajie goes through Flea’s belongings, he finds a book with the Azra symbol on the outside and arcane writing on the inside. Bajie asks her where she got the book. She tells him her father gave it to her. Bajie tells Flea that the book will be their little secret. Finally, Bajie asks Flea her name, to which she replies, Minerva.

From the past, the scene moves to the present where Minerva agrees to help Sunny against Quinn, as Quinn is a danger to everyone. Sunny asks Minerva to protect MK and he tells her that MK has lost his dark gift. Minerva answers cryptically that the gift is a heavy burden and it is probably for the best. From the opening scene, it is clear that The Widow (Minerva) is Flea and that she wanted MK for more than she is telling anyone.

Meanwhile, after spying on the compound, Bajie devises a plan. He purposely injures himself to pose as a Cog refugee seeking sanctuary. He gives a masterful performance to gain entry.

Meanwhile, Tilda and MK are having a heart-to-heart talk. MK is glad that his power is gone. He feels freer than he has ever felt. Now he can focus on finding Azra. He proves that it is a real place by showing Tilda the picture of Azra from the Wired magazine cover. MK wants Tilda to go with him but Tilda tells him that she has found someone. Odessa, who has been listening at the door, opens the door and tells Tilda that The Widow wants to see her. Odessa sees MK for the first time and she is clearly shocked as she recognizes him. She quickly hurries away as Tilda follows her.

When Tilda catches up to Odessa, Tilda asks Odessa why she fled. Odessa warns Tilda to stay from MK. Odessa tells Tilda that MK slaughtered everyone on a ship transporting Cogs. Her memories of what MK did fuel a very real fear of him. Odessa demands a promise from Tilda to stay away from MK, because that sort of dark power never goes away. Tilda is unable to make that promise.

Of course, Quinn has not been sitting idly in his bunker. He has convinced Gabriel to infiltrate The Widow’s stronghold, disguised as a fleeing Cog. Gabriel will have explosives secretly strapped to his body. It seems as if Quinn’s tumor has made him even more devious.

Unfortunately for Veil, Quinn’s tumor has not killed him. His possessiveness toward Henry and Veil is even more pronounced. Veil makes the mistake of slapping Quinn, which only infuriates him. He returns the slap and confines her to the ventilation room without Henry. Quinn’s obsession with Henry is tied to the fact that he killed his own son. In Quinn’s twisted mind, Veil is his new Jade and the mother of his new dynasty. We know how that ended for Jade.

Later, Sunny meets with Waldo, who thinks the plan to attack Quinn is sheer folly and that Sunny will be killed. He reminds Sunny to remember to protect his flank. Sunny tells Waldo that he knows well enough that he cannot trust The Widow. Waldo sends Sunny to his armory for weapons. As they part, they both know this might be the last time they see each other alive.

Back at the bunker, Quinn tells Lydia that he is wise to her deception. He tells her that he knows she is conspiring with Veil to slit his throat. Quinn locks down the bunker and he warns Lydia that he if he goes down she also goes down – locking their fates.

Meanwhile, The Widow discusses the future with MK. She shows him her Azran book and tells him that he could regain his power by using the knowledge in the book. Minerva wants their gifts restored but MK doesn’t want his gift back because of the harm he caused. Minerva says they could use their gifts to help people. MK just wants to search for Azra and hopefully find peace for himself. Minerva asks MK to reconsider her offer as she leaves his room.

John Bell as Gabriel, Fleur Phoenis Munroe as Butterfly #1 

The refugee truck arrives, with Gabriel aboard. Sunny and The Widow are arming themselves when Gabriel captures one of The Widow’s guards and yells for The Widow. Outside, Gabriel tells Sunny that Veil is alive and that she and Henry have pledged allegiance to Quinn. He also tells Sunny that The Widow gave Veil to Quinn. The Widow denies the accusations and throws a metal star at Gabriel to stop him from talking. Before he dies, Gabriel opens his coat and reveals a bomb. As he pushes the detonator, he tells The Widow that the alliance is over.

After the explosion, Sunny realizes that The Widow will try to kill him since he knows she traded Veil to Quinn. He flees from carnage of the explosion. As Sunny fights his way to freedom, he is cornered. Fortunately for him, Bajie is there to save his life again. Sunny tells Bajie to get MK and to meet him at the fort.

As MK walks through the carnage caused by the explosion, Bajie finds him. Bajie tells MK that Sunny says that they are to meet at the fort. However, Bajie adds that they must recover the Azran book. MK tells Bajie that he knows where the book is located in Minerva’s conservatory. He also tells Bajie that The Widow wants to use the book to get her gift back. As Bajie remarks that this is typical of Flea, MK realizes that Bajie trained The Widow. MK says that The Widow is not able to read the book and without the compass, the book would not do them any good. Bajie reveals that he has the compass and they leave to recover the book. In true soap opera fashion, Odessa has eavesdropped on the entire exchange.

At the bunker, Lydia finally convinces Quinn to let her take Henry to Veil. As she and Henry are led to the ventilation room via a new path, she questions the Clipper as to why they are taking such an odd route. He answers that the other corridors have been blocked. As Lydia waits for him to unlock the ventilation room, she discovers that Quinn is setting explosives all around the bunker. Once in the ventilation room, Lydia tells Veil that they must escape before Sunny gets there, as Quinn plans to bring the bunker down on all of them.

Back at The Widow’s home, Bajie and MK are in her conservatory, where they are searching for the book. It is not in the drawer because as Minerva steps from the hiding, she is holding the book. As they confront each other, it is clear that there is still a soft spot in Bajie’s heart for his “little Flea.” Minerva tells MK that Bajie will abandon him the same way Bajie abandoned her. Bajie says that they are not leaving without the book. Without any signal from Minerva, more Butterflies appear. Minerva tells Bajie that he will make good on his promise to decipher the book.

Ally Ioannides as Tilda, Emily Beecham as The Widow 

Later, as Minerva is looking through the book, Tilda comes to talk to her. When Tilda reports that she could not find Sunny, Minerva questions how hard she really looked. Also, when Tilda calls her Mother, Minerva insists on being called Baron. Minerva says she needs to know that she can trust Tilda. Tilda responds with a smart retort which infers that Minerva is as paranoid as Quinn. Clearly this exchange is not going to end well. Minerva accuses Tilda of acting differently since Veil arrived there. Tilda wants to know where MK is. Minerva says that he is safe and wonders what kind of person Tilda is accusing her of being. Tilda tells Minerva that power has changed her and that Minerva is willing to sacrifice innocent lives for her own purposes. Tilda tells Minerva that she is no better than the other Barons. She lied to anyone who would listen to get what she wanted before she stabbed them in the back. Minerva is unable to understand where the hate is coming from, as she has given Tilda so much. Tilda finally tells Minerva that she should have poisoned her when she had the chance. This both saddens and infuriates Minerva, as a tear escapes her eye before she viciously slaps Tilda.

They begin one of those truly epic fights that only Into the Badlands is capable of staging. Eventually, Minerva knocks Tilda to the ground before she grabs a sword for herself and kicks one to Tilda. She tells Tilda, “Don’t start what you can’t finish.” After some incredible swordplay, Minerva cuts Tilda and asks her if she has had enough. Minerva wants to end this struggle while Tilda is still alive. Tilda counters by fighting even more fiercely than before. Tilda manages to cut Minerva, which makes Minerva smile. This invigorates Minerva to fight harder. She brutally kicks Tilda down the stairs before she cuts the cord on a chandelier which falls on a prone Tilda. Tilda struggles to her feet and tells Minerva to kill her. Minerva seems to think for a second before delivering a devastating flying kick, which kills Tilda.

This is the most heart-wrenching scene of the episode, since we understand how Tilda feels betrayed by Minerva, and oddly, how Minerva feels betrayed by Tilda. It appears that Minerva has killed Tilda and imprisoned Bajie and MK. She tried to kill Sunny, who now hates her almost as much as he hates Quinn. Whom does Minerva have now? Will she regain her gift? Will MK regain his gift and eventually make it to Azra? How about Sunny, Veil, and Henry? Will they be reunited? What is Bajie’s end game? There are so many questions but so few answers at this point. Let’s hope the finale gives us some resolution.

Special note – Next week is the season finale. Be sure to check out the Season 2 marathon event Sunday leading up to the season finale. Check the Into the Badlands website (click here) for more info.

Click here to join the Into the Badlands conversation on the FoCC forum.

Miclpea

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.