Monday, April 1, 2019

REVIEW: 'Into the Badlands' - Sunny Seeks Out Ankara Who Can Clarify How to Stop Pilgrim in 'The Boar and the Butterfly'

AMC's Into the Badlands - Episode 3.11 "The Boar and the Butterfly"

Sunny and Nix seek information that could destroy Pilgrim. The Widow and Bajie team up with the Master. M.K. leads Pilgrim to a great source of power.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of AMC's Into the Badlands.

"The Boar and the Butterfly" was written by Matt Lambert & Stephanie Hicks and directed by Tricia Brock

It was a little inevitable that Nix would be forced on the run with Sunny. That wasn't her plan. She was just going to help him escape because she was starting to have her own doubts about Pilgrim. She recognizes that he isn't a god. He's just another power hungry tyrant who forced her and Castor to do whatever he wanted because they had the Gift. She is no longer special in his eyes because he has the power coursing through his veins. He can give it to whomever he wants. And yet, Nix is still an important character. She is striving for her own personal identity. She is no longer loyal to Pilgrim's ideology like M.K. is. She is seeking purpose elsewhere. That just happens to be closely connected to Sunny's journey and the need to stop Pilgrim. Everyone is quickly coming together with that common goal as well. In fact, it's interesting to see how fast everything is moving to unify these forces as they understand the gravity of the situation. Of course, they have past grievances that need to be aired out as well. But that character drama works at the moment because the show established the history amongst these characters. All of the fight sequences are so elaborate and compelling to watch. But there has to be more than simply stopping the latest power-hungry individual in the Badlands. Sunny accepts that he is responsible for this looming threat because he was so desperate to heal his son. He feels the importance of putting an end to Pilgrim. That leads him back to Ankara. It's a journey that he is able to make much more quickly the second time around even though he is severely injured. Of course, his injuries don't seem to be as extensive anymore or stopping him from still taking on Minerva in battle. When she suddenly appears, he needs to seek out vengeance because she betrayed Veil. He's never had an opportunity to do that yet. Right now, it just threatens to distract from the more pressing concerns of getting answers out of Ankara. Minerva and Bajie had their own heart-to-heart because they both sought out the wisdom and counsel of the Master. Minerva has essentially left the war behind even though it's still being fought by her troops. Lydia, Nathaniel, Gaius and Tilda are still strategizing about the best way to prevail. A significant amount of time is still spent on tracking down Chou. That mostly feels like the show giving those characters something to do even though Minerva has largely moved on from this conflict altogether. Sure, Lydia and Nathaniel are soon faced with Cressida who demands that they pledge their loyalty to Pilgrim now in order to benefit from the new world order. She is very powerful and frightening in that moment. That's a new conflict that Lydia and Nathaniel have to be aware of. Just like the Master has to be concerned about the incoming threat from Pilgrim and M.K. Another former follower is returning to the monastery. But M.K. isn't like Minerva or Bajie. He's coming back in order to overthrow her and the ways she is condemning those with the Gift. It's convenient because she holds a sleeping army who could be grateful and loyal to Pilgrim in this growing conflict. He just seems even more volatile and erratic because the power within him is only accentuating his already stressful emotions. Plus, there's no guarantee that the Master will be able to defeat him or Ankara will have an answer for Sunny on how to stop all of this. And then, there is the uncertainty of the Black Lotus who wish to eradicate the Gift throughout the land. So, the show is full of conflict at the moment. It's still mostly just setting up this new battle though.