After having last week off, it was good to see Sunny back in action in an episode that had some very dark moments. While it showed just how brutal life can be outside of the Badlands (life inside is not exactly a ray of sunshine, either) it gave Sunny a chance to drag himself out of his personal darkness and understand that he can actually do some good in this life as well.
Sunny and Bajie’s quest to get back to the Badlands takes them to an old ‘acquaintance’ of Bajie named Nos. This guy just oozes that not-to-be-trusted vibe and it comes as no surprise that he lives up to that first impression very quickly. As it turns out, his main business is sex trafficking and this disgusting trade ends up leaving Sunny and Bajie with a choice in terms of aiding in their quest.
This awakens a fire in Sunny as he realizes that while he can’t take back what he has done in terms of killing, he can use his skills to help those in need. Bajie also comes to realize that some deals come at too high a price and makes a decision that helps cement the growing relationship between he and Sunny, even if it might cost them dearly in the future.
Almost as enjoyable was the interesting dynamic forming between The Widow and Waldo. After the disaster in last week’s bloody conclave with the Barons, everyone has scurried away to lick their wounds and plan their next move. With Quinn’s reappearance throwing a wrench into pretty much everything the Barons had planned, The Widow decides that forming an alliance with him is a move that will continue to keep the other Barons off balance. This is not something that Waldo agrees with and the friction between himself and The Widow has now begun. To make matters worse, Quinn is tasked with finding Quinn, something he really has no interest in doing but at this point in time, he really has no choice.
Speaking of Quinn, his appearance at the conclave with his new clippers last week was great but his continued mental and physical deterioration leaves a lot of doubt to how he will be able to keep things together, especially after he killed Ryder at the end of last week’s episode. I will be curious to see how the writers plan to keep Quinn relevant as he is going downhill fast. I certainly don’t want to see him killed off but I also don’t want some cheap stunt introduced just to keep him alive.
The biggest problem in this week’s episode, which was also an issue last week, was the M.K. storyline. His plot arc seems to be heading into a different direction and in his small time on screen this week he did something important but it was treated almost indifferently, as if an afterthought. After being an important part of last season’s episode I hope the bring him back into the fold so to speak, and soon.
As far as the action, it was little light in that regard this week. However, there was one great extended fight scene with Sunny that showed up more than simple sword work. It was good to see them not depend strictly on action but still manage to showcase it in one great sequence.
While this might not have been the most up tempo of episodes, it did touch on some important points with certain characters and helped build the overall story moving forward. In the end, I still found myself intrigued about how things are changing and eager to see what will happen as the season continues on.
Four stars out of five
- Both Sunny and Bajie's characters have important moments of self-discovery
- The dynamic between The Widow and Waldo has just become even more interesting
- Quinn, even in his deteriorating state, continues to be a powerful character
- M.K. continues to have a weak story line