Film & TV Reviews

Into the Badlands Review: Family and Chaos in “Palm of the Iron Fox”

by on April 10, 2017

With so much focus on Sunny and Bajie to start the season, it was nice to see the show put them aside, if only for an episode, and concentrate on some developing storylines that really needed our attention. Specifically, checking in on The Widow and Waldo to see what they have up their collective sleeves in the meeting with the other Barons. Also, Quinn has been chomping at the bit for a while now to spring into action and this week he doesn’t disappoint.

When we last left The Widow and Waldo, they were walking into the lion’s den, so to speak, spITB_S2_204_SP-800x450ecifically Ryder’s home turf for the meeting of the Barons. Waldo, ever the Yoda of this show, explains very clearly to The Widow that she is going to need to dazzle some of these Barons to get them on her side or she might not walk out of this get together alive. This begins the feeling out process by both Waldo and The Widow, getting a feel for the room and where the Baron’s stand.

As Quinn, actor Marton Csokas does dangerous and crazy better than anyone on this show. As her rallies his new clippers with a bizarre and creepy religious toned rant, it is pretty easy to see how he became the most feared Baron in the Badlands. If that wasn’t bad enough, the attention he gives Veil and her baby Henry is even creepier and really, quite sad as well. His crazy ass megalomania has yet to see that Veil is doing all she can to see him dead and escape, a plan she puts into motion in this episode to varying degrees of success.

We get a quick glimpse into the ongoing trials and tribulations of M.K., who has yet to listen or learn anything from the Master. To this end, he decides to go back to the strange dream world/realm on his own and to know one’s surprise, except maybe his own, this does not turn out so well. I like M.K. but I hope this storyline moves past his stupidity soon as it’s becoming very predictable in regards to what’s going to happen to M.K. every time he’s on screen.

Meanwhile, back at the meetScreen Shot 2017-04-03 at 3.18.50 PM []ing of the Barons, The Widow tries to size up potential allies which begins and ends with Baron Chau. The Widow and Chau have a few verbal exchanges but it with both of them being smart, cruel and devious people (hey, how else do you become a Baron?) it is hard to tell where the truth ends and the lying begins. It definitely lays some interesting groundwork for the upcoming trial.

Ah yes, the trial. The Widow is finally grilled about her reclaiming the oil fields and whether or not she should be punished. The decision is not surprising but how the massive fight plays out certainly raised a few eyebrows. Remember Quinn and his rallying of the troops? Well, it turns out this was what it was for as he and his new clippers crash the party and all-out mayhem ensues. The fight scenes are fantastic, as is the scene where Quinn finally makes his entrance, surprising everyone, and no one more so than his son.

The face to face meeting between Quinn and Ryder was an exclamation point on the theme of sadness and family that was throughout this episode. While the action and fight scenes are still very important to the show, Into the Badlands is showing that it is also allowing it’s characters to grow, which is turning out to be the best idea they’ve ever had.

Four and a half stars out of five


- Quinn and The Widow are wonderfully intimidating characters

- The action is aging top notch

- Strong character building which is making the show better and better each week


- M.K. storyline needs to progress beyond him getting his ass kicked every week

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Bottom Line

A fantastic episode from start to finish, "Palm of the Iron Fox" was everything you want in a series like this: Action, great fight scenes and numerous characters you care about. Very well done.

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