Film & TV Reviews

Review: Into the Badlands Greases the Wheel in ‘Moon Rises, Raven Seeks’

by on May 1, 2018



After a great season premiere, Into the Badlands took a deep breath, built up some storylines and moved characters around its massive bloody chessboard of a show. What emerged might not have as high energy, high octane as the first episode but there were a lot of important moments and some more great lines from Nick Frost as Bajie.

Sunny is now no longer just worried about his son’s high fever but the bigger danger in that he apparently has the Gift. Apparently, this is a hereditary condition, which means Sunny has the Gift…or doesn’t, even though Lydia was there when he was found as a boy, wearing the mark of Azra, which means he has some sort of power that no one really, can fully explain. I am trying to imagine Sunny, who is one badass fighter to begin with, having his skills amped up by the Gift. Maybe that will happen in the future, who knows?

Speaking of Lydia, she has now ‘sided’ with The Widow and now has the title of Baroness in front of her name, the irony of which is not lost on her. Her troubled life with Quinn allowed her the perfect view of what it was like to be a Baron but with this title, she feels she can do more good, although playing both sides will surely catch up to her at one point. This is pointed out to her by The Widow’s new Regent Nathaniel Moon, who as it turns out also has a romantic past with Lydia. This ends up saving her, however, as Moon discovered she was the one who tipped off Tilda and her band of followers.

Meanwhile, Pilgrim and Cressida, hip deep in relics at an old museum, begin to hear the mutterings of their followers, who are not sure they are in the right place. Indeed, Pilgrim himself has doubts which he confesses privately to Cressida. However, Pilgrim rights the wobbly ship of faith by challenging all to come forward, three of whom he defeats quickly, and while blindfolded as well. We leave these strange two companions in the middle of a ritual, where Pilgrim raises Cressida high on hooks through her skin and confesses at one point to see ‘everything’. As far as religious zealots go, these two are right up there and look to make worthy rivals somewhere down the line. I still believe that all of the Badlands will rise up together against them at one point, which should be amazing, but until that carnage, we will be left with only the usual carnage.

As with the first two seasons, M.K. is the strangest and most bizarre character on the show. The Widow has him chained/imprisoned, trying to urge the Gift out of him, all the while he has sex and gets high to pass the time and the pain. The revelation he had in a dream state about Sunny and his mother’s murder is interesting but I’m not sure if that vision can be trusted. His character bounces around so much, with so many strange twists, it’s hard to get a read on him. Hopefully, they will give him more direction this year as the season progresses.

Even though ‘Moon Rises, Raven Seeks’ wasn’t as fast-paced as the first episode, there were still some good fights and we were given a little more information in terms of certain characters and their backstories/pasts. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for all the characters on this show to collide head-on but until then, I’m willing to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Three and a half stars out of five


- Interesting developments with some characters

- Less action than the premiere but still top notch

- Pilgrim and Cressida look and sound wonderfully nuts


- Writers are still fumbling around with M.K., as if they don't really know what to do with him

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Bottom Line

A solid follow up to the premiere, 'Moon Rises, Raven Seeks' gives us some insight/background into certain characters and moves people around like pieces on a chess board, preparing for the next, beautiful fight

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