Warning: This contains spoilers.
Into the Badlands final episode of Season 2, Wolf’s Breath, Dragon Fire proves that the production team have learnt from the mistakes of the first season, producing a visually rich, rewarding conclusion to a juggernaut of a season.
The episode begins by putting Sunny in ‘force of nature’ mode. Sunny raids Waldo’s cabin, grabs his motorcycle and trademark red coat and hits the road. Having had a season full of moral conundrums and introspection from Sunny, frankly, it’s good to have the legendary killer back. His quiet, sombre lethality is the core of the show, and, while also exuding cool, it’s his unstoppable nature that makes Sunny such a valuable character – to others and himself – in this dystopian world.
A return to the show’s inspiring use of colour, as well as keeping the episode’s purpose simple and straightforward, the finale is one of the best episodes of this season. It takes its time to ponder the emotional issues, it allows time for each of the major moments to breath, for the audience to inhale the striking nature of the moment, be it sorrowful or triumphant, or a little of both. The deaths of Bajie and Veil are delivered for maximum impact without being forced; both die meaningful, honourable deaths, the performances of the actors involved ensuring the workings of the plot are awash with emotion and shock. The deaths manage to hit where it hurts and ensure we never see it coming.
Into the Badlands seems to have learned that not every loose thread needs clipping. Sunny’s relentless pursuit of his family takes centre stage, while The Widow and Bajie serve to leak breadcrumbs of information, pulling the audience further into their quest for the truth of Azra. Bajie’s efforts, in particular, allow for wild speculation as to what exactly he is hoping to achieve, and what happened to cause this dazzling, deadly dystopia?
Still one of the most distinctive shows on TV, Into the Badlands’ second season was bursting with colour, new and surprising characters, as well as answers to the mysteries of the supernatural and a supposed utopia. More carefully paced, gloriously innovative, and still as dangerous as they come, Season 2 has managed to double in size from the feudal spats that dominated the first, and yet it never strays from the simple mind of Daniel Wu’s Sunny – an extremely talented hitman, just trying to find a home.
Into the Badlands Season 1 and 2 are available to watch online exclusively on Amazon Prime Video UK, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription.