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Into the Badlands’ style is certainly its most dangerous weapon. Flamboyantly coloured, brimming with archaic outfits, language and hierarchy; the larger-than-life characters fit perfectly into a world of post-apocalyptic feudal struggle. Opening on a showdown between legendary former-Clipper Nathaniel Moon and The Widow for a little more than honour, Season 3 continues Badlands’ run of edge-weapon violence, tenuous alliances, and the dangers of revenge.
Having saved his son from Quinn, and reconnected with Nick Frost’s cheeky trickster, Bajie, Daniel Wu’s unstoppable killer, Sunny, is still trying to find sanctuary amongst the warring factions. Hiding amongst the refugees from The Widow’s war with Baron Chau, this third season continues the war-torn epic six months after Season 2’s conclusion, with the warfare now in full swing.
The Widow’s mysterious drive for democracy has now alienated her from Tilda, whose ‘rabbits’ run a death-squad helping to feed and clothe refugees, while Stephen Lang’s Waldo has disappeared and taken his calming wisdom with him. Emily Beecham’s ruthless ex-baron is now front and centre, her supernatural past no clearer, and her morals seemingly more compromised than ever.
Aligning herself with a killer desperate to kill Sunny, she’s also keeping MK prisoner, hoping that some level of pain will reawaken his deadly gift. Badlands’ mix of Shakespearian betrayals and dark magic is no less intriguing than previous seasons, but as with Season 2, the opening episode serves solely to re-establish the players rather than reveal anything further.
Tense as ever, but feeling a little predictable, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar’s creation is still a success on looks alone, and Enter the Phoenix’s multi-level fight sequences, Mad Max-esque costumes, and endless list of characters driven by vengeance, make absolutely certain that when Badlands does get down to the meat, it likes it served bloody.
Into the Badlands Season 1 to 3 are available to watch online exclusively on Amazon Prime Video UK, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. New episodes arrive weekly on Tuesdays, following their US brodcast.
Photo: Aidan Monaghan/AMC