Amazon Prime UK TV review: Into the Badlands, Episode 3 (White Stork Spreads Wings)
Chris Bryant | On 04, Dec 2015
Read our interview with Daniel Wu, star of Into the Badlands.
With last week’s Into The Badlands raising questions about whether or not the show can keep up the level of blistering innovation where the fight scenes are concerned, Episode 3 provides a simple answer: yes.
Before the opening credits even roll, Quinn pre-emptively declares war on The Widow in a fantastically tense series of battles that culminate in the two barons themselves facing off. This is followed by Sonny’s venture into town to question Ryder’s “doll” friend after the attempt on his life. Faced with the most lethal clipper in the land, she decides not to go quietly. Even among the flurry of swords, the brilliant use of a beautiful set and wire-based martial arts, the final blow still manages to shock.
While the rest of the episode suffices in also providing plot progression on all fronts, each scene undeniably holds weight, giving the actors a fair chance to appear relatable, as well as deadly. Martin Csokas – the bloodthirsty Baron, Quinn – may not immediately appear to be giving an especially deep performance, but his fear of death becomes as clear as his bloodlust. A further success of the show, Ally Ioannides – Tilda, The Widow’s hitman and child, in that order – is a revelation as a relative newcomer. Only 17 years old, Ioannides is perfect as yet another assassin conflicted by the power and innocence of M.K..
With a sufficient amount of space to allow emotional growth, Into The Badlands still thrives in its Thrones-esque scope, with a few mentions of further Barons becoming involved in the plot surrounding The Widow’s oil fields only adding to the size of the world in which these battles take place.
Consistently providing glimpses into the mysterious personal lives of these imprisoned characters, as well as the unwavering dedication by cast and crew to push the boundaries of the action, it would seem that Into The Badlands is more than capable of keeping up the pace, depth and bodycount of the first two episodes.
Into the Badlands is available to watch online exclusively on Amazon Prime Video UK, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. New episodes arrive every week on Tuesdays, within 48 hours of their US premiere.
Additional notes (contain spoilers)
– This episode provides two major moments for fans. The first happens within a few minutes, as The Widow faces off with Quinn in a perfectly indulgent battle which provides no clear winner without feeling contrived. The second is that someone lands a blow on Sonny in one-on-one combat: Ryder’s Doll fights ferociously, dying to protect a secret we cannot wait to uncover.
– The mention of a third Baron, Jacobi, also stirs the interest in a show in which mystery and intrigue are as common as blades and bodies. Sonny’s previous alliance with a presumed clipper of Jacobi’s also fuels our thirst for answers.