The chase is on and man, oh, man, does it have the making of becoming an exciting war between the barons. Into the Badlands: White Stork Spreads Wings picks up right where the last episode left off, having foreshadowed battles between more than just barons The Widow and Quinn. This week’s episode moved the plot along nicely, introduced some new characters, developed main characters, and delivered some great action scenes. Although some parts seemed to linger, overall, it was an interesting hour-long block (minus commercials) of television.
Beginning with one of the best fight scenes in the series so far, Into the Badlands: White Stork Spreads Wings opened strong with a showdown of the barons. Quinn rallied his clippers and invaded the home of The Widow to seek retribution and to kill her for her own attempt to kill his son. It was entertaining to finally see an equal match between two prominent figures and not just one character effortlessly dismembering a cadre of nameless figures.
The fight was the most interesting and visually pleasing that viewers have seen from Into the Badlands, but The Widow was bested by Quinn. However, before Quinn could deliver the final blow, his chronic headaches came back to disrupt his flow. The Widow acted quickly and made an escape with her followers through a secret passage in her study. At this point, Quinn needed to find a solution to his sporadic migraines.
Returning home to lick his wounds and check up on his wounded son, Quinn was shortly scolded by his grieving baby-mother. It was clear that Quinn retaliated against The Widow to save face amongst the other barons, but his plan was unsuccessful, and his son still lay there, fighting for his life. To cement this idea, Quinn shortly bedded his younger wife, Jade (played by Sarah Bolger), after the scolding. Why lick one’s own wounds when one can have one’s mistress do it instead?
It was still unclear as to what Jade’s motivations are as she sought the help of protagonist Sunny’s pregnant girlfriend. Veil, to help Quinn’s son, Ryder. The fact she sneaked out in the middle of the night to plead with Veil to help save Ryder, makes it appear that Jade’s affections are stronger for the future baron. Veil was rightfully reluctant to help, but realized she had no choice.
It seems that Veil possesses the same medical prowess that her murdered parents did and was able to diagnose and treat Ryder’s ailment. This part of the episode seemed to linger, but it brought Veil face-to-face with the man that murdered her adoptive parents, the baron Quinn. Their interaction was awkward and borderline creepy, to say the least. From the baron admitting that he knew Veil and Sunny were involved to him partially hitting on her, the scene was uncomfortable.
Into the Badlands: White Stork Spreads Wings was more of a plot-driven episode. Sunny finally decided to take M.K. under his wing and train him to control his shadow powers. In exchange for the training, M.K. would help Sunny and Veil escape together to the baron-free territory, Azra. Into the Badlands saved viewers from a Karate Kid-esque scene and provided an interesting sparring match between Sunny’s former trainer, Waldo, and M.K. It was definitely a refreshing first for any martial arts genre to see a man in a wheelchair best his opponent with such ease.
There was also another interesting match-up between Sunny and the Dollhouse working girl. It was another Into the Badlands match-up between two equally capable fighters, and it was visually pleasing to see how they used the surrounding environment as they dueled. This scene also gave a chance for M.K. and Tilda to reconnect. The two have not seen each other since Quinn’s raid of the Widow’s home, and their interaction this week help their plot develop a little bit further.
Though not the best hour of television that viewers could watch, Into the Badlands: White Stork Spreads Wings is still gold for the martial arts genre. Since Quinn has basically waged war against another baron, forced her into hiding, and occupied her territory, it will be interesting to see how this plays out with the other barons. Sunny already received a warning from another Baron’s clipper to keep the peace, but due to the type of headstrong villain that Quinn is, her request fell on deaf ears. Into the Badlands: White Stork Spreads Wings definitely had its slower moments as it delved into the sub-plots of minor characters, but overall the episode set the stage nicely for some coming battles, while also managing to make the main characters more appealing.
Opinion by Tyler Cole
IGN: INTO THE BADLANDS: “WHITE STORK SPREADS WINGS” REVIEW