Into the Badlands: Fist Like A Bullet
November 24, 2015 7:47 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

The Widow's plans on unseating the Poppy Baron proceed, while M.K. unexpectedly finds himself her guest. Sonny begins to question his allegiance to the Baron, when he is asked to do an unthinkable thing.
posted by Atreides (8 comments total)
How does this stack up against the first one? Does the script improve?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:14 AM on November 24, 2015

I am really enjoying the show, though admittedly more for the fight choreo and set design than the plot. The script's about as solid so far as any typical spaghetti western, but I'm okay with that; it's wholly ridiculous, of course, but if I wanted a great story, I'd read a book.

M.K. being constantly caught up in a cycle of capture-and-release might get grating after a few eps, but at least in this trope-filled universe, it's a male sought for his supernatural fighting abilities and not some objectified young girl who needs to solidify a political alliance by being married and bred like chattel (*cough*Game of Thrones*cough*).

The least realistic thing to me so far is Sunny deciding it's worth the risk to try escaping with his girlfriend beyond the walls after M.K. obviously lied about knowing the path to get out. Not sure why his impending baby or escaping a life entirely comprised of murder and obeisance wouldn't be enough motivation, but I'm trying to let them get the expository nonsense out of the way before the journey starts and (hopefully) the real story unfolds.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:32 AM on November 24, 2015

The fight scenes are very well choreographed. I'm enjoying that thoroughly. The script is alright, I like the delivery by the actors so far though. No one's really hamming it up except for a few that are about to die anyway.

The blue-dressed daughters of the Widow really reminds me of the green-dressed ladies in House of Flying Daggers, and it could very well be an homage to that.

I felt like Sunny (yes, it's a "u", not an "o") was too fearful of Quinn to risk escape or having a child, but Quinn killing Veil's parents pushed him over the edge, and MK's truth only gave him more of a strategy to get out. He's said as much to Veil when he visited her after the parents are killed, that he is now her only family and somehow he'll get them out.
posted by numaner at 9:46 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

The script got a little better, but I agree with Unicorn, it's on par with something like a spaghetti Western.

I think the capture and release aspect of M.K. is has mostly played itself out now that he's decided not to escape without Sunny. Sunny, henceforth, will be his defender, which is ironic given that M.K. saved his life in this episode. I'm strongly expecting, though, that Sunny's girlfriend and child will end up being killed. I'd like to hope they aren't, but it's weighing on my mind.

For some reason, I cannot recall Stephen Lang's character from the first all. According to IMDB, he was in it, but I just can't really place him. Go figure. In this one, he got to cuss a couple times.

The nomad gang's higher ups costumes, in turn, gave me Gangs of New York vibes.

Points on all vehicles being the sort that don't rely on electronics.

Perhaps my only big criticism is the exaggerated blood splattering. Do we really need a spray of blood from someone killing a squirrel with a throwing star? The Widow fight scene was impressive, one book end to the Sunny fight at the end of the episode. I'm guessing the former oil baron found a wife among his clippers, to his own regret.
posted by Atreides at 9:53 AM on November 24, 2015

The script is mediocre still, but unlike, say, The Walking Dead, a show that lives or dies by how close you feel to those characters, I'm okay with the plot and dialogue being the trope-ridden connective tissue that links those really great fight set pieces. For now, at least.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:30 AM on November 24, 2015

Atreides, you're not misremembering, I'm certain Stephen Lang wasn't in it, at least not with any significant screen time. You don't forget that face.
posted by numaner at 11:32 AM on November 24, 2015

I'm okay with the plot and dialogue being the trope-ridden connective tissue that links those really great fight set pieces. For now, at least.

Same here. It's apparently six episodes, which is pretty low investment, and the fight scenes will keep me entertained for that long, even if the characters (mostly decently acted, to be fair*) aren't doing much for me and the story is sort of meh.

*Quinn's accent being my one exception to this.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:09 PM on November 24, 2015

Quinn's accent is the worst.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:43 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

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