Into the Badlands: Hand of Five Poisons
December 22, 2015 9:03 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Quinn's enemies carry out their plan to bring about big changes among the barons. Sunny's escape from the Badlands is hindered.


- Ding dong the Quinn is dead!
- I reaaally want the Widow to survive now. Topple the patriarchy! And also she was from Azra and has powers like MK wuuuut!
- THAT FIGHT SCENE with the three monks! That is some classic fucking wire work and I'm all nostalgic of old hong kong films I grew up with. It was aaaaamazing! I don't even care if Sunny lost, those monks are my new favorite thing about this show. And it's awesome that there's a whole group of people just like MK and they can control their power. But like, they're just looking out for others like them instead of going around killing everyone.
- Dude poor Veil is all like "WTF am I gonna do now?" :(
posted by numaner (9 comments total)
Quinn's death was perfect. You don't get an epic battle as a send off, jackass; that would be too good for you. A quiet, undignified shanking in an alley is what you get.

The monks sitting solemnly, three across, in an old Ford pickup was too great. The monk letting MK down to the ground gently before the fight with Sunny seemed like a bit of a clue as to their intentions.

I was hoping that Lydia would get word of her (ex?) husband's death just before her baptism. Then maybe we could've had a cliffhanger over whether she still takes the plunge. Then again, I suppose we have a few cliffhangers already.
posted by ODiV at 11:43 PM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Holy shit, how did the Widow get rid of her Black-Eyed Shaolin powers? I mean, to me, it would be preferable to learn to control it than banish it altogether -- and I loved how the monks lined up smallest to largest before fighting Sunny. Hooray for having a woman in their company, too!

Tilda's having her "girl, you'll be a woman (soon, or NOW?)" moment. That's some Monkey's Paw shit right there. Also, Jade's face in that scene with Lydia talking about poison... you ladies need to hide your gloating a bit better if you're going to successfully oust a rival wife. I don't know that Jade would've succeeded if she didn't have two men under that roof in her bed instead of just one.

And Sunny, wow. He was seriously begging for an ass whooping, but if they keep throwing him through brick walls without him dying, I'm gonna assume he's got superpowers as appears typical in refugees from Azra. If I were him, once I saw the monks' eyes turn, I would've backed off and assumed MK was better off going back with his own people (and shadowed them from a safe distance).

I realize it's too much budget/special effects/choreography to have more than one crazy fight scene per episode, but I do hope someone eventually does a supercut of them all on Vimeo or YouTube. And it's not just the Peking-opera style fighting or different types of kung fu; the swordplay and knife fighting, etc. are all truly excellent.

Who the fuck needs guns with this amazing myriad of hand-to-hand combat weapons and styles, amirite?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:05 PM on December 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh oh! I forgot the bit about Sunny finding out that he was also found by the river with a similar pendant. So he's from Azra but has no power? But I guess people from there are naturally that talented at fighting? I wonder what the Widows deal is then.
posted by numaner at 9:43 PM on December 27, 2015

Numaner, I'm guessing that there's some kind of social hierarchy between the black-eyed fighters and non-powered Azra natives we've seen so far; it's possible that interbreeding is forbidden, for example, which would potentially explain why Sunny got the Moses treatment and M.K. is so fiercely sought-after by Azra's fighting monk force. If it's genetically linked, the Barons would naturally want to harness M.K.'s fighting abilities by using him to breed future generations of black-eyed Clippers; it also explains why the Widow would want him, as having children of her own with him means they'd practically be guaranteed to have this power (since she apparently had it once herself, but whether she can still harness it is unclear).

However, if the Widow's similarly half-bred with one black-eyed fighter parent and one "regular" parent (which Sunny might be, too), then that would help explain how she suppressed/rid herself of her black-eyed fighting tendencies. It's possible Sunny hasn't yet had his black-eyed fighting powers "activated" (either through special training or typical aggression, like a cut that draws blood). Come to think of it, have we actually SEEN anyone draw blood on Sunny? I feel like we have, but now I'm not sure -- though I think we at least saw him with a bloody nose, right?

It's a crazy theory, but one we won't learn more about until next season (boo, I want more Badlands already!).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:16 AM on December 28, 2015

AMC posted a supercut of season one fight scenes.
posted by kokaku at 8:09 PM on March 17, 2017

Come to think of it, have we actually SEEN anyone draw blood on Sunny?

I'm binge-watching so I may have the episode wrong but I think after he fights Angelica there's a scene where Veil is stitching up a pretty deep shoulder wound on Sunny.
posted by gauche at 6:43 AM on April 4, 2017

Yep, she cuts him during their fight in the tunnels(?) beneath the Armadillo fort when she was trying to capture MK
posted by numaner at 1:50 PM on April 6, 2017

Hey it's me from the future! I just started watching this show, binge watched the first season. It's good! I mean it's silly and dumb in some ways, but it's also really nicely made. The Southern Gothic / Hong Kong Kung Fu mashup concept is ridiculous and lots of fun. And I'm a simple man and enjoy watching Daniel Wu with his shirt off. Not since the early seasons of Arrow has this show pandered so much with shirtless men.

I thought they did a good job planting the mysteries of Azra just right. I assume the showrunners themselves don't quite know how this is going to play out; it's an original story, right, it's not based on some comic book? So we get some hints. Skyscrapers. Advanced metallurgy. Freaky eye powers and a religious order in the hinterlands to keep an eye out for foundlings. It's enough.

Looking forward to Season 2. They invested so much into explaining the Barons and the Badlands power structure, I'm surprised that they closed the season with our main characters both being taken out. How could you stop having The Widow as a character?! And Tilda seems essential. But I have no idea yet what they do in Season 2 and am looking forward to finding out.
posted by Nelson at 8:25 AM on July 16, 2020

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