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AMC's Into The Badlands

Dave

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I thought that Sunny should have taken M.K.’s advice and finished him while he was rebar-impaired.
Yes, a real mistake. This if this is "the end of the world" then there is no time for sentimentality.
Is the Black Lotus cult something new? I don’t remember it in previous episodes. Their members can’t be too tough, if the Mad Witch could dispatch the pair of assassins who found her.
The Black Lotus rang a bell with me from some mention in a very early episode, but my memory these days is like a sieve. It isn't unlikely that the Mad Witch (strong in the "power" is this one) could dispatch them so easily since they don't have the power. However, why they think have a chance, or how are they so well respected when they don't have any chance, that I cannot say.

In the first Season we were given the strong impression that the setting was middle America somewhere in the distant future. Then we crossed some mountains out of the wastelands (which looked rather fertile for wastelands) into more scrub and desert. Then Pilgrim came along and camped out on some temperate island on a lake with a medieval church or abbey on the hill. Now we are in an area with high mountains and a floodplain of a large river with waterfront quays and markets that looks like eastern Asia. Now I realise that Geography is never a strong point in these series, but all of these places are meant to be with a few days/weeks travel at most. So, where exactly are they?
 

REBerg

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bye-bye bajie.jpg

Nooooooo! Not Bajie!

Despite the closeup of what appeared to be Bajie’s final breaths, there’s a slim chance that he may survive being run though by a Black Lotus swordsman.

If not, what are the remaining episodes going to do for comic relief with Bajie gone? None of the other characters have shown a sense of humor, unless they were playing off Bajie. I’ll miss you, Bajie.

Ankara, the sarcastic, all-powerful mad witch, also made a blah exit. Even with the acupuncture-immobilizing needle removed, she was defeated by a couple of chains, gift-deactivated and skewered.

Especially disappointing was the Pilgrim’s beatdown of the Master. I’m hoping that, even in victory, the fight drained the Pilgrim enough that a rematch with the Master will end in defeat.

He seemed to lose a little more of his stamina with every “Dark One” sleeper he revived. The Gift appears to be, as the Master warned, consuming him from within. Bleeding from the eyes is not a sign of robust health.

M.K. seems to have gone completely over to the dark side. His execution of a downed opponent by plunging a pair of knives into his eyes amped up the violence scale this time around.

Setting the battle between the Window and Baron Chau in a fun house was a nice touch. Chau probably did not qualify for that final ride because she no longer met the minimum height requirement.
 

REBerg

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Big action. Bigger surprises.

bajielightson.jpg

I was surprised by Bajie’s resurrection, courtesy of a little leftover magic from Ankara. I was also surprised by the Master’s demise, and even more surprised that her real name was Ada. I had expected her to recover and be available for the final battle against Pilgrim, who incidentally, answered to Taurin back in the Azra glory days, when Sunny was Sanzo.

Not so surprising was the revelation that Sunny’s big sister, Kannin, is alive. That’s convenient, as she is the sole person who can unlock Sanzo’s special, mega-super-powerful Gift, which is certain to be needed in the series finale.

Sunny, Kannin and Bajoie vs. the Black Lotus in the chain chamber was the biggest, baddest battle royale of the series – so far. The Disturbed cover of the Simon and Garfunkel hit, “Sound of Silence,” gave the final few minutes of the episode a real power push.
 

Dave

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Nooooooo! Not Bajie!

Despite the closeup of what appeared to be Bajie’s final breaths, there’s a slim chance that he may survive being run though by a Black Lotus swordsman.

If not, what are the remaining episodes going to do for comic relief with Bajie gone? None of the other characters have shown a sense of humor, unless they were playing off Bajie. I’ll miss you, Bajie.

Ankara, the sarcastic, all-powerful mad witch, also made a blah exit. Even with the acupuncture-immobilizing needle removed, she was defeated by a couple of chains, gift-deactivated and skewered.

Especially disappointing was the Pilgrim’s beatdown of the Master. I’m hoping that, even in victory, the fight drained the Pilgrim enough that a rematch with the Master will end in defeat.

He seemed to lose a little more of his stamina with every “Dark One” sleeper he revived. The Gift appears to be, as the Master warned, consuming him from within. Bleeding from the eyes is not a sign of robust health.

M.K. seems to have gone completely over to the dark side. His execution of a downed opponent by plunging a pair of knives into his eyes amped up the violence scale this time around.

Setting the battle between the Window and Baron Chau in a fun house was a nice touch. Chau probably did not qualify for that final ride because she no longer met the minimum height requirement.
I agree totally with your summation, especially about where it is all going. And if Asra was a rebuilt city, then that surely negates the idea that it was the whole world before the fall, though not that the "Gift" caused the fall itself. The Master made some cryptic comments in this about them failing to be able to resurrect Asra, but I'm afraid they were too cryptic for me. Also, if the "Gift" in Pilgrim is "unnatural" and failing then that means it cannot be the gene therapy that we postulated earlier. It really wouldn't make it natural whether you were born with it, or were given it later. I thought I understood what was going on, but now I've no idea. The comic relief is indeed going to be a problem, because those that are left are very serious.
 

Dave

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Big action. Bigger surprises.


I was surprised by Bajie’s resurrection, courtesy of a little leftover magic from Ankara. I was also surprised by the Master’s demise, and even more surprised that her real name was Ada. I had expected her to recover and be available for the final battle against Pilgrim, who incidentally, answered to Taurin back in the Azra glory days, when Sunny was Sanzo.

Not so surprising was the revelation that Sunny’s big sister, Kannin, is alive. That’s convenient, as she is the sole person who can unlock Sanzo’s special, mega-super-powerful Gift, which is certain to be needed in the series finale.

Sunny, Kannin and Bajoie vs. the Black Lotus in the chain chamber was the biggest, baddest battle royale of the series – so far. The Disturbed cover of the Simon and Garfunkel hit, “Sound of Silence,” gave the final few minutes of the episode a real power push.
There was a lot of exposition packed into this episode. (There has probably been too much back-story over the last few episodes - it is required, but why all of it at once?) I also don't like the now they are dead, now they are alive again. In addition, this resurrection makes the "Gift" more magic than the explanation we were discussing.

That map must have had twenty or so Black Lotus outposts. I saw about twenty or thirty in the fight. If they all turn out to meet them in the series finale then Pilgrim's "dark army" will be met by 19 x 30 = 570. That will be some fight scene.
 

Dave

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I'm tiring of this series now. Nothing happens, except some unfeasible aerial martial arts where some major character dies... then they are alive again next week. Who has really died this week? Has MK? Has Lydia? How many lives does the Pilgrim have left after surviving his fall into the explosion?

And they make stupid decisions - to keep following some unreliable people on wild goose chases... and why didn't they kill Cressida when they had the chance? And if they then decided to rectify the mistake and execute her, do it properly, don't unlock her cell door and send a single person inside to fight one to one.

To begin with it was a high tech world that had fallen into ruin, but what is it now with all the magic - red rain - how is it raining blood exactly? The gift cannot be explained without magic. We had black eyes, but now we have red eyes too. And the geography of the place, which I've mentioned before, makes no sense at all. Apparently they are now all just a short walk away from the Badlands when it took a whole Season to get out.

BAJIE: "No, you don't get it. You blunder blindly from one drama to the next, trying to find answers, when in fact you have no idea what the question is." Yes, that sums up this show quite well really.
 

REBerg

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I'm tiring of this series now. Nothing happens, except some unfeasible aerial martial arts where some major character dies... then they are alive again next week. Who has really died this week? Has MK? Has Lydia? How many lives does the Pilgrim have left after surviving his fall into the explosion?

And they make stupid decisions - to keep following some unreliable people on wild goose chases... and why didn't they kill Cressida when they had the chance? And if they then decided to rectify the mistake and execute her, do it properly, don't unlock her cell door and send a single person inside to fight one to one.

To begin with it was a high tech world that had fallen into ruin, but what is it now with all the magic - red rain - how is it raining blood exactly? The gift cannot be explained without magic. We had black eyes, but now we have red eyes too. And the geography of the place, which I've mentioned before, makes no sense at all. Apparently they are now all just a short walk away from the Badlands when it took a whole Season to get out.

BAJIE: "No, you don't get it. You blunder blindly from one drama to the next, trying to find answers, when in fact you have no idea what the question is." Yes, that sums up this show quite well really.
I can't disagree with either assessment -- yours or Bajie's. Still, the show is just so colorfully spectacular that I can't help but continue to love it -- whether it makes sense or not.
The Pilgrim threat should have been allowed to continue building (adding Sunny, Bajie and Kannin to the Forces of Good) until the last episode, reserving enough time for a decent epilogue.
I don't know what purpose killing Lydia served, other than underwriting Cressida's evil credentials, which was hardly necessary. In a reverse sort of way, the same goes for Minerva's pregnancy. Motherhood, this far along in the Widow's badass history is not going to do much to make her seem soft and cuddly.
Then, why all the scenes showing a faltering Pilgrim, pointing out that now was the time to strike, only to have him hold is own, sans gift, against the Widow and, as you noted, survive a tumble into an explosion? May the gods have mercy on the good guys should Pilgrim fully regain his health before the final, final battle.
 

Dave

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Still, the show is just so colorfully spectacular that I can't help but continue to love it
It is visually spectacular. There are enormous choreographed fight scenes with smartly and colourfully dressed combatants, but there is little substance any longer. It is fluff and popcorn. The fights are incredulous and ridiculous - performed in high heels and restrictive clothing, actually flying unsupported, Matrix-style slow motion. This is superhero territory. Which is fine if that is what you seek, but the show drew me in because of the world-building. I wanted to know about how the world before became the world we see today. They have trashed any of that in place of producing more of the "colourfully spectacular." I will continue to watch it to the end only because I've invested in watching 30 episodes so I might as well watch the final few.

Also, no one else comments any longer. Is it just us two watching?
 

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Sadly right and right again.
References to Azra and a single, brief flashback glimpse of that fabled city have given me no sense of how the world got from ours to theirs. Mystique and speculation are fun, but at some point I need some solid history. I would have preferred more science and less magic in explaining The Gift and its role in destroying civilization.
 

sinister42

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I can't disagree with any of you. This episode made very little sense. The Widow & crew set up some pretty cool-looking defenses against the dark ones, but like, everything they did ended up kind of stupid. Like, ok, fire moats. Neat. Why light them AFTER the army has crossed? To keep them...in?? Arrow volleys. Have more than one, maybe? Then you just...blew a hole in your own defenses. And then your plan was what, to hole up in a...garage full of cars? I really don't get that. And yeah. Why unlock the cage and engage Cressida? Just kill her in the face with an arrow or whatever.

Yeah, the geography is nonsense. Pilgrim lives in a castle in the middle of a lake that was apparently once a natural history museum?? Where is that?? Also, did our heroes just end up at the cliffs of Dover? I am...confused.

I still love the sh*t out of the insane fight choreography, but the story has gone all wibbly wobbly in ways that don't work at all.

When's the series finale? I mean, I'm going to see this through, but sh*t.
 

BAYLOR

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It is visually spectacular. There are enormous choreographed fight scenes with smartly and colourfully dressed combatants, but there is little substance any longer. It is fluff and popcorn. The fights are incredulous and ridiculous - performed in high heels and restrictive clothing, actually flying unsupported, Matrix-style slow motion. This is superhero territory. Which is fine if that is what you seek, but the show drew me in because of the world-building. I wanted to know about how the world before became the world we see today. They have trashed any of that in place of producing more of the "colourfully spectacular." I will continue to watch it to the end only because I've invested in watching 30 episodes so I might as well watch the final few.

Also, no one else comments any longer. Is it just us two watching?
It took me a bit to get into the show bt,, t it was worth it . This show is such fun to watch The over the top Bruce Lee/ Matrix like battle sequences are a joy . The characters are very likable, engaging , larger then life and the writing is top notch . This show is definitely must see tv. :cool:(y)
 

Dave

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It took me a bit to get into the show but it was worth it. This show is such fun to watch....
Are you up to date though Baylor? I felt the same way as you up until about six episodes ago. Absolutely nothing of importance has happened since then except for the death of some major characters in various battles that take place in different places. The story has not progressed and with only a couple of episodes left I can't see how the ending will improve that, no matter how good it is written. They just aren't going to be able to tell me what I expected to find out.

The over the top Bruce Lee/ Matrix like battle sequences are a joy.
I'm happy that you like it. I want more than that. Bajie summed it up nicely when he said to Sunny, "You blunder blindly from one drama to the next, trying to find answers, when in fact you have no idea what the question is." That's precisely how I see the show itself.
 

Dave

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3.15: Requiem for the Fallen
More major characters die. More poor planning. Those that do survive, survive by luck more than anything. One episode left. Can they really resolve this in one more episode?
They are trying to tie things up, with the return of Tilda's old love and Nathaniel Moon's speech, but I can't see any big reveal about Azra or the old world being plausible now. It is meant to be our future. The coin was deliberately to show that. Cressida looks set to turn on Pilgrim, and that is really the only way I can see him defeated. I'm not sure how M.K. fits into the final conflict, our what is happening to him with his flesh falling off.
 

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Pilgrim's execution of Nix was unnecessarily brutal -- even by Into the Badlands standards of bloody violence.
Breaking her neck was SOP, but twisting her head off and rolling it down the stairway? Hell hath no fury like Pilgrim scorned by a "dear one."
Cressida has good reason to fear her significant other. That's one vision she can expect to become reality.
I'm expecting the series finale to be painful in a multitude of ways.
 

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...barons are locked in a power struggle for territory in the former American state of Oklahoma, now called the Badlands
--Sci Fi Magazine, August 2019​
This factoid appeared in the magazine's "tv in focus" section, which includes a segment on Into the Badlands spotlighting Lewis Tan. Tan plays Gaius Chau in the show.
I don't know where the tv section writer, Steve Eramo, got his information; but with the setting finally revealed, the show can go on. ;)
 

Dave

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I don't know where the tv section writer, Steve Eramo, got his information; but with the setting finally revealed, the show can go on. ;)
In that case, I'll say this once and won't mention it again for fear of being boring. There is one large river that could be the one we see, The Red River or Rio Cororado, that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. I guess the shanty town didn't have to be on the sea, just somewhere along the river. The shape of the hills was very like the karst hills of south-east Asia, however, Oklahoma does have karst hills - the Arbuckle uplift - and there are some falls called the Turner Falls that look like exactly the falls seen near the monastery. Most of Oklahoma is however part of the Great Plains which could easily have become unproductive given the time that has past. I don't know about the Zoo on the island, but it is at least feasible. I still think the times taken for the distances travelled is wrong.
 

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Oklahoma? I think bloody not. I'm an Okie (grew up there) and these vistas ain't it.

Here's a list of filming locations: Where Into the Badlands Is Filmed

If they're trying to say that in the future, Oklahoma suddenly looks like Ireland, um...no? No. Also, no.

Oklahoma does not have a castle on an island on a lake. Oklahoma does not have cascading waterfalls and sheer cliffs. Oklahoma does not have high cliffs that overlook a large body of water. Oklahoma is a mostly flat state of wheat fields, tallgrass prairies, MAGA fascists, and a little bit of rocky desert in the west.
 

sinister42

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Ok the show's website tells all: The World . There's a map. The Badlands are bordered by the Mississippi River on the East and go basically to the Rocky Mountains, with the Rio Grande river basically the south border. Makes very little sense with the geography of the show, but whatevs.

Edited to add: Looking deeper at the map, Oklahoma looks to be split between the two territories. I see names like "Bartsville" and "Tosko" that must correlate to "Bartlesville" and "Tulsa" based on their positions on the map.
 

Dave

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It is worth quoting that filming locations link in case the link get's broken:

Most of the first season was filmed around New Orleans and Louisiana. The first season was also headquartered at the St. John Center Soundstage. Here are some of the landmarks they filmed at:
  • Fort Macomb
  • Longue Vue House and Gardens
  • Evergreen Plantation
  • Luling Mansion
  • Market Street Power Plant
  • Lafayette Cemetery
Meanwhile, most of the filming locations in seasons 2 and 3 were set in Ireland, particularly the fields of Wicklow county. Here are more landmarks from the recent seasons of the show:
  • Killruddery House
  • Powerscourt Waterfall
  • Hell Fire Club
  • Cabinteely House
  • O’Brien’s Tower
  • Ballycorus Leadmines
  • McDermott’s Castle
That’s pretty much all you need to know about where Into the Badlands is filmed.
 

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The Oklahoma claim surprised me. My guess for the location, both real and depicted, was always New Mexico, a state which doesn't need to wait for a major war and 500 years to have bona fide badlands.

San Juan Basin Badlands, New Mexico

52260


New Mexico also shares a relatively short border with Mexico. My setting guess was reinforced when Sunny and Bajie had to get through a wall to return to the Badlands. I thought that it might be "The Wall" currently being pushed by U.S. anti-immigrationists.

Funny that the supposed setting for the series should generate more lively discussion than the show itself in the last two seasons. :)
 
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