‘Two Tigers Subdue Dragons’ ‘Into the Badlands’ Ep4 Review

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Marton Csokas as Quinn - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

Marton Csokas as Quinn – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

Review in a Tweet: “ ‘Two Tigers Subdue Dragons’ features deceit, distrust, disaster, and digusting family dynamics #AMC”

This week’ Into the Badlands features deceit, distrust, disaster, and digusting family dynamics. The Widow hijacks Baron Jacobee’s (Edi Gathegi) gold to set Quinn up against his greatest ally, Sunny cuts M.K. to see what he’s dealing with, Quinn’s first wife, Lydia, and future fiance, Jade, talk about  not sleeping with a father and a son, after Jade asked Lydia to see her as her daughter, Ryder does some dirty dealings, and Sunny is faced with a huge dilemma. There was also the bloodiest fight of the season thus far, a severed head with a message, and some truly spectacular sword fighting. This is what AMC does better than most other networks, bring creative and outlandish elements from other genres, and ground them into a heart-pounding drama.

Sarah Bolger as Jade - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

Sarah Bolger as Jade – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

The random strands are finally coming together to create an intricate web of motives for each character. The Widow is fighting for Women’s Rights, Quinn is fighting for life and to keep his power, Jade has her own agenda, Ryder wants the throne, Sunny wants to protect his family, every one wants something and have to either use or go through someone else to get it. The most weirdly obvious and passive aggressive situation seems to be with Quinn and his family. Everyone knows that Quinn’s fiance is sleeping with his son as well, yet everyone seems to just be letting the wedding happen. Ryder believes he needs to be a Baron to stop it, and Jade seems to be “about that life” of a Baroness. The Widow’s motives are more clear now and seem to be benevolent, though she will do whatever it takes to reach her goals. Everyone really seemed to be moving forward, except Lydia who seems to be stuck. The end of the episode shows that the trick to pit Quinn against Jacobee was really a big distraction so she could ambush his fort, kill his clippers, and take his Cogs with the money she stole from Jacobee.

Edi Gathegi as Jacobee - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

Edi Gathegi as Jacobee – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

The story progression and plot turns were the best they’ve been all season, but the giant sword fight scene was the high point of the episode. Bloody, brutal, and beautiful, the fight scenes continue to impress. Quinn was the star of this fight, hacking away most of Jacobee’s forces himself, not to disregard Jacobee going HAM with his sword and pick axe. Then there was the Regents’ bout, Sunny vs Zyphir (Ellen Holman). Sunny had a noticeable advantage in the fight, but Zyphir could keep up and easily get away when needed. What was truly stunning, and equally savage, was the flawless flow of fighting. Quinn and Jacobee would be clashing with underlings coming in between and getting immediately mowed down so that they could continue their fight; while the Barons exhibited a more brutal and savage fighting style, the Regents paralleled the flow with finnesse attacks at eachother, through some clippers, then back at eachother. In reality I should be appalled at how effortlessly and without remorse these people cut down people just to get at eachother, but as an avid action fan it was glorious. I can only describe my reactions in onomotopias tha tI cannot spell correctly. Just imagine words with a lot “o’s” and elongated PG-13 curse words.

Into the Badlands kicks it into high gear as it approaches their season finale. The storytelling and fighting are blending better as they both become stronger in their own aspects. The characters themselves are still not as deep and complex as many other dramas, but they balance it out and express it in their fighting. The contrast in fighting styles with Quinn and Sunny reflect their characters motives and actions. Sunny fluid and calculating and Quinn blunt and over powering embody their actions and plans in the show thus far. Into the Badlands is putting the art back into martial arts, and I can’t wait to see what will be painted next.

Daniel Wu as Sunny and Lance Nichols as River King - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

Daniel Wu as Sunny and Lance Nichols as River King – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

The Verdict
4

Summary

Things are ramping up on all fronts as the show seems to be finding it’s stride.

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