‘Snake Creep Down’ Into the Badlands Episode 5 Review

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Emily Beecham as The Widow and Daniel Wu as Sunny - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Patti Perret/AMC

Emily Beecham as The Widow and Daniel Wu as Sunny – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Patti Perret/AMC

Review in a Tweet: “#IntoTheBadlands bounces off the wall in ‘Snake Creep Down’ #AMC”

Episode 5 of Into the Badlands opens with an intense training session between Sunny and M.K. where Sunny confronts M.K. of murdering the people on the boat. This turns out to be a dream as Sunny wakes up. After waking he picks up M.K.’s Azra book and notices a cutout that fits his broken compass; placing his compass in the cut out brings it to life and gives Sunny a strategy to get out o the Badlands. In the morning Sunny confront M.K. about not killing Tilda at the parley, claiming that M.K. looked to be in control. M.K. believes this means they will be escaping soon, but Sunny tells him Quinn wants them to find The Widow first.

The Widow, now with Quinn’s Cogs, offers them a chance to follow her and reap the benefits or to leave freely. They stay. Quinn on the other hand is left without his farm hands, and is unable to harvest his crop. Jade volunteers to show the remaining Clippers how to harvest the crops until new Cogs arrive. Quinn assembles the Clippers to inform them, but is unable to finish his speech due to his ailment, at this point Jade takes over while Lydia brings Quinn inside. Meanwhile The Widow is still in the woods, cutting each boy to see if one of them have M.K.’s abilities. Tilda asks how she plans to use the boy and his abilities, and discovers that everytime the power is used that it drains the user’s life and the user will die without training.

Ryder visits his grandfather on Lydia’s side, Penrith, to learn about the pendant he stole from M.K. Penrith seems to be the leader or a religious commune that lives in the Badlands. Penrith tells Ryder that Azra, where the pendant is supposedly from, is a made up place to give orphans hope. However, after Ryder leaves he tells one of his commune members to “Send word to the Abbots. We’ve got a dark one in the fort.”

Orla Brady as Lydia - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

Orla Brady as Lydia – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

Sunny and M.K. are accompanied by Petri and his cliper Bale. Petri is incapacitated by a bear trap that breaks his leg, Sunny helps him get out and set the leg leaving Bale and M.K. to roam. Tilda attemps to talk to M.K. unnoticed, to inform him of his powers and all the people who want to use him. However, she is apprehended by Sunny and brought back to the fort. Elsewhere, Jade is teaching the Clippers how to harvest, and Lydia joins in to do her fare share. At the end of it Lydia’s hands are blistered and bleeding. Jade patches up Lydia’s hands and they share a moment that makes it seem that they can work together. However, later Jade brings a bowl of soup to Quinn as he recovers in his study. As Quinn begins to eat and they converse, Jade falls over convulsing and foaming in the mouth.

In the dungeon, Sunny ties Tilda to a chair and attempts to reason with her only to get spit in his face. He leaves to get Quinn. M.K. begs Tilda to just give up The Widow before she is tortured, at that point Bale’s neck is wrapped up by a Bola flung by The Widow. She approaches Tilda’s cell only to be charged by Sunny. As they fight M.K. begins to free Tilda, but is attacked by Bale and is locked in the cell as he fights Tilda. Bale gains the upper hand is is beating Tilda while M.K. can only watch. Sunny lands a critical slash to the Widow’s torso at the same time. As Bale is readies this finishing blow on Tilda, M.K. cuts himself and palm slams the cell door open so hard that it sends bale into the rusted iron spike on the wall. Sunny approaches M.K who collapses. allowing just enough time for Tilda and the Widow to escape. Sunny chases after them through the tunnels, but realizes they have escaped as soon as he exits. The final shot is of Quinn behind a wall in the dungeon, revealing he saw everything.

Episode 5 really begins to give some background on the characters. Lydia came from an extremely conservative commune, Jade was a Cog, Sunny also has strong ties to Azra, and there are others with the dark powers aside from M.K. There is a lot of history behind each character, and more connections between them that are just beginning to reveals themselves. However, the impact of it all still feels short and a bit incomplete. There is one episode this one, but the way the information is laid out is not enticing enough to demand what is next. It is interesting, but not quite hitting the addictive need of knowing. I am not sure if this is due to directing or writing. It is not bad, and by far not the worse, but not quite the level of drama AMC is known to deliver.

Emily Beecham as The Widow - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

Emily Beecham as The Widow – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

However, Sunny and The Widow’s fight scene makes up for it. This is one of the best fight scenes of the series thus far, a one-on-one weapons brawl between two highly skilled fighters. The fight is fast paced, well choreographed, and simply stunning. At one point the fight is backed up to a wall then taken up it. Multiple weapons are used with flawless transition and use. The only critique I have, is that Sunny clearly out classes The Widow. I am sure this is on purpose, I just had to mention it. Sunny always has the upper hand, to the point where it almost seems he is allowing The Widow to wear herself out. It’s subtle in execution but obvious in the result. The little nuances like this really make the show. If the writing and drama could be heightened to the level of execution of the fighting, Into the Badlands could go from being a very cool and entertaining show to being one of the best shows on television.

The Verdict
3.5

Summary

The story is kind of stagnant, but the fight scenes easily overshadow it.

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