Baron Quinn is losing it. The Widow starts a war. M.K., the Colt, is a wanted young man. Ryder, son of Baron Quinn, allies with The Widow. Sunny, Head Clipper of Baron Quinn, now has a lot on his plate.
In case viewers missed the November 15, 2015 premiere that aired just after an episode of The Walking Dead, the newest AMC series Into The Badlands blends a dystopian future along with Game of Thrones power moves and martial arts action. After the downfall of American civilization caused by wars which brought chaos, the story begins 500 years into the future when seven autocratic rulers, called Barons, now reign over sections of former America. Guns do not exist. So matters of conflict are settled by martial arts combat. Each baron has an army of warriors called Clippers. And to be a clipper, a period of brutal training is required from a young pupil, called a Colt. Each baron has a head clipper, also called a regent. And of all the clippers of Baron Quinn, none are as lethal and highly respected than Sunny (Daniel Wu). Each baron also has slaves, known as Cogs. Such are those, under the rule of a baron.
Land is coveted, as well as a valuable marketable commodity. Both of which, gives power to a baron besides having an army of clippers. With Baron Quinn (Marton Csokas), it is opium. And with The Widow (Emily Beecham) who became the newest Baron after murdering her husband, it is oil. While Baron Quinn is considered to be the most powerful of the seven barons, The Widow is unique in that besides having clippers, she also has a cadre of female warriors called Butterflies. Like Bruce Wayne chose the black bat symbol to instill both fear and respect before becoming Batman, The Widow chose the blue winged butterfly as a symbol of her metamorphosis from insignificance to beauty and power. Of her Butterflies whom The Widow treats all with both maternal affection and firmness, it seems her sixteen year old daughter Tilda (Alexia "Ally" Ioannides) is the most lethal. The Badlands is all about maintaining power.
Season 1 episode 4 titled, "Two Tigers Subdue Dragons," begins with Tilda running through the woods wearing a white dress that's covered with blood. Concurrently, a jeep appears driving on a road. Then, Tilda suddenly appears and stops directly in front of the jeep's path before she screams, "Stop, help, please stop!" The jeep comes to a quick stop. Yet barely after two clippers in black step out, two ninja stars in the shape of two Butterfly stars speed through the air before killing both. Shortly after, Tilda says, "All clear mother." To which, The Widow replies, "Well done Tilda," as she emerges from the nearby trees with her cadre of Butterflies.
Shortly after finding gold coins within the jeep, the Butterflies bring one of Baron Quinn's red garbed clippers out from the woods. "Why do we have one of Quinn's clippers?" asks Tilda. "My baron will have your head for this," says the bound captive clipper. "My head?" says The Widow before swinging a pickaxe to decapitate. "I doubt it," she finishes.
Meanwhile at the Fort, where Baron Quinn and his warriors resides, Sunny observes his colt M.K. (Aramis Knight) during training. "Yes, your forms are improving, but your attacks are still predictable." Shortly after hearing that, M.K. tries to catch Sunny unaware. Yet Sunny quickly knocks him to the ground before saying, "You need to learn to make the unexpected move."
Baron Quinn then joins Sunny and M.K. atop the bulwark at the Fort. After Sunny sends M.K. away to practice, the two speak privately. The baron then asks about Baron Jacobee, for Jacobee and the other barons didn't like Quinn taking The Widows oil fields in episode 3.
"They fail to remember that The Widow attacked me first," says Baron Quinn to Sunny. Which is true, in a way. For The Widow had paid nomads to ambush a transport full of cogs owned by the baron. All were killed, except one, a teenage boy. Basically there's two things The Widow wants. She wants the teen boy that has what could be called, a dark energy. When the teen bleeds, a power overcomes the teen boy, making him momentarily indestructible, incredibly fast, and lethal. Sunny knows that M.K. has that hidden power. Furthermore, both Sunny and the baron know that she wants M.K. Although only Sunny knows why, yet has kept that reason from the baron. Sunny is told from M.K. that The Widow had paid the nomads, warriors without a baron similar to ronins with no lord or master, to capture him in the season pilot.
And of course, the second thing The Widow wants is to take down Baron Quinn. Which she'd been scheming ever since, made clear at the beginning of episode 2, titled, "Fist Like a Bullet." For in the opening scene, she approaches her former regent, a former head clipper, at a nightclub. He addresses her as Minerva, to which she replies, "That person doesn't exist anymore." Yet barely after she presents her offer for both to take Quinn down, five nomads attack, first killing her former regent. The Widow then manages to evade the attacks of the five, taking out four, yet leaving one alive. Before killing the nomad, she asks, "Who hired you?" The nomad answers, "Quinn's son, Ryder," (Oliver Stark). For the baron was unaware of his son's preemptive plot to kill The Widow. Thus the bold act all the more compels her to take Baron Quinn down.
Baron Quinn had ordered Sunny to have a meet with Baron Jacobee's regent Zypher (Ellen Hollman) in episode 3, to relay word to have the two baron's meet to smooth things over. Such a meet takes place at a graveyard surrounded by lush vegetation in episode 4, with each baron escorted by their clippers. Sunny also chose six colts as scouts, while telling M.K. to stay at the Fort for his own safety. Yet Sunny later finds M.K. hiding behind a gravestone. "I told you to stay," Sunny says angrily. "You also told me to make the unexpected move," M.K. replies. "I'll deal with you later. Keep watch," Sunny orders.
While the two barons meet, M.K. spots through his spyglass Tilda who is cloaked. He then yells out as she throws a pickaxe towards Baron Quinn, yet he's saved by Sunny who caught the weapon in midair. From that, the two baron's and their clippers engage in a fight with each other while M.K. chases after Tilda.
After M.K. catches up to her, the two teens also enjoin in a fight. Tilda then throws a butterfly star at him, slicing his skin, which brings out M.K.'s dark energy. Now nearly invincible, M.K. is about to deliver a fatal blow to Tilda before she pleads with her life. His power then fades, thus she is spared. Yet when Sunny sees what happened, Tilda throws a butterfly star at Sunny before escaping, which he quickly dodges. He then returns to the two baron's with the butterfly star, as the two baron's now realize that The Widow had set them both up.
Later, Zypher, who is the regent of Baron Jacobee (Edi Gathegi), removes a hood from the bound and captured Ryder. He also sees The Widow, now realizing that the two are working together. The Widow, who also knows enough about the troubled relationship between Baron Quinn and Ryder, presents Ryder with an offer. And he accepts.
All Sunny really wants is to escape the badlands with his pregnant girlfriend, whose also a doctor, known as Veil (Madeleine Mantock). He also knows that Baron Quinnis become unstable from his brain tumor. He then visits The River King (Lance E. Nichols), who promises Sunny that he can grant passage for both him and his lover out of the badlands, after he delivers M.K. What a great episode.