Into The Badlands (AMC): Season 2, Episode 4

NOTE: This review contains SPOILERS. New episodes will be airing Sundays (10PM EST) on AMC.

Episode 4: Palm of the Iron Fox

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The Widow (Emily Beecham), Waldo (Stephen Land), and Tilda (Ally Ioannides) ready to fight.

Baron Chau (symbol: fox) is basically the go-to slave trader (with Cogs as her primary resource ). She has the largest cog population; we learn that The Widow grew up on her plantation. The Widow’s philosophy on life is basically the opposite of Chau’s, who believes in survival of the fittest.

Later on, there is a fight among the Barons in the courtyard. Tilda (who came to The Conclave in secret) saves Waldo’s life. 

He killed so many people while sitting in his wheelchair, it’s easily the most impressive part…  -Excerpt from Mic revew

That Cog in training, Gabriel, who was scared to fight is a spy in Ryder’s house. He sends a message (via dove) to Quinn. Speaking of unlikely fighters…

***

Veil (though she’s a healer) finds a warrior w/in herself in this ep. After she gets access to the sun room, she attempts to escape (carrying Henry in a pouch). It doesn’t work, b/c the man stationed on guard, Edgar, gets suspicious. Later at dinner, Veil compliments him for his cooking. She put a sleeping potion in his drink, so Edgar gets slowed down in his pursuit of her. (Sunny is NOT in this ep, BUT he’d be proud of his lady!)

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Quinn (Marton Csokas) faces off against Ryder (Oliver Stark).

Were you a BIT surprised when Ryder hesitated to kill his father? Well, I wasn’t; he just doesn’t have the chops to fill his father’s position as Baron. I DID feel sorry for Jade- she really loved Ryder. Quinn (finally) killed Ryder; I thought it was going to happen much earlier (S1)! Also, I wanted to see more of the father-son showdown. As for Jade, I think she’s going to get major revenge on Quinn.

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Into the Badlands (AMC): Season 2, Episode 3


NOTE: This review contains SPOILERS. New episodes will be airing Sundays (10PM EST) on AMC.

Episode 3: Red Sun, Silver Moon

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Sunny (Daniel Wu) and Bajie (Nick Frost) meet a legendary warrior.

Sunny and Bajie meet a big/tall/imposing former Clipper, Nathaniel Moon (AKA Silver Moon) on a bridge. They are defeated by him, BUT then find themselves under his roof (a VERY old/abandoned church). NOT only is this guy a strong actor (gravitas, anyone?)- he did his OWN stunts during the fight scenes (whoa)! Nathaniel (who’s a BIT of a legend among Clippers) has killed 999 men in battle. His wife and son were killed long ago as revenge against him. Men like them can’t have (normal) lives, he tells Sunny (who doesn’t agree, of course). However, he and Nathaniel have a LOT in common also. 

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Sunny (Daniel Wu) fights Nathaniel Moon (AKA Silver Moon).

Afterbuzz hosts were thinking/hoping that Nathaniel would stay on longer on the series, BUT he has a final battle w/ Sunny. He considers Sunny a worthy opponent; he’s in a league of his own w/ regards to fighting (as was explained by Waldo in a previous ep). 

The significance of the sword being taken by Bajie has more to do with the fact that it is a prestigious weapon that was owned by a legendary clipper, hence will command a great fee/value… -Comment from a viewer (YouTube)

***

MK’s roomie is caught trying to escape, so his powers are taken away. The procedure is performed by those same three robed monks that first captured M.K. in a cold/dirty operating room. M.K. looks horrified- HE may decide to make a run for it, instead of continuing his training w/ The Master.

***

To keep herself (and baby Henry) on Quinn’s good side, she tells him that his brain tumor has NOT changed since last month. She hides the current x-ray, showing him the previous one. Quinn is acting weirder… and weirder- he’s a VERY watchable character still.

Later on, he saves the life of the teenage boy (Cog) who was caught running away. Boy, was I surprised! Quinn sees that this kid is scared of fighting, so he motivates him (playing a father figure), then challenges him to attack. 

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The Widow (Emily Beecham) arrives at The Conclave.

The Widow (AKA Minerva) and Waldo arrive at Ryder’s estate for The Conclave. Afterbuzz hosts wondered: How/when did Waldo ally himself w/ The Widow? It’s a VERY good question; it seems like it happened rather quickly. 

Lang makes for a great grizzled mentor figure, albeit one with a shroud of uncertainty about him. He’s already betrayed one Baron, and there’s no guarantee he isn’t maneuvering Widow to her death by insisting on accompanying her in Tilda’s place. Whatever his motivations, Waldo’s increased role this season is appreciated. -Excerpt from IGN review

Detective Story (1951) starring Kirk Douglas & Eleanor Parker

[1] The writing is a bit too well-structured, almost like clockwork, the characters are a bit too symbolic and easy to categorise. The comic relief kicks in just on schedule. The psychological diagnosis is too precise. And yet, this is one of the greatest films ever made. It has a sense of respect for the totality of life, and makes tragedy almost poetic. 

[2] Kirk Douglas carries the burden of McLeod and makes the tormented policeman painfully believable–it is almost a nonstop, swirling performance… 

[3] The abortion angle of the original play was taken to the screen, partly because of censorship, and partly because the close-up, immediacy of the camera requires rage to be clearly more explained than on the stage…

-Excerpts from various reviews (Amazon & IMDB)

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A poster for the film

Evil’s got a smell of its own. A child could spot it. -McCloud says, before giving some info re: his father/parents’ relationship

In this film, abortion is sinful, criminal, horrifying (personally and socially)- a tragedy. It appears from different angles: the Dutch abortion doctor (w/ his clever lawyer), the detective’s wife, her ex-boyfriend (who got her pregnant), and eventually, the detective. When Mary (Eleanor Parker) finally tells her husband (Kirk Douglas) about it, his worldview is too black and white to handle it. He calls her a “tramp”- she’s wasn’t expecting that reaction. All that matters is that she was intimate with someone before being married to him. She says she’s leaving him forever. He doesn’t go after her, as his fellow detectives urge. Mary gets her freedom.

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Mary (Eleanor Parker) begs and cries, but McCloud (Kirk Douglas) doesn’t see her virtues.

This may be one of the early “typical day” genre- several different stories occurring over one day in the same location, but melded into a whole (as on the TV shows, Hill Street Blues and Barney Miller). A key ongoing side plot involves an unlikely/lovelorn first offender and the younger sister of his former girlfriend. He stole from his employer to win back his (model) girlfriend who has moved on to a different circle. McCleod’s partner, Det. Brody (William Bendix) is more gentle/understanding; this man reminds him of his dead (WWII hero) son.

Oscar nominations were given out for William Wyler’s direction, the screenplay, and for Parker and Lee Grant, lead and supporting actresses respectively. At a little over 20 minutes, Parker’s performance in this movie is the shortest to ever be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

I built my whole life on hating my father. All the time he was inside me, laughing. -McCloud finally realizes the truth about his personality 

Since it was impossible to film the movie without portraying the killing of Detective McLeod, so this movie resulted in another amendment to the Production Code. From December 20, 1938 to March 27, 1951, there was a rule forbidding the display of law enforcement officers (EX: detectives, security guards, etc.) dying at the hands of criminals. From March 27, 1951 onward, the Production Code allowed such portrayals, if they were “absolutely necessary to the development of the plot” (as noted in the book The Dame in the Kimono by Leonard Jeff and Jerold Simmons).