Into The Badlands Reveal Sunny’s (& His Sister’s) Backstory At Last

With only a few episodes left in Into the Badlands‘ third and final season, the AMC series has finally revealed the main protagonist’s backstory. After reuniting with his long-lost sister, Kannin (Eugenia Yuan), Sunny (Daniel Wu) has at last learned the truth about his past.

Throughout the first two seasons of the post-apocalyptic martial arts series, not much was known about Sunny’s early life. As a child and with no memory of his past, Sunny was found near a river by Waldo, who trained him to become a Clipper and the loyal regent of Quinn. Since then, Sunny has picked up a few more details on his childhood, such as his connection to the lost city of Azra and the Gift, his history with Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay), and the existence of an older sister who saved him from the Black Lotus.

Related: Why Into The Badlands Was Cancelled (Despite Being Amazing)

In Monday’s episode of Into the Badlands, “Black Lotus, White Rose”, Sunny is captured by the Black Lotus. While a prisoner, Sunny discovers that one of their members is actually his sister, Kannin. She reveals that after they were attacked by the Black Lotus in the aftermath of Azra’s fall, she was taken in by Magnus (Francis Magee). Magnus taught her that the Gift was an evil and destructive power. Under his tutelage, she learned its history, and how the Gift was responsible for the apocalypse. In the years that she was separated from Sunny, Kannin has been helping Magnus and the Black Lotus eradicate the Dark Ones.

Kannin uses the Gift to unlock Sunny’s memories. Sunny finds out that he and Pilgrim were selected by Sunny’s father to be the guardians of Azra’s future, which explains what Pilgrim meant when he said that the two of them were “chosen sons” of Azra. On that day, a group of Black Lotus warriors led by Magnus were captured after a failed attempt to infiltrate the city. Sunny was told by his father to kill Magnus, but Magnus convinced Sunny that his father was simply using him. Sunny freed Magnus, thus making it possible for Black Lotus to return and destroy the city. This startling revelation sheds new light on the fall of Azra by revealing that Sunny himself is responsible for the destruction of his home.

Despite Kannin’s loyalty to the Black Lotus and their ideals, she ends up siding with Sunny and helping them to defeat Magnus. While it seemed possible that Into the Badlands was setting up Magnus to be the real villain of the series, this may no longer be the case. Instead, the series may have just eliminated two key villains in back-to-back episodes – the other being Eleanor Matsuura’s Baron Chau – in an effort to further streamline Into the Badlands for its final episodes. Also, the reveal of Sunny’s backstory provides closure for one of the show’s biggest mysteries, allowing the series to focus its attention on Pilgrim and the fate of the Badlands.

More: Into the Badlands Casts Daughter of Martial Arts Legend as Sunny’s Sister

2019-04-20 10:04:58

Nicholas Raymond

Into The Badlands Suggests [SPOILER] Is Responsible For The Apocalypse

A new twist in the latest episode of Into the Badlands suggests that the Gift is what caused the apocalypse. The ruins of human civilization is what serves as the backdrop for the martial arts series, but the reasons for why the world fell have barely been touched upon.

Into the Badlands takes place in the state of Oklahoma, but the land no longer goes by that name. In the series, it’s only known as the Badlands, a region divided up into seven territories. Each territory is ruled by a baron who leads a large army of fighters. The Badlands is a dark, dystopian place where men and women kill for power and control. Ruined buildings and a few working vehicles are all that’s left of the old civilization. Guns are outlawed, and swords have returned as the warrior’s weapon of choice.

Related: Into The Badlands Killed Off [SPOILER] To Streamline The Final Season

More is revealed about the fall of civilization in Monday’s episode, “Black Lotus, White Rose”, when Sunny reunites with his long-lost sister, Kannin (Eugenia Yuan), who is now a member of the Black Lotus. During a conversation with their leader, Magnus (Francis Magee), Sunny learns about the origins of the ancient cult and their reasons for wanting to kill everyone with the Gift. According to Magnus, it was the Gift that caused the “Old World” to fall 500 years ago. Magnus says that the founders of the Black Lotus tried to warn the people of the Old World that the Dark Ones would lead to their destruction, but their warnings weren’t taken seriously until it was too late.

While Magnus lays the blame for the apocalypse on the Gift, he doesn’t actually explain how it happened. It was previously understood that a great war was responsible for the current state of the world. It’s possible that both explanations are true, meaning that the chaos caused by the Gift is what started the war. The Gift being the reason for the apocalypse may make it even more difficult to believe that the Gift isn’t a weapon.

While this reveal is certainly interesting, this information shouldn’t necessarily be accepted as a fact. Magnus, who could turn out to be the real villain of Into the Badlands season 3, may not be a trustworthy source. Magnus could be telling the truth, but his hatred of the Gift could be twisting his view of what really happened. However, if it is true, then it explains why the Black Lotus are so intent on wiping out all the Dark Ones. Also, it means that the series has acknowledged the apocalypse in a way that has a deep and meaningful connection to an important part of the show.

More: Into the Badlands Casts Daughter of Martial Arts Legend as Sunny’s Sister

2019-04-18 04:04:30

Nicholas Raymond

Into the Badlands Casts Daughter of Martial Arts Legend as Sunny’s Sister

Sunny’s sister, Kannin, made her first appearance on Into the Badlands in the latest episode, played by Chinese-American actress and former Olympic gymnast Eugenia Yuan. Interestingly, Yuan has deep connections to the martial arts genre, and not just through her own work in movies. Yuan is the daughter of Cheng Pei-pei, a martial arts legend known to many as the “Queen of Swords”, and the first major female martial arts star.

Sunny’s sister is one of the season’s most important mysteries. Earlier in Into the Badlands season 3, Sunny was told that he had a sister named Kannin who helped him escape from Azra several years ago. Despite his efforts to learn more about her, Sunny has been unable to find out what happened to her after Azra was destroyed by the Black Lotus. After being captured by the Black Lotus in “Black Lotus, White Rose”, Sunny finally reunites with his sister, who has been a member of the secret cult since she was recruited as a child.

Related: Exclusive Into the Badlands Clip: Sunny Versus the Black Lotus

The actress who plays Kannin is no stranger to the martial arts genre. Eugenia Yuan has appeared in a handful of martial arts films, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and The Man with the Iron Fists 2. Her mother, on the other hand, is a kung fu icon who starred in dozens of martial arts movies in the 1960s and ’70s.

Chinese actress Cheng Pei-pei rose to stardom in 1966 with her role as Golden Swallow in King Hu’s Come Drink with Me. In Come Drink with Me, Cheng Pei-pei’s Golden Swallow is a one-woman army who effortlessly wipes out a large number of swordsmen in an effort to rescue her brother. The film is widely regarded as one of the best and most influential kung fu films of all-time. Come Drink With Me served as the inspiration for Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning classic, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which featured Cheng Pei-pei as the villain, Jade Fox. At 72, the actress is still active in the industry, and will next appear in Disney’s Mulan in 2020.

Her work is credited with revolutionizing the martial arts genre. Before Come Drink with Me, kung fu films typically featured male actors in the lead roles. Cheng went on to play the main character in several films in the years that followed, including The Lady Hermit, The Jade Raksha, The Lady of Steel, and several more. Over the years, her warrior woman image earned her the title of “Queen of Swords”. Her work in the industry has also set the standard for other female martial arts stars, such as Michelle Yeoh. The link between Into the Badlands’ Eugenia Yuan and this martial arts legend is easy to miss, but it provides a fun connection between the AMC series and a legendary pioneer of kung fu cinema.

Next: Into The Badlands Killed Off [SPOILER] To Streamline The Final Season

2019-04-15 02:04:00

Nicholas Raymond

Into The Badlands Killed Off [SPOILER] To Streamline The Final Season

Baron Chau (Eleanor Matsuura) and Ankara (Clare Higgins) are the latest characters to be killed off in the third and final season of Into the Badlands. The death of Baron Chau in particular will help streamline the season and allow the main characters to eventually come together for a common goal.

The dispute between Baron Chau and the Widow (Emily Beecham) has been a lingering plotline since season 2. At the meeting of the seven barons who control the Badlands, Quinn made a shocking entrance and slaughtered nearly everyone. Only two barons, Chau and the Widow, survived the massacre. Since at that point the only thing stopping them from ruling all the Badlands was each other, war erupted between them.

Related: Exclusive Into the Badlands Clip: Sunny Versus the Black Lotus

The war came to a head in Monday’s episode, “Cobra Fang, Panther Claw”, when the Widow discovered that Tilda (Ally Ioannides) and Gaius (Lewis Tan) had been captured by Baron Chau. With the help of Nix (Ella-Rae Smith), the Widow decided to finally put an end to Baron Chau. The showdown ended with Chau being beheaded by the Widow. Chau’s death, which effectively wrapped up the Widow’s current story arc, needed to happen so that the show can move on, just in time for its final four episodes.

Season 3 of Into the Badlands has been split into three separate stories: the Widow’s war with Baron Chau, Sunny’s quest to save his son, and Pilgrim’s plan to bring salvation to the Badlands. Two of those storylines converged in the midseason finale when Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay) absorbed the Gift from Sunny’s son. After realizing what Pilgrim intended for the Badlands, Sunny betrayed him and escaped with Bajie (Nick Frost) and Nix. The three of them, together with the Widow and the Master (Chipo Chung), understand now that they’ll have to work together to keep Pilgrim from achieving his goal.

Of course, Pilgrim is no longer the only person they have to worry about. The emergence of the Black Lotus, the ancient cult that caused the fall of Azra, opens up a whole new problem for the people of the Badlands. At the end of the episode, Magnus and the Black Lotus killed Ankara and critically injured Bajie. With everything that happened in just the last two episodes, it’s no longer clear if Pilgrim or the Black Lotus are the real villains of the series.

Since a significant portion of the cast was so entangled in the war that they had little to no involvement with the main plot, Chau’s death makes it possible for more characters to join the fight. Next week’s episode could see Sunny and the others joined by Tilda, Gaius, Moon (Sherman Augustus), and Lydia (Orla Brady).

More: Into The Badlands Reminds Us That Sunny’s Sister Is Still Important

2019-04-13 08:04:40

Nicholas Raymond

Exclusive Into the Badlands Clip: Sunny Versus the Black Lotus

An exclusive clip for next week’s episode of Into the Badlands previews an epic battle between Sunny (Daniel Wu) and the Black Lotus. The clip may also be our first look at Sunny’s sister, a character whose identity is one of the season’s biggest mysteries.

In February, AMC announced that Into the Badlands would end after season 3. Following a long hiatus, the post-apocalyptic martial arts series finally returned at the end of March, and will conclude in May. The remaining episodes of Into the Badlands will tie up Sunny’s battle with Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay). Recent episodes have introduced a new threat in the form of a group called the Black Lotus, who share deep ties to Sunny’s mysterious and troubled past.

Related: Into The Badlands Season 3 Turns The Widow Into A [SPOILER]

AMC has shared an exclusive clip of next Monday’s episode, “Black Lotus, White Rose,” with Screen Rant. The clip reveals that Sunny was captured by the Black Lotus following the fight at the end of this week’s episode. During the clip, a female Black Lotus warrior who possesses the Gift frees Sunny, and a bloody battle ensues in classic Into the Badlands fashion. Together, Sunny, Bajie (Nick Frost), and the woman fight off the Black Lotus and their leader, Magnus (Francis Magee).

The identity of Sunny’s new ally could serve as a major turn of events for the series. Sunny recently learned that he has an older sister, but has no idea who or where she is. All he knows is that she helped save him from the Black Lotus when he was a child, and aided in Sunny and Pilgrim’s escape from the city of Azra. Since only four episodes remain in season 3, it would make sense for her to make an appearance soon.

The clip also drops an important reveal regarding the fate of a key character. Monday’s episode ended on a cliffhanger with Magnus stabbing Bajie in the chest. Bajie’s fate was left uncertain, but the clip confirms that the character somehow survives, which is interesting because Bajie doesn’t appear to be injured at all.

Sunny will of course need all the allies he can get for the battles to come. After attacking the Monastery and waking up dozens of Dark Ones, Pilgrim has secured a powerful army, making him even more dangerous than before. However, Pilgrim may not even be Sunny’s greatest threat. Instead, the Black Lotus may be the real villains of season 3.

More: Why Into The Badlands Was Cancelled (Despite Being Amazing)

Into the Badlands season 3 continues Monday, April 15th on AMC.

2019-04-11 07:04:43

Nicholas Raymond

Into The Badlands Reminds Us That Sunny’s Sister Is Still Important

Monday’s episode of Into the Badlands reminds viewers that Sunny’s sister is still important to the show. It was revealed earlier in the season that Sunny (Daniel Wu) has a sister somewhere in the Badlands, but no one, including Sunny himself, has any knowledge of her whereabouts.

The latest episode of the AMC series, “Cobra Fang, Panther Claw,” sees the main characters become sidetracked from their mission to defeat Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay). The Widow (Emily Beecham) and Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) team up to rescue the Widow’s friends and finally put an end to the war with Baron Chau (Eleanor Matsuura). Meanwhile, the Black Lotus, led by Magnus (Francis Magee), finally catch up to Ankara (Clara Higgins). Despite being protected by both Sunny and Bajie (Nick Frost), Ankara was viciously murdered by Magnus, who also stabbed Bajie in the chest.

Related: Exclusive Into the Badlands Clip: Sunny Versus the Black Lotus

Before her death, Ankara tells Sunny and Bajie the truth about the fall of Azra. Ankara confesses that it was her fault that the Black Lotus found the city. She also mentions that there were only a few survivors: Sunny, his sister, and Pilgrim. The mystery of Sunny’s sister hasn’t received much attention in recent episodes, but the brief reference to her in “Cobra, Fang, Panther Claw” serves as a reminder to viewers that answers are still coming. With only four episodes remaining in Into the Badlands‘ third and final season, fans won’t have to wait much longer for this storyline to reach a resolution. Synopses for upcoming episodes confirm that Sunny’s sister, Kannin, will arrive soon, played by Eugenia Yuan.

Earlier in the season, Sunny learned more details about his childhood from an encounter with the River King. He was on a boat that was attacked by the Black Lotus. Nearly everyone on board was massacred. One survivor, the boat captain, revealed to Sunny that he had a sister. He described her as Sunny’s “guardian angel,” who protected him from the Black Lotus.

Later, when Pilgrim was trying to convince Sunny to join forces with him, he explained that in their youth, they were both “chosen sons” of Azra. According to Pilgrim, it was Sunny and his sister, Kannin, who helped him escape Azra when the Black Lotus sacked the city and burned it to the ground. Pilgrim told Sunny that he didn’t know what became of her after Azra’s fall.

If the fight with the Black Lotus was the last time anyone saw Kannin, it could mean that the cult had something to do with her disappearance. Sunny’s best chance of finding out what happened to Kannin will come when he faces off against Magnus.

More: Why Into The Badlands Was Cancelled (Despite Being Amazing)

2019-04-11 04:04:42

Nicholas Raymond

Into The Badlands Finally Explains The Fall Of Azra

Monday’s episode of Into the Badlands finally explained the circumstances behind the fall of Azra, the mythical city that has remained one of the show’s biggest mysteries since season 1.

The lost city of Azra was first mentioned in the series premiere of the post-apocalyptic martial arts series. At the beginning, Azra served as a strange and mysterious link between Sunny (Daniel Wu) and M.K. (Aramis Knight), who both had unexplained ties to the faraway place. Many doubted the existence of the utopian city, while others, like the Widow (Emily Beecham) and Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay), have been desperate to find it. What is known about Azra is that the city eventually fell, and only a few survived, including Sunny and Pilgrim.

Related: Into The Badlands Season 3B Review: The Series Sets Up An Epic Endgame

The final season of Into the Badlands has provided some much-needed answers about what really happened to Azra. Pilgrim explained to Sunny that the city was destroyed by a group called the Black Lotus. Ankara (Clare Higgins) recently told Sunny and Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) that the Black Lotus is an ancient cult devoted to murdering anyone who possesses the Gift. In the latest episode, “Cobra Fang, Panther Claw,” Ankara revealed that it was her fault that Azra was destroyed. Years ago when she was still at the Monastery, she and a scribe named Magnus (Francis Magee) set out to find Azra. Ankara was betrayed by Magnus, who turned out to be a member of Black Lotus. Magnus left Ankara for dead and laid waste to the city with his men. Now Magnus is back and on the hunt for Ankara.

Ankara’s story fills in some of the blanks regarding the mystery of Azra, but more is sure to be discovered in the coming weeks, as the fight with the Black Lotus heats up. At the end of the episode, Magnus murders Ankara and stabs Bajie (Nick Frost) in the chest. Bajie’s fate is left uncertain. Magnus’ actions have increased the chances that the Black Lotus are the real villains of season 3.

While Sunny and the others have been so focused on fighting Pilgrim, the Black Lotus has emerged as the most immediate threat. Sunny’s inevitable clash with Magnus could lead to more questions being answered about Sunny’s past, the secrets of Azra, and the true nature of the Gift, which was never meant to be a weapon. It’s possible that Magnus will reveal the Gift’s purpose, and why the Black Lotus was willing to destroy an entire city just to kill everyone with the Gift.

More: Why Into The Badlands Was Cancelled (Despite Being Amazing)

2019-04-09 04:04:48

Nicholas Raymond

Into The Badlands Season 3B Review: The Series Sets Up An Epic Endgame

At the start of its final run of episodes, AMC’s Into the Badlands wastes no time in setting up the series’s endgame: a conflict between Sunny (Daniel Wu) and Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay), whose growing army of “gifted” warriors promises a future that is sure to be far worse than any under the thumb of the various Barons who’ve been largely scattered to the wind over the course of two and a half seasons. As far as conflicts go, Sunny’s upcoming battle with Pilgrim certainly raises the stakes of the series, putting the already dubious future of humankind into a sort of supernatural peril, one where unimaginable power must be wrested from the hands of a group operating with a staggering level of conviction seen only in the most extreme zealots. 

Unfortunately for the world of Into the Badlands, Pilgrim’s zealotry is backed up by a very real display of power, one that’s not only impossible to deny, but any attempt to combat it seems hopeless. Despite the increased emphasis on supernatural powers — which actually works quite well with the show’s wuxia-style brand of marital arts — the threat of Pilgrim, Cressida (Lorraine Toussaint), and their devotees — which includes MK (Aramis Knight) and Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) — isn’t too far removed from what the series seemed to be about when it first began. The world of blood-thirsty Barons and their highly skilled warriors may have been supplanted by an almost absurdly powerful force, but somehow Into the Badlands doesn’t feel as though it’s lost sight of the kind of series it wanted to be when it first began. 

If anything, this current storyline — or, the final storyline — is more in keeping with the spirit of the show and its highly stylized aesthetic and creative fight choreography — which affords viewers the amazing sight of Nick Frost engaged in balletic martial arts battles complete with high-flying wire work — as it lets the series be as weird and outlandish as it pleases. But it also has paired the overarching narrative down to three main threads, that of Sunny, Pilgrim, and the Widow (Emily Beecham), though the latter is somewhat distanced from the other at the start of the season. That culling of characters and plot threads makes things far more manageable as the show’s writers steer into what will be the series finale. And while Sunny’s arc of trained killer on a quest to redeem himself — complete with a retro engineered backstory that benefitted from the character’s memories having been toyed with — pits him against a man with whom he shares a complicated history, the Widow finds herself in a much more overt battle between the light and darkness within herself. 

Like Sunny, the Widow’s story seems to have been re-engineered somewhat in order to better complement the needs of the story — thematic and otherwise — but it works in large part because the character still functions as a reminder of what the show was built on before MK and the other “gifted” characters (the Widow included) began to dominate and redefine the larger narrative of Into the Badlands. That’s particularly evident in the first two episodes of season 3B, ‘Chamber of the Scorpion’ and ‘Raven’s Feather, Phoenix Blood,’ which will air on consecutive nights as the series moves to its regular Monday night time slot on AMC. 

While much of the focus is on Sunny and Bajie (Frost) escaping from Pilgrim’s compound with Sunny’s child (now free from the gift, apparently), the episode is also concerned with the Master (Chipo Chung) reconnecting with the Widow and forcing her to choose which side of her own psyche will rule her moving forward. It’s a bit like watching Christopher Reeve battle himself in a junkyard in Superman III, but because the show doesn’t dwell on the choice she has to make — and because it’s so evidently a part of the actual text of the episodes — the outcome puts the series on firmer ground as it careens toward the finale. 

For the most part, finding its footing and being unambiguous about where things are headed is the goal for the first two episodes. In a sense, it feels as though Into the Badlands is doing a lot of table setting, and, frankly, it is. But it’s the sort of table setting that’s necessary in light of the show coming to an end. Alternatively, it’s easy to forgive the deliberate arrangement narrative details on account of how many lengthy action sequences the show manages to pack into a single hour, and still find time to move the story forward in a way that seems meaningful to the characters’ ongoing development and potential for finding closure when the series actually does come to an end. 

Although it has quite a lot of heavy lifting to do in order to get itself on a path toward finding that closure, the start of Into the Badlands season 3B begins with an assured confidence that not only does it know where it’s going, but that it won’t loose sight of what makes this series special as it journeys down that particular path. 

Next: The Act Review: Hulu’s True-Crime Series Is Anchored By Strong Lead Performances

Into the Badlands continues Monday, March 25 with ‘Raven’s Feather, Phoenix Blood’ @9pm on AMC.

2019-03-24 06:03:54

Kevin Yeoman