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.
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.
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