We open the latest episode of Into the Badlands with Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay) and Cressida (Lorraine Toussaint) using one of the famous compasses of Azra, that is guiding their caravan of vehicles into some magnificently scenic mountains. But even as they are almost at their destination they are alerted to a concern with Castor (Dean-Charles Chapman) who isn't doing so well after the fight at one of Chau's checkpoints last episode. He tells Pilgrim he'll be fine because he doesn't want to come off as weak but Pilgrim lets him know he doesn't have to prove anything to him.
The act of using the Gift takes a toll on the body that seems to really wreck someone the more they use it as Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) points out to Castor he is getting worse. Seems like having this power isn't as glorious as one would think. But we'll have to see how this develops later because for now, they arrive at their destination, a small island with a large stone building on it that they call "the first temple of Azra." Maybe we'll finally get a hint of what all these stories of this mythical city are like.
But first, Moon Rises, Raven Seeks checks in on the Widow (Emily Beecham) herself as she gets the first look at her new Regent Nathanial Moon (Sherman Augustus) all dressed up in her signature blue jacket and pants. I guess it makes sense after you're hired that you get fitted for your work uniform. And the Widow really goes that extra mile for her employees as she gives him a bonus gift-a new metal hand. And this isn't just some ordinary hand so he can look normal, it has a hidden blade in between the fingers and can shoot darts. Like Moon wasn't already a big enough threat on his own!
Just as he is getting to marvel at this new wonderful addition M.K (Aramis Knight) shows up and he is very pissy because the Widow's butterflies took his precious opium. You don't mess with an addicts drug supply. The Widow takes this as a perfect opportunity for Moon and M.K. to be introduced and have Moon teach him a lesson because he has been skipping his training lately. Moon gives up his sword to M.K. and goes with just using his new metal hand because he feels this makes it a fair fight. No display of arrogance from the veteran swordsman there! They spar back and forth for a bit but it doesn't get real until M.K. mentions that Sunny (Daniel Wu) is the one that trained him and reminds Moon how he took his hand. This causes Moon to pop the blade out from his hand and go at M.K. harder and he ends up putting the kid on his back. Looks like Moon proved who is the teacher and who is the student.
Speaking of our hero Sunny, we find him at the refugee camp with Bajie (Nick Frost) and Lydia (Orla Brady) worrying about what to do with his son Henry now that he has found out his kid has the Gift and it is making him sick with fever. Lydia remembers stories her father told her about a former master named Ankara that was exiled from the monastery but Bajie knows exactly who she is talking about and is very against it. He calls her the Mad Witch and I don't blame him because that seems like every indication to stay away. Lydia has a clue from some old books her father left behind that say she is at a location called Vulture's Peak. Bajie groans with frustration and says that takes them right through the frontlines of all the fighting going on in the Badlands but Sunny still wants him to take him there. Never underestimate what a dedicated father will do for his son. Sunny knows there must be more to why Bajie doesn't want to go and when he gets him to talk we find out that he knew Ankara back at his time in the monastery because she was his first master before her obsession with Azra drove her bonkers and she was kicked out. Bajie believed in her quest for Azra as well and it's something that he is still hoping that will save the Badlands one day.
Meanwhile, Pilgrim and his people build small rafts to take them to the island so that they might investigate this first outpost. What they find is an old museum covered in leaves and cobwebs that has dinosaur fossils, statues, and ancient artifacts that range from many cultures. It's not entirely clear if they are even aware what they are looking at because they seem to think it's a sacred ground but we already know that it's just a place where people took their kids to learn about history. But they are able to turn the power back on and electricity seems to impress their followers!
While many are marveling at where their leader has brought them there are some that feel betrayed by Pilgrim that he has wasted their time. When Cressida brings this to his attention he knows he has to take some action to ensure that he has the full loyalty of his group. He does a test of faith by blindfolding himself and telling the non-believers to come at him with their weapons because if he is truly worthy then his faith will be enough to defend himself. While he sells them on that theory what more realistically seems to happen if he just listens to where the men's feet crunch on the dried up leaves and it gives away their positions and he is able to fight back. That doesn't simply seem like enough and Pilgrim definitely has some skills as he ducks and dodges his attackers taking them each out one at a time. Maybe he trained at the monastery before or under someone else? Regardless, this demonstration is enough that no one will be doubting their allegiance to his vision for wherever he plans to take them.
Back at the refugee camp, Bajie is still trying to convince Sunny not to go to the Mad Witch but he is not listening. Out of nowhere, Tilda (Ally Ioannides) shows up and Sunny immediately puts a knife to her throat because he isn't aware of where her allegiance is now. Bajie quickly informs him that she left The Widow but he still holds on to the fact that she allowed Veil to be traded to Quinn. She admits that she regrets her actions but tells Sunny if he kills her then she can't help him now. Bajie jumps in and offers to help Sunny find the Mad Witch just to calm him down and get him away from Tilda. This does work and he lowers his blade but the look on his face shows that he isn't forgetting anything about what happened.
Suddenly the camp goes into hysterics and people begin scrambling because Moon has shown up with a small entourage of The Widow's men. She has tasked him with finding Bajie and bringing him back to her but also with killing the Iron Rabbit who has been a constant nuisance to her. Now, this would seem like the time for Sunny to make a hasty exit but he can't because Lydia has been looking after Henry and that's exactly who Moon goes to have a word with. Lydia does her best to play dumb on not knowing anything about the Iron Rabbit or The Widow's missing supply truck. But realizing that the only way Moon is going to leave is to give him something, so she offers to travel back with him and talk to The Widow herself. She hands Henry off to Tilda who poses as just another orphan and acts like a poor innocent girl. Thankfully the Iron Rabbit wears a mask! Well, thankfully they got out of that because it sure could've gone a whole lot worse.
Over on the island, Castor and Nix are rummaging through an old gift shop and we see many photos of cities that are familiar to us but they have no idea what they are looking at. At one point Castor is looking through a Viewmaster (of all things those survived the apocalypse?) and he sees a city he does know which is Azra. It doesn't look like any place in our current timeline but instead looks like some futuristic vision some architect drew up to get a promotion. He shares it with Nix but then also notices his ear is bleeding. He is not well and he is beginning to doubt he will even make it long enough to see Azra. But Nix tells him to have faith that Pilgrim will get them there in time although what she isn't aware of is that Pilgrim himself is eavesdropping outside the room.
At The Widow's home, M.K. is still fighting her on being a prisoner there but she says the only way he is leaving is with her help. She lets him know that she is bringing Bajie back to help him unlock his Gift but M.K. is upset that she is even involving him. He mentions that she should just get her own back but we learn that the Master took her Gift from her. The Widow is already an unbelievable fighter so I can only imagine how dominant she must be with the Gift.
Somehow using his powers of persuasion M.K. gets one of the butterflies to bring him back his opium to his cell. He properly cooks it up like an addict and shoots it up into his bloodstream. It takes him deep into his subconscious and he is shown a doppelganger of himself that has the black eyes of the Gift. It tells him that he can't be released from his mind because he still thinks he killed his mother and he is mistaken. His dark self-tells him that it isn't true and that the Master tricked him into believing it. He gets thrust into a flashback scenario where he is right back in the middle of the attack on his village by Quinn's clippers. He sees his mother and as she comes up to him and tells him to hide, she is stuck with a sword from behind.
After her body falls he sees the man standing behind her holding the blade and it's Sunny. He falls to his knees devastated by this reveal but then his anger takes over and we see his eyes go black. I think we can title this "How M.K. got his Gift Back."
Pilgrim finds Cressida and even he lets her know that the place they have found isn't what he was expecting but she tells him the Catalyst sent the signal so it must be the right place. But Pilgrim is becoming frustrated because they have no proof of this person and Cressida tells him to just believe he will appear when the time is right. Interesting that the man who is trying to lead an entire group of believers is starting to lose faith in his own cause.
We learn a little bit more about Pilgrim as she talks about finding him abandoned on some rocks because he was left by some people for a sacrifice and she took him in. She cared and helped him as his powers blossomed so now she is asking him to have the same faith in what they are doing as she had back then. She reminds them the moon is full and they need to perform a sacrament so that more will be revealed to them.
Lydia meets The Widow on the grounds of her home to talk things out. After they trade verbal jabs back and forth The Widow gives Lydia her pitch to try and win her over. With the other Barons dead she needs a new Viceroy to maintain Quinn's poppy fields and she wants Lydia to take over the job. If she agrees she can use the Fort to house her refugees and keep them safe. But as we know there is always a catch and this is no different for in return The Widow wants her to give up the Iron Rabbit.
Rounding out the end of the show, Tilda tells Sunny that she has The Widow's transport so they can use it to get around as a disguise from her forces. Sunny agrees but tells Tilda that he still doesn't forgive her for what she did.
Going to have to try a little harder to win him over Tilda. The Widow finds M.K. overdosing in his room and sends one of her girls to get the Healer in an effort to not lose him. And on the island, Pilgrim performs a ritual with Cressida which involves the act of body suspension as he puts two large metal hooks through the skin in her back and raises her by chains high into the air. She has all the appearances of a fallen angel but it seems to have got them the answers they were looking for because when Pilgrim asks her "What do you see?", she replies with "I see everything!" All I see is a bunch of fanatical nutjobs but it's very entertaining!
What do you think of Pilgrim and his quest to find Azra? Are Tilda and Bajie going to be able to help Sunny out and make it to the Mad Witch? And is M.K. going to go on a vengeance to find Sunny now that he knows he is responsible for his mother's death? Season three is already getting good on AMC!