Well, this here is an episode where our ostensible two male protagonists sit the action out for the most part. There’s no sign of Sunny anywhere, and M.K.’s own subplot for the episode is limited to the (frankly unsurprising) reveal that during one of his blackout periods he killed his own mother.
So, instead, let’s look at two of the women and how one man’s plotting affects both of them.
The two women are, of course, Veil and the Widow. The one man is Quinn, and if I am not sure whether or not the Widow is one of the good guys in a show that technically has so few of them, then at least we can say for certain that Quinn is one of the bad guys.
Now, the Widow (with Waldo) went to the Baron’s Conclave at Ryder’s place to see if she can keep her newly rewon territory. Her one advantage is no one really likes Ryder taking on so much of other baron’s territories, but on the other hand, they like her even less with her “free every Cog” program.
As for Veil, Quinn is more or less holding her and baby Henry hostage. And he’s not the kind of guy to lead all his Clippers on a mystery raid of some kind and leave her behind. No, he’ll leave one more or less agreeable Clipper named Edgar behind.
So, what happens? Well, Veil has some plans to escape Quinn’s current HQ, an abandoned subway station. And when climbing out doesn’t work, it involves drugging Edgar. And when he wakes up, well, he doesn’t take too kindly to being drugged, forcing Veil to clobber him with a rock.
As for the Widow, well, in her case, Quinn kinda saves her bacon. The Conclave, meant to be unarmed, does not go well. Her closest shot at an ally is one Baron Chau. Chau took the job after her father groomed her for it, and she doesn’t much care for a jumped-up Cog who got to the Baronhood after the death of her spouse trying to completely overturn their way of life. And the Widow does say she’ll stop taking in stray Cogs if she can keep the ones she has at her trial…and then everyone votes against her anyway. The penalty for all that is loss of title and exile from the Badlands.
You know, the Badlands so far are the least bad-looking land in the show. They really should consider a name change. Just sayin’.
But this is Into the Badlands, and that means we need a big fight scene. All this politicking gets old after a while, and the show wasn’t really built for it. And it turns out all those Barons and their sidekicks did have weapons on their person, but there’s an interruption before they can get to slicing the Widow up.
That would be Quinn walking in with his own Clipper army. He had a spy on the inside and knew exactly when to strike.
See? Real bad guy there.
So, there’s a brawl and Quinn sics his people on, oh, everybody and sets off after Ryder himself for the crimes of not killing Quinn and stealing Jade. And despite there being, like, an army of killer Quinn Clippers, still some people try to take out the Widow rather than, you know, temporarily teaming up with her.
By the by, Badass of the Episode Award to Waldo for having multiple weapons stashed in his wheelchair and making the use of them look easy.
The Widow, of course, holds her own, and Tilde’s sudden arrival against orders means the Widow can, well, still walk around in skintight leather for another day.
As for Ryder, well, nope. Quinn kills his own son after a bit of taunting when Ryder proves unable or unwilling to use a blade on his old man himself. Then Quinn leaves because, well, he’s kinda cuckoo bananas anyway, so someone else can clean up that mess.
Wait, that means we have one less main character? OK, I can go with that.
Better Call Saul “JMM”
Comic Review: Something Is Killing The Children Volume 3
Noteworthy Issues: Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 (April, 2023)