Is every episode of Into The Badlands going to open with a fight scene? I really, really hope so, because “Fist Like a Bullet” pulls out a pretty great one to kick off a fun and compelling hour of genre television. Into The Badlands has its problems, but knowing exactly what people are tuning in for isn’t one of them.
“Fist Like a Bullet” opens in a strip club that boasts, like so much of the rest of the Badlands, an aesthetic that’s part Western part steampunk. In walks the Widow, looking to have a chat with her former regent who just so happens to be enjoying a dance from a woman making sparks with a buzz saw on her plated chest. The Widow wants to recruit people to go after Quinn, but everyone is reluctant or scared. Good help can be hard to find in the Badlands.
Just as the Widow is being turned down by her former regent, a gang of assassins storms the club, killing the regent and making the HUGE mistake of trying to kill the Widow. Seriously, she takes them all down so easily. She stabs them about 17 times each before they even know what’s happened. It’s so good you guys, and my favorite fight scene of the season so far.
One attacker is left alive, at least briefly, so the Widow asks who hired them. He tells her that it was Ryder, Quinn’s son, who put the hit out on her. With that information out, she kills him, leaves the club, and the opening credits roll. I may be falling for this show.
Meanwhile, M.K. has spent the whole night trying to escape, only stopping in the forest to drink some water. When he does, he stumbles upon a girl about his age. She’s quick with a throwing knife and kills a squirrel and easily sneaks up on M.K. before he has any idea she even saw him.
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When some of Quinn’s men and dogs are heard in the distance, she helps M.K. escape, taking him across the border to the Widow’s land. Why? Because she’s the Widow’s daughter, Matilda. That explains her superior knife skills and superhuman speed. The Widow is of course excited to see the boy, as he fits the description of the one she’s been looking for, the very one she told Sunny to bring to her. M.K., trying to save his own life, lies about his identity, and also lies when the Widow shows him a picture of Azra, the city seen on his mother’s pendant.
Back in Quinn’s territory, he’s working to figure out who among his men could have helped M.K. escape, and also who could have hired the men to attack the Widow. Considering the look he gives his son during their meal, it seems like he knows, or at least suspects, that Ryder had something to with it.
There’s a chance that Quinn also suspects Sunny of some wrongdoing, as he takes him beyond the wall for a trip, just the two of them. While the excursion does have a rather logical purpose, with the Baron going to see a loyal doctor and learning that his brain tumor is growing, there’s a more sinister intention lurking as well.
NEXT: We gotta get out of this place