Into the Badlands season 2 airs this Sunday, March 19, at 10:00 p.m. ET on AMC. Here’s everything you need to remember ahead of the premiere.
Season 2 of the series is looking better than ever, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the first episode of the sophomore run.
In the meantime, we can always watch season 1 again and again (now on Netflix!), which may be smart considering we haven’t had a new episode in 15 months (not that I’m counting). But just in case you don’t have time to rewatch, I’ve gathered everything you need to keep in mind before you watch season 2, episode 1.
Over the course of Into the Badlands season 1, we saw The Widow rise up as a formidable opponent. Quinn, on the other hand, fell from grace thanks to his arrogance and a habit of pissing off literally everyone around him. And while this war was waging between Barons, Sunny helped the mysterious M.K. learn more about his powers and together they hatched a plan to escape their current situations.
But since nothing went according to plan, everyone ended up in different directions, and they’ll have to fight their way back to each other. Here’s where we left everyone, broken down by all the main players.
M.K. (Aramis Knight)
It took several episodes for M.K. to stop running, but eventually he put all his faith in Sunny to help him control his powers and find a way to escape the Badlands. By the end of season 1, the naive and impulsive boy had turned into a determined and vigilant young man, his loyalty to Sunny completely unwavering.
Both Sunny and Tilda taught M.K. the parameters of his powers — if he’s cut, he turns, but he can control his abilities if he focuses on someone he cares about — but it wasn’t enough to stop Baron Quinn from using the boy for his own gain. When Quinn is cornered, he sets M.K. loose on his enemies. Luckily for all those involved, a trio of monks stop M.K. from killing everyone so they can train him to control his powers as they have learned to do so with their own. And in this moment, M.K. exits the series as he entered it — locked in a trunk.
Sunny (Daniel Wu)
Sunny begins Into the Badlands as the leader of Baron Quinn’s entire force of Clippers. He is ruthless, but it’s obvious he’s grown a conscience, which may have something to do with the woman he loves, Veil, and the baby growing inside her. As Quinn’s sickness continues to warp his brain, Sunny realizes he must escape the Badlands sooner rather than later, so he enlists M.K. to lead him to Azra, which appears to be a sanctuary where they can all be safe from the brewing war.
Working secretly, Sunny finds passage out of the Badlands and is on the brink of leaving his sword behind in order to live a better life with Veil and their child. Unfortunately, Quinn learns of Sunny’s betrayal and locks him up, threatening Veil as retribution. Sunny promises to kill Quinn, and by the end of the season 1 finale, he drives his sword straight through his Baron. Sunny attempts to fight off the monks and save M.K., but he is defeated and taken prisoner by the River King, whom Sunny tricked by bringing him a head other than M.K.’s. Thanks to the lead Clipper’s abilities, the River King doesn’t kill him, but will instead trade him away for his own gain.
Veil (Madeleine Mantock)
Veil’s role throughout season 1 gained importance as the war between Barons waged on and they all leaned on her skills as a doctor. In the beginning, Veil was a simple Cog doctor, meaning she didn’t work on anyone of nobility, like Quinn, but instead was only allowed to work on peasants and indentured servants. Her secret relationship with Sunny put them both at risk, but as soon as a child entered the picture, the stakes rose astronomically.
Quinn killed Veil’s parents once her father, Quinn’s regular doctor, revealed what was wrong with the Baron. They were slaughtered so as to keep the secret, but as the Baron grew worse, he was forced to call on Veil to ease his pain. She also worked on Ryder, Jade, and even The Widow, which put her in the middle of the mess Sunny was trying to keep her out of. On the night she was meant to leave with Sunny, Veil returns from curing The Widow to find that he has been captured.
Tilda (Ally Ioannides)
As The Widow’s best and most devoted fighter, Tilda has a lot of responsibility on her young shoulders. She typically doesn’t have a problem bearing the brunt of her mother’s directives, except when it comes to M.K. He is Tilda’s weakness, and this is obvious by the number of times she lets him slip through her fingers in order to keep him safe from The Widow.
M.K.’s influence on Tilda also has her questioning what The Widow is doing. Her mother preaches concern for her daughters and a desire to make the world a better place, and yet Tilda and her sisters have killed and died for their Baron. Is The Widow really looking out for them, or is she only looking out for herself? When Veil offers Tilda a way to either save or end The Widow’s life, it’s obvious Tilda struggles with the decision.
The Widow (Emily Beecham)
When The Widow killed her abusive husband, the other Barons did not easily recognize her as the new Baron of his territory. Quinn was the loudest opponent, but The Widow does not easily back down from a fight. Her dream is to create a world where women are not objects to be used by powerful men, but instead have a power of their own. She is ruthless in her determination to see her vision come true.
As The Widow does her best to set the other Barons against each other, Quinn tasks Sunny with finding and killing her, letting all the other Barons know that he is still the most powerful ruler of all the territories. The Widow is clever, however, and she finds allies in surprising places, including with Ryder, Baron Jacobee’s Regent Zephyr, and Quinn’s former Regent Waldo. Sunny does end up getting a piece of her in a final battle within Quinn’s fortress, but she escapes and calls on Veil to help her. At the end of the series, we’re left wondering whether or not Tilda will cure her mother’s illness.
Ryder (Oliver Stark)
Quinn’s son Ryder is arrogant and temperamental — the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — but he is weak and easily manipulated. He is angry at the way his father ignores him and is hurt that Jade, his childhood sweetheart, will be marrying his father to become Baroness. Ryder spends the majority of the series trying to gain his father’s favor, but time and time again he is rejected.
When Ryder finally grows a spine, he finds himself in deeper than he ever could have expected. Working with The Widow and Zephyr, Ryder hopes betraying his father will lead to succeeding Quinn as Baron. Upon his father’s apparent death, it looks like Ryder has gotten everything he’s ever hoped for, but we’re left with an impression that he won’t be able to control his father’s territory as well as Quinn was able to.
Lydia (Orla Brady)
Quinn’s first wife and the mother of his only son has proven to be as clever as she is beautiful, and she uses her influence as Baroness to retain favor in Quinn’s house. However, Quinn’s eye has turned to Jade, who is half Lydia’s age, to take as his third wife. There are rumors Lydia did away with Quinn’s second wife, and although she says she’s no longer interested in a physical relationship with her husband, it’s clear she still has feelings for him.
Unfortunately, it seems as though Lydia has met her match in Jade, who poisons herself and plants evidence to incriminate the Baroness. Quinn sends Lydia away, and she gains no sympathy from Ryder, who is clearly still in love with Jade. Lydia returns to her father, a religious fanatic, and pleads for him to take her back. She says she never gave up on the faith, and he reluctantly allows her in. It seems less likely that Lydia is interested in rejoining her father’s circle of believers and more likely that she’s just trying to find a way to survive.
Jade (Sarah Bolger)
Jade appears to still be in love with Ryder, but recognizes that Quinn rules the house, not his son. She is clever enough to go toe to toe with Lydia and defeat her, and also appears ruthless enough to turn on her secret lover, telling Quinn that she must reveal something about Ryder. We don’t hear what she has to say, but Quinn shows up in town with M.K., and it’s obvious he already knows it’s likely to be an ambush. Did Jade betray Ryder, or did she set up Quinn?
It’s unclear what Jade’s ultimate goal is. It doesn’t seem likely that she’s in love with Quinn, but she obviously doesn’t mind the favor that this circumstance brings her. She’s willing to break it off with Ryder in order to be the next Baroness, but with Quinn potentially out of the picture, will she attempt to keep her position, possibly by marrying Ryder, or will she fall to the wayside?
Quinn (Marton Csokas)
Quinn’s story is wrapped up with everyone else’s. As the most powerful Baron in the Badlands, he demands respect and instills fear. However, a brain tumor causes him to have intensely painful headaches and he is not expected to live much longer. Desperate, he calls upon Veil to find a way to extend his life, which she can only do by administering a poison that will weaken him temporarily but potentially slow the growth of the tumor. He agrees.
In the end, Quinn is betrayed by nearly everyone around him, and he finds himself up against Sunny, who takes no mercy on his Baron. Quinn’s dead body is never shown following the confrontation, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s truly dead. This would certainly be a catalyst for Into the Badlands season 2 and cause a great upheaval amongst all the Barons.
‘Into the Badlands’ season 2
We only need to wait a few more days before Into the Badlands season 2 finally premieres on AMC. It appears as though there will be a small time jump in the series, based on the conditions of various characters. Trailer footage shows The Widow gearing up to take on Quinn/Ryder’s men, as well as Sunny attempting to escape his slavery.
Meanwhile, Tilda is still loyal to her mother, and M.K. is working to better control his abilities, thanks to the monks that took him in. Season 2 seems like it’s going to be just as action-packed as season 1, and it’s clear that the events of the first six episodes will have a huge impact on each of our favorite characters.