My condolences and prayers go out to the families affected by the horrible, senseless tragedy in Manchester, England. As a parent, seeing pictures of those beautiful youngsters and adults whose lives have been cut short brings back my own loss of a child.
Whether the loved one is in Syria or England, or the US, the pain never goes away. May God give strength.
About that Into the Badlands finale
This GIF of Veil and Sunny is by Yemme:
The 2nd season finale of Into the Badlands – Total viewers: 1,369 million
18-49 rating : 0.5
Season 1 finale -Dec 20, 2015 – Total Viewers: 2159 million
18-49 rating: 0.8
Considering the almost two year gap between the first and second season, Into The Badlands had decent ratings for its 10 episode second season. Since the show was must-see TV for my family, just about every television in my household was tuned to the Into The Badlands marathon on Sunday. And after the Cleveland Cavaliers blew a 21 point lead over the Boston Celtics, I was really hoping Into The Badlands would give me a finale I could put on repeat viewings.
Alas, it was not to be. Someone at AMC (the show is owned and bankrolled by AMC) or with the executive production staff of ITB decided to kill off the only person who was able to make the usually morose hero, Sunny, smile. And show some damn emotion. Veil was the woman Sunny loved enough to fight his way back to.
That’s the kind of hard love that romantics live for. That’s the kind of shit that has a woman saying, “You better bring it like Sunny.”
Only . . . Sunny is now a single parent, much like the old westerns of yesteryear, Bonanza (Ben Cartwright had sons Adam, Hoss and Little Joe by three different wives who’d died), The Virginian and The Rifleman. And like several classic Disney movies (The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast) the saintly, but dead mama trope card was pulled.
Not only that, but the show walked a tightrope with another trope, where the black character proves how “good” they are with a selfless act. Literature is rife with this trope, as it usually afflicts characters of color (see Gunga Din, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Imitation of Life -book and the films).
It’s also important to note that US shows would use the dearly departed mama trope to garner not only sympathy, but a revolving door of attractive female guest stars to pair with their widowed lead actor.
From fairy tales that added an evil step-mother to the mix, to often told cultural stories highlighting the adventures of a father and child left to navigate the cold cruel world together, killing mama off has a long history in both literature and film.
In the case of ITB, Veil was still nursing her infant son. Which means Sunny will need to find a total stranger (female of course) who is also nursing. Chances are that task will fall upon either Lydia or Jade to find a willing surrogate, but I suspect the show will probably gloss over this or omit it all together since it brings up a host of other “things that make you go hmm.”
In this feudal future, women are either sex slaves (called Dolls) Cogs, Clippers, or Barons. There may be male dolls, however I don’t recall seeing them. Veil was the rare exception. She was a healer/doctor and could read. Her backstory was that Quinn, having found her as an infant, had given her to a couple who were indebted to him to raise.
Veil had her own shop in town where she’d been working on an assortment of artificial limbs and mobility devices for cogs. As a healer, Veil had taken an oath to save lives. However, she wasn’t above giving Tilda, one of the Widow’s clippers, the means to poison the woman. Veil also possibly prolonged her own life by pretending Quinn’s brain tumor was in remission (he murdered Veil’s parents once her father initially diagnosed Quinn’s ailment. In typical Quinn fashion, he couldn’t have anyone know that he was dying, so he got rid of the only two people who could reveal his secret).
Veil’s demise had been foreshadowed ever since she told Sunny she was pregnant (Sunny warned her that the penalty was death, probably because he was a Clipper, and Clippers weren’t free men). Sunny also had a nightmare while he was at death’s door about Veil’s death. In addition, another Clipper (Moon) warned him of his own family’s murder, and that in their line of work, having loved ones was a liability.
Okay, I get that. However what’s puzzling is why the show decided to dumb down the ultimate fighter, Sunny, and turned Quinn into someone harder to kill than the Terminator in order to make Veil’s death happen. Listen, I even have reservations on the show killing Quinn. I’ve been a fan of actor Martin Csokas for a long time. He chewed the scenery with his chilling, over the top delivery, so a new villain will have a hard time besting Martin’s characterization.
Both Sunny and Quinn took so much physical abuse that I wondered if they were robots instead of people. Sunny survived two explosions (one at The Widow’s compound, then when he entered Quinn’s underground lair, fighting off flaming arrows that pierced his shoulder blade and a leg). He’s also stabbed in the lower abdomen by a sai wielding Quinn, after he slices and dices his way deeper into Quinn’s underground hideout with Bajie’s help. To set up Veil’s demise, Sunny’s somehow unable to deliver a death blow throughout the battle with Quinn, even after missing the mark during the season one finale. This mars an otherwise terrific fight to the death sequence, where Martin Csokas (or his stunt double) more than holds his own against the Badland’s best clipper.
I’m happy that Into the Badlands was renewed for a third season, but the heart of the show has just been ripped out and stomped on, imho.