The very enjoyable second season of “Into the Badlands” hits Netflix on March 21, where that wonderful concoction joins the show’s frisky six-episode first season.
As I’ve said a few times, you should seek out this post-apocalyptic adventure drama out if you’re a fan of gorgeous visuals, memorable action and ferocious characters engaged in a hard-fought battle to survive in a semi-feudal society where resources are scarce, but friendship, hope and love are always possible. (If you’re intrigued, check out this primer on the show.)
Newcomers to the series have a month, then, to get caught up before Season Three of “Into the Badlands” arrives on AMC April 22. To whet the appetites of fans who’ve already been won over, Variety has a preview of the new season from executive producer/co-showrunner Alfred Gough, as well as a number of exclusive pictures of key returning and new characters (see slide show).
This season, Lorraine Toussaint (“Orange Is the New Black”) plays Cressida, a canny prophet who is a skilled player in both spiritual and political realms. Cressida is a key adviser to Pilgrim, a religious zealot who is on a quest to find an artifact from Azra, a legendary place in the show’s mythology.
Ella-Rae Smith is Nix, a teenager who possesses special powers that Pilgrim uses to his advantage, and Sherman Augustus returns as Nathaniel Moon, a former regent who lost his hand to Sunny in the second season. Moon ends up taking sides in the war between the Widow and Baron Chau, which is one of the core conflicts in the new season.
“The most exciting thing about this season is that everything in the Badlands is bigger,” Gough tells Variety. “The world gets more expansive, the stakes for all of our characters are higher and the martial arts fights are bloodier and more batshit crazy than ever. We also introduce some amazing new characters, most notably Pilgrim, a cult-like religious leader, and his priestess, Cressida. They are the wild cards who come into the war-torn badlands and cross paths and swords with both the Widow and Baron Chau.”
As fans of the show recall, at the end of the second season, Sunny (Daniel Wu) is off the grid, protecting his baby son, Henry. But soon enough he needs to reunite with Bajie (Nick Frost), where the Widow (Emily Beecham) and Baron Chau (Eleanor Matsuura) are locked in a battle for control of the Badlands.
The the fact that the Widow and Baron Chau at still at loggerheads is great news, given that their physical conflicts in Season Two — expertly attempting to kill one another while clad in to-die-for clothes — were incredibly fun to watch.
“Have you ever seen a badass redhead have a martial arts sword fight with a one handed former regent on the top of a stone tower overlooking the ocean? And that’s only the first fight of the season,” Gough says. “You’re welcome, America!”
“Into the Badlands” returns April 22 on AMC.