Into the Badlands Season 1 episode 5 recap: “Snake Creeps Down”

Marton Csokas as Quinn - Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

We’re one episode from the end of the season, Into the Badlands fans. So much has been tossed in the ring, there’s no way ANY of it will be resolved — unless the finale introduces us to the atomic-bomb baron who simply blows everything up — by the end. This would be a pisser, but I’m the kind of person who needs closure … or at least a straight answer about a second season. AMC, on behalf of all who’ve come to love this series, I ask that you quit messing with our heads.

Sunny and M.K. are fighting on the wall, as usual. Sunny is kicking M.K.’s ass, as usual. M.K. wants to tap out, as usual, but then things get interesting. M.K. comes dangerously close to falling from the wall. Sunny grabs him just in time but kinda lets him hang over a bit. M.K. warns Sunny to stop. Huh?

Sunny says, “Or what?” This leads to a “conversation” regarding dead Cogs, fibs about Azra and M.K.’s ability to control his power. M.K. turns around with those demon eyeballs, and tosses Sunny over the wall. Guess accusations work, too!

But Sunny’s just having a creepier version of those falling dreams we all have.

Sunny wakes up, and I feel better. He has a revelation – his compass fits into the mystery book and the needle spins like crazy. Veil awakens and Sunny says they can get out for a “steep” price.

He does not tell her that  “steep” means M.K.’s head.

Aramis Knight as M.K. – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: James Minchin III/AMC

Later, Sunny finds M.K. in the pit, and pulls him aside to discuss the parley. M.K. doesn’t remember, so Sunny fills him in. He changed, but didn’t kill Tilda. Sunny wonders if it was control or luck. M.K. wonders when the hell they’re getting out of the Badlands. There’s no time to talk about either. Quinn wants The Widow found.

Speaking of, she’s charming Quinn’s Cogs. Her Butterflies lead a group of boys up to the sanctuary. The others get food and assurance of fair treatment in exchange for their loyalty. She’s nothing like those other mean old barons – even if her Butterflies are busy cutting the palms of the boys led from the group. None of them change … surprise.

Now what to do with all of the Cogs? She should send them back to Quinn. His poppies are dying.

A poppy baron with no poppies is … well … just a baron, and Quinn doesn’t like this. Who’s gonna milk the poppies with all of his Cogs chilling at The Widow’s sanctuary? This is a Quinndry … one for which Lydia has no good plan. And while they wait for a new Cog shipment, he fears the depleted opium supply will encourage other barons to follow in The Widow’s footsteps. Cogs aren’t cheap! The Widow just keeps screwing with his tumored head.

Jade has a plan. She’s actually fairly smart, and I’m kind of eating my not-so-nice words about her from earlier recaps. She suggests Quinn’s army roll up their sleeves for a few days to milk poppies instead of kicking each other’s asses. She adds that his Cogs might not be so quick to run off if he treated them more like humans and offered some education. Quinn likes her first idea, but he’s not too keen on smart Cogs who might decide to form a coup.

Sarah Bolger as Jade – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Patti Perret/AMC

It’s time to find The Widow, and M.K. waits outside of Sunny’s cottage. Ryder, drenched in his usual smugness, strolls over and asks what’s up. M.K. tells him. Before Ryder walks away, M.K. asks for his pendant. Ryder lies about trading it but asks what it is. M.K. plays dumb, and Ryder informs him he’s a terrible liar. Ironic! Sunny calls M.K. over, the two hop on Sunny’s cycle, and they’re off. Ryder watches them with that Ryder face.

Tilda walks with her mother. Truthfully, I don’t think The Widow is her mother, but I’m kind of done making predictions with this series. I hate being wrong. Anyway, Tilda questions her plans for “the boy” … if he’s so dangerous, how will he be controlled? The Widow explains he must be trained. When he turns, he gets weaker. Without training, he’ll die. Unfortunately, the book went missing before it was completely translated.

M.K. comes up again, and so does the fact that Tilda kissed him. Tilda says he was nice to her, and The Widow says men are only nice when they want something. She sends Tilda to check the traps set for curious Clippers. As Tilda leaves, The Widow watches her with serious suspicion.

It’s Ryder’s turn to visit Waldo. It was Waldo who rescued Ryder from the nomads. He asks Ryder about his head, and Ryder says he’s “seeing things clear.” He’s beginning (or so he thinks) to understand who he can trust and who he can’t. He wants to know if he’ll have Waldo’s support if things change around the Fort. Waldo says he’ll always support the guy who wins. He knows what Ryder’s up to, and tells him to make damn sure to “choose his allies with care.” Well said, but to deaf ears, methinks.

Before leaving, Ryder shows Waldo M.K.’s pendant. He says his mother knows what it is, but he can’t ask her. Waldo tells him to ask her father, who happens to be a PREACHER! There is still religion in the Badlands! Ryder is reluctant, but Waldo insists it’s a good idea.

Sunny, Petrie, M.K. and Bale (Benjamin Papac) hunt for the elusive Widow. Bale is excited to make his first kill – girl or not. M.K. thinks he’s an ass. As they trek through the woods, Sunny notices a butterfly (ugh) stuck in a tree trunk. He tosses M.K. backward. Using a stick, he pokes the ground, tripping a gnarly bear trap. He kicks a tree. Nuts shower down, tripping the other traps around them. Unfortunately, Petrie went ahead, and before he’s warned, he finds one on his own.

Back at the Fort, Jade gives poppy milking lessons. Lydia offers help.

Orla Brady as Lydia – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Patti Perret/AMC

Quinn has decided to go through with Veil’s risky procedure. While she preps the things and the stuff, he talks to her, clearly aware she knows more about her parents than she’s let on. He insists she ask the question she’s been dying to ask, so she does. He says, “It’s in my nature.” He knows she can kill him, and I think he’s testing her. She doesn’t, and he says, “I guess we’re both prisoners of our nature.” Then he states that he didn’t kill her parents – it was Sunny’s blade that killed them – not his. This is true … and disgustingly manipulative. She looks horrified.

Petrie’s leg is very broken, so Sunny decides it’s best to set the break and camp out for the night.

Elsewhere, Ryder visits Grandad. We get a little backstory on Lydia and Quinn. Quinn came riding through looking for nomads, and she left with him. She was never happy living with the “congregation,” but Grandad knew she’d be worse off with Quinn – the fact he wouldn’t pay Ryder’s ransom out of pride was a big indication of Quinn’s character … or lack of.

Ryder doesn’t want to discuss that s-t. He wants the skinny on the pendant. Grandad says it’s Azra – a paradise beyond the Badlands – a story told to soothe orphaned Cogs. It was probably made by someone who saw it in a picture from the Old World. Azra isn’t real, but Grandad says, “It’s human nature to want to believe in something greater than yourself.”

Ryder didn’t learn much from the visit, but Grandad did.  He disdainfully watches his grandson leave. He wants the Abbots (?) informed of a “dark one” in the Fort who needs some cleansing. WHAT? Based on his conversation with Ryder, Lydia is no longer his daughter … but then again, she admittedly reverted to prayer when Ryder was in bad shape, and Ryder revealed the fact she still has religious totems in her room.

Tilda finds the camp and gets M.K.’s attention … of course. She tells him to run for the hills because everyone, including Sunny, wants to use him. He finds out more about their incident at the parley, and also that he’ll die if he uses his power too much. Lot’s to digest, but he realizes that Tilda is the key to controlling his power. He suggests they run away together. Sigh.

Sunny interrupts the lovey-dovey crap and wants to know the deal. M.K. says Tilda can help him control his “dark power.” Before the conversation can go any further, Bale butts in and Sunny pretends to grill Tilda about The Widow. She starts to “cry,” but Bale gets in her face and calls her a “little bitch.” She bites off part of his ear and spits it out with a grin. She’s an awful faker, so back to the Fort she goes.

Lydia and Jade have a heart-to-heart as Jade tends Lydia’s poppy-chapped hands. It’s so sweet, I almost believe Lydia’s sincerity as she shares her feelings. Jade does want to be cool, so she asks how they’ll deal with the “arrangement”. Lydia says, “I’m not sure, but I don’t want to do it as rivals.” Think she said the same thing to Beatrice?

The Butterflies search for Tilda, but only find a scrap of her clothing stuck to a tree with a dagger. The Widow is summoned. She yanks out the dagger and sees the armadillo insignia on the handle. She instructs the Butterflies to contact their friend at the Fort (aw hell). She’ll need entry. Now I feel like an idiot. Of course she would have a friend at the Fort! Last time she got in with a car.

Sunny returns with Tilda. Quinn is pleased and tells Sunny to torture the s-t out of her until she spills The Widow’s whereabouts. Sensing hesitation, Quinn advises him to do as he’s told to avoid any more “miscommunications.”   He also adds that Sunny end things with Veil … now that she’s caring for him, he’d feel better if “everyone was less entangled.” Bummer.

Down in the torture chamber, Tilda is locked up. Sunny storms in, opens her cage, whips her into a chair and straps her down. “Give me a reason not to do this.” She spits in his face, which is a terrible reason. M.K. begs her to talk, but she says it won’t do any good.

Jade feeds Quinn some soup. He reminisces about how she cared for him years ago when he was injured … when he finally realized she grew from a little girl into a hottie … barf. Then he marvels at how she and Lydia worked together in the fields. As soon as he says this, Jade falls to the floor, foaming at the mouth.

Marton Csokas as Quinn – Into the Badlands _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/AMC

The Widow shows up while Sunny is still pondering torture tools. Of course they have to brawl! There hasn’t been a whole lot of that yet … and they don’t like each other. It’s a great fight sequence, as always.

Unfortunately, Bale takes advantage of the distraction. M.K. tries to free Tilda, but Bale knocks him out and starts kicking her ass. I find this odd – she killed a nomad in less than a minute, but now she can’t take a kid who has yet to kill anyone?

M.K. wakes up, but Bale locks him in the cell and continues to hammer on Tilda. M.K. cuts himself and turns. It’s crazy. He doesn’t even touch Bale … the shockwave from his hand is enough to blow the door off the cell and impale Bale on the torture implements

Sunny and The Widow (who has been stabbed a little in the gut) hear the commotion and see what’s going on. Now she knows for sure.

Tilda is freaked out, but Sunny is more concerned about what just went down with M.K., so he lets her pass by. She and The Widow get away … again.

Quinn, somehow recovered from his procedure and the Jade incident, watches everything from the shadows. Who knows how long he’s been there?

I think he’s been there a while …

So, let’s discuss! Comments please! Predictions for next week?

  • Will Sunny really pay the River King with M.K.’s head? He does have both the book and the compass … does he really need M.K. 
  • Why did Waldo really send Ryder to see Grandpa? Was it really to get answers about the pendant?
  • What’s Grandpa’s connection to the Fort?   Why would he care what goes on there? I thought he hated Quinn.
  • Who is The Widow’s connection in the Fort?
  • Now that Quinn most likely knows everything, what’s his next move?

The Into the Badlands Season 1 finale premieres Sunday, Dec. 20 at 10/9CT on AMC.



  1. I love The Widow vs Sunny that was so epic. I really do hate Quinn somebody needs to kill him. I just love everything about this show.

  2. I agree with all the comments here. There has to be a second season. The fight scenes alone are worth having a second season. I can’t wait till next Sunday.

    • I am super excited! I KNOW it will not disappoint. They HAVE to have second season. Every episode trumps the one before.

  3. That was one AMAZING fight sequence between Sunny and The Widow!! My jaw dropped when she was bouncing off the walls, and got her ass kicked THROUGH a brick wall, which, instead of killing her, only pissed her off more! And M.K. cutting himself and the whole Bale-getting-impaled sequence….incredible!! AMC can’t possibly tie up even half of these loose ends in just one more episode. And what is Jade’s fate? Last we saw her she was unconscious, frothing at the mouth. Did Quinn spike the soup and give her a taste, that slippery rascal? Will she survive? And will Lydia ever wear anything but that same style dress, be it blue or purple? OK, that last one really isn’t critical to the plot, but I do wonder 🙂 Excellent recap, once again. AMC, you need to give us a second season. This series is far too good to only last 6 episodes. Give us all a Christmas present and let us know no later than Christmas Eve, OK? Santa is watching…he knows if you’ve being naughty or nice to the ITB fans!

    • The comment about Lydia’s outfits cracked me up, so whether or not it has anything to do with plot, I love it. I doubt Quinn poisoned Jade…I think Lydia had that covered. She did it to his first second wife, so why not? And yeah, The Widow is far too skilled in those boots. She makes me jealous, but the fight scenes are ALWAYS kick ass. I have to say the one with Quinn was a favorite…I think the sword grabbing part did it for me. And knowing about a second season would be a fantastic Christmas present, but I doubt AMC will be putting it in our stocking.

      Back to the Jade thing…if she is indeed dead, Quinn is an even bigger jerk than the big jerk we already know and love/hate. He made it down into the torture chamber pretty darn quick after screaming for help. I hope Lydia didn’t show up to ‘help’. That will definitely seal Jade’s fate. And I can’t believe a perceptive guy like Quinn – who seems to figure everything else out, tumor or not – would be stupid enough to leave her with Lydia. If Ryder knows the first second wife died because of Lydia, Quinn better know it, too. Ryder’s no Aristotle…

      And THERE IS NO WAY they will wrap this up in one more episode. It’s impossible! Unless there really is a bomb baron, but that would just be silly. Cheers to season two!

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