This review contains spoilers for Into the Badlands Season 3 Episode 7: Dragonfly’s Last Dance.
There’s dissension in the Widow’s ranks in Into the Badlands this week, as “Dragonfly’s Last Dance” opens with mutiny. Turncoats of the butterflies and bowlers capture the Widow and Gaius Chau to demand an armistice; the war with Baron Chau’s forces, they think, has gone on too long for too little reason. Their lives are being thrown thoughtlessly on their enemy’s blades, while the Widow amasses luxury and power at their expense.
This is an interesting subplot, even though it isn’t one that has been properly developed throughout the season. The relative anonymity of the mutineers, whom the Widow herself can’t even identify, might be an intentional metaphor for the Baron’s callous disregard for her followers. It feels more like an ass-pull, though – some throwaway villains to skewer during a water-treading episode.
Sunny, as it happens, is literally treading water in “Dragonfly’s Last Dance”. After thwarting the River King’s ambush at the end of last week’s episode, Lily’s boat is knackered and in need of repair before it can spirit “the Catalyst” to Pilgrim’s Fortress. In the meantime, though, the River King has a lead for Sunny to follow. Seeing as he was the previous proprietor of Lily’s vessel, he was privy to the fate of its previous occupants, who included young Sunny and, apparently, a severely-injured captain, who still lives.
And live he does – just down the road, in fact, which is a bit of a stretch. He also keeps a tasteful axe that was buried in his head and a whole host of plot-relevant details, such as the revelation that Sunny had a sister, that the perpetrators of the massacre were clad in red and black, that they were looking for Sunny specifically, and that the River King keeps ledgers full of all the passengers who have ever boarded one of his boats.
Meanwhile, Lydia manages to slyly involve herself in the coup, convincing the dissidents that any offer of peace should be hand-delivered by her in order to be convincing. What she’s really up to, though, is rendezvousing with Nathaniel Moon, who has rallied Tilda’s forces in order to infiltrate the Widow’s Sanctuary and free his Baron – for his honour, as he explains to Lydia, who is tempted to let the coup run its course and consolidate power in the aftermath.
Pilgrim’s forces aren’t faring much better in “Dragonfly’s Last Dance”. Nix is suspicious of Castor’s fate, while Pilgrim’s fury at the loss of his protégé is being increasingly directed at Cressida. M.K.’s primary focus is still getting his little todger wet, and while Pilgrim knows Sunny is coming, there still isn’t any promise that their inevitable meeting will end well for him.
“Dragonfly’s Last Dance” ended with two fight scenes, pretty much back to back. The first saw Gaius and the Widow stage an escape, aided by Tilda and Nathaniel, while the second, a great one that creatively incorporated a ladder, had Sunny brutally fight off the warriors in black and red that the River King had sold him out to. Turns out he’s important, even though we still don’t know why. Maybe we’ll find out next week, when we presumably stop off at Pilgrim’s Fortress. I’ll see you there.
“Dragonfly’s Last Dance” was the seventh episode of Into the Badland’s third season. Check out our full season coverage.