“Curse of the Red Rain” provided a swansong for an underrated character, no small amount of action, and the most embarrassing siege attempt ever.
This Into the Badlands Season 3 Episode 14 recap for the episode titled “Curse of the Red Rain” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Relationships are hard — and they’re almost impossible when there’s a war on and you have a mad witch chained up in the basement. But, such are things in badlands, as Lydia (Orla Brady) found out to her detriment in “Curse of the Red Rain”, presumably her final episode.
This show hasn’t exactly treated morality seriously recently, but one gets the sense that the curtains have closed over Lydia’s bids for power, and her burgeoning relationship with Nathaniel Moon (Sherman Augustus), who had to tearfully watch her die. It’s a shame, especially since the pair spent much of the episode planning for the future; the Widow (Emily Beecham) had already expressed a desire for the two of them to rule once Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay) had been defeated.
But Cressida (Lorraine Toussaint) had other plans. Not content with childishly making the sky rain blood, she also staged an escape from captivity by revealing her own red-eyed version of “the gift” and shanking poor, underrated Lydia, who never quite got the opportunity to fulfill her potential as a character.
Much of “Curse of the Red Rain” revolved around Cressida’s captivity; as the Widow, Lydia and Nathaniel, along with Tilda (Ally Ioannides) and Gaius (Lewis Tan), made plans to receive Pilgrim’s forces, Pilgrim’s forces, led by an enthusiastic but still fronting M.K. (Aramis Knight), made plans to besiege the Widow’s fortress. And that siege might have been the most embarrassingly bad example of a siege I’ve seen in recent memory.
Sure, it looked great. The cinematography and choreography were top notch. And obviously, since Pilgrim has awakened the sleepers and forced them into combat much too soon, against the protestations of everyone, including M.K., the fact it was a calamity was obviously intentional. But blimey. Do you mean to tell me Pilgrim had no better plan than just marching up to the front door?
The sleepers were hemmed in by a fire trap and skewered with arrows. Pilgrim was left atop the wall as the whole thing was detonated by a truck bomb casually armed by Nathaniel. M.K. ended up severely barbequed, and half of Pilgrim’s forces were decimated there and then. It was a bloodbath. Even a later follow-up attack was unsuccessful; Gaius and Nathaniel were able to despatch their attackers without much fuss, even if a lot of Baron Chau’s former forces had to fall on swords to accommodate them. If it hadn’t been for Cressida offing Lydia, Pilgrim’s attack would have been a total wash.
Alas, Cressida did get the last laugh, which means that going forwards not only is Pilgrim fuming at M.K. having been maimed, but Nathaniel has lost the love of his life. Despite Lydia — in a genuinely moving farewell scene — instructing Nathaniel to throw down his sword and live a life of peace, do we really think he’s going to do that? I hope not. This is the final season, after all. We need as much carnage as possible.
“Curse of the Red Rain” spared some brief moments for Sunny (Daniel Wu), Bajie (Nick Frost) and Kannin (Eugenia Yuan), who have arrived at Dragon’s Tooth with the intention of unlocking Sunny’s gift. But the focus of the episode was clearly elsewhere, so little of note happened here beyond a very cathartic argument between Bajie and Sunny about the latter’s tendency to blindly trust characters whose only function seems to be emerging out of nowhere and dispensing important plot points. It is about time that was addressed.
But the hour belonged to Lydia, who’ll be missed, by the show’s audience if not the show itself.