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Monday, May 22, 2017

Ramblings About the Badlands

When I think of season finale episodes I automatically remember watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Millennium. I would wonder about secrets being revealed, or a dramatic fight scene or confrontation.
Many years and a bunch of season finales later I’ve learned to allow wiggle room for missteps and plot holes. The vast majority of the television and movies I consume are horror, science fiction and fantasy themed. These are usually following similar formulas, but you can find gems that break the stereotypical tropes.
Into the Badlands trailer screamed at me saying, “Hey look at this, multicultural cast and a strong female presence!” I heard the battle cries and I was pleasantly surprised. I live tweeted every episode for season one and feverishly hoped for a season two. Season two as expected had excellent fight sequences and a harder and more conflicted Sunny. Conflict is needed to keep the story developing, if Sunny and Veil got out of the Badlands with Henry and started farming the show would be purposeless.
After the murder of her parents Veil is left stripped of a family until Sunny decides to get her and their child out of the Badlands. The situation became completely chaotic and they were separated and Veil is left alone, but is now a mother to Henry.  Veil’s entire existence is shaped around her protecting Henry and trying to get to Sunny. Unlike other female characters on the show, Veil does not have the backing of anyone except herself. There is no shelter for Veil; she’s at the cliff’s edge with Quinn or at the mercy of The Widow.
The creation of a character who is completely defenseless in a plot where you have to either be a fighter or be aligned with a group in order to survive left her completely vulnerable. She’s a doctor who can only use her intelligence and skills of deception to ensure the survival of her child and herself.  The softness of Veil was the perfect balance for Sunny and the show.  She represented the other side of the Badlands.
How much torment can a character take? This statement rarely comes from me because I expect the worse and usually become surprised if a pleasant outcome happens. Veil’s demise was written in every episode this season, she was dismantled and then finally after the reunion she met her demise. Happy endings aren’t something to expect in the Badlands, but the death of a character who shaped Sunny to be the man that he is now is a hard pill to swallow.  

When season three is being written I hope they take into account the woman that Veil was and think about how her death will affect Sunny. Veil was a character that was never given the chance to develop or allowed to step out of the box she was placed in; despite that she was loved and appreciated by many, because we saw her as something good that the Badlands created.


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