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Into the Badlands Postmortem: Who Survived That Game-Changing Final Showdown?

The show's bosses tell us what's next for Sunny, M.K. and more

Adam Bryant

[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's Season 1 finale of AMC'sInto the Badlands. Read at your own risk.]

Nobody got much of a happy ending on Sunday's finale of Into the Badlands.

Although Sunny (Daniel Wu) was able to negotiate with the River King (Lance E. Nichols) for passage out of the Badlands with Veil (Madeleine Mantock) and M.K. (Aramis Knight), things quickly went downhill. First, Veil had serious second thoughts about leaving with Sunny, the father of her unborn child, after learning that he could have stopped Baron Quinn (Marton Csokas) from killing Veil's parents. "Are you going to stop being a killer?" Veil asks Sunny. "The Baron said we are all slaves to our nature, and I'm beginning to think he was right."

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Sunny leaves Veil to make her decision, but things only get worse when Quinn accuses Sunny of betraying him. Quinn strips Sunny of his role as regent and has him thrown in prison so Quinn can go to work brainwashing M.K. to be Quinn's new super-soldier. Although M.K. initially refuses, once Quinn promises to save Tilda (Ally Ioannides) from the Widow (Emily Beecham) and spare Sunny's life, M.K. agrees. Of course, M.K. doesn't know that the Widow, rival baron Jacobee (Edi Gathegi), his regent Zephyr (Ellen Hollman) and Quinn's son Ryder (Oliver Stark) have all conspired to kill Quinn and break his stronghold on the Badlands.

Meanwhile, Waldo (Stephen Lang) breaks Sunny out of jail. After giving Sunny an Azra pendant just like the one M.K. had, Waldo urges Sunny to take Veil and get on the River King's boat. It turns out that Waldo has been working closely with the Widow to kill Quinn in an effort to "blow it up and start again," but he doesn't want Sunny to be caught up in the disaster. However, when Sunny learns that Quinn has M.K. with him, he arrives at the showdown just as it's beginning.

Unfortunately, Quinn has already activated M.K.'s dark chi, and leaves him to fight Jacobee & Co. while he watches from the sidelines. However, Sunny finds Quinn, and before he can beg for his life, Sunny runs him through with his sword, vowing to leave behind his life of violence. "You're going to be my last tattoo," Sunny says. With Quinn seemingly dead, Sunny tries to stop M.K. from using his powers to no avail. However, three silent abbots arrive and, using special powers of their own, they quickly disarm M.K. and attempt to take him away. Although Sunny fights valiantly to protect M.K., he ultimately activates the abbots' dark chi. After they break Sunny's sword, they beat him to a bloody pulp before taking M.K. away.

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Although Veil arrives to see the destruction (and Sunny's broken sword), Sunny is nowhere to be found. That's because the River King has decided to take Sunny prisoner and sell him to the highest bidder. Although he fought all season to get out of the Badlands, it looks like Sunny will now have to fight his way back in if he ever hopes to be reunited with Veil and M.K.

So is Quinn actually dead? What's up with the people who took M.K.? And is Sunny and Veil's relationship doomed? Check out all our burning Season 2 questions below and see what executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar had to say about them.

1. Is Quinn really dead? Although Sunny's known for his lethal way with a blade, the show's creators won't commit either way. "Quinn's the ultimate survivor, but it's definitely an open question," Gough says. Translation: He'll probably survive. However, that scene was about much more than whether Quinn lives or dies. "It's a critical moment for Sunny," Millar says. "These first six episodes really are Sunny's awakening. He's been almost brainwashed by Quinn, who he sees as a father figure and mentor. These six episodes have really been Sunny's struggle to break away and reject Quinn, which is all he's ever known. So it's a huge moment when he drives him through with the sword, and it really speaks to the beginning of Sunny's journey of redemption and self-discovery."

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2. Can Sunny actually stop clipping? Although Sunny vowed to stop killing after he stabbed Quinn, it's hard to believe that he'll be able to, given his new predicament with the River King. "I certainly think that's Sunny's intention, but when he's killed that many people, your soul is pretty dark and pretty heavy," Gough says. Perhaps more importantly, will Veil ever take him back? "I think Veil does want to believe in the best in Sunny," Gough says. "Even with her doubts and everything Quinn planted, she wants to believe that he can change and I think she's the light in his life that can give him hope that he can change."

3. What do the abbots want with M.K.? Millar and Gough say the spiritual component of the show takes a much stronger presence moving forward. "These six episodes are really a super-long pilot in terms of really introducing the characters and the world of the Badlands and opening all sorts of possibilities for future seasons," Millar says. "The show is loosely based on Journey to the West, which is about spiritual enlightenment, so that aspect of the show is critical and essential. It's a huge component, and you get your first big taste of it in this finale."

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4. Who's in charge now? Quinn and Jacobee could both possibly be dead, and the Widow is in need of a tincture that Tilda may or may not give her. Although Ryder did slither away, the producers say part of the excitement for Season 2 is not knowing which power will emerge. "What's going to happen when you've had these big blows to the power structure in the Badlands?" Gough says. "It's always about strength and weakness, and a lot of the strong people in this episode have been enslaved and chained, and others are finding a new strength." Adds Millar: "The plates have definitely shifted. Quinn tells Ryder, 'There's no turning back,' and that's definitely true."

5. Where is Sunny going? The producers say they plan to expand the world of the show a great deal in Season 2. "In Season 2, we're going to see a lot more of the Badlands," Millar says. "Sunny's going into the Badlands to get Veil. He's struggling and fighting to get what is closest to his heart. He can't escape. Redemption is a process, and hopefully Sunny will have many seasons of television to redeem himself."

6. Oh yeah. Will there be a Season 2? Of course none of this means anything if Badlands isn't renewed. Although initially the show was propped up by The Walking Dead, the ratings have stabilized even after that show ended. The producers make it clear that they are nowhere near finished with their story. "We have great hope, but there's nothing official," Gough says of a renewal. "There's much more to tell. You've just seen a small portion of what the series wants to do."

What did you think of the Into the Badlands finale? Do you want a Season 2?