Season 3, Episode 1
Enter the Phoenix
Sunny returns to the Badlands, seeking a cure for his son Henry. The Widow and Chau wage a bloody civil war. A new threat emerges.
Full episodes of Season 3 available on AMC Premiere.
The Widow looks at a strategy map of the Badlands. "I promised my people freedom and I will settle for nothing less," she says in voiceover. "Now, six Barons are dead. Only Chau refuses to yield. No surrender until every last one of her Clippers lies dead on the battlefield..."
Hundreds of the Widow's Butterflies and Bowler Hats fight on a battlefield against an equally large army of Chau's Clippers, leaving bloody bodies strewn everywhere.
The Widow rides on horseback to an abandoned tower at the edge of a seaside cliff. Nathaniel Moon walks out. "You're a hard man to find, Nathaniel," she says. Moon guesses the Widow wants to avenge the death of someone he's killed – perhaps a husband. The Widow states she already killed him herself -- his former Baron, in fact. Instead, she's here to recruit Moon as a Regent who will fight "for an honorable cause." Moon says he's retired and his honor was "stolen" when Sunny refused to kill him after their last fight. The Widow won't take no for an answer and draws her sword. Moon lunges into the battle, his right arm now covered by a sheathe equipped with a razor-sharp, two-pronged talon. The two fight on the ground, then make their way up the stairs to the top of a stone tower. A heel kick to the head almost sends Moon flying off the tower, but the Widow pulls him to safety. She promises to help him track down Sunny if Moon agrees to be her Regent.
Sunny journeys through the woods with baby Henry on his back and Moon's black sword at his side. He spots a doe and prepares to shoot it with an arrow, but stops when he sees the doe's fawn.
Two of the Widow's trucks make their way to the Sanctuary down a wooded road. A masked Tilda – now assuming the identity of the Iron Rabbit – leaps down from the trees followed by two of her fighters, including Odessa. They kill all of the Bowler Hats and take control of the trucks. In the back of one of the trucks, Tilda finds Bajie – who the Widow has been hunting ever since he ran off with Tilda – shackled inside.
Moon arrives at the Sanctuary and liken the Widow's protective wall to Quinn's. The Widow insists that once Chau is dead, there will be no need for barriers.
In his gated chambers, where he's being kept at the Sanctuary, M.K. smokes opium while two naked Butterflies sleep in his bed. The Widow enters and orders the girls out, then admonishes M.K. for wasting his potential. M.K. doubts he'll get his gift back as none of her training has helped so far. The Widow warns that she is his only hope and guesses Sunny is never coming back for him. M.K., matching her tone, reminds her that Tilda and Waldo both abandoned her.
That night, Sunny camps in an old RV and reads a book to Henry. Later, he takes a swig from his flask and apologizes aloud to Veil. "It should have been me," he laments.
The next day, Henry cries uncontrollably from a fever. A sound from outside prompts Sunny to slide a protective metal grate over the top of Henry's crib, sealing him safely inside. Three stalkers crash through the RV. Sunny kills the first two, then reveals a row of spikes alongside Henry's crib to impale the head of the third. Sunny finds a wanted posted in one of the stalker's pockets that depicts his face and the Widow's butterfly seal.
At her Totemist camp where she's housing war refugees, Lydia talks to Vitania, a healer who's worried about space limitations at the refugee camp. Tilda and Bajie arrive with supplies from the Widow's hijacked trucks. Bajie mockingly refers to Lydia as a "Baroness" and cites her history with Quinn as evidence for why Tilda shouldn't trust her. Lydia pulls Tilda aside and asks her to leave so they don't draw attention from the Widow. Tilda suggests attacking the Widow first, but Lydia warns not to let her anger dictate her. Tilda tries to enlist Bajie, reminding him that M.K. is still waiting, but he refuses. He says he's leaving in the morning.
Sunny takes Henry to Coral and Brenn's farmhouse. Coral suggests finding the refugee camp, which is not far from their home. When Coral is out of sight, Brenn forbids Sunny from visiting again and reveals he sent the stalkers. Sunny sees Brenn's son watching them from the staircase and decides not to kill Brenn.
Sunny arrives at the refugee camp. Vitania turns him away but changes her mind once she sees Henry's condition. She agrees to run some tests in her healing tent and takes Henry with her. She tells Sunny to leave and get some food.
Outside, Sunny sees his old Clipper motorcycle and makes his way towards it.
A drunken Bajie cheats a group of men at a game. They search his pockets for their money and find Sunny's Azra compass. Sunny appears behind them and Sunny fights off one of the men for the compass. He reveals Moon's sword as a warning to anyone else. The other refugees leave, and Bajie says it will be like good times.
At the Sanctuary, the Widow stands before a row of caskets. The mother of a slain Butterfly cries and blames the Widow for her daughter's death. The Widow hugs her, and Nathaniel nods at her from afar.
Vitania draws blood from Henry and is shocked at what she sees.
Sunny and Bajie catch up over drinks – having not seen each other since the fight at Quinn's bunker. Bajie explains he disappeared on Sunny's bike because he knew Sunny would be building a life with his family. Sunny informs Bajie of Veil's death and says, "Moon was right. She died because of me." Lydia walks over to reprimand Bajie and sees Sunny, just as Vitania comes to fetch Sunny.
In the healer's tent, Sunny sees that Henry's eyes have turned black from Vitania drawing blood and Bajie tells him Henry possesses the dark gift. Sunny wants to search for Azra to find answers. Bajie says it's a fairytale after waiting months for his signal to Azra to be answered.
Pilgrim leads a mile-long caravan of vehicles through the outlying territories. He pulls out a compass pointing towards the Badlands wall and announces they've reached the "promise land." Two of Chau's clippers hiding nearby run off to alert the guards manning the checkpoint before the wall.
Flags emblazoned with Chau's insignia wave from the top of two massive watchtowers. Chau's Clippers see Pilgrim approaching with two of his Acolytes, Nix and Castor. Pilgrim coolly explains he's here to offer the Clippers salvation should they submit to him. The Clippers get ready to attack. Nix and Castor cut themselves, activating their dark power, and mercilessly destroy all of the Clippers but one. Nix notices Castor's eyes temporarily return to normal during the fight. Pilgrim leaves the lone Clipper alive to pass along a message: "Tell your people what you saw here today. Tell them the reckoning has come. Join us or die."