M. K. (Aramis Knight) began the Season 1 premiere of AMC's "Into the Badlands" locked in a wooden chest and ended the Season 1 finale Sunday ... well, locked in a chest again. However, a lot happened in between.
While M.K. and Sunny (Daniel Wu) may not have made it out of the Badlands yet, the elder Clipper did sacrifice his chance to escape to rescue his Colt from the Barons, seemingly killing Quinn (Marton Csoskas) in the process. Plus, the two survived the fallout from the Widow (Emily Beecham), Ryder (Oliver Stark) and Jane's (Sarah Bolger) huge power plays. However, that all seemed like small potatoes after the trio of mysterious "Abbots" showed up to lay down a beating on everybody and kidnap M.K.
Series star Aramis Knight, who plays the all-important M.K., spoke with International Business Times after the finale to discuss the arrival of the Abbots, his character's relationship with Sunny, and what lies ahead in Season 2.
International Business Times: Can you explain – as best you can, anyway – the mythology or origins of the Abbots? What does it mean that M.K. is not alone; that there are others with powers?
Aramis Knight: It definitely shows that there is more to the Badlands than just the Badlands. I think that's a really interesting thing about this show is that the first three episodes show you the world of the Badlands and then in the next three you go on sort of a spiritual journey and learn so much more about the actual world and just the Badlands itself. I also think it is very important that there are more people like M.K. because it gives him hope that he could control [his powers]. Obviously, they did. It is a big cliffhanger too because you don't really know who the are – up until this point I don't even know who they are. Second season scripts have not even been written yet.
IBT: So, what did you know about their backstory?
Knight: So, basically they are called Abbots and they are basically monk – or, at least, that is what they are inspired by – and they have learned to harness this dark chi. That is basically all I know right now. They remain pretty mysterious throughout the series.
— Into the Badlands (@IntotheBadlands) December 21, 2015
IBT: What was it like filming that climactic fight scene?
Knight: Filming that, I think we were there for about four or five days total, which is actually pretty quick. It is kind of a rendezvous of all the characters. We see Ryder coming into a position of power, he gets Jacobee (Edi Gathegi) and Zypher (Ellen Hollman) involved, whom M.K. actually takes care of, and it shows how powerful M.K. is – as Quinn said, M.K. is as powerful as an army.
IBT: Speaking of Quinn, you and Marton [Csoskas] shared more screen time in the finale than any other episode. We are used to seeing M.K. with Sunny. What was that dynamic like?
Knight: Marton plays such a good bad guy. I think it is really a testament to Marton's ability to change himself completely. He really is a character actor and really dives into the role both psychologically and physically. I learned so much from him and, on that note, although he plays such a bad guy, he is really the nicest man. Whenever I work with him I sort of just watch everything he does because he is so amazing and I can learn so much from him. In this episode, I think it is interesting how much of an interest Quinn takes in M.K., because he has been so in the dark about M.K's powers.
IBT: When Quinn is making his pitch to M.K. is there any part of M.K. that is buying what the Baron is selling?
Knight: Definitely! You hear M.K. quote the line, "Now I see what you did to Sunny." It is because he is feeling the brain washing ways of Quinn and he does think about this possibly bright future protecting Tilda (Ally Ioannides), Tilda coming to live in the Fort, and also sparing Sunny, which Quinn said he would let M.K. choose to do. There is an obvious sense of distrust, but he is also wondering if Quinn is not the next best option.
IBT: Is it safe to say that Quinn is dead?
Knight: I don't know if it is safe to say he is dead. We don't see him die. That is something that would just be a guess because I have not seen any [Season 2] scripts yet.
IBT: During that final fight, how aware is M.K. that Sunny came back for him? It is hard to tell what M.K. understands when he is using his powers.
Knight: I don't think he is too aware. In that state he has trouble controlling it, even though Tilda helps him control it a little. He is put on the spot with Quinn slicing him, so I don't think he has time to even think about controlling his powers. I definitely don't think he knows that Sunny came for him at all. I don't think he remembers anything in that state, so you have to imagine his terror when he wakes up in that box.
IBT: When M.K. does get out of that box in Season 2, will his first priority still be getting home? Or will it be finding Tilda, or Sunny?
Knight: I definitely think it is getting home still, but I think he will also want to find Sunny and Veil (Madeleine Mantock). I think he knows he needs their abilities to get out of the Badlands and I also think he has grown fond of having Sunny around as a father figure. You see that in episode 5 especially when M.K. tells Sunny he is a good teacher and he gives him hope. There is an attachment that not only M.K. has, but that Sunny has as well.
IBT: What about Tilda?
Knight: I'm not too sure yet. I'm not sure if she will come on the journey with M.K. and Sunny and Veil if they all find each other again. M.K. definitely has a special love for Tilda, so I'm sure there will be some type of heartache and yearning for each other. We'll see!
IBT: What have you heard about Season 2?
Knight: I know [series creators] Al Gough and Miles Millar and [executive producer/series star] Daniel Wu recently got together in L.A. – Daniel actually came over to my house to talk about the story arc and where things would go. They set a 90% location if we were to come back, which would be New Zealand. It's all up in the air right now, though.
AMC will reportedly renew "Into the Badlands" for a second season to premiere in 2016.