The battle of the Barons is heating up on AMC's "Into the Badlands," and some of the players are switching sides. The big cliffhanger of episode 4 was a secret pact by Ryder (Oliver Stark) to join the Widow (Emily Beecham) and Zypher (Ellen Hollman) in an alliance against his father, Quinn (Marton Csokas). As for Quinn, he, along with Lydia (Orla Brady) and Jade (Sarah Bolger), turned their back on Ryder in "Two Tigers Subdue Dragons" thanks to Ryder's hand in escalating the coming war. Now they will have to face the consequences.
Oliver Stark, who plays Ryder on "Into the Badlands," spoke to International Business Times to discuss the final straw in his decision to betray his father, if he could ever forgive Jade, and episode 4's biggest moments:
International Business Times: What led Ryder to join forces with the Widow, a character he began the show trying to kill?
Oliver Stark: I just think it is a case of if you keep on pushing someone, you eventually push them too far. His father has never given him any love. His mother has now turned her back on him. His lover has ditched him. I think there is nothing left in the Fort for Ryder. He feels this is his way of getting what he thinks he deserves. I think the specific moment where that decision gets made is that scene with Quinn where he brings up Jade. That is where he loses Ryder's loyalty.
IBT: What does Ryder think he deserves exactly? And does he deserve it?
Stark: He feels like he deserves to be treated with the respect that Sunny gets treated with and, more than anything, I think Ryder wants the opportunity to prove himself. He feels like he has not been given a fair shot at the title, as it were. Listen, I think he does deserve that. If he fails again then fair enough, but he sees himself as the rightful heir to Quinn's throne.
IBT: Why has Ryder not been given more respect?
Stark: I think it is that the Badlands is a very physical world and very early on in life he was, physically, not living up to what Quinn wanted him to be. He was always a disappointment in Quinn's eyes, and I think it just snowballed from there. If you have your father, one of the most important people in your life, telling you that you aren't good enough, you can develop quite a complex out of that.
IBT: How does Ryder feel about Sunny at the moment? He has tried to kill the Widow and he has schemed against his father, but he has not made a move against Sunny yet, who certainly has not helped him win any respect from Quinn.
Stark: I think their entire relationship is founded on jealousy, not necessarily hatred, though. I don't think he hates Sunny. I don't think he blames Sunny. What he has to do is respect Sunny. He has to respect that Sunny is the best at what he does. I think he knows if he tried to take out Sunny in an actual fight he would lose every time. So, I think it's a matter of biding his time. He has to be more intelligent about making that move.
IBT: At this point Ryder has this agreement to become a Baron via the Widow. Is anyone from his life a part of that plan in his mind, or is he alone now?
Stark: I think he is alone. I don't think Sunny has enough respect for Ryder to follow Ryder if he was Baron. His decision to shake hands with the Widow kind of hits home that he has no one else. He has to take an ally on because everyone in his life has turned their back on him.
IBT: So he does not think he can win Jade back in some way with this plan?
Stark: I think the Badlands is not a place for forgiveness. Jade "dumping" him, as it were, probably came at the worst time, when he needed her more than anyone. He has gone to her on the back of Quinn's vile words and Lydia turning her back on him. He has gone to Jade and said, "Listen, I need you now." So, that's final as far as Ryder is concerned.
IBT: What did he think was going to happen after she married Quinn? What did he expect her to do?
Stark: He loves Jade and that kind of romantic in him thinks, "We can work it out," and "we can do this." It's not a logical decision it is a decision of the heart. I don't think he was necessarily thinking clearly.
IBT: We have not seen Ryder really take part of too much of the show's trademark fighting scenes -- he was tied up during the Widow's ambush in episode 2 -- but you posted a video on Twitter of you and Aramis Knight (who plays M.K.) sparring. Are we ever going to see Ryder's skills in battle?
Stark: The sword comes out again in the final episode, but, look, he is not a fighter like Sunny is a fighter. He is not even a fighter like Quinn is a fighter, but fighting is sort of in the bones of everyone in this world. He can sort of throw down, as it were. He will be involved in a fight scene in the last episode.
— Oliver Stark (@oliverstarkk) December 3, 2015
IBT: A lot of the cast has been teasing that final episode's big fight.
Stark: Through episodes 5 and 6 the pace really picks up now, and we storm towards the climax at the end, which, as you can imagine, contains one of the craziest fight scenes possible.
It gets difficult for Sunny. We've seen Sunny take on a lot of people, but suddenly we are introduced to some people where it is not so easy.
"Into the Badlands" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on AMC.