'Warrior' Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Will Ah Sahm bring war to Hop Wei as he plots revenge again Mai Ling?
Spoilers for 'Warrior' Season 2 Episode 1
'Warrior' Season 2 Episode 1, the premiere episode of the all-new season, is worth the wait and this is something we begin to see from the opening shot. It features a shirtless Ah Sahm (Andrew Kenji) opposite a huge bald man also shirtless and the two of them are ready to battle it out at the fight pits in Barbary Coast.
Ah Sahm is back in Hop Wei and as the show has repeatedly indicated the Tongs take care of their own. So why is Ah Sahm out at the pits fighting for change and getting beaten up bloody in the process? Ah Toy (Olivia Cheng) reveals later that he is searching fee flaws in his techniques and as much as he wants to perfect it, there is not much else that he can do.
Ah Toy and Ah Sahm have a thing going where the two of them go against white men who have been targeting Chinese immigrants and take them out overnight leaving just dead bodies in their wake. In fact, we see the two of them and Ah Toy's new assistant in action as they go against a local gang called the Teddy boys. When Ah Sahm is not fighting at the pits, fighting white supremacists or any racist white men in general, he is busy plotting.
Plotting against his sister Mai Ling (Dianne Doan) who did not think twice about ordering his death and if we were to go by what he told Mai Ling during their conversation this episode, he might also be preparing himself to become the head of operations of Hop Wei in Father Jun's absence. As Mai Ling rightly pointed out, Father Jun maybe healthy but doesn't have too long to live. Young Jun, who managed to get Ah Sahm back in the Tong, but he is considered too volatile to be the rightful heir.
Ah Sahm seems to be planning something grand because he manages to convince Young Jun (Jason Tobi) to set up a local source for their buy instead of getting the product from China as a way of cutting costs and attracting more customers. Initially, of course, Young Jun mentions that Father Jun might not be on board this plan as this might mean going against the Company of Six. Later he agrees to work out the plan without Father Jun's knowledge. So what if Father Jun finds out? Ah Sahm believes that it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Is this part of Ah Sahm's grand plan?
In the meanwhile, Leary (Dean Jagger), of the Irish mob has met Blake (Christian McKay) and Penny's (Joanna Vanderham) guest Sophie (Céline Buckens). Despite his ruthless ways with Irish laborers who collect money from them forcefully, he seems quite taken with Sophie. At a time when Mayor Blake is struggling to "control his wife" Penny despite trying to force her into shutting down the company that had belonged to her father, this new budding relationship may influence Penny's company in terms of the laborers that she hires. After all, Leary has been against Chinese labourers being hired as he believes that these are jobs that originally belong to the Irish men. For now, though, Penny is struggling to keep Mercer Steel running without interference from her husband. Choosing to employ Chinese laborers has angered the Irishmen and that has ramifications that Penny must deal with but without any support from the men in her life.
Bill, the inspector who is assigned to Chinatown has been totally taken with the extra cash that he has been earning as a debt collector for Gambling House in Chinatown. He helps the Chinese mob collect gambling debts from white men, which might have otherwise led to problems with the law for the Chinese. However, this is something that his partner Lee is not aware of and so Bill must be very careful. When he and Lee approach Chao for news regarding the recent dead bodies left by a swordsperson, Lee ends up pressurizing Chao who in turn ends up indirectly warning Bill that he is aware of the inspector's extracurricular activities.
The most intriguing development of this episode also happens to be connected with Chao. Be it how he advised Ah Sahm to give up on the idea of buying 'molasses' from a local source to pressurizing Ah Toy to stop her nightly activities, he seems to know everything and everyone's business. Can he also guess that war is approaching the Tongs? That we would love to see especially after Leary bombed a building, literally, at the end of the episode. We would also love to see more of the lady at the fighting pits -- Rosalita Vega (Maria Elena Laas). After all, she might very soon replace Chao's place in Ah Sahm's plan.
'Warrior' season 2 episodes will be aired on Cinemax every Friday at 10 pm ET.