‘Warrior’ Season 2 Episode 2: Is Nora alive? Here's why bartender Abigail seduced and drugged Richard Lee
Titled ‘The Chinese Connection’, the second episode depicts a major twist in Richard Lee's life
Major spoilers for ‘Warrior’ Season 2 Episode 2 'The Chinese Connection'
The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Inspired by Bruce Lee's original concept for a graphic novel, ‘Warrior’ spells that out loud in its second episode of season two. Titled ‘The Chinese Connection’, it depicts a major twist in Richard Lee's life. Played by Tom Weston-Jones, the mysterious cop from Savannah, Georgia has a strange experience one night.
Lee wakes up to find his bottle empty and heads straight to a bar. Once there, he catches sight of a young African-American bartender. “What can I get you?” she asks. Horror-stricken, Lee is tongue-tied for a moment. There is a look of terror and confusion. Has he seen her somewhere before? The haunting look presides over his face but he shrugs it off and utters, “Whiskey.” When she picks up the bottle, he adds, “With a little something extra in it.” “Extra what?” she asks.
“You got laudanum?” he asks. A strong reddish-brown and extremely bitter drug, laudanum contains almost all of the opium alkaloids, including morphine and codeine. “You got money?” the bartender quizzes him in return. Once she adds it to his glass, he drinks it in one gulp.
Who is Abigail?
As soon as he's about to leave, she turns to him and asks, “Hey, what's your name?” Puzzled, Lee asks, “Why?” She then gives a word of caution: “Look, friendly warning. You don't want to be walking out there when that stuff kicks in. Why don't you come in the back? I got a place you can sleep it off. Or if you don't feel like sleeping... we can talk. I'm Abigail.”
Once they head back, the two are caught passionately kissing each other. As soon as the drug kicks in, he sees her face and remembers Nora — his lover from the past. He imagines her saying, “You okay honey?” and falls to the ground. The next morning he wakes up to the sight of a man pissing near him and finds himself in an alley. As soon as the episode ends, it leaves one question in the mind: Who was she and why did she do that to him?
The clue lies in the introduction to the character. Played by the enchanting Gaosi Raditholo, she appears to be the same actress who played the role of Nora. One of South Africa's most beautiful actresses, she is known for her stint as Refilwe on Mzansi Magic's ‘The Queen’. Not just a talented actress, she is also a writer and director. Along with the second episode of Season 2, she is also credited for the episodes ‘The Tiger and the Fox’ and ‘The White Mountain’ from Season 1.
Who was Nora?
To look back at Nora's story, let's jog down the memory lane. Back in Season 1 Episode 7 — ‘The Tiger and the Fox’ — Officer “Big Bill” O'Hara (Kieran Bew) finds out there is a reward of $50,000 in Richard Henry Lee's name. “Wanted Dead or Alive,” the poster reads. When Big Bill probes him, Lee explains what happened back in Savannah.
“After the war, this family of freed slaves came to live with us. They came to help manage the farm. I pretty much grew up with them. And, well their daughter, Nora... From a young age, we were kind of like brother and sister. Until we weren't. If you get my meaning.” He hints at their love affair. “We kept it quiet. Meeting in secret, usually in the barn. But we knew if we wanted a shot at something real we'd have to get the hell out of the South. Head West, buy some land maybe.”
But, a tragic incident changed his life. Lee narrates, “Nora... Well she would always leave the barn first. And then I would follow a little while later. This time, when she left, I heard her cry out. I come out to see two of my cousins holding her. Real mean sons of b***hes. I guess they were drunk and they'd been onto us for a while. And they... They had this sickle.” “She fought, my girl,” he mournfully exclaims. “They killed her right in front of me.”
As the scenes from the flashback play out, they never really show the girl's dead body. Lee continues, “I watched her die ... I shot one of them right there. But I only had one shell in the rifle, so I got a hold of that sickle and I went after the other one. I kept going for a while after he'd died. Then I buried Nora, and I left town that night.”
Bill asks him, “Why here? Why San Francisco?” Lee quips, “Well, I guess if San Francisco didn't end at the ocean I'd have kept going.” Still confused, Bill then asks, “And becoming a cop? I suppose you think that's some sort of penance.” Lee justifies his actions: “Penance? What for? Those b******s deserved what they got. They killed my girl.”
Something doesn't quite add up in his story. Did Lee lie about the last part? Did Nora escape somehow without Lee's knowledge? Or did he just cook up the entire story to escape a real murder? Well, it's also possible that he just imagined the bartender as Nora and she wasn't even there in the first place. But since the character is billed as “Nora aka Abigail” with the same actress playing the two roles, it is quite likely that Nora is alive. How? Only time will tell.
Catch more episodes of ‘Warrior’ Season 2 on Cinemax every Friday at 10 pm ET.