Episode 10 starts a week after the events of episode 9, a man wakes up Chinese coolies switching up those who worked the night before for those who are ready for the day. Among them is Ah Sahm, who has given up.
O’Hara has been with Lee since his attack, waiting for him to wake up as Lee has no family. Lucy visits them, questioning who attacked with O’Hara hiding the knowledge it is the Foon Hai.
Father Jun and Mai Ling meet as they go over the property the Long Zi obtained due to the victory of the match. Mai Ling accepts the small portion given by the Hop Wei as Father Jun swears that if the truce is broken again, he will stop at nothing till she dies.
Leary intervenes on an inevitable altercation between his men and two black men wanting a drink, accepting the fact that they are allowed to drink. He also finds one of his men drinking and informed he lost the job, among others. Leary goes to confront Byron who has given the jobs to Chinese coolies, Leary threatens to be fixed or Byron will pay. This prompts Penny to go to Buckley on the idea of protecting her father’s company but he reacts back to her attending at the match as they try to cut a deal.
O’Hara admits to his wrongdoings and involving Lee. He goes to the Foon Hai, causing mayhem which brings out Zing who offers a proposition. Lee finally wakes up as O’Hara informs him that they are searching for those responsible for the attack as the police crackdown on the Long Zi, Hop Wei and Foon Hai.
Young Jun finds Ah Sahm wanting him to return to the Hop Wei as the Long Zi and Foon Hai are taking over. Ah Sahm declines as Wang Chao overhears the conversation. Wang Chao explains his history, and sees through Ah Sahm. Though not successful, Wang Chao gives him a position for work. Assigned to the Mercer Steel mill, Penny sees Ah Sahm and offers him a better position which Ah Sahm declines, continuing to work.
Mai Ling meets with Zing as she tells him the police are after all of them because of their way of dealing with business, urging their partnership is under her leadership but Zing explains he and the Foon Hai do not work for her and renegotiates their partnership.
Leary gathers his men to assault the coolies at Mercer Steel mill, as Byron tries to reach for his gun, he suffers a heart attack. Leary’s men start to mangle and mutilate the coolies until Ah Sahm fights back against Leary’s men. Leary notices Ah Sahm as they exchange only to be stopped by the police.
Lee is back with O’Hara on their Chinatown route with O’Hara now collecting for the Foon Hai. Penny inherits Mercer Steel Mill after Byron dies from his heart attack, continuing the business. Ah Toy is visited by Ah Sahm as he thanks her for helping after the tournament and gifting her two of Leary’s men in retaliation for the coolies. Ah Sahm offers his help for Ah Toy’s cause and rejoins the Hop Wei.
Season 1 has gone through narratives that gets wrapped up or teasing what’s to come in Season 2. The narratives for Ah Toy, Penny, and O’Hara have been given their light of how they have changed from the start of the season.
Ah Toy is not just the Chinatown madam, she is a business woman with a goal that wants to be equal among everyone in Chinatown as I explained. And she has taken it upon herself to fight for the Chinese who are oppressed, even training Lai to hone her broadsword skills. And we will get into that in Season 2 as her purpose is shared with Ah Sahm.
Penny has been unhappy with Mayor Blake, how her father always worked to support their family prompting her to take care of her sisters. When the affair with Ah Sahm ended and seeing him work for the company, his words on where he belongs has affected her. And this does have her take over her father’s company after Leary’s assault. She has shown that she has her own mind and knows how to handle business, including how she helped her father, and now she goes against her husband by taking the reins of the business.
O’Hara never cared about his work until Lee came along. When the Foon Hai threatens his family and incapacitates Lee, O’Hara took it upon himself to try and make it right. And as much as O’Hara still has his own way of policing, Lee is still there to help find that balance. For O’Hara to start collecting, it shows how his transition from being someone who served a purpose for the people is now serving a purpose to protect his family.
I have not discussed much of Leary’s character throughout my reviews until now as his character has been limited with being an owner of the Banshee pub, leader of the Workingman’s Party and also runs a fight club behind the Banshee. Leary has a huge belief that he and his men are supposed to be working but when the Chinese are hired for the Mercer Steel Mill, he rallies his men to send a message.
Now his purpose has yet to be shown and more will come into play in Season 2 as we catch a glimpse of him meeting with Buckley on the frustration of his men being fired with Buckley incepting the idea. And of course he faces off with Ah Sahm as they have seen each other in court but this fight is far from finished. Leary does have more to display and especially what is to come in Season 2.
I would also mention about the political side but it’s literally Buckley is working with Crestwood to push the Chinese Exclusion Act while manipulating Mai Ling to cause a gang war, disguising his support for her to be the superior Tong in Chinatown. Manipulating Mercer to hire coolies for Leary to come out and slowly becoming the voice of the workers who have not been getting jobs in helping push the Chinese agenda. This is slowly going to come into more play in Season 2.
Wang Chao I have rarely mentioned, he acts as the liaison for both the Chinese and the San Francisco population as they visit Chinatown. As he is given little character moments, we are finally given a backstory as he left his family to make a better life in the US. The boat took him and others to Cuba where he was sold as a slave, it is here we find out why Wang Chao is the way he is. And he says it fully to Ah Sahm as he knows he is who he is and what he is supposed to be.
The iconic line “Warriors have two paths: get killed or get better.” This quote stuck with me ever since I watched this episode the first time and I kept repeating it to myself. Ah Sahm has gone through a week, disappearing from Ah Toy, the Hop Wei and Penny.
For Ah Sahm to join the coolies, his start of being known as a great warrior came crashing down when he lost the fight to Li Young. Creed II and Master Z showed the fallout of when a fighter loses they choose to try again or live a life without fighting. Ah Sahm chose to walk away, trying to assimilate with the rest of the Chinese community in hopes to just get by.
After his talks with Young Jun, Wang Chao, Penny and the death of a co-worker, he does start to rethink what his purpose is. After fending off Leary and his men, he joins Ah Toy to fight for the Chinese community and rejoins the Hop Wei with protection of his brothers. Now it may be questionable about how can a fighter have only a purpose to fight?
This brings us back to the philosophy of finding one’s purpose and Ah Sahm’s purpose is to fight for those who can’t fight back. The conversation with Ah Toy back in episode 9 has affected him, everything and everyone he has encountered has made an impact to find his purpose to fight for the people.
Season 1 ends with no loose ends but wanting more as each character’s purpose have been shown and where do they go from here. Warrior is not just an entertaining series of just action, drama and characters, it is a series that relates to its audience regardless of race or gender, and bridging that gap of reality and fiction where history has its faults. This is a series that makes you see everything that was done and makes you think.