Duck – A term for the white population coined by the Chinese. The term in that time was to make fun of the way most white people walk with their chest puffed out and waddle as they walk. And thus the rest of San Francisco is known as the “Duck Pond” outside of Chinatown.
Episode 2 starts off with Ah Sahm, Young Jun and Bolo killing some Long Zi henchmen and destroying their shipment of Opium as a message from the Hop Wei of being the superior Tong in Chinatown.
This shifts the narrative to the political and law enforcement side of the San Francisco. We now get to know who Mayor Blake, his wife Penny, Sergeant Bill O’Hara, Lee and Buckley are in the series.
As two of Leary’s workers were murdered by Ah Toy in episode 1, O’Hara and Lee are tasked to find the swordsman responsible and tensions mount as both officers have different practices. O’Hara is then informed by Leary to return payment used for Lee to be silent on the worker’s trial of the assault on the Chinese workers. This reveals O’Hara’s addiction to gambling as he cannot pay Leary back.
In Chinatown, Penny Blake and her Chinese servant Jacob are buying herbal medicine where the shop is visited by Ah Sahm and Young Jun for collections. Penny intervenes on the transaction which Jacob prompts her to back down and leave. Ah Sahm notices Penny dropped her glove and goes to the duck pond to return it to her.
Penny and Jacob are attacked by two Irishmen that do not respect that Penny has a Chinese servant. Ah Sahm arrives to stop the attack dispatching both men with Lee’s assistance. Ah Sahm offers to help Penny up only to be knocked down by O’Hara. O’Hara immediately arrests Ah Sahm at the fact he is Hop Wei and orders Lee to arrest Jacob for attacking the Irishmen but Penny intervenes stating Jacob and her were the victims.
O’Hara and Lee bring in Ah Sahm, placing the murders of Leary’s workers on him, this news is given to Father Jun by Wang Chao which the Hop Wei will continue on without Ah Sahm.
Penny goes to her husband the Mayor to plead for the innocence of Ah Sahm but he will not back down as his political stance matters more than a person’s life. And this shows the inside political dealings that Mayor Blake and Buckley plot while trying to push for the Chinese Exclusion Act.
As the first episode tried to cram many introductions of many characters, it is the proper introduction of San Francisco’s Chinatown. This episode is the proper introduction of the people in power of San Francisco.
This episode focused on the police and political practices of the series, becoming a clear reflection of America’s past history and present of the dealings of people of color. Most notably on the black community and for Canada on the indigenous communities.
What made Bruce Lee resonate to everyone through his films was he was always fighting against a representation of oppressors that oppressed people of color. And to this day, this is where the show hits the nail on the head where Ah Sahm is arrested immediately by O’Hara because he is a Hop Wei member.
Now standard police procedure was he was identified as a gang member, he had a weapon on him and he did assault two people in public. Two witnesses though plead that Ah Sahm came to the rescue but only one police officer’s testimony is sound and solid. He’s Chinese, he’s wearing gang colors, he assaulted two people, thus making him the one who committed the crime.
Now this is universal as being stereotyped no matter the race, and the fact that O’Hara showed no compassion for Ah Sahm or Penny’s pleas shows that he just does his job.
O’Hara’s character does shine in this episode as he is shown as a married man with a wife and children. His demeanor is still that his job is just a job and there is no compassion for any criminal regardless of race. And this is where Lee is his conscience, someone who does the job by proper procedure. This does cause a rift between the two as O’Hara does not agree or condone Lee’s approach to the work but it does make him start questioning his character and his approach.
Penny is now given a proper character introduction than being just the Mayor’s wife as she is the daughter of a local steel mill owner, and marrying Mayor Blake prompted a popular political image for him.
Is Penny the damsel in distress? Sadly she is but only this once and it’s understandable what they were trying to do for this character which I will get into when I go in depth in the series. As there is a lot of aspects of Bruce Lee’s life/films/philosophies that are paid homage within the series. Meaning this is where the romantic subplot between Ah Sahm and Penny starts.
Penny goes to check on Ah Sahm while he is incarcerated as she wanted to thank him for saving her along with trying to find a way to have him free. This causes Ah Sahm to speak English to Penny as he tries to make her realize that even though he can speak the language, the color of his skin won’t change the court’s ruling on him. A blatant commentary on innocent people of color convicted of crimes that they didn’t commit.
From there, this is also a look at how people of color need allies to understand the struggle we go through and for Ah Sahm connecting with Penny, trying to make her see, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
With Episode 2, Warrior continues to bring much of the real world’s problems on display, while using the past as a way of showing the present’s realness. We’re just getting started still.
Warrior is now available on Digital and Blu-Ray wherever sold. Both seasons are also now streaming on HBO Max.