After winning another fight at the Barbary Coast, Vega proposes to Ah Sahm participate in a tournament for a bigger reward. He declines as Wang Chao enters to watch the fights. Chao speaks to Ah Sahm, knowing of the deal with Happy Jack but is suspicious of his relation to Mai Ling. Ah Sahm brushes it off but Chao assures that Chinatown will suffer because of his and Mai Ling’s quarrel.
Mai Ling visits Zing to collect the Fung Hai share of the Opium dealings but he holds back for service fee. Not backing down, she threatens to break their alliance for killing the Suey Sing and taking the Fung Hai out of the Opium trade. Zing agrees to pay Mai Ling back.
Mayor Blake meets with Penny, threatening to pull the Railway contract if she doesn’t rid the Hop Wei protection. While Patterson informs Ah Toy about Lee and O’Hara visiting him. She assures Patterson that he will be protected even though he has doubts.
Lee returns to Abagail’s bar, beating up the patrons but is stopped by Abagail as she returns his money. O’Hara goes to collect but is disgusted by the wife’s alternative of not paying, causing O’Hara to see the Fung Hai. He denies Zing’s payment, stating he is done collecting for them and threatens not to go near his family.
Nellie Davenport holds a dinner for the high class society which Penny and Mayor Blake attend. Nellie tells of her experience of why she chooses to help the women in brothels which causes discomfort for Mayor Blake but inspiration for Penny.
Ah Sahm and Young Jun’s endeavor earns them enough while Father Jun has brought in Chinese hatchetmen for the Hop Wei. Young Jun expresses his disapproval to Father Jun, causing to question the trust they have for each other.
Chao is visited by Zing on an order of weapons needed, Chao recalls being ripped off by the original Fung Hai leader but Zing gives him a down payment for the urgency. Sophie finds out Leary’s plan, making him wonder if he can trust her. Sophie understands his plan, suggests to go into politics but he declines the notion.
Among the new recruits is Hong, he goes with Ah Sahm and Young Jun to experience the pleasures of the brothel. Young Jun is rethinking the endeavor as his father brought in help from China but Ah Sahm chooses to keep going. Ah Sahm gets Hong up to speed about the Hop Wei only to encounter the Fung Hai. Hong decides to beat them down himself, impressing Young Jun and Ah Sahm and proving himself.
Chao goes to Mai Ling about Zing’s order which Mai Ling declines to intrude. Li Young goes behind her back, talking to Chao about a plan against Zing. Lee is invited by O’Hara to attend dinner with his family, it is interrupted by Fung Hai which Lee and O’Hara’s family barely survive.
Now I usually would put a piece of trivia or definition at the beginning, and what the probable theme could be. I’ve drawn a blank for this episode, there is material to explore but to pinpoint the exact theme was… it’s not there.
We are introduced to the fourth new character Hong. A Chinese hatchetman who was shipped over to help the Hop Wei. He is also one of three LGBTQ characters introduced as it establishes when he visits Ah Toy’s brothel. He is disliked by the other recruits and when he first interacts with Ah Sahm and Young Jun. Hong still pledges his loyalty to the Hop Wei, showing what he can do when he beats down the Fung Hai. Thus earning Ah Sahm and Young Jun’s respect.
Now I say one of three as the other is Ah Toy and the third is yet to be revealed. A new addition to the Hop Wei who comes from China, he is more expressive than traditional, it is off putting at first but never judge a book by its cover. Something both Ah Toy and Hong share as being from a traditional culture but looks down on individualism and personal expressionism.
We return to Nellie Davenport, a woman who helps Chinese prostitutes because her husband was a horrible human being. Now this is why I say Ah Toy and Nellie are the same, working toward the same goal. Nellie turned her tragedy of losing her husband, who was selfish and harming other women, turning it into helping the women who are harmed.
This sense of purpose does give a boost to Penny, because Nellie understands what some men are really like and Penny understands that with her marriage to Mayor Blake. And Nellie is not backing down on what she believes in.
Lee is slowly succumbing to his violent side, retaliating on the patrons of Abagail’s bar and coming to O’Hara’s aid. O’Hara stood up for himself against the Fung Hai but the repercussions have found the way on his doorstep.
O’Hara has made it clear that Lee has become part of his family, and for Lee to help O’Hara and his family, it shows the progression of their partnership but it will come crashing down.
We are given more with Leary as Sophie sees a potential political career for him. Sophie knows of Leary’s plans and what he intends to do which will create a problem between her and Penny. And it will affect them both on what’s to come. With Leary showing Sophie a bit more of his sensitive side, he shares more of why he is protesting against the Chinese community and how he has seen death.
This still draws Sophie closer to him where he cannot deny her. With Leary showing a more emotional side, it shows how committed he still is by going after each business and this is where both he and Ah Sahm are the same. Leary though is focused whereas Ah Sahm still is trying figure out his purpose with keeping focus.
Episode 3 brings more character development and introduces a probable solution for some characters but may end up being a big problem for others.