If the episode 17 was about the choices, this is about the consequences. This episode goes into the start of what consequences the characters will encounter.
I have stated that Season 2 was filmed in 2019, finally airing in October 2020. Now this is going to get very crazy, because this episode involves a lockdown in San Francisco’s Chinatown, with a curfew implemented. Also the police enforcing the lockdown.
As we remember what was going on in June 2020, I will definitely go in depth in the Season 2 Episode 9 review, because there is a lot to unpack there. Well as we know there is a pandemic, the Asian community was targeted and still is.
The lockdown was real the Bubonic plague spread in San Francisco. From 1900 to 1904, it swept across Chinatown, letting other communities to leave but keeping the Chinese and other Asian communities were required to have a health certificate.
None of the Asian communities were allowed to leave for work, prompting them to seek legal counsel as this was a violation of their constitutional rights. Now as most forms of media is historically inaccurate but this was an event that was true.
And we can say that curfew that is enforced by the police, boy does that really look familiar with what happened in June and July of 2020? This review and the next review are going to get very heavy and real.
SPOILERS ARE AHEAD AS WE ARE GOING DEEP INTO THE SHIT NOW.
The episode starts with Hong telling the story of the Violin Man. He gives an explanation to Ah Sahm and Young Jun of why he uses his chain, only to be ridiculed but accepted. The three celebrate with the rest of the Hop Wei after eliminating the Fung Hai.
We are given a brief flashback to Buckley on losing his leg during the war. He wakes up to hear the news of Mayor Blake’s death. Chief Flanagan and Buckley inspect the body, keeping the death under wraps for the time being.
The two talk with Penny and Sophie about the incident, Penny tries to protect Jacob but Buckley is wanting him for the murder. Buckley orders Flanagan to have the whole police force to search Chinatown, in keeping the public from panic.
Young Jun asks Ah Sahm why they didn’t destroy the Fung Hai establishment, as Ah Sahm explains it will cause Mai Ling to make the first move, breaking the truce. Mai Ling observes close by, underestimating her brother. She and Li Young plan their next move for a greater plan.
Young Jun offers a drink to Father Jun, hoping to celebrate but only receives disapproval. Chief Flanagan orders his officers to find Jacob, O’Hara notices Lee more disheveled, only to be met with distrust.
O’Hara confronts Lee, revealing that he knows about Timmons’ watch and framing Zing. O’Hara tries to deescalate the situation but Lee keeps poking, causing O’Hara to bring up Lee’s past crime, breaking into a fight.
Leary visits the Working Irish men, not wanting a handout, they have grown restless of having no employment and blaming the Chinese. Leary reassures the men, telling them that the Mayor is on their side but they say it’s still not enough. Sophie passes by as he approaches her.
Sophie tells Leary of the incident, revealing Blake’s death. He consoles her as she reveals Jacob to him. Leary tells her they did the right thing but wonder who is the Mayor.
Buckley is sworn in as acting Mayor, the police search through Chinatown for Jacob, Leary watches as the Irish Working Men support them. Penny pays her little respect to Blake’s memory.
Buckley goes to Flanagan, finding no results, he orders Chinatown to be put in lockdown with a curfew, barring anyone entering or leaving. Leary approaches Buckley, offering his men to help with the search for Jacob, in return for employment for his men. Buckley declines the offer, letting Leary know that the Workingmen don’t take priority.
O’Hara and his team search Ah Toy’s brothel, informing her that a curfew is in place, resulting a shut down on operating hours. While on the search, O’Hara sees Ah Sahm in passing.
O’Hara informs Ah Sahm of Mayor Blake’s death and Jacob’s involvement. Ah Sahm denies knowing Jacob but his involvement with Penny is brought up. O’Hara states Chinatown is under lockdown and the Tongs are to be aware.
Buckley enters into Chinatown, meeting with Mai Ling, urging her to help with the search of Jacob. Using his power to hold the Opium shipment, securing his stance, Mai Ling agrees with wanting the aid of crushing the Hop Wei.
Nellie sneaks into Chinatown, visiting Ah Toy. She offers invitation to come to Sonoma, once everything is at peace. They are visited by two police men, revealing themselves as the Butcher men Patterson hired, knocking out Nellie and attacking Ah Toy.
Seeing Ah Toy is near death, Nellie tries to help but only to be brushed aside. Ah Toy gets her sword, killing the two butchers. Nellie sees Ah Toy is victorious, wanting to get help. Ah Toy tells her to leave as she does not belong in her world.
Patterson hears a noise in his house, finding Ah Toy with the heads of the butchers. Knowing that Patterson sent them, she forces him to sign the contract to end their partnership.
O’Hara stops a police officer from assaulting Wang Chao, asking for his help again to find Jacob. Chao brings up helping the police with every case but is given nothing in return. He returns to his shop, hearing a noise, finding Jacob is hiding and needing help.
This episode, the next and the finale almost act as a 3 parter. As the series has been serialized, progressing the story in each episode, these 3 episodes give a lot of character and story that it is hard to focus on one thing. We will explore, Ah Toy, Buckley and O’Hara in this episode.
Ah Toy letting Nellie go and confronting Patterson. She does trust Nellie but had to let her go because of what she has done. Knowing Nellie won’t understand, Ah Toy pushes her away because of the killing and business she is in.
Having the same goals with someone you care about is one thing, it’s harder to achieve when you have different approaches. Just like Lai, Ah Toy doesn’t want Nellie to be part of her life, knowing that it filled with violence.
As for Patterson, Ah Toy knew that the trust was gone, and for him to betray her, she made her message loud and clear. It is a bittersweet victory for Ah Toy but you can’t have it all without facing the consequences.
We get a brief background for Walter Buckley, as explained by Nichols to Mai Ling, he was a soldier with a wife who left him for another man. His darker side is not explained as much but he has been supportive of the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Buckley has been steering Blake into the direction that was needed, his death now finally gives him the position to pull every string he has been doing. With his focus on finding Jacob, he knows the inevitable outcome of the public will push for the Exclusion Act.
Buckley has been the go to man for Blake, calling the shots under his name. And now he is calling the shots, expecting the outcome to be in his favor and Crestwood’s. Soon it will blow up in his face, regardless of his position.
O’Hara is on his own on this one, as there is a fallout with him and Lee. Since the fallout, Lee does the search around Chinatown, morally not agreeing with the circumstances. Whereas O’Hara leads the officers in finding Jacob.
His interactions with Ah Sahm and Wang Chao make him question his purpose once again. Again Lee acting a form of his conscience but there is very little for now. With Ah Sahm, he brings up that he stopped the fight and is aware of the friendship with Penny.
This still shows that O’Hara is still looking out for Ah Sahm but focused. With Wang Chao, he urges him to help find Jacob and bring him out.
Wang Chao knows that this will be bad for Chinatown no matter the outcome. There is a respect between the two as Wang Chao has helped O’Hara and the police, while letting him still operate his business with no hassle.
It is a switch for O’Hara as Lee is turning jaded on his position, just as O’Hara was, when the series first started. Now O’Hara is reflecting on his choices.
With the choices made in the previous episode, the consequences are coming up. And as reality is reflected upon in media, it’s time to see how media portrays reality. Season 2, Episode 9 is the episode we all have been waiting for.