On December 4th, 2020, it was the last time we saw Warrior grace our TV screens and we wanted more. Though Cinemax ceased all its original programming and the show was left in limbo.
In January 2021, HBO Max picked up both seasons and streamed it for a new audience, even campaigning their support of the representation the series presents.
In April 2021, Shannon Lee, the cast and crew announced they are back. With excitement and a victorious smile from the cast, crew and fans around the world, “Warrior” is coming back for season 3.
In July 2022 to October 2022, filming started and completed with cast of old and new uniting to bring us what we have been waiting for.
Let’s see if I can do this again.
“Exactly the wrong time to get proud, now is the time to adapt or die.” – Wang Chao
It’s been a few months since the Chinatown Riot, Mayor Buckley has put Ordinances on Chinese businesses putting most of the population in poverty. The worse part, most of the businesses belong to the Hop Wei.
This gives a chance for the Long Zii to take over. As the episode starts, a small group of Long Zii led by EMC Monkeys Xin Wuku, take shop on Hop Wei territory, this is seen by none other than Ah Sahm. He follows Xin and the rest of the Long Zii to stop the take over but he gets overwhelmed.
Not long after, Young Jun, Hong and the rest of the Hop Wei join the scuffle which brings Long Zii commander Li Young out and ensuing in a small rematch between him and Ah Sahm. The rematch is stopped by Bill O’Hara and the Chinatown squad.
O’Hara chases Ah Sahm into an alley and an exchange of words between to the two, still knowing what each other has done during the riots along with their interaction in season 1, the two still respect each other.
We are then treated to Chao making a deal with a man named Greer by selling him firearms but something catches Chao’s eyes as he finds one room filled with money. He and Young Jun are at wits end with the Hop Wei not able to pay Happy Jack for smuggling their opium while maintaining being the most powerful Tong in Chinatown.
With most Chinese businesses suffering, Chao himself has been dealing with Greer, giving tours to the white community in Chinatown but offers Ah Sahm and Young Jun a deal. Chao goes back to Greer’s base, Ah Sahm, Young Jun and Hong take care of the the men watching the base, finding nothing left of the money that Chao saw.
Instead, Chao discovers plates to make money, giving the Hop Wei a chance to go into counterfeiting.
The Long Zii have the Jiang Yao Tong assimilated as part of the Tong, their leader Kong Pak (all star Mark Dascascos) is sworn by Li Young, assuming the position of second-in-command. Mai Ling has been busy after her deal with Mayor Buckley, this deal helping the Long Zii move in on Hop Wei territories without breaking the treaty.
Mai Ling also has Chao bring in Eliza Pendleton, a socialite who gets to know and connects with Mai Ling’s story from being a warlord’s abused wife to a business owner in Chinatown. This causes Li Young to rethink her leadership, which Kong Pak helps point out. Mai Ling reassures that this is the way Chinatown and the Chinese citizens will continue within the world.
Bill O’Hara is next in line to become the Chief of police in San Francisco, due to the unfortunate passing of Chief Flanagan (Rest in Peace David Butler). Mayor Buckley comes to O’Hara, introducting the new Chief of police Atwood. Chief Atwood hails from New York City who has solved the Chinatown issue his own way, and is being asked to do the same in San Francisco.
O’Hara is of course displeased with the news as Buckley is up for election and needs a Chief of Police that is ruthless in the pushing the Chinese out of the city or O’Hara can resign.
Leary is now attending meetings with Merryweather and other business owners who use Chinese labor workers but he pushes for Irish workers to be put in place. Fighting for the Irish men to be working, finding how the pay can work for supplies and becoming a politician himself.
Ah Toy has been leaving Chao in charge while she enjoys overseeing Nellie Davenport’s winery, enjoying peace. Long and needed peace that her and Lai deserve as they don’t need to pick up a weapon again… for now.
This review and two others will be coming but it is good to have Warrior return.
Three years without the show had me wondering how long of a gap would there be to make the story proper.
The episode is a reintroduction not just to the loyal viewers but to the new Max viewers as well. By that I mean with the purchase from Cinemax, new viewers had the time to catch up but for Max viewers who don’t know… the season opener feels brand new with reintroducing the Hop Wei, the Long Zii, each character, the language, the culture, the businesses and the overall story that is building.
With that said, there was a lot to cover in the episode. The main story with Ah Sahm and his journey is not as prominent but since Season 2, Young Jun has gotten more brash in his leadership, almost creating a bigger rift with Ah Sahm calls him out on it. With no one else to confide to, Ah Toy is gone to Sonoma with Nellie while Chao stands with Ah Sahm.
Ah Sahm knows his reputation in Chinatown has gotten around but he still chooses to not accept it, he chooses to still be Young Jun’s right hand to make the right decisions but Hong almost enables.
Mai Ling with the Long Zii has chosen to merge with another Tong, which you would think would be a bad idea after Zing and the Fung Hai. But with Li Young’s influence and his friendship with Kong Pak, it’s showing Mai Ling has a plan for Chinatown. A future that hopes to unite the Chinese community within the rest of the city.
Even with Li Young’s concerns, Mai Ling still believes to expand and overcome in her mind. Hence reaching out to a socialite like Eliza. Where this is leading to, it might lead to Mai Ling being the leader of Chinatown or a downfall that will hurt the community even more.
O’Hara wanting to be the Chief was a legit character motivation, even to reunite him with his family once again but that was not to be. This disappointment brings him to the Barbary Coast to find his ex-partner Lee. Lee is now working with Abigail in the bar and has a peaceful life. It is almost O’Hara is wanting that humanity again with Lee and his family but they’re just out of reach.
As for Leary and Ah Toy, I will go in depth as I understand why the three episodes were released together. In a way, it can be said that peace has finally been attained for some, they choose to keep it going but there is a chance that it will not last.