Slight segue as I was watching this episode. “Joy Ride” just released and after watching it, it’s good to have representation but it dropped the ball on the storytelling. Last night after watching the film with a friend, he stated that one character should have been the main focus over the other because it was one Asian character instantly becoming friends with another Asian character.
Something felt off and it was the instant that the one character came into an all white neighborhood. That made me realize that should have been the story. The character Lolo has a full Chinese family. They enter into the new neighborhood and a white family just adopted Audrey and want them to be friends.
Before I go further, much respect to Adele Lim and the rest of the cast and crew for making the film, I don’t know what went on behind the scenes but the idea of where does one belong got so lost in the film. I say this because the trailer knew it marketed what the story is but the film literally started off with Lolo and her family then shifted into Audrey not belonging anywhere.
Why that doesn’t work in my opinion is, there’s a point in the film where all the friends argue and Audrey has the woe is me moment. Lolo is actually the main character when she brought up that she was being herself compared to Audrey. And it made me realize my own background of growing up in an all white neighborhood.
Everyone has their own story and their own upbringing, I did not have any real Asian friends until 2014. I did not understand who I was until 2016. Up to now, I connect with everyone and understand the struggles where everyone tries to co-exist. What “Joy Ride” should have been was a story of how to find yourself and where you belong in that sense.
I brought up why “Warrior” is good at its storytelling. I said from the start of the reviews that the show has Bruce Lee’s philosophical mindsets and influences in it. And the sense of knowing one’s purpose always rears it’s head along with purpose. This episode brings that philosophy to the forefront.
After Strickland’s attack on the Sonoma Ranch, Ah Toy chooses to go back to Chinatown while Nellie takes Strickland to court for damages. Ah Toy returns to run the brothel which O’Hara gives her fair warning about Atwood coming for her business. Though Nellie, loses the ranch in court to Strickland and vows to out him.
Lee and Mosley track the bills around Chinatown, finding it all leads to the Hop Wei headquarters. With Atwood leading, O’Hara, Lee and his team raid the Hop Wei. Young Jun, Hong and the others are searched, prompting Atwood assaulting and arresting Young Jun. Lee and O’Hara inspect the rooms and find nothing.
With the help of Chao, Yan Mi and Ah Sahm transport the press away from the cops, not without a scuffle. This makes Yan Mi and Ah Sahm come closer as they are both are hunted by the police.
Li Young is concerned for Mai Ling after many visits to the Pendletons. Mai Ling puts her trust into Eliza’s husband Bernard, giving him her investments to go into businesses outside of Chinatown. Bernard gets the wrong idea with Mai Ling which she retracts but Eliza sees this and has her arrested.
Both Hop Wei and Long Zii leaders are arrested, the reckoning just got more dirtier.
Hong finding himself accepted with Marcel. Introduced as a cabaret singer in Season 3, Episode 2; Marcel is an openly gay man who wandered the US without the support of his family. Hong has connected and fallen head over heels for him. This prompts Marcel to introduce Hong to an open sex club.
Hong exclaims that he feels at home, being the exhibitionist feeling safe with Marcel to be himself.
Lee is still not accepted by Happy Jack, within reason. When Lee enters back into Chinatown, he feels to go back to Opium to quell his headaches, caused by Zing in Season 1. He chooses not to as he sees a Hop Wei member with counterfeit bills. This does put Chao on edge when Lee leaves.
It’s good to see Lee work with O’Hara again, even showing his support that O’Hara should have been the chief. O’Hara is coming to terms that Atwood’s methods have been inhumane compared to how he and his team have been since the start of the squad. The two show that even not partners anymore, they understand what is morally right and wrong now.
Mai Ling had the right intentions in moving forward, though Li Young was right in trusting the Pendletons. It was unknown how it was going to be done, let alone Atwood arresting Young Jun. With Eliza sending Mai Ling away, I don’t want to say it’s a “Mean Girls” way but it comes off that way when Eliza uses the Mai Ling’s past as solicitation.
It’s even worse when Eliza says “I hope they send you back to China.”
It’s sad that Mai Ling was ready for advancing but it was almost for nothing. It brings back the reality that the original Long Zii stated to her that “Chinese need to stick together.”
With the way the world is, it’s not enough. “Joy Ride” showed a more watered down version of the reality of how people really tolerate other people. “Warrior” is the real world. The language, the violence, the history… all of it happened. Continues to happen.
Like Penny said in Season 2, Episode 9… “This is the world.”