—NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED—
A piece of history that happened after 1870’s, which the show is set in. The Chinese has ported into Germany during this time and have built their community. With WWII happening, the Chinese was unaffected unless their ideologies were brought to light.
After Pearl Harbour, the Gestapo arrested Chinese Germans and Chinese nationals, putting them into concentration camps which led to torture, assault and slavery.
I haven’t brought a piece of history to these reviews since Season 2, Episode 9. This episode had me searching for anything that could have brought some historical background but this is what I only found.
Why did I bring up this type of history?
Also in honor of Bruce Lee’s 50th Anniversary, it was good to see his daughter Shannon, finally having a role in the show, she helped put together. Bringing her father’s vision on the screen and sharing it with the world and creating something special
Seasons 1 and 2 brought us the Western themed standalone episodes. It is no surprise we would get one for Season 3. Director Brett Chan channeled his Sergio Leone with this episode and you can tell.
After settling to counterfeit money under Mai Ling, Father Jun brings up a deal that can be made to Young Jun and Ah Sahm. The three head East to trade their counterfeit bills for silver with the Krugers.
Ah Sahm, Father Jun and Young Jun arrive on the Spanish settlement and witness the oppression of the Chinese workers. The deal is made with the Krugers but Ah Sahm and Young Jun discover the Krugers beating on a small child for stealing.
Ah Sahm steps in and the child is let go. As the three head back for Chinatown, they discover the child has been killed and put on display. With the workers in mourning, Ah Sahm, Young Jun and Father Jun head back to enact justice.
Meanwhile, Lee and Chao are transported to Georgia, where Aunt Violet and his two cousins Carter and Bo await. With vengeance on her mind, aunt Violet transports Lee and Chao to be hanged.
With the wagon stuck, Chao takes the opportunity to escape while Lee tries to sway Carter to let him go. Aunt Violet orders to kill Lee but Chao saves him.
Strickland brings Leary to an engagement party. Leary interacts with the various elites of San Francisco culminating to speak with Mayor elect Thayer.
Leary learns that Strickland has information on Thayer, hoping it will work out in the election.
Mai Ling and Young Jun’s interaction since the Season 2 finale, the fact they have to work together, shows the distrust they have for each other. But that trust is swayed when Mai Ling turns the attention to Ah Sahm and Yan Mi.
Young Jun this time, shows respect to Mai Ling on how she rose to lead the Long Zii. He does question what is the endgame for her.
Father Jun and Ah Sahm having a conversation since Season 1, it is a fresh interaction as Father Jun reveals how he really felt about Ah Sahm. Father Jun understanding what Ah Sahm represents and what his conflicts are.
This interaction comes to a head when they discover the young child killed and Father Jun telling Ah Sahm to just walk away but joins him and Young Jun to fight back.
The former leader finally returning to help his son, shows what is going to help push Young Jun to assume the leadership role of the Hop Wei but his respect for Ah Sahm has finally come to the forefront. Even in the last moments.
I have not mentioned Thayer as I wondered how much involved in the political sub-story was going to play. With little bits and pieces, we learn that Thayer is a family man but hiding their misdeeds.
Catherine Archer and Strickland have brought that to the forefront to Buckley and Leary, knowing it will be helpful in the election.
The heart of this episode has been Lee and Chao.
For the standalone, it is the first that shows the connecting stories to build up the rest of the season. This specific backstory of Lee was built up in Season 1, when a bounty hunter went after him. In Season 2, we did not get much of it but here, the past finally catches up.
The interactions with Lee and Chao throughout the seasons have been brief and sarcastic. During their train ride, Lee jabs at Chao on how he would sell his own family for profit. Chao tells him how deals are done and how they make a person.
Chao had the chance to leave Lee behind but he chose to save him in the end. Grief stricken and no family left, Lee buries his aunt and cousins and Chao helps him.
Though the two have one-off conversations until this season, it is a highlight that this episode gives them the spotlight. Especially Chao’s demeanor shift when Aunt Violet tries to make him a slave once again. Chao has stated it back in Season 1 that he is no slave. And he will die before doing that again.
The standalone Western themed episode was good to see and yet it still builds each character. These episodes always give each character a push with events that shape them.
Lead photo: David Bloomer