If You’re Going to Bow, Bow Low
After 9 episodes of political scheming, fighting and gang warfare, we return to the streets of Chinatown for the Season 1 finale of Warrior. After his defeat last week, we begin with Ah Sahm doing grueling manual labour, back among the workers whence he started. Exhausted, he stumbles back to his bed after a hard day’s work and falls asleep.
Meanwhile, the Hop Wei and Long Zii come to an agreement while Bill visits Lee in hospital, his fist tightened around the Chinese tile. After telling Lee he’s a good cop, he heads down to Chinatown, determined to find the men responsible. He eventually does find them but, realizing he’s out of his depth, he leaves the club and heads back to the precinct to find an alternate way to hurt the Chinese.
Two black men walk into the Irish bar but they’re met with hostility. As one of the men stands up, brass knuckles at the ready, Leary turns up and tells the boys to keep drinking, they’ve paid their dues but should know better next time than to wander into a bar. As the Irish quietly go along with his rules, Leary discovers more bad news when he learns the politicians have lied – there’s not 100 jobs for the Irish, Buckley lied.
Mai Ling learns the hard way this week that leadership is tough, as the police start raids throughout Chinatown, seizing opium and putting a dent in profits. Of course, this is the retaliation for putting Lee in hospital and the long arm of the law is felt all over Chinatown. With things more volatile than ever, Young Jun tracks down Ah Sahm and asks for his help, inviting him back to join the gang. Ah Sahm refuses, telling he has hasn’t forgiven them for tossing him out like trash. However, he receives some home truths while waiting for a job, a job that could get him out of Chinatown that night.
While Ah Sahm works laboriously, Leary confronts Buckley about the contracts, determined to make a statement. He heads to the factory Ah Sahm’s working at and rounds up all the Chinese, breaking their hands with a hammer and demanding the bosses step forward and make good on their promises. However, Ah Sahm steps in and single-handedly floors the gang. An impressively choreographed fight then follows, as the camera swings around Ah Sahm as he grabs a stick and protects the other workers. He managed to dispose of them all until Leary steps forward, smashing Ah Sahm’s stick and preparing to fight.
However before they can really brawl, the police interject and stop the fight. As things settle down in Chinatown, we finish with one final montage segment as Bill and Lee go back to patrolling Chinatown while Ah Sahm rejoins the Hop Wei after giving Ah Toy a present. Penelope sifts through the paperwork in her Father’s office while Ah Toy’s apprentice practices her sword fighting after being forced into making an alliance. The episode then ends with all our characters’ fates hanging in the balance, ready for next season.
With Warrior already green-lit for a second season, all the pieces look set for an explosive second act to this tale. Things are left wide open too although the segments involving Ah Sahm back among the workers feel like an important and necessary component to his character this week. With the Irish inevitably looking for revenge and the gangs more tumultuous than ever before, who knows what season 2 has in store for us.
In the meantime, the season finale to Warrior ends as it began; an explosive episode full of well choreographed fights, a perfectly paced story and plenty of colourful, memorable characters. Yes the dialogue can be a little simple and wonky at times but to be honest Warrior excels regardless. It’s the action that really helps set this one apart though and Warrior makes good on the memory of Bruce Lee, with a very strong and enjoyable season finale.