By Order Of The Peaky Long Zii
After last week’s hour long pilot, Warrior returns with a shorter episode and a more consistent gangster vibe than before. In many ways, Warrior feels like an Asian slice of the Peaky Blinders pie, with a lot of the same stylistic ticks and a similar politically driven story at its heart. Despite this, there’s enough here to make for an interesting and original series nonetheless.
Warrior begins this week’s episode with an ambush at the docks. As a shipment of opium comes in, Young Jun, with Ah Sahm and his Hop Wei lieutenant Bolo, send a message to Long Zii. Destroying the goods and letting flames lick hungrily up the shipment, they quickly flee the scene. As the gangs begin ramping up their rivalry, Big Bill and Lee are called to a murder scene where two dead Irish lie in a pool of their own blood, one with their head cut clean off.
As the bodies begin piling up either side of the conflict, Ah Sahm gets caught in the firing line when he tries to play the hero, saving a powerful woman from being hurt. As the police misconstrue his intentions as trying to harm her, he’s taken away and thrown in prison. After some discussion, the gang decide to throw him to the wolves, leaving him to his fate in prison.
All of this leads to a climactic finale where Ah Sahm is visited by a familiar face in prison while the Long Zii take care of a problem, bracing themselves for more bloodshed to come.
Warrior delivers a highly enjoyable second episode, chock full of plot progression, action, gunfire and slick camera work. The decision to cut between English and Chinese depending on what characters are in the room adds an extra dimension to this one too and for the most part these transitions are smooth and well worked.
Given the style and overall tone of the episode, people will inevitably compare this to Peaky Blinders. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though and you can never have too much gang warfare in a show like this. So far Warrior has managed to avoid feeling like a pale imitation of Birmingham’s prolific gang but depending on how this gang warfare shapes up, it’ll be interesting to see what direction the show takes. For now though, Warrior continues to deliver a highly enjoyable story and if you can look past some of the contrived dialogue, this action thriller may just be the dark horse of 2019.