Learn to Endure, or Hire a Bodyguard
Cinemax’s Warrior was undoubtedly one of the best shows of 2020. The mix of gritty fighting, gang warfare and an engrossing story was enough to make this series worth its weight in gold.
Given the ending though, it was inevitable that this one would return for a follow-up. And so we return to Cinemax’s sleeper hit and this one wastes absolutely no time getting back into the swing of things.
Episode 1 of Warrior Season 2 begins with Ah Sahm fighting a brute inside the underground club. The crowd watch on as he’s choked out and thrown on the floor.
Flashes of his past fight rings through, allowing Ah Sahm to channel his energy and catch a second wind. The result sees him knock this man out.
It turns out Ah Sahm’s fighting in these pits to hone his fighting skills and stay sharp. At least, that’s what he tells the impressed Vega. Given he’s now back with the Hop-Wei, Ah Toy is not happy with the attention he’s drawing to himself and warns that he’s not going to find what he’s looking for in the pits.
Despite the heat on him, Ah Sahm wants to go after the Teddy Boys, a group that’s on the rampage right now and targeting minorities.
Meanwhile, Irish mobster Leary mourns the death of his two boys before being approached by Sophie at the graveyard. The two exchange words about being “proper” and the ending exchange sees a wry smile cross Leary’s face when she leaves.
It doesn’t take long before it’s business as usual for him, collecting up wares in town and managing to get his hands on something that looks like a bomb.
Sophie meanwhile, happens to be Penny’s daughter. Armed with a sarcastic tone, she sits at the dinner table and winds up the Mayor. He has bigger fish to fry though, as he heads into work to try and work out the best way of dealing with the Irish/Chinese issue that’s consuming the town.
Outside, Mai Ling walks the street and, in a bid to try and show her empathy for the people, buys out all the stock at a local shop. She wants to help the man take his sick wife to the hospital. Ah Sahm passes though and as the pair exchange glances, the situation is delicate, to say the least.
Young-Jun refuses to play ball with Mai-Ling and her cronies. His bubbling emotions spill over back at base where he receives a swift slap to the face for his troubles from Father Jun.
Ah Sahm meanwhile ends up face to face with Mai Ling who tries to explain her actions in trying to kill him. She tries in vain to convince him to join “the winning side” but he refuses. Instead, Ah Sahm simply warns that she should have killed him when she had the chance.
Ah Sahm wastes little time acting on his own, heading up to pay a visit to the Teddy Boys. It’s a brutal, bloody exchange and one that sees he and Ah Toy making swift work of them.
As they walk away, Young Jun and Ah Sahm contemplate whether to work together and offset some of the losses they’ve experienced with Mai Ling by working behind Father Jun’s back.
Bill continues to work as a debt collector in his free time but remains conflicted, believing that he’s finished his gig now and he’s debt-free. Only, he’s very obviously not and he’s forced to continue working for the Chinese. Bill’s wife starts to act suspicious of his extra income though, believing he may well be gambling again.
The police examine the bloody crime scene and deduce that there’s two culprits running around. Lee remains convinced that Chao may hold the clues and they head off to visit the swordsmith who “hears things” about how Bill has problems.
When the police leave, Young Jun visits Chao who warns him not to double cross Father Jun. If he does, this could bring down the whole Tong.
On the back of this, Chao confronts Ah Toy and warns her that he’s willing to inform the police about her “hobby.” This, of course, being his knowledge of Ah Toy’s involvement with killing the Teddy Boys.
That’s the least of everyone’s problems though as Leary sets off a bomb that rocks the town. This may just act as the heady catalyst for war in the near future.
The Episode Review
With more excellent fight sequences, Warrior’s strengths come from its action. There’s a good array of sequences here too and the idea of Ah Sahm honing his fighting skills by learning from his past mistakes it a good one.
This second season certainly wastes little time getting right to the drama. The familiar characters are just as volatile and conflicted as before, and all of this stems out from the sibling rivalry about to engulf the story going forward.
There’s a lot to digest with this one and there’s plenty of scope for the season to progress into an all-out gang war. Has Leary’s bomb set everything off down that path?