If You Wait By The River
Episode 7 of Warrior Season 2 begins with Father Jun confronts the trio of Tong men as they stand before him. Young Jun refuses to take this lying down and reminds him he’s his son.
Grabbing a red hot sword, Young Jun prepares to be burnt out the Hop Wei. He’s not afraid though and even defiantly shows his forearm to his Father, ready to endure the pain and be cast out the tong.
Before he burns his skin, Father Jun lashes out and blames Ah Sahm for their familial difficulties. Obviously he doesn’t take that lying down and jumps in too, speaking his piece and how they were trying to save the tong. prompting him to jump in and tell them they were only trying to save the Tong.
As Father Jun reminds them all that he is the Tong, he orders the rest of the men to turn on the pair (with Hong caught in the middle). Only, they switch allegiances and stand behind Ah Sahm and Young Jun, unable to kill their own.
Honoring Father Jun’s long years at the front line, Young Jun usurps his Father from his position of power and takes his place in the Hop Wei chair.
It’s a significant power shift and one that sees Young Jun eventually seeking council from his Father. He wants Young Jun to kill him – given that’s the traditional way of transferring power in a tong. Young Jun meanwhile has other plans. He’s going to keep him around and learn everything he can. To make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid, our new leader places guards at the door to watch him.
After getting patched up, Ah Sahm and Young-Jun reflect on what’s taken place. Young Jun just wanted to be taken seriously by his Father but sadly that hasn’t come to pass. Before the upcoming council meeting, he decides to rest up before deciding on their next move.
Penny continues to suffer badly from the factory blowing up. She busies herself at home while Sophie suggests she sell up and cut her losses. It’s obvious this place means more to her than that. It’s a chance to prove herself in the industrial world and prove the doubters wrong. On top of that, it also gives her freedom and an escape from her marriage. In fact, she’s so determined to make a go of it, she approaches Merriweather and decides to take him up on his original deal.
Meanwhile, Zing’s framing goes to plan as he’s sentenced to death for his troubles. The courtroom is hushed and watch as he leaves but interestingly Leary happens to be there too. He quietly mentions Zing’s deal but O’Hara brushes this off, claiming to just be playing his part in bringing the man to justice.
Leary is no fool though, and later on he listens contemptuously as the Mayor speaks high praise for Bill. Interestingly, he’s propositioned around an alternate avenue in politics. Although he refuses, Sophie also brings it up later that evening too. She tells him he could command the Irish vote and doesn’t need to trust anyone there. It could be another way of resolving his problems.
Ah Sahm returns to Chao with an extensive shopping list. As Chao looks down the list, he has his concerns that a war may be brewing. Given what happened to Zing, the Fung Hai are leaderless right now but not if Mai Ling steps in and decides to absorb them. He essentially tells Ah Sahm to be careful and given the precarious balance of power, offers his hand as a friend if he decides to operate in the shadows. For now, the pair go their separate ways.
Ah Toy and Lai raid a brothel, with each of the girls being kept in awful conditions down in a damp, dirty dungeon. Lai is beside herself and tortures the owner, eventually piercing his face with a sword when Ah Toy commands it. And just like that, the girls are free from their cells.
In a lovely faded shot, we cut to the following day as O’Hara and the rest of the officers look over the devastation. Given they just framed Zing for being a swordsmith – and this work is very clearly a sword-wielder’s dirty work – Bill is forced to keep one of the men quiet by giving his recommendation to become sergeant. The rest of them work to cover up what’s happened.
Lee meanwhile returns the stolen watch O’Hara planted on Zing to its rightful owner. Only, she comments that Bill visited her earlier before the raid and was talking about a big break in the case. Now it all becomes clear to Lee as he starts piecing everything together and realizes O’Hara was the one who planted the watch.
Ah Toy heads up to Nellie’s winery with all the freed girls. She speaks to them in their native tongue, telling them to stay with her now and that they’re safe. She also tells Lai to stay too, telling the girl it’s too dangerous and trying to protect her. Despite some tears and frustration, a solemn Ah Toy takes off before she changes her mind.
After Ah Toy’s damaging revelation to Patterson that she’s transferring ownership of her properties, he heads in to confess his sins in church. Unfortunately this vicar – called Father Herlihy – is anything but clean. He asks for an offering and in taking the man’s money, reveals that he’s missing a finger.
On the back of this, he sends Patterson to meet with a butcher. Well, two actually. While it seems likely that this pair are hired goons, for now this story is left tantalizingly open for next week.
The Mayor finds out about Penny’s agreed deal earlier in the episode with Merriweather. He tries to keep calm while drinking in a bar, eventually leaving on the back of Merriweather joking and telling Samuel to consult with his wife. He even jokingly mentions how she should be the one in charge.
Penny’s day goes from bad to worse when she notices Sophie and Leary making goo-goo eyes at each other outside. Penny is beside herself with anger and tells Sophie to leave her house. Just before she goes though, Sophie makes a point of reminding her that it’s Samuel’s house. And just like that, Samuel arrives.
He speaks to Penny about the deal and demands she break things off with Merriweather. Having had enough of entertaining this “misguided fantasy” of hers, Penny bites back and asks him to divorce her.
As Samuel knocks Penny down, he stalks toward her with a malicious look on his face. Sophie tries to stop him but winds up knocked out against the wall. Penny is on the verge of losing consciousness until Jacob arrives and pierces Samuel’s skull, killing the nasty politician instantly and leaving destruction in his wake.
The Episode Review
Given the lack of action this week (beyond the brawl down in the dungeons of course), Warrior instead delivers a politically charged episode that sets up a very interesting final act to this story. There’s a lot going on here and all the moving parts revolve around the new leadership at the Hop Wei.
As the balance of power swings their way, the leaderless Fung Hai could be the decider here if Mai Ling decides to seize control. We do, however, see the end of Samuel and it’s quite a fitting end too – one that’s been coming for a while but no less shocking and violent as one may expect from this series.
So far though, Warrior has delivered a decent follow-up season, one that leaves the door wide open for the rest of the episodes.