All Enemies, Foreign & Domestic
Episode 8 of Warrior Season 2 begins with a scene that’s very reminiscent of The Godfather’s opening scene. The camera zooms out slowly from Hong, Young-Jun and Ah-Sahm as they joke about trademarks and violins. Around them lie a mosaic of dead, mutilated bodies. The whole idea of a camera speaking volumes about what’s happening inside a scene is perfectly illustrated here.
The next scenes are just as gnarly. A saw is sharpened before Walter Buckley is held down and his leg is amputated. This happens to be a dream, as he’s awakened by rapping at the door to inform him of the grim news surrounding the Mayor.
This inevitably brings them to Penny who claims self defence. She’s got the bruises to prove it but of course the blow to the back of her husband’s head casts doubts.
Well, Sophie quickly dispels any myths and tells them all that Jacob was the one responsible. Penny however is not ready to throw him under the bus and tries in vain to stop them. Given the hostilities toward Chinamen, Jacob has a massive bullseye on his back.
First order of business though, Chinatown is closed effective immediately. A manhunt for Jacob gets underway but Lee is in no mood to work with Bill. He confronts him about the planted watch, now knowing the truth, which causes Bill to turn on his colleague. He makes a big scene and for now this conflict simmers out. However, it’s very obvious that this is far from over.
Leary visits his fellow Irish but they’re in in no mood for handouts. As he tries to convince them to follow him, Leary catches sight of Sophie and speaks to her privately. She admits that it was Jacob who killed the Mayor.
Despite the police’s best efforts to keep this under wraps, Leary now knows the truth and watches as the officers roll into Chinatown looking for Jacob. As they search thoroughly through every house, Buckley is sworn in as Mayor.
Leary jumps at the chance of a new Mayor taking office though and waits for Buckley outside to give him a proposition. He tells him to pay the working man – his working men – to find Jacob. It’s a win/win in his eyes; the man won’t revolt or cause any trouble, helping Leary’s claim while Jacob is found quicker. Despite the lucrative offer, Buckley rejects it.
Meanwhile, Ah Sahm provokes Mai Ling, putting up their colours dangerously close to the Fung Hai. Mai Ling is not ready to take this lying down and tries to find a way around the treaty to get her revenge.
Father Jun senses as much too, who drinks with Young-Jun and warns his son that despite getting rid of the Fung Hai, there have been casualties and his impulsiveness may well come back to bite the Tong sooner rather than later.
The police raid Ah Toy’s place and even head up to see Ah Sahm. He learns of the Mayor’s death from Bill but there’s obviously no love lost between the two.
Buckley instead visits Mai Ling and asks for her help. Despite giving him her terms, she has some of her own. In exchange for finding Jacob, she wants his assurance that they will crush the Hop Wei “when the time comes.”
Meanwhile, Nellie returns to Ah Toy’s but she’s not alone. Unbeknownst to her, two rogue officers (who are really those two butchers we saw last episode in disguise) show up too looking for a good time. Instead, what they find is a skilled fighter and an eventual knife to the neck for their troubles.
Blood stained and covered in cuts, Ah Toy tells Nellie to leave, unwilling to go to the hospital and doing her best to save the girl from meeting an untimely demise. When she leaves, Ah Toy breaks down in tears. It’s not for long though, as she heads straight up to Patterson’s place with the severed heads of the two thugs. She makes him sign and forces him to leave and not return.
Out in the streets, Bill saves Wang Chao from an irate police officer. He apologizes for shutting the swordsmith down and watches as he walks away. However, Chao finds Jacob hiding and asking for help.
The Episode Review
With an episode devoid of action – minus that brutally choreographed fight with Ah-Toy – what we get instead is a solid 40 minutes of table-setting for the upcoming 2 episodes to come. Mai Ling and Buckley’s loose alliance spells big trouble for the Hop Wei while the various political schemes brewing up all over the place pose a particularly intriguing concept.
That’s before mentioning Leary who ironically plays a politician better than he realizes. This Irish angle will almost certainly prove to be the wildcard going forward.
And what of the police too? Surely Bill will get his comeuppance sooner rather than later but for now, big question marks remain over exactly what’s going to happen in Chinatown. One thing’s for sure – this conflict is far from over.