Enter The Dragon
With Jacob pleading for help, episode 9 of Warrior Season 2 picks up with fragments of the past coming into view. A point of view shot shows Jacob driving the spike through Blake’s skull. Realizing that he could be hung, Penny hands over a stash of money and tells him to get the first train out of town.
Jacob’s delay proves to be fatal as he stops by to check on his Mother, promising her he won’t be gone for long. With half the money Penny gave him, he tentatively stashes it under her pillow as she gives a weak nod of approval.
The next day, the police swarm around the city looking for Jacob. With posters in hand, they spy Jacob and immediately take chase before he eventually hides in Chao’s shop.
Surviving off rainwater and scraps of food, he evades the police to begin with before eventually running straight into Chao, which catches us up to last week’s cliffhanger ending.
Armed with the money Penny gave him, Jacob pleads with Chao for help. He sighs heavily and reminds Jacob that every city in a hundred miles will be looking for him. His only option is to head “back to the salt” which, in other words, means going back to China.
Despite police watching the ports, his only option is to hide out in a coffin. Unfortunately this plan goes completely awry when Bill and the other cops catch him.
Given the odds of him being found, Lee remains suspicious of Bill’s tactics. However, he tells his fellow officer that Buckley apparently got a tip-off. Lee is not so short-sighted and refuses to trust Buckley. There’s clearly another agenda here but Bill refuses to see – or acknowledge – this idea. As we soon learn, it was Chao who broke the truth.
On the way to try Jacob, Bill and his men are stopped by an angry mob led by Tully desperate for their own form of justice against the Chinaman. Despite Bill’s impassioned cry, a bottle smashed over his head is evidence enough that the time for talking is over.
The police officers are swarmed, beaten down to the ground, while Jacob feels the wrath of these men first-hand. With a rope in hand, they begin stringing him up and hanging the Chinese in the middle of the street.
When Leary finds out, he tries his best to stop the mob, saving Bill from being overwhelmed. Sophie heads into the crowd but it’s no good, Jacob is dead. Leary grabs the girl and brings her back to his bar while the blood-lusting mob turn their attention to Chinatown, deciding to continue this onslaught.
Pitifully unmanned, Lee heads up with the other officers while Mai-Ling narrates just how out of touch she is. The whole reason she gave the mob Jacob was for them to have less cause to show up in town. Well, that’s the exact opposite of what’s happening here.
As gunshots pierce the air and violence consumes the streets, Tully leads this group into town as they leave destruction and violence in their wake. Juxtaposing this aggression is a sombre piano piece that works really well to exemplify just how devastating all this carnage really is.
The Tong, led by Young Jun, decide to grab their full strength and make their move. In a scene reminiscent of the first season, the entire Tong throw themselves into war.
Along with the police, the tide of battle swings ever-so-slightly as Lee shoots Tully in cold blood after being beaten to a pulp. In the distance, Bill notices Lee with a gun and curses his fellow officer for being self-righteous.
Meanwhile, Chao takes Mai Ling to Ah Toy’s brothel where he sees the woman battered and bloodied from her skirmish with the assassins last time out. While they wait, Ah Sahm takes charge of the streets, armed with nunchucks.
The fighting is fierce, eventually spilling inside where Chao fights at the foot of the stairs. Upstairs, in the midst of all this carnage, Mai Ling patches up Ah Toy’s deep wounds and the pair find common ground, discussing their pasts.
What begins as a simple matter of fists and feet quickly turns into a much more bloody affair. Knives and guns break out and of all people, Father Jun saves his son from being killed. Eventually the cavalry arrives – literally – as police officers on horseback manage to break up the fighting.
As day turns to night, Ah Sahm and the rest of the Tong show up to bring Jacob back to Chinatown. With the police and the mob watching on from afar, they cut the ropes and bring him down. On the way, they run into Leary who locks eyes with Ah Sahm and nods.
The Episode Review
Well it’s been coming for a while and finally all the built up tension and simmering subplots come spilling out in the wake of Jacob’s death. Everything has been building up for such a long time that this breathless 50 minutes of action really does well to make the wait worth it.
Warrior has always boasted impressive choreography and violent fights but here the entire episode is perfectly orchestrated from start to finish. The point of view shots with Jacob are an important touch to fill in what happened in the past, while the surprisingly touching scenes between Mai Ling and Ah Toy work well to balance the story with some quieter segments of reflection.
Quite how the finale will top this remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure, Warrior’s penultimate episode bows out with an excellent episode and easily one of the best of the year.