Cinemax’s Warrior has to easily be the best Western I’ve seen in a long time and in episode 3 of season 2, “Not How We Do Business” it just keeps getting better. Last episode, we got the chance to see our main characters worked into the larger fabric of San Francisco as the Chinese, the Irish, and the well-to-do wealthy white Ducks have their paths coming to a collision point. While the last episode did a lot of work to expand the story from focussing on the warring Tongs, Warrior episode 3 switches the focus back, only now, it’s informed by the relationships and characters that have been moving around our main characters like satellites.
In Warrior episode 3, Young Jun (Jason Tobin) and Ah Sahm’s (Andrew Koji) new enterprise is going well. They’re saving the Hop Wei money and putting pressure on the Long Zii and Mai Ling (Dianne Doan), but their little arrangement is getting close to large ramifications when Young Jun learns that Father Jun (Perry Yung) is still talking with China and has hired new muscle. While the new muscle is cause for concern, one new recruit, Hong, captures the pairs’ attention. An even itchier onion than Ah Sahm, he offers a very different dynamic to the Hop Wei than what Bolo, last seasons secondary Hop Wei member. Where Bolo was stoic, cold, and untrusting of Ah Sahm, Hong (Chen Tang) is loud, abrasive, and looking for any fight.
But while the Tongs work to settle their business, including Mai Ling trying to wrestle back the power she’s losing to the Fung Hai, the cops of San Francisco are dealing with two issues. Lee (Tom Weston-Jones) is edging closer to solving the swordsman murders and doing so unsupported by his fellow officers and Bill (Kieran Bew) is finally standing up to the Fung Hai and trying to move out from under their thumb. Warrior Episode 3 connects Lee and Bill even more than previous episodes as we see the two work together to save Bill’s family from the vengeance of Bill’s former employers.
It’s how Bill and Lee connect that lends weight to the secondary stories of Warrior. Both actors have a chemistry that reads like two long time friends, and as we see Lee welcomed into Bill’s family, that becomes even more evident. This is especially true in their bloody action sequence that shows Lee protecting Bill’s family as if it’s his own. Of all the characters on the show outside of Chinatown, this pair is my favorite.
Warrior Episode 3 offers up a lot of story elements, and in all honesty, it’s hard to do it justice in a simple review. That said, while the main story beats mentioned above also bring big moments of action, there are smaller elements of the episode that sing to the writers’ storytelling ability. Namely in the developing dynamic between Young Jun and Father Jun. While we have seen this thread of their relationship unraveling all first season and even in the previous episode this season, “Not How We Do Business” offers up a closer look at just how much of a cavern exists between the two of them. When Young Jun approaches his father and tries to clear the room, he’s ignored. At that moment, it’s clear how much the respect Young Jun has bolstered from the Hop Wei has eroded. Not just between Young Jun and the other members of the organization but between him and his father as well.
While this adds drama and intrigue, it also uses the relationship between the two of them as a look into how different generations handle change and tradition. While Young Jun is trying to pull the Hop Wei into the future, Father Jun is clinging onto China and tradition. While this was extremely visible in episode 5 last season, it’s clear that their relationship and how it reflects a changing Chinatown will play a larger part for the rest of season two.
Overall, Warrior Episode 3, “Not How We Do Business” is another great addition to a season that started strong. I’m impressed by the way that Warrior has not only been bringing beautiful costuming and fight choreography but digging deep into the characters. If this continues, season two may even surpass season one.
Warrior airs Friday on Cinemax at 9pm CT.
Warrior Season 2 Episode 3 - "Not How We Do Business"
Warrior Episode 3, “Not How We Do Business” is another great addition to a season that started strong. I’m impressed by the way that Warrior has not only been bringing beautiful costuming and fight choreography but digging deep into the characters. If this continues, season two may even surpass season one.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.