Picking up mere moments where we left off in Episode 7 of Warrior, Episode 8, They Don’t Pay Us Enough To Think, begins with some full-on fists of fury action as the hatchet men of the Hop Wei and the Long Zii go to war and it’s a frightening sight.
Fists, feet, axe heads and edged blades slice and dice here, and the action quickly picks up as these two Tongs fight it out. It’s quick and to the point and makes the statement that San Francisco is about to burst open and this single event has plenty of reactionary consequences.
For one thing, this scrap leads both Tongs to a parley truce where it is decided that a champion from each Tong will be selected to fight it out, and whoever wins will hold sway over the opium trade and Chinatown as well. Wouldn’t you know it, but Andrew Koji’s Ah Sahm is selected as the champion of the Hop Wei, and this martial arts prodigy will face-off against Joe Taslim’s Li Yong, the brutally proficient enforcer of the Long Zii, and he’s going to make some serious competition for Ah Sahm.
What follows the selection of these two warriors is a wickedly quick-cut montage of the two of them in training, and this produces some very cool footage. Of course, it’s Ah Sahm who commands the audience attention here as he practices his skills on the Wooden Man, a legendary training device of kung fu that was favoured by Bruce Lee himself and it’s another great nod to the life of the legendary martial artist by the show’s creators.
Along with the impending showdown of the two Tongs is the foreboding presence of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a historical piece of legislation that caused dire consequences for the Chinese, and which gives the show a real contemporary edge in relation to America’s own heightened political climate.
Just how both of these things will come to a head remains to be seen, but as we go into the final climactic episode of Season One of Warrior, things are definitely going to get explosive.
Warrior screens every Thursday on Neon.
Image: SKY TV