The new character introduced in season 2 of Warrior, Hong, is socially awkward at first, but later shows he has some tricks up his sleeve.
Warrior season 2’s third episode, “Not How We Do Business”, pulls quite a 180 with a new character that’s one of the show’s best twists. Originally conceived by Bruce Lee and unrealized in his lifetime, Warrior debuted on Cinemax in 2019 and is currently in the midst of its second season. Season 2 continues with its protagonist Ah Sahm, played by Andrew Koji, having returned to work for the Hop Wei gang in the Chinatown of 1870’s San Francisco, while one of its new faces ends up stealing the third episode.
In the episode, Ah Sahm and his associate in the Hop Wei Young Jun, played by Jason Tobin, find themselves vexed by the arrival of an eager new Chinese immigrant named Hong, played by Chen Tang. At best, Ah Sahm and Young Jun simply tolerate his sudden presence and requests of advice on how to ingratiate himself at the local brothel. They eventually cave in and let Hong tag along, but towards the end of the episode, their new young associate proves his worth to them in a way that leaves them embarrassed that they ever doubted him.
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When Hong accompanies Ah Sahm and Young Jun, he steps up to fight a gang of enemies in an alleyway. As they stand back and watch, Ah Sahm and Young Jun are taken by complete surprise at just how much of a kung fu fighting machine their new Hop Wei compatriot is. Ah Sahm even makes the point that Hong seems crazy, with Young Jun commenting with a grin “We can work with crazy.“
The concept of the dork who emerges as the coolest character in the room is nothing new, but Warrior does a superb job in lulling both the audience and Ah Sahm and Young Jun into underestimating Hong. The alley fight also emphasizes the point even more with the guitar theme that kicks in once Hong’s butt-kicking begins, while also ending on the perfect note of Hong looking back to Ah Sahm and Youg Jun with a triumphant smile on his face. In that moment, he knows he’s proven himself to them, and his days of being seen as the useless third wheel are over.
In a series born from the mind of Bruce Lee, proficiency in martial arts is a must for anyone wishing to work in the Hop Wei. Hong may have entered the show with Ah Sahm and Young Jun viewing him as an overeager dweeb they’d rather not have in their orbit. By the end, Hong has proven to them and the viewers of the show what he’s really made of, turning the tables on his early perception with an outstanding fight scene – and in doing so, earns his place alongside the many engaging characters on Warrior.
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