Warrior (TV series)

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Warrior (Tv series).jpg
Created byJonathan Tropper
Based onThe writings of Bruce Lee
Country of originUnited States
Original languages
  • English
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Production locationsCape Town, South Africa
Running time44–66 minutes
Production companies
  • Tropper Ink Productions
  • Perfect Storm Entertainment
  • Bruce Lee Entertainment
Original network
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseApril 5, 2019 (2019-04-05) –
present (present)

Warrior is an American martial arts crime drama television series that premiered on April 5, 2019, on Cinemax.[1][2] It is based on an original concept and treatment by Bruce Lee,[3][4][5] and is executive-produced by his daughter, Shannon Lee, and film director Justin Lin. Jonathan Tropper, known for the Cinemax original series Banshee, is the showrunner.

In April 2019, Cinemax renewed the series for a second season which premiered on October 2, 2020.[6][7] It was Cinemax's final series before ceasing production of original programming.

In April 2021, the series was renewed for a third season, along with the announcement that the series will move to HBO Max.[8]


Set during the Tong Wars in late 1870s San Francisco, the series follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy who emigrates from China in search of his sister, only to be sold to one of the most powerful tongs in Chinatown.



  • Andrew Koji as Ah Sahm,[9] a Chinese martial arts expert from Foshan who travels to San Francisco in search of his elder sister, Xiaojing, who emigrated years prior.
  • Olivia Cheng as Ah Toy,[9] a madam who runs a brothel in Chinatown. She is adept at wielding the dao.
  • Jason Tobin as Young Jun,[9] Father Jun's son and successor who befriends Ah Sahm. He is skilled with throwing knives.
  • Dianne Doan as Mai Ling,[9] the wife of Long Zii, head of the Long Zii Tong. Formerly known as Xiaojing, she is Ah Sahm's elder sister who fled China to escape her abusive husband, the warlord Sun Yang, whom she was forced to marry to save her brother's life. She is the de facto leader of the Long Zii.
  • Kieran Bew as Bill "Big Bill" O'Hara,[9] an Irish police officer promoted to lead the Chinatown squad. He is former friends with Dylan Leary, as both men were Union soldiers during the American Civil War. Due to his gambling problems, he is often in trouble with both the Chinese and Irish gangs.
  • Dean Jagger as Dylan Leary,[9] an American Civil War veteran, labor unionist, and leader of the Irish Mob. He loathes the Chinese, whom he blames for taking away jobs that he believes are meant for the Irish.
  • Joanna Vanderham as Penelope Blake,[9] the wife of Mayor Samuel Blake. She and her husband do not get along, as she only married him to save her father's failing business. She later falls in love with Ah Sahm after he saves her life.
  • Tom Weston-Jones as Richard Henry Lee,[9] a new police officer from Savannah, Georgia. He is disliked by his Irish colleagues, who are Union veterans, due to his family having fought for the Confederacy. Despite being from the south, he is much more racially tolerant compared to his peers.
  • Hoon Lee as Wang Chao,[9] a black market salesman who acquires various contraband for the tongs and the San Francisco police. Because of his connections, he is free to travel throughout all of the tongs' territories and even serves as a mediator between them. It is later revealed that he was enslaved for a time in Cuba.
  • Langley Kirkwood as Walter Franklin Buckley,[9] the Deputy Mayor of San Francisco who secretly conspires with Mai Ling to start a gang war between the Hop Wei and the Long Zii.
  • Christian McKay as Samuel Blake,[9] the Mayor of San Francisco and Penelope's husband. Despite espousing anti-Chinese views to gain the support of his constituents, he secretly frequents Ah Toy's brothel to be serviced by both male and female Chinese prostitutes. (seasons 1–2)
  • Perry Yung as Father Jun,[9] leader of the Hop Wei Tong and Young Jun's father.
  • Joe Taslim as Li Yong,[9] a skilled martial artist who serves as the Long Zii's enforcer. He is Ah Sahm's main rival and Mai Ling's lover.
  • Dustin Nguyen as Zing, the new leader of the Fung Hai Tong and Mai Ling's ally. (season 2–present, recurring season 1)
  • Céline Buckens as Sophie Mercer,[10] Penelope's reckless younger sister who seeks to gain Leary's attention. (season 2–present)
  • Miranda Raison as Nellie Davenport,[10] a wealthy widow who offers asylum to Chinese migrants, particularly prostitutes. She becomes romantically involved with Ah Toy. (season 2–present)
  • Chen Tang as Hong,[10] an abrasive, young new recruit brought over from China as reinforcement for the Hop Wei. He quickly befriends Young Jun and Ah Sahm when they come to his defense after he is ridiculed for being gay. He often fights with a chain that he wears as a necklace. (season 2–present)
  • Maria-Elena Laas as Rosalita Vega,[10] a Mexican woman who runs illegal fighting tournaments on the Barbary Coast, which Ah Sahm frequents. (season 2)


  • Emily Child as Lucy O'Hara, Bill's wife.
  • Graham Hopkins as Byron Mercer, Penelope and Sophie's father. (season 1)
  • Henry Yuk as Long Zii, the elderly leader of the Long Zii tong. (season 1)
  • David Butler as Russell Flanagan, San Francisco's chief of police.
  • Rich Ting as Bolo,[11] a former railroad worker ("coolie") turned underground fighter who was saved by Father Jun. He serves as the Hop Wei's primary muscle and assassin. (season 1)
  • Brendan Sean Murray as Jack Damon, an Irish debt collector working for the Fung Hai. (season 1)
  • Kenneth Fok as Jacob, Penelope Blake's Chinese manservant. (seasons 1–2)
  • Jenny Umbhau as Lai, a young girl from Shandong province who aids Ah Toy on her missions. Like Ah Toy, she is skilled with the dao.
  • Robert Hobbs as Stone, a police officer patrolling Chinatown under Bill's command.
  • Nicholas Pauling as Harrison, another of the police officers in Chinatown under Bill's command.
  • Patrick Baladi as Robert Crestwood, an anti-Chinese Senator who seeks to become president.
  • André Jacobs as Lymon Merriweather, a wealthy businessman who frequently deals with the Mayor.
  • Frank Rautenbach as Leonard Patterson, a businessman who serves as Ah Toy's frontman when purchasing land. (seasons 1–2)
  • Gaosi Raditholo as Abigail, an African American bartender who seduces and drugs Lee, and becomes romantically involved with him later on. She also plays Nora, Lee's deceased lover from Georgia.
  • Emmanuel Castis as Clyde Nichols, an ex-Pinkerton agent hired by Mai Ling to gather information on Buckley. (season 2)


  • C. S. Lee as Lu, a former coolie and co-owner of the saloon Ah Sahm and Young Jun take shelter in. (season 1)
  • Erica Wessels as Billie, Lu's wife and co-owner of the saloon. (season 1)
  • Rachel Colwell as Wankeia, a Native American prostitute Young Jun falls in love with. (season 1)
  • Andrew Stock as Father Flynn, a priest who helps defend the saloon from bandits. (season 1)
  • Christiaan Schoombie as Harlan French, leader of a gang of bandits. (season 1)
  • Henry Kwok as Lao Ting, a Chinese businessman who ships people from China to the US. (season 1)
  • James Lew as Sifu Li Qiang, a kung fu master who trained Ah Sahm in his youth. (season 1)
  • Michelle Allen as Claire, a prostitute and the mother of Wang Chao's illegitimate daughter. (season 2)
  • Nat Ramabulana as Jack "Happy Jack", the African American leader of a trafficking ring who enters into a partnership with Young Jun and Ah Sahm. (season 2–present)
  • Paolo Wilken as Lao Che, leader of the Young Suey Sing Tong, who are subsequently massacred by Zing and his men. (season 2)
  • Conor Mullen as Elijah Rooker, a rich tycoon and owner of Rooker's Mill, a border town where he hosts fighting tournaments. (season 2)
  • Michael Bisping as Dolph Jagger, an aggressive fighter who participates in the tournament at Rooker's Mill. (season 2)
  • Maria Elisa Camargo as Marisol Rooker, Elijah's wife and, secretly, Rosalita's sister. (season 2)
  • Christos Vasilopoulos as Smits, Rooker's head of security. (season 2)
  • Brad Kelly as "Cleaver", one half of a hitman duo that Patterson hires to kill Ah Toy. (season 2)
  • Jason William Day as "Hammer", the other half of the hitman duo that Patterson hires. (season 2)
  • Patrick Buchanan as Tully, an Irishman who leads an angry mob on a rampage in Chinatown. (season 2)
  • Martin Munro as Leonard Raise, a corrupt reporter with ties to Buckley. (season 2)


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
110April 5, 2019 (2019-04-05)June 7, 2019 (2019-06-07)Cinemax
210October 2, 2020 (2020-10-02)December 4, 2020 (2020-12-04)

Season 1 (2019)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
11"The Itchy Onion"Assaf BernsteinJonathan TropperApril 5, 2019 (2019-04-05)0.157[12]
While defending another Chinese migrant, Ah Sahm gains the attention of Wang Chao, a black market salesman who takes him to meet Father Jun, the leader of the Hop Wei tong. Elsewhere, police officer Richard Lee arrests a pair of Irishmen for murdering two Chinese laborers. Lymon Merriweather, the employer of the two victims, pressures Mayor Samuel Blake to protect his workers. In response, the Mayor commissions a Chinatown police squad under the command of veteran officer Bill O'Hara, which Lee joins. Father Jun's son, Young Jun, is nearly abducted from a brothel by the rival Long Zii tong before Ah Sahm comes to his rescue. Later, Ah Sahm encounters Li Yong, the Long Zii's enforcer, and discovers that his sister is now married to the leader of the Long Zii and goes by the name Mai Ling. Distraught, Ah Sahm visits the brothel and sleeps with the madam, Ah Toy. As Ah Sahm sleeps, Ah Toy kills the two recently bailed Irishmen who are revealed to be part of the Irish Mob. That same night, Mai Ling secretly meets with Deputy Mayor Walter Buckley and promises him that peace between the tongs will not occur in Chinatown.
22"There's No China in the Bible"Loni PeristereJonathan TropperApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)0.114[13]
A group of Long Zii attempt to smuggle opium behind the Hop Wei's back but are killed after a bribed police officer snitches to the Hop Wei. Despite the attack, Long Zii wishes to make peace and form an alliance with the Hop Wei to unite the Chinese tongs before the Chinese Exclusion Act is passed, unaware that Mai Ling is secretly working with the Deputy Mayor to stoke war between the tongs. The Mayor's wife, Penelope, is attacked by two drunk Irishmen but is saved by Ah Sahm. However, Ah Sahm is arrested by Bill in spite of protests by Penelope and Lee, who defend him. Penelope asks the Mayor for help but he refuses out of fear of alienating his anti-Chinese white voters and because of Ah Sahm's association with the Hop Wei. Penelope visits the jail and pleads with Ah Sahm to defend himself in court, but he refuses knowing it is futile as the police are not only corrupt and racist, but are also trying to pin the blame of the two Irishmen killed by Ah Toy on him as well. Elsewhere, Ah Toy cuts out the tongue of one of her prostitutes for being a Long Zii informant, and Li Yong kills the police officer who snitched to the Hop Wei.
33"John Chinaman"Loni PeristereAdam TargumApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)0.146[14]
At court, Ah Sahm is falsely charged with provoking an attack on the two Irishmen. Irish Mob boss Dylan Leary sends his men to attack Ah Sahm in jail, only for the latter to defeat them. Ah Sahm calls out Bill for aiding the Irish Mob which causes Bill to change his opinion of Ah Sahm. The next day, the charges against Ah Sahm are dropped when the Irishmen fail to appear at court after Mai Ling threatens to kill their family. This causes an angry mob to form, which the Mayor subdues by promising swift action against the tongs. Ah Sahm is able to sneak out with help from Bill and Wang Chao, with the latter giving Ah Sahm a message from Mai Ling, who tells him to leave San Francisco. Ah Sahm returns to the Hop Wei where he is given a hero's welcome party, only to be later punished by Father Jun due to his actions. Later that night, Ah Sahm visits Penelope at her home where she thanks him for saving her, and an angry Leary orders the two Irishmen and their family to leave San Francisco before his gang sets fire to their house.
44"The White Mountain"David PetrarcaKenneth LinApril 26, 2019 (2019-04-26)0.147[15]
Bill is beaten by his old friend and former police officer, Jack Damon, who has been hired by the Fung Hai tong to ensure all Irishmen, even cops, repay their debts; giving Bill three weeks. Ah Sahm and Penelope confide in each other and begin an affair. Lee's opinion of Bill worsens when he witnesses Bill accepting bribery from Ah Toy during a surprise police raid at her brothel. Mai Ling has Wang Chao set up a meeting with the leader of the Fung Hai, who she kills with poison. Despite this, his successor, Zing, agrees to form an alliance with her. As Deputy Mayor Buckley spreads anti-Chinese propaganda to the press, Mai Ling gives Ah Sahm a ticket to return to China, warning him it will be her last offer of goodwill before the war between the tongs begins. Ah Sahm rips the ticket and promises that this time he will be the one to save her.
55"The Blood and the Shit"Kevin TancharoenKenneth LinMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)0.138[16]
Ah Sahm and Young Jun are tasked by Father Jun with transporting a coffin from Nevada to San Francisco. The stagecoach driver warns the passengers that the horses are weary, forcing them to stay overnight at a saloon owned by a former Chinese coolie and his American wife. During their stay, Young Jun falls in love with Wankeia, the saloon's Native American prostitute. Later, the saloon is robbed by a gang of outlaws led by Harlan French, but he is forced to flee after Ah Sahm and Young Jun fight off and kill his gang. Ah Sahm discovers that the dead body in the coffin is stuffed with smuggled gold and that it is Harlan's true target. Knowing that Harlan will want revenge after he brings the rest of his gang, Ah Sahm and Young Jun work together with the saloon owners and the surviving passengers to face them. Later that night, Harlan's gang raid the saloon only to be killed by its defenders. The next morning, Ah Sahm and Young Jun say their goodbyes and return to San Francisco on horseback.
66"Chewed Up, Spit Out and Stepped On"David PetrarcaEvan Endicott & Josh StoddardMay 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)0.090[17]
An assassination attempt on Father Jun during the Chinese New Year parade ends up killing many people, including a white woman. Senator Robert Crestwood, a Chinese Exclusion Act supporter who hopes to become the next US President, uses the woman's death as publicity to garner support and enact harsher laws against the Chinese. Young Jun learns from Wang Chao that the attack on his father was perpetrated by the Fung Hai and their new allies, the Long Zii. In retaliation, Young Jun, Ah Sahm and Bolo attack the Fung Hai's casino and send a warning to the Long Zii. Later, Long Zii meets with the recovered Father Jun to apologize for his subordinates' actions, offering compensation with hopes of maintaining the truce between their tongs. However, Father Jun makes clear that he will only accept peace in exchange for Long Zii's life. Meanwhile, Bill asks for Leary's help in paying his debts to Damon, who agrees only after learning that Damon is working for the Fung Hai. Leary challenges Damon to a fist fight and brutally beats him as punishment for working with the Chinese, then forces Bill to kill Damon to protect his family, leaving Bill traumatized.
77"The Tiger and the Fox"Lin OedingBrad Caleb KaneMay 17, 2019 (2019-05-17)0.144[18]
Penelope's father, Byron Mercer, reveals that their family's company will go bankrupt should he fail to secure the city's cable car contract. A bounty hunter from Georgia approaches Bill with the information that Lee is a wanted man and offers to split the bounty if he aids in Lee's capture. Bill confronts Lee who confesses that he killed his cousins after they murdered his black lover, Nora. Hearing this, Bill exiles the bounty hunter from the city and threatens to kill him should he return. When Ah Sahm learns that Father Jun has sent Bolo to kill Long Zii and Mai Ling, he rushes to the couple's hideout and fights Bolo, which results in Bolo's death. After Mai Ling tells Ah Sahm to flee, she kills Long Zii but promises him vengeance against the Hop Wei. Ah Toy buys a young girl from the same village as her, named Lai, from trafficker Zan. The next morning, the news of both Bolo and Long Zii's deaths reach Chinatown and the Hop Wei and Long Zii tongs prepare for war to avenge them.
88"They Don't Pay Us Enough to Think"Lin OedingEvan Endicott & Josh StoddardMay 24, 2019 (2019-05-24)0.105[19]
The Chinatown gang war leaves many people dead and injured, forcing Mayor Blake to back Senator Crestwood's anti-Chinese initiatives. Lao Ting of the Chinatown Business Association calls for a meeting between Father Jun and Mai Ling, in order to end the war between their tongs. The two agree to settle their differences over a duel between their best fighters: if the Hop Wei win, the status quo will be maintained, but if the Long Zii win, they will be allowed to transport opium in their territory. Ah Sahm agrees to represent the Hop Wei in the upcoming duel but becomes despondent when Penelope ends their relationship. Meanwhile, real estate mogul Victor Timmons and his partner Lance McCormick blackmails Ah Toy and her own business partner Leonard Patterson, extorting more money from them in exchange for allowing them to purchase land. When Timmons asks Patterson to betray Ah Toy and join him instead, Ah Toy kills Timmons then dumps his body into the sea.
99"Chinese Boxing"Loni PeristereJonathan TropperMay 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)0.176[20]
The duel between Li Yong and Ah Sahm sees the former ultimately victorious, allowing the Long Zii to trade opium in their territory. Banished from the Hop Wei by Father Jun, Ah Sahm is taken in and nursed by Ah Toy; as he heals, reminiscing his sister introducing him to Sifu Li Qiang, who teaches him Gung Fu. Ah Toy informs Ah Sahm how Mai Ling planned to allow him to die in the ring. Later, Ah Sahm is visited by Penelope and Young Jun, with the latter informing him that he is disallowed from joining another tong under the threat of death. Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Buckley lies to Byron that another bidder has offered a cheaper price for the cable car project. This forces Byron to rescind his earlier promise to Leary of hiring only the Irish, instead replacing them with the cheaper Chinese workers. Lee is attacked by the Fung Hai to send a message to Bill for not repaying his debts.
1010"If You're Going to Bow, Bow Low"Loni PeristereJonathan TropperJune 7, 2019 (2019-06-07)0.117[21]
A depressed Ah Sahm begins working for Penelope's father as a coolie, but Chao refuses to believe he is broken. Guilt-ridden, Bill watches over a comatose Lee in the hospital and vows retribution against the Fung Hai. Instead, Zing offers Bill a deal: the Fung Hai will no longer target his family and friends in exchange for Bill becoming their new debt collector. After learning of the recent police crackdown on the tongs, Mai Ling confronts Zing for his attack on Lee. Zing reveals he only allied with Mai Ling to get into the opium trade and forces her to renegotiate their alliance when the Fung Hai surround the Long Zii headquarters. Young Jun invites Ah Sahm to rejoin the Hop Wei, only to be rejected. When Leary and his men attack Byron's factory, Ah Sahm is motivated to fight back. Ah Sahm and Leary spar but are interrupted by the arrival of police. Later, Penelope assumes control over her father's company when he suffers a heart attack during Leary's assault. Bill and a recovered Lee continue their patrol of Chinatown as Ah Sahm rejoins the Hop Wei.

Season 2 (2020)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [22]U.S. viewers
111"Learn to Endure, or Hire a Bodyguard"Jonathan TropperJonathan TropperOctober 2, 2020 (2020-10-02)0.067[23]
Hoping to sharpen his martial arts skills, Ah Sahm enters the fighting pits of the Barbary Coast run by Mexican businesswoman Rosalita Vega. There, Ah Sahm encounters the Teddy Boys, an anti-Chinese hate group. Despite his objections, Zing convinces Bill to continue working as the Fung Hai's debt collector when he is presented monetary compensation. Leary meets Penelope's younger sister, Sophie, and the two share a connection. Mayor Blake and Merriweather pressure Penelope to sell her father's company, though she remains adamant. Angered by Mai Ling and the Long Zii's expansion in Chinatown, Young Jun questions his father's direction for the Hop Wei and looks for a solo venture that will strengthen their tong. Ah Toy, Lai and Ah Sahm kill a gang of Teddy Boys when they attempt to lynch a Chinese migrant. Chief Flanagan pesters Bill and Lee to find the killers, resulting in a raid on Wang Chao's shop. Later, Leary blows up a factory warehouse known for employing Chinese coolies.
122"The Chinese Connection"David PetrarcaBrad KaneOctober 9, 2020 (2020-10-09)0.073[24]
With Rosalita's help, a hesitant Young Jun and Ah Sahm broker a deal with Happy Jack, a local drug smuggler. Senator Crestwood holds a rally announcing his bid for presidency and gains the support of the crowd with his anti-Chinese sentiments. Lee becomes addicted to laudanum when he uses it to offset his lingering head trauma. Penelope seeks to hire the Hop Wei to protect her factory workers but Ah Sahm declines. Bill and Lee look into the financial records of Ah Toy's business partner, Patterson, in hopes of finding the killer. Mai Ling hires Clyde Nichols, an ex-Pinkerton member, to spy on Deputy Mayor Buckley. When a member of the Suey Sing tong is caught dealing opium on Long Zii territory, Li Yong and Zing are dispatched to meet with their leader. Knowing the Suey Sing are lying about ceasing their opium operations, Zing and his men brutally massacre them in front of Li Yong. Ah Sahm and Young Jun finally accept Penelope's offer to guard her factory when they learn they can use it as storage for opium. Meanwhile, Wang Chao is revealed to have fathered a daughter with a white prostitute.
133"Not How We Do Business"David PetrarcaBrad KaneOctober 16, 2020 (2020-10-16)0.048[25]
The Mayor threatens to cancel the city's contract with Penelope if she refuses to stop hiring the Hop Wei. Patterson tells Ah Toy of his reservations about their partnership. Mai Ling confronts Zing and tells him not to impede on Long Zii business, cautioning him of the consequences. An awkward encounter has Bill rethinking his job for the Fung Hai, and tells Zing he's finished with repaying his debt. Nellie Davenport, a wealthy widow committed to ending the exploitation of young Chinese women in the sex trade, hosts a dinner for the social and political elite, including Penelope and the Mayor. Father Jun brings in new recruits from China to the dismay of Young Jun and Ah Sahm, though one of the new arrivals—Hong—intrigues them with his fighting skills. Wang Chao asks Mai Ling to intervene in a dispute with Zing, then schemes with Li Yong when she refuses. The Fung Hai attack Bill's family at his home.
144"If You Don't See Blood, You Didn't Come to Play"Loni PeristereEvan Endicott & Josh StoddardOctober 23, 2020 (2020-10-23)0.078[26]
In the aftermath of the attack, Lucy and the kids leave Bill, who confesses to Lee about his involvement with the Fung Hai. As the police prepare to raid the Fung Hai headquarters, Wang Chao informs Bill of his plan to frame Zing for Ah Toy's murders, convincing Bill to postpone the raid. Deputy Mayor Buckley urges Mayor Blake to strengthen his anti-Chinese stance, arguing that the attack on a police officer's family means he can no longer appear soft on the Chinese. Nellie visits Ah Toy's brothel to emancipate one of her workers who chooses to leave. The Mayor and Penelope argue over politics and their respective involvement with Chinese labor; Penelope warns him that he cannot pull the city's contract without facing legal repercussions. While guarding the factory, Ah Sahm and Leary have a brief but heated debate over their respective people's place in America, the Irishman showing some measure of respect for the Chinaman afterwards. The Mercer sisters quarrel over Penelope's use of Chinese labor at the expense of poor Irishmen. Angry with her sister, Sophie aids Leary in blowing up her family's factory while Wang Chao has Ah Toy hand over her sword in his effort to frame Zing for the murders.
155"Not for a Drink, a F*ck, or a G**damn Prayer"Loni PeristereEvan Endicott & Josh StoddardOctober 30, 2020 (2020-10-30)0.093[27]
Penelope examines the remnants of her father's factory and discovers the Hop Wei's opium storage. Ah Toy visits Nellie's winery which leaves her awestruck at the tranquility and happiness of the former sex workers. Later, Ah Toy and Nellie talk and share a passionate kiss. Mayor Blake visits the Mercer factory and reminds Penelope of her legal obligations under the city's contract. Wang Chao delivers Zing's weapons order while Li Yong infiltrates the Fung Hai headquarters. Zing suspects Chao's plot and has him beaten into talking but is interrupted when the San Francisco police begin their assault. Li Yong and Zing engage in a brief fight, ending with Li Yong escaping and Zing being implicated as the swordsman responsible for the murders. Chao extricates his daughter from her mother and leaves her in Nellie's care. Mai Ling visits the Barbary Coast and attempts to apologize to Ah Sahm for ordering his death, but he rejects it, stating that while he will not kill her, he will make her suffer. With their opium storage destroyed, Ah Sahm accepts Rosalita's offer to fight at Rooker's Mill and recoup the losses from he and Young Jun's failed business venture.
166"To a Man with a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail"Dustin NguyenJonathan Tropper & Brad KaneNovember 6, 2020 (2020-11-06)0.083[28]
Rosalita, Ah Sahm, Young Jun, and Hong travel to the border town of Rooker's Mill owned by fight promoter and tycoon Elijah Rooker. As the Hop Wei trio settle in their lodgings, Ah Sahm encounters Dolph Jagger, a premier prize fighter who easily wins his first match. On the second day of the tournament, Dolph continues his winning streak until he comes to face Ah Sahm, who defeats him with one kick and goes on to win the tournament. All throughout, Ah Sahm and Rosalita's attraction increases and ultimately culminates. Impressed by Ah Sahm's skills, Rooker invites Rosalita and Ah Sahm to lunch, where he asks Ah Sahm to stay at Rooker's Mill to train his men. As Ah Sahm declines, Rosalita shares her past, explaining how Rooker had killed her father and stole her family's land. After killing Rooker with his own gun, Rosalita and the Hop Wei trio are arrested and transported to Sacramento for trial. Rooker's wife, Marisol, intercepts their commute and frees them, revealing that she is Rosalita's sister and that they had taken back their father's land. As Rosalita pleads with Ah Sham to stay with her, Smits, Rooker's bodyguard, arrives and shoots Rosalita, who dies in a distraught Ah Sahm's arms, but not before Young Jun kills Smits. Upon their return to Chinatown, the trio are confronted by Father Jun and the Hop Wei council.
177"If You Wait by the River Long Enough"Omar MadhaKenneth LinNovember 13, 2020 (2020-11-13)0.047[29]
Young Jun and Ah Sahm convince the Hop Wei into accepting Young Jun as their new leader, forcing Father Jun to retire. Ah Toy tells Nellie of the land in her possession, which Nellie suggests they place in her trust. Zing is sentenced to death by hanging while the remaining Fung Hai battle for leadership. With information from Nellie, Ah Toy and Lai raid an underground brothel to liberate abused Chinese sex workers. The next day, Ah Toy transports them to Sonoma, leaving them and Lai in Nellie's care. Mai Ling's informant, Nichols, delivers intel on Deputy Mayor Buckley. A spurned Patterson seeks help from an outside source to maintain control over Ah Toy's land. Merriweather and the wealthy industrialists confront Mayor Blake of the ramifications of not using Chinese labor, threatening his future political prospects. A drunken Mayor returns home where a domestic argument with Penelope becomes physical. Penelope's Chinese manservant, Jacob, kills the Mayor when he attempts to strangle Penelope.
188"All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic"Omar MadhaKenneth Lin & Evan Endicott & Josh StoddardNovember 20, 2020 (2020-11-20)0.068[30]
Hoping to provoke Mai Ling into breaking the treaty, Ah Sahm and Young Jun dispose of the remaining Fung Hai, then hang the Hop Wei colors above their former headquarters. Chief Flanagan questions a stunned Penelope on who killed her husband, with Sophie confessing it was Jacob. Buckley, now the acting mayor, orders a curfew on Chinatown and a citywide manhunt for Jacob. Bill and Lee come to blows when Lee accuses Bill of planting evidence on Zing. Mai Ling asks Buckley to aid her in removing the Hop Wei from Chinatown in exchange for finding Jacob. Alone at her brothel, Ah Toy is attacked by assassins hired by Patterson. Severely injured but victorious, Ah Toy visits Patterson's home and forces him to relinquish all his claims to her land. Wang Chao discovers Jacob hiding in his shop.
199"Enter the Dragon"Dennie GordonJonathan Tropper & Evan Endicott & Josh StoddardNovember 27, 2020 (2020-11-27)0.065[31]
Under pressure from Mai Ling, Wang Chao tells her of Jacob's whereabouts. Mai Ling informs Buckley, and the police find and arrest Jacob. During the commute, a mob of Irishmen beat the police into submission and lynch Jacob. Sophie tries to stop the lynching, but she is knocked down. Unsatisfied, the angry mob rampage through Chinatown while Mai Ling and Chao seek refuge at Ah Toy's brothel. Witnessing the spread of violence, the Hop Wei and the Long Zii temporarily ally to stop the mob from destroying Chinatown, Ah Sahm standing out among all the fighters. Lee and a reluctant Bill also aid the Chinese despite the mob's overwhelming numbers. As Chao and Ah Toy's bodyguard defend the brothel, Mai Ling tends to Ah Toy's injuries. Father Jun rescues Young Jun when he is nearly killed by a gunman at a washhouse. The San Francisco police arrive to end the riot while Sophie tells her sister of Jacob's death. Leary gathers the dead and injured Irish at his bar and Young Jun, Ah Sahm, and Hong collect Jacob's body for a send-off.
2010"Man on the Wall"Dennie GordonJonathan TropperDecember 4, 2020 (2020-12-04)0.080[32]
The Chinatown residents immortalize Ah Sahm with a large mural of him painted onto a building, Ah Toy encouraging him to consider the potential prospects. Lee resigns from the police force despite Bill's pleas for him to stay, the former beginning a relationship with Abigail, a barmaid he met some weeks ago. Mai Ling seeks an audience with Young Jun where, in an act of desperation, she reveals that Ah Sahm is her brother. Stunned, Young Jun confronts Ah Sahm, creating a rift between them. After hearing Ah Sahm's story, Young Jun recognizes that he was in an impossible situation and even forgives him, but questions if Ah Sahm still has lingering loyalties to his sister. Ah Sahm visits Leary's bar and challenges him to a fight. With both fighters trading blows, Ah Sahm finally defeats Leary and warns the Irish not to step foot in Chinatown. Father Jun departs San Francisco but asks Wang Chao to watch over Young Jun in his absence. Bill's wife Lucy, worried for her husband after hearing about the riot, returns home where the two reconcile. Furious about Jacob's death and Buckley's manipulations, Penelope vows to expose his corruption at any cost, leading the acting mayor to have her committed to a mental hospital after he frames her with stabbing him. Later, Mai Ling blackmails Buckley with a photo of him in the Confederate Army; he concedes to her wishes and has the city council plan the shutdown of the Hop Wei's operations. While doing so, Leary walks in and declares his stance as representative of the Irish Workingmen. Elsewhere, Zing plans an escape from prison.


In 1971, Bruce Lee developed a concept for a television series titled Ah Sahm,[33] about a martial artist in the American Old West. However, Lee had difficulty pitching the series to Warner Bros. and Paramount.[34] According to Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, Warner Bros. retooled and renamed Lee's concept into Kung Fu, starring David Carradine in the lead role.[35] Warner Bros. stated that they had already begun developing a similar concept,[36] created by writers and producers Ed Spielman and Howard Friedlander, which was later confirmed by Fred Weintraub's memoir[37][38] and Matthew E. Polly's authoritative biography.[39][40] According to these sources, Bruce Lee was not cast in the lead role in part because of his ethnicity, but more so because of his accent.[41]

In 2015, Perfect Storm Entertainment and Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, announced that the series would be produced and would air on Cinemax, and that filmmaker Justin Lin would serve as co-producer with Lee.[5] Production began on October 22, 2017, in Cape Town, South Africa, at Cape Town Film Studios. The first season featured ten episodes and premiered on April 5, 2019.[9]

Fight choreography was created by Brett Chan as the main stunt coordinator,[42] with Johnny Yang and Jason Ng serving as assistant stunt coordinators.[43] Both Chan and Yang are members of the Hitz International stunt team, though Nomad Stunts and Titan Stunts also performed choreography for the series.

On April 24, 2019, Cinemax renewed the series for a second season.[6][7] It was Cinemax's final original series before ceasing production of original programming.[44] In January 2021, both seasons began streaming on HBO Max. With the cancellation on Cinemax and the uncertainty of renewal, fans created a petition asking for a third season of the series.[45][46] The petition received over 68,000 signatures as of April 2021.

On April 14, 2021, the series was renewed for a third season, along with the announcement that it would officially move to HBO Max.[8] Production for the third season began on July 18, 2022 in Cape Town, and finished at the end of October 2022.[47] It is expected to premiere in 2023.[46]


In the United Kingdom, the first season premiered on June 25, 2019, on Sky One.[48] The second season premiered on October 14, 2020.[49] In Australia, the first season premiered on June 12, 2019, on Fox8.[50] In Canada, both seasons are available for streaming on Crave.[51]


The first season received positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 89% based on 29 reviews, with an average rating of 7.55/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though it often buckles under the weight of its lofty ambitions and ideological pedigree, Warrior's devil may care attitude provides thrilling energy and action that will please those looking for a period drama with a little kick."[52] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 68 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[53] Rolling Stone magazine named Cinemax's Warrior one of the best new television shows of 2019.[54]

As of April 16, 2021, Warrior is ranked among the top 15 most viewed series on HBO Max.[55]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Warrior was nominated for two Critics' Choice Super Awards at the 1st Critics' Choice Super Awards.

Year Association Category Nominee Result Ref.
2019 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Main Title Design John Likens, Wesley Ebelhar, and Arisu Kashiwagi Nominated [56]
2020 Young Entertainer Awards Best Guest Starring Actress - Television Series Nicole Law Nominated [57]
2021 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Action Series Warrior Nominated [58]
Best Actor in an Action Series Andrew Koji Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode Jonathan Alenskas, Leah Orsini, Nate Overstrom, David Eschrich (for "Learn to Endure, or Hire a Bodyguard") Nominated [59]
Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Stunt Coordination Brett Chan Nominated [60]

Historical references[edit]


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  • Lee, Linda (1975a). Bruce Lee: the man only I knew. Warner Paperback Library. ISBN 0-446-78774-4.

External links[edit]