Warrior Season 3 Episode 2 Recap – Who Is Yan Mi?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 29, 2023 (Last updated: January 31, 2024)
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Warrior Season 3 Episode 2 Recap – Who Is Yan Mi?


Warrior expands its focus and complicates its core conflicts, as the Hop Wei’s expansion efforts earn the Tong some unwanted attention.

This recap of the Max series Warrior Season 3 Episode 2, “Anything Short of a Blow to the Head”, contains spoilers.

I forgot to mention something fairly crucial in my recap of Warrior Season 3, Episode 1, which was Bill being passed over for a promotion to the SFPD’s new chief.

Instead, Buckley appointed an experienced Chinatown-buster from New York, Captain Atwood (Neels Clasen), who makes his presence felt in “Anything Short of a Blow to the Head” by raiding Chinese businesses and enthusiastically encouraging racially motivated police brutality.

This is part of Buckley’s election campaign, and the normalizing of anti-Asian hatred seeps into other corners of the episode as well. But more on that soon.

Warrior Season 3 Episode 2 Recap

In the meantime, let’s talk about that printing press the Hop Wei found at the end of the premiere. They need someone to help them operate it, and since Young Jun has been beating up on most of the businesses that pay the Tong protection money, he has also burned some bridges.

Who is Yan Mi?

The printer’s daughter Yan Mi, however, is bold. She offers to help them print the money in exchange for her family’s debt being written off, but what she expects to be a quick tutorial ends up being, essentially, a full-time position in the gang.

Yan Mi isn’t thrilled about this, but there’s an obvious upside in the form of a burgeoning romantic connection with Ah Sahm.

The bigger problem here, though, is that U.S. Secret Service were investigating the counterfeiting operation, which has led one of its agents to Chinatown. The upside is that he sets up shop in the police department and thoroughly undermines Atwood. The downside is that he clearly means business and threatens to upset the Hop Wei’s new scheme before it has really gotten going.

What’s the problem with the Irish workers?

Elsewhere, Leary’s efforts to get his Irish friends hired at a factory backfire when they relentlessly assault and abuse their Chinese colleagues, and Leary is forced to slap them around for their ungrateful behaviour.

This isn’t the show trying to soften Leary, by the way. He doesn’t care about the Chinese, and in fact actively petitions to have them banned from working altogether. He’s just fighting for Irish labour and trying to protect his own reputation after staking it on their work ethic.

How is Mai Ling getting on?

Mai Ling continues her efforts to fraternize with wealthy white women in “Anything Short of a Blow to the Head”, offering her trauma for the consumption of a baying crowd, but while the ends justify the means she’s surprisingly taken with the lifestyle of a socialite.

This, perhaps, is what Li Yong was warning her about. It isn’t just that white people can’t be trusted, but that the life they’re allowed to live has a certain allure. When one of the women gifts Mai Ling a fancy dress, you can tell she’s wistfully wishing that changing how people view her was as simple as just slipping it on.

Warrior Season 3 Episode 2 Ending Explained

Li Yong himself, meanwhile, is left to fend off an attack against him and Kong, which is the big action set-piece of the episode. It’s always a pleasure to watch Joe Taslim and Mark Dacascos work.

But the big closing development is Richard Lee being propositioned by the Secret Service. The bounty on his head is preventing him from living a quiet life, and in exchange for his services in busting the counterfeiting ring, the U.S. government is willing to wipe his wanted status away.

The offer threatens to embroil him once again in the politics of Chinatown, which he swore to leave behind. But the chance of a new, better life is far too tempting to turn down.

You can stream Warrior Season 3 Episode 2, “Anything Short of a Blow to the Head”, exclusively on Max.

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HBO Max, Streaming Service, TV, Weekly TV
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