Friday, October 30, 2020

REVIEW: 'Warrior' - A Massive Raid Carries Potential Victories for Bill and Chao in 'Not for a Drink, a F*ck, or a G**damn Prayer'

Cinemax's Warrior - Episode 2.05 "Not for a Drink, a F*ck, or a G**damn Prayer"

A guilty Mai Ling tries to make things right with Ah Sahm, who's more intent than ever on seeking revenge. Penny finds her business in trouble and learns that Ah Sahm has been using her. Leary gets a warning and offers one of his own. Ah Toy pays an emotional visit to Nellie's Sonoma winery. Bill and Chao put their plot against the Fung Hai into action.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Cinemax's Warrior

"Not for a Drink, a F*ck, or a G**damn Prayer" was written by Evan Endicott & Josh Stoddard and directed by Loni Peristere

America is seen as a land of opportunity. It can provide salvation for immigrants fleeing terrifying circumstances. People escape to this country hoping to build better lives for themselves. When they arrive, they realize just how cruel and oppressive this place can be too. It's a society that props up a certain identity while being more than willing to condemn so many. Mai Ling finally obtained all the strength and protection she wanted in the world. She did so by rising to the top of the Long Zii. And yet, her family causes her the most stress and concern. Ah Sahm and Ah Toy view her as the greatest threat to peace in Chinatown. They view her as the unstable agent that can destroy so much. The peace that once defined this community is gone. Now, it is nothing more than a powder keg that could explode at any moment. Mai Ling feels confident and strong. She has aligned herself with the Fung Hai despite how ruthless they are. The Fung Hai are targeted for that precise reason. They too are labeled as the tong with dangerous impulses that could destroy all hope that these characters are hoping to achieve. Zing leads through intimidation and a desperate need for loyalty. He doesn't want Chao working with the other tongs. He wants his supplier to be loyal to him. Chao can only tease things along for so long too. His plan to destroy this tong and frame Zing for various murders has no certainty of working out. Chao has to improvise in the moment to ensure that the police he has waiting actually comes through the door. He needs Li Yong fighting Zing upstairs to ensure every piece of this plan is fulfilled. This goes against Mai Ling's interests though. She wants people to respect her authority. She only wants to make a move against Zing if she is the one deciding. In this instance, she is powerless. Li Yong is telling her that she is in anguish over giving the order to kill her brother. That is true. She can't go back on that action now. Mai Ling and Ah Sahm have to be at war. Ah Sahm has to make increasingly desperate moves in the hopes of emboldening the Hop Wai into action. It hasn't worked so far. In fact, his entire opium supply goes up in flames as well as the trust he had regained with Penny. Her life is completely devastated. She hopes to rebuild and fulfill the contract her company has with the city. And yet, Mayor Blake comes along to pompously gloat and demean her. He is putting her in her place. She may have threatened his power and stature for a long time. But now, his superiority has been proven. She has been defeated and he beams with the idea of his wife being silently by his side once more. It's a destructive action caused by the rising tensions in this city. The Mayor can't control everything. He doesn't even know what all is going on. The police score a major victory here. They demolish a tong and arrest someone for the swordsman murders. Lee is right to suspect that it's all too easy. Chao set all of this up to protect himself and Ah Toy. Bill just happens to be another beneficiary. Zing can stand trial now. That could still go awry because of how volatile he is. None of these characters can really offer any kind of stability or prosperity for long. Ah Sahm and Young Jun know that it's only a matter of time before Father Jun realizes they made a move against him. They are scrambling to find a solution. They took this action hoping to prove the importance of being aggressive to counter Mai Ling's growing influence. Ah Sahm is simply cementing his path towards violence. He will continue to fight. He associates that with his worth. He doesn't like being told he is acting similarly to his sister. She proclaims to have a motivation. She wants to be in control to avoid the despair and abuse she suffered in China. He wants to rise in order to punish Mai Ling for trying to take some power for herself. He sees it as being at his expense as well. These conflicting instincts propel the conflict further. Meanwhile, Ah Toy sees a life that is free from the constraints of these choices in Chinatown. She too has sought out respect in this land. She did so in a way that differed from the tongs while always recognizing the inherent threat and potential promise from them. She sees people who can help her get what she wants. She has strived to build a legitimate business. And yet, the beauty of the winery is enough to get her to question everything. Hearing about it offers enough hope for Chao that his daughter could have a better life. Sure, it's cruel that he takes Hannah away from her mother. These characters are all inherently selfish. That's what makes their vices incredibly destructive and widespread. And yet, they all want to prosper in this country. They were lured here with the promise of greatness. Some have achieved that status. Many are struggling though. Their interests collide. Allies conspire against one another. Choices are made that can't be taken back. Mai Ling wants to ease her relationship with her brother. It's too late. These are seemingly the paths they are on. They can't be inspired by something new like Ah Toy. They don't have that clarity just yet which sets up the remainder of the season for only more trauma and despair.