The last episode left us with the Hop Wei and the Long Zii facing each other on the streets of Chinatown, rushing into a fight, but the screen went black as the audience heard the sounds of the gruesome battle. In the opening scenes, we rewind and begin at the men facing off and then rushing headlong into each other. This time we get to see the bloody gore.
In white high society, Penelope (Joanna Vanderham) wakes up from a drugged sleep. She seduced her odious husband, the mayor Samuel Blake (Christian McKay) after Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) didn’t show up and had joyless sex with her husband. All at the urging of her father who needs the city contract to escape bankruptcy. She hears her husband talking with our main villain, Walter Buckley (Langley Kirkwood) who is reporting on the gang clash in Chinatown. To stop the murdering and lawlessness, they’d need “a small army to establish true law and order in Chinatown” and the exclusion act is the solution. “I think it’s time you took a stand, don’t you? The senator needs to see who his friends are.” The carnage is “11 dead, many more wounded I’m told.”
At the scene of the fight, Sergeant Bill O’Hara (Kieran Lew) inspects the slaughter. Lee notes that seven of the dead are Long Zii and four are Hop wei.
Just as one of the policeman calls the Chinese tongs, “a bunch of fucking savages,” O’Hara notices, “Oh, good the politicians are here.”
O’Hara is introduced to the Senator Crestwood (Patrick Baladi) who says, “Your Chinatown troubles have caught the ear of Sacramento. I’m here to see how I can help.”
O’Hara replies, “Got a shovel?”
Summing up the situations, O’Hara reports, “Two gangs. Eleven dead. No suspects.”
The senator begins politicking for the press saying, “The Chinese in San Francisco have shown no regard for the laws of our great nation even as they avail themselves of our freedoms and opportunities.” We’ll see in the last episodes just what those opportunities are. “This isn’t a local problem; it’s a national one.” The senator is, remember, hoping to run for president with the exclusion at as part of his platform.
Richard Lee (Tom Weston-Jones) notes that the Fung Hai are observing what’s happening. He feels, “Whatever’s going on here is more complicated than a gang war.”
At the Hop Wei headquarters, Father Jun (Perry Yung) agrees. While Young Jun (Jason Tobin) argues for all out warfare, Father Jun says, “Open you eyes. She was boss when he was still alive.” What good would it be to start “scrapping ourselves to the last man?” Father Jun feels, “If we want to hold on to Chinatown we need to scrap smarter not harder.”
In another part of Chinatown, Officer Lee tries to get identification from Wang Chao (Hoon Lee), using his sketch book that has drawings of each victim and details. “You did say you’re a friend of the police.” Let’s be real. Wang Chao pretends to be everyone’s friend, but probably has none.
Wang Chao asks, “Why you come alone?”
Lee replies, “Bill’s busy.” That’s true, but not in a good way. Lee wants to understand what’s happening.
Wang Chao counters, “To understand Chinatown? But you can’t. Too young, too white, too stupid.” Then he backpedals, saying “So sorry. My English not too good.” When Lee threatens to use the law, Wang Chao scoffs at them, “Laws? No laws here. Only survival.” Then he explains, “Same for you. You want to survive; you stop trying to understand.”
Bill O’Hara is busy meeting with the police chief, asking, “You have to get me out of Chinatown. I’ve done my best but enough is enough”
The police chief asks, “You been hitting the tables again, Bill?”
Bill replies, “I didn’t become a cop to spend my days cleaning blood off the streetor become a pawn in some political pissing match.”
The police chief replies “You’re not asking for reward for failure?” After all, if O’Hara had been doing his job, he could have prevented the gangs fighting. Has that ever really worked?
O’Hara knows better, “If I fail I stay. If I succeed, they’ll probably make me a fucking lieutenant and tell me I have to stay.”
The police chief reminds him, “We’re civil servants, Bill, so we serve.” Then he jumps on the Buckley bandwagon, “Maybe the exclusion act will pass and the chinks all sail back to Chinatown.”
On the Irish side of town there are men lounging around and Leary talks to one and gives him his hat and tells where to go for a bed and some food. Gives his hat to Sean
A wagon with a group of Chinese laborers pass by and the Irish throw rocks at them. Leary says, “This won’t do, this won’t fucking do.”
In the halls of power, the Mayor tells his father-in-law Byron Mercer (Graham Hopkins), “Your bid for the cable car track has been approved.” Although Mercer thanks him and the mayor insists, “Please, we’re family now,” the mayor still wants something more from Mercer.
Senator Crestwood (Patrick Baladi) needs money to run for the presidency and the mayor wants to surround him with “generous donors” at a party.
In Chinatown, another man is dealing with a generous donor. Patterson (Frank Rautenbach) is the white man that has been helping Ah Toy use her money to buy a portfolio of property. “We have problem” because the two men somehow knew where the money was coming from and unless Ah Toy pays more, Patterson and Ah Toy will be facing criminal charges.
Ah Toy tells him “First, we buy silence.”
Another woman also has bought silence, but with loyalty from her brother. Mai Ling (Dianne Doan) and Li Yong (Joe Talsim) of the Long Zii meet with the Hop Wei. Mai Ling asks Father Jun, “What makes you think I want an end to this war?” The meeting has been set up by the leader of the Chinatown business association (Lao Ting: Henry Kwok?). Tong wars are bad for business and brings additional police attention.
Father Jun counters, “You don’t have the resources to win a war against us,” and demands that the Long Zii “Honor the treaty” and stop trying to cut into the Hop Wei opium trade.
Mai Ling lies and says, “You assassinated my husband, the leader of this tong.” Both Li Yong and Ah Sahm know this isn’t true. Bolo (Rich Ting) was sent to kill both Mai Ling and Long Zii, but to save Mai Ling, Ah Sahm fought Bolo who was badly wounded by Ah Sahm, but ultimately killed by Mai Ling–stabbed in the back. Mai Ling then killed her husband after Ah Sahm left.
Father Jun reminds Mai Ling that the Hop Wei merely retaliated for the attempt on his life when the Long Zii were in alliance with the Fung Hai. He adds, “We all know that you’ve had Long Zii’s balls in a jar for a long time.”
What is proposed is a duel between two fighters. If the Hop Wei wins, the treaty extends for five years more years and after that a decision will be made about dealing territories. Otherwise, the territories will be decided if the Long Zii wins.
Young Jun just wants to fight a tong war, but Father Jun believes that Mai Ling is inexperienced and reckless and they’ll just have to wait for a mistake. Wang Chao is assigned to sets up the details of the duel.
In another part of town, Ah Sahm finds a sketch of himself at the Penelope’s studio as he’s waiting for his lover.
“Where were you the other night?” Penelope asks when she arrives.
Ah Sahm isn’t giving out details, but says, “I’m sorry. Something came up.”.
Penelope replies, “I waited for you, for hours.”
Ah Sahm says, “I wanted to be here; believe me I had no choice.” When your sister is sleeping her way into power and an assassin has been sent to kill her and her husband, you make some hard choices.
Penelope, having seduced her horrid husband replies, “You didn’t have a choice and neither did I.” Although Ah Sahm assures her, “You don’t have to worry about me; I can handle myself,” Penelope feels, “one of these days, it will be you.” Then she mentions, “can you imagine if someone found out” and wonders, “What kind of future do we have?”
Ah Sahm tells her, “You’re the one good thing I’ve found in this fucking country.”
For Penelope, “It’s not enough; I’m the mayor’s wife for God’s sake” and Ah Sahm is “a criminal.” She then breaks up with Ah Sahm.
Back in Chinatown, Wang Chao is putting up a poster for a fight, but everything is written in Chinese. Lee and O’Hara are walking the streets but are clueless. O’Hara either imagines or sees the ghost of the man he murdered, Jack Damon (Brendan Sean Murray). When O’Hara and Lee part, a member of the Fung Hai follows O’Hara. The man makes the gesture for money and O’Hara beats the man up. Lee hears the ruckus and comes upon them and asks, “What the hell was that?”
O’Hara tells Lee it was a “misunderstanding,” but Lee asks, “How much do you owe, Bill?”
O’Hara replies, “I told you. They don’t pay us enough.”
There are others who believe they aren’t getting being paid enough: Timmons (Dan Robbertse) and McCormick (Nicholas Dallas). Although the legal transaction at the bank goes through, these two have another transaction with Patterson at McCormick’s house.
McCormick tells Patterson, “I admire you’re resourcefulness,” but later adds, “as Americans we are gravely offended by your little enterprise” although “as businessmen we applaud your ingenuity.” They want more money than the extra $5,000 agreed upon. Patterson needs to speak with Ah Toy, but McCormick tells him, “I’m not talking to the Chinese whore; I’m talking to you.”
Timmons returns with this throat slit and is thrown to the ground by Ah Toy in her assassin mode. “You take my money; I take back.” She then kills McCormick. Patterson is horrified and asks what has she done. Ah Toy says that she has saved their business and she has protected her partner.
Other assassins abound, but this time they are masked and in Chinatown. Masked intruders attack Ah Sahm. He beats them down only to find that the men were his fellow Hop Wei sent to test him. Father Jun, at the recommendation of Young Jun, makes Ah Sahm the Hop Wei champion against the Long Zii.
Later, at Ah Toy’s brothel, Ah Sahm is feeling sorry for himself. He’s getting drunk and starts a fight with a white customer who saying racist things about the Chinese.
Taking him up to her private quarters, Ah Toy reminds him that she gets many white customers and that helps pay her bills. She’s done with trying to save him from himself.
In another part of town, the mayor is hosting a party for the senator who is spouting off about the Chinese who are criminals and gangsters and are “bringing here a savagery not seen since the Indian Wars.”
White Merriweather says, the Chinese are “the greatest source of inexpensive labor,” but he’s quieted.
Penelope, however, asks the senator if the Indians might not have wanted to “enact an exclusion act of their own” instead of having their lands “stolen” by the white men.
Her husband is angered and says that “she’s never one to pass up a heated debate,” but we’re reminded that her opinion hardly matters because she can’t vote.
In Chinatown, the man who does care about Penelope is broken-hearted but instead of moping around, he’s training for his fight. We see a montage of Ah Sahm training with a wooden dummy intercut with Li Yong training with real assailants as three elders watch.
At O’Hara’s place, his wife, Lucy O’Hara (Emily Child), wants to know, “Is this like the last time?” He tells her, “It’s worse.”
“When I met you I thought this is a man who may be difficult,” she says, and yet she thought “but you’d always keep me safe.” She wants to know that he will fix this and tells him, “I love you you big idiot.”
Bill replies, “It’s your funeral.” Is this a sign of things to come?
Another man heading toward his own funeral is accosted by his sister. Mai Ling tells Ah Sahm, “you can still get out of this” by injuring himself and insists, “don’t pretend about protecting me.”
Ah Sahm is a little bitter and replies, “I think if I win your little power play is over” and he tells her, “You killed Long Zii.” He wants to know who she has become.
Mai Ling insists that Ah Sahm cannot beat her lover, Li Yong , and bids him good-bye.
In the Irish part of town, Dylan Leary (Dean Jagger) is introducing Mercer around. “He may not be Irish, but he’s a friend of the working man.” Leary tells his men, “this is not the fucking railroad this is our fucking city” and in San Francisco, the Irish will “take back our jobs; take back our city.” Yet in the background, we see black men and, separately, the evil Walter Buckley.
In Chinatown as Father Jun sits before a fireplace playing a flute while Ah Sahm and Ah Sahm and Li Yong train separately. In Ah Toy’s brothel, Ah Toy’s maid, Lai (Jenny Umbhau), finds Ah Toys box of swords and practices with them.
On the nearby San Francisco beach, the police chief has summoned O’Hara and Lee because a fisherman has found the bodies of Victor Timmons and Lance McCormick. He believe they were murdered by Chinese assassins because they were killed by swords. Lee wonders, “Why would a real estate tycoon be targeted by the Chinese?”
Lee asks O’Hara, “He doesn’t like me very much does he?” O’Hara replies that the police chief doesn’t like O’Hara at all.
O’Hara and Lee are left with a new case. With only two episodes to go, we have a duel to the death between Li Yong and Ah Sahm and Bill O’Hara attempting to escape White Mountain because of his gambling debts.