The Cinemax production Warrior initially aired its first two seasons on HBO Max and later brought a much-anticipated third season with an amazing set of characters and a gripping narrative. Inspired by Bruce Lee’s writings, the show centers around two main characters: Ah Sahm, a skilled Chinese fighter, and his sister Xiaozing, also known as Mai Ling. Warrior begins with Ah Sahm’s arrival in Chinatown to locate his sister, but his life takes a significant turn when he joins the Hop Wei Tong, becoming entangled in the sociopolitical challenges faced by Chinese immigrants in San Francisco.
Ah Sahm stands as a formidable protagonist in the series, characterized by his loyal and heroic attitude. On the other hand, his sister transformed into the malevolent queen of Chinatown, driven by an insatiable thirst for power and control over those around her. Her journey led her to betray her loved one, showing her self-centered nature, but beneath this exterior, her personality also uncovered hidden layers of humility and kindness. These are the aspects of her character that became even more evident in season 3 of Warrior.
What Happened To Mai Ling In Season 3?
Born in Fo Shan, China, Mai Ling grew up alongside her brother, Ah Sahm. Their American sea captain grandfather taught them English and told them tales of America. In Fo Shan, young Ah Sahm found himself in a confrontation with warlord Sun Yang, but it was Mai Ling who intervened to protect her brother. To spare Ah Sahm’s life, Mai Ling made a grave sacrifice—she offered herself in marriage to Sun Yang, who, in turn, spared her brother. However, her married life wasn’t blissful at all, as Sun Yang sexually assaulted her several times. After Sun Yang’s demise, Mai Ling left China for San Francisco, where she married powerful tong leader Long Zii. Yet, driven by her thirst for power, she betrayed and killed Long Zii, taking control of the tong and the opium trade. When Ah Sahm arrived in San Francisco and expressed his desire to bring her back home, Mai Ling refused, asserting her newfound independence and power. Meanwhile, her brother joined the rival gang, Hop Wei, further straining their relationship.
Considering Mai Ling’s role as one of the most dangerous femme fatales in the past two seasons, fans had low expectations for her character transformation. However, Mai Ling’s character underwent a remarkable shift in the third season of the series. This transformation was surprising and captivating for fans. Initially, during this season, Mai Ling aimed to gain more control in Chinatown. She attacked Hop Wei’s territory and blackmailed Mayor Buckley to make her opium business run smoothly. Her pursuit of power caused her to distance herself from Li Young, her lover. She also formed new relationships, including one with Eliza and her unfaithful husband. Unfortunately, her connection with Eliza led to her downfall. Eliza’s jealousy grew when she found Mai Ling in a compromising situation with her husband. As a result, Eliza got arrested. However, when Mai Ling was released and confronted Eliza in a poignant encounter, we expected a fatal outcome in Eliza’s life. But instead of seeking revenge, Mai Ling surprised both Eliza and the audience by handing her the knife. She declared that she didn’t need to finish off Eliza and asserted that Eliza would be the one who would one day take matters into her own hands to kill her husband. This turn of events not only highlighted the quality of forgiveness but also showcased the profound evolution in Mai Ling’s character. As a calculating and merciless figure, she demonstrated growth in her character.
Meanwhile, with most of the Long Zii members disbanded during Mai Ling’s absence and only a few remaining, including Li Young, she found herself in an incredibly vulnerable position. Upon her release from jail, she discovered that none of her loyal supporters were by her side. Meanwhile, Hop Wei recognized this as a prime opportunity to strike against Mai Ling. This situation posed a major dilemma for Ah Sahm, which forced him to choose between standing by his sister and maintaining his allegiance to Hop Wei.
In this climatic moment of the season, Ah Sahm realized his true motivation to fight and decided to protect his sister. This choice led him to oppose Young Jun and the brotherhood they had formed with Hop Wei. He prioritized Mai Ling’s safety above anything else. Consequently, both Ah Sahm and Mai Ling found themselves stripped of their previous affiliations. Mai Ling was no longer associated with Long Zii, while Ah Sahm had severed ties with Hop Wei. This left the siblings defenseless, leaving them to face the repercussions of their actions without the support they once had.
Mai Ling’s mindset revealed a blend of power, survival, and trauma. Her transformation from a protective sister to a calculating femme fatale began with a difficult decision to shield Ah Sahm from Sun Yang. This ignited her desire for control. She had learned to survive after enduring abuse from Sun Yang and managed to hide her vulnerability with clever tactics. However, her unexpected forgiveness of Eliza signaled a profound change within her. This shift sheds light on a transition from seeking revenge to embracing a deeper strength. Additionally, she reconciled with her brother, realizing that Ah Sahm had truly cared for her, which allowed them to rebuild their bond.
What Might We Expect From Mai Ling In Season 4?
In Season 4, we might see a stronger bond forming between Mai Ling and her brother Ah Sahm. They could work towards forgiving each other for past mistakes, growing closer as siblings. However, a new challenge could arise in the form of Li Young, who has now gained power and become their adversary. In the upcoming season, we might expect Mai Ling to confront her former lover, Li Young, who would probably turn out to be her rival and a powerful enemy. The season might focus on their efforts to find common ground, face external threats, and rebuild their family ties amidst the changing power dynamics in Chinatown.
Who Was Chao? Will He Come Back In Season 4?
Wang Chao was a complicated character whose entire life took a drastic turn, taking him from a challenging background and shifting him into the world of illegal activities. In his past life as a former slave, he was an intelligent person with adaptability to every kind of situation. He started his journey as a mediator between opposing groups and displayed smart communication skills and a deep understanding of the nature of power in Chinatown. But while he was working for several opposing tongs, he had a strong moral compass. He wasn’t a violent person, nor did he intend to harm anyone. Chao always tried to maintain his honesty and uphold his commitments. For Hop Wei, he was a genuine and reliable person.
Being a savvy black market businessperson, he had the quality of strategically moving ahead. His proficiency in war and firearms strengthened his reputation. Even his capability to speak multiple languages made him a sophisticated and interesting character.
However, in Warrior, season 3, Chao suffered a tragic fate at the climactic ending of the third season. Due to his affiliations with Hop Wei, he had a strong animosity with the Fung Hai and even Long Zii. When, at the end of the show, he said goodbye to Yan Mi, he was stabbed multiple times by Zing, a former employee of Mai Ling’s who had affiliations with Fung Hai. The show didn’t explicitly confirm whether Chao survived or not after being stabbed, but it leaves his fate uncertain and open to speculation. Given that Chao’s survival or demise is not definitively shown, there’s a possibility that he might make a comeback in Season 4. The uncertainty around Chao’s fate provides an opportunity for the makers to leave possibilities open for his comeback and to bring fresh surprises to the plot. Viewers will need to wait for Season 4 to discover if Chao made it through and how he could impact the upcoming events in Warrior.