‘Warrior’ Season 3 Recap & Ending, Explained: Is Chao Dead? What Happens To Mai Ling And Ah Sahm?

Based on the master of martial arts, Bruce Lee’s writings, Cinemax brought an action-drama named Warrior that aired its first season in 2019 and the second season in the following year. In the second season, the aftermath of the race riots caused a lot of problems in Chinatown. Mai Ling exploited the connections she had with the government to become more powerful and gain control over Chinatown. Meanwhile, Ah Sahm and Hop Wei struggled to hold the fort amid the turmoil. Chinatown was in chaos, and the coinciding storylines added layers of suspense to the show.

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Season 3 of Warrior continued to build upon the complex storyline, introducing new characters that enriched the show. Warrior season 3 delivered an intriguing premise packed with intense action sequences that stole the hearts of many. Let’s take a closer look at the details of the story.

Spoilers Ahead

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What Happens In The Third Season?

Warrior Season 3 kicked off with a clash between Ah Sahm and Mai Ling’s men. The fight erupted as Mai Ling’s people crossed into Hop Wei territory, ignoring the rules of the treaty. Ah Sahm, with the backing of Young Jun, overcame their foes and demonstrated their strength, yet the police intervened to halt the fight between them. In the midst of these events, Hong as a homosexual character added diversity to the show. The narrative went on to explore their struggle.

Young Jun dealt with growing pressure in Hop Wei. He was burdened by his responsibilities of leading the gang in the absence of his father. Ah Sahm, though, managed to retain his composure. Amidst these struggles, Sergeant Big Bill aspired to rise to the rank of police chief, while Richard Lee who had left the force, started a new journey in season 3. He opened a bar and got into a relationship with Abigail, a woman of color.

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Walter Buckley became the mayor of Chinatown. Consequently, secret meetings between Mayor Buckley and Mai Ling hinted at some power plays.  Mai Ling was seemingly intending to capitalize on this secret connection. Meanwhile, Big Bill faced disappointment as Mayor Buckley overlooked him for police chief, and handed the responsibility to a new appointee, Chief Atwood.

On a different front, Ah Toy visited Sonoma Valley to meet Nellie, a widow of a wealthy businessman. Meanwhile, Wang Chao stepped in, suggesting a solution to Ah Sahm’s financial issues. He revealed a crucial piece of information from his gun-selling activities at the docks. Later, together with Chao, Hong, and Ah Sahm, discovered counterfeit money plates, which served as an unexpected twist in the story.

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However, Ah Sahm didn’t know their secret money-printing business had caught the attention of some undercover agents, which was a grave threat. Without realizing the full extent of the danger, Ah Sahm started looking for someone to operate their money-printing machine. Interestingly, he met Yan Mi, the daughter of their previous printer. Yan Mi agreed to check the machines, solving Ah Sahm’s problem. Over time, while working together, Ah Sahm and Yan Mi developed feelings for each other and formed a romantic relationship. 

As the secret service agents got information about the money plate and Hop Wei’s involvement with it, they couldn’t just let things slide. Meanwhile, Bill tried to persuade Lee to rejoin the force, which Lee refused at first. But he later became a helping hand in the investigation with the secret service and suspected Hop Wei of possessing the precious money plates. At the same time, Mayor Buckley increased his anti-Chinese propaganda, making things tense in the town. He instructed the police, led by Atwood, to conduct raids and torture the people in Chinatown. Alongside this, O’Leary asked Mayor Buckley to help Irish immigrants find jobs, however, he grew impatient and more violent as he didn’t get any impressive response from the mayor.

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Who Was Douglas? What Happened To Eliza?

Happy Jack, an African-American drug trafficker, entered into a business arrangement with Ah Sahm. However, Ah Sahm cleverly outwitted him using counterfeit money. Meanwhile, the introduction of Douglas Strickland III added a new layer of intrigue to the narrative. He was an acquaintance of Nellie’s late husband and had a ruthless and avaricious nature. He had his sights set on Nellie’s property, and was armed with knowledge about her secret romantic endeavor with Ah Toy, Douglas used it to manipulate her and get control of her vineyard, which Nellie had refused to sell to him earlier. Douglas was greedy for power and wanted to expand his reach, so he teamed up with Leary and brought Irish immigrants on board. Meanwhile, Ah Toy was determined to get revenge on Douglas to stop him from blackmailing Nellie. She bravely entered Douglas’ place and ended his reign of terror with a fatal blow to the chest.

In the latest season, a new character named Eliza Pendleton entered the scene. Eliza was a wealthy woman who moved into high social circles. Her curiosity was piqued by Mai Ling. The two of them formed a friendship, but as time passed, their relationship took an unexpected turn. This shift occurred when Eliza stumbled upon Mai Ling and her husband in a compromising situation, prompting her to develop a strong sense of resentment toward Mai Ling. Eliza went too far, even orchestrating the police arrest of Mai Ling, which heavily impacted Mai Ling’s trust in her.

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Following her release from the prison, Mai Ling  confronted Eliza, clutching a knife in her hand. By this point, Eliza had come to grasp the extent of Mai Ling’s power and was prepared for the worst: that she would meet her death at the hands of Mai Ling. However, Mai Ling’s action surprisingly took an unexpected turn. Instead of responding with aggression and killing Eliza, Mai Ling surprised her by sparing her life. Mai Ling handed the knife to Eliza and exposed her husband’s infidelity. She also predicted that someday Eliza would be the one to end her husband’s life. Despite being ruthless, Mai Ling’s actions showed a different side of her. It revealed that beneath her quest for power, she understood the difficulties women faced. She respected her friendship with Eliza, even though she often acted cunningly. This unexpected twist highlighted how power, manipulation, and surprising alliances played out in Warrior season 3.


What Happened To Mai Ling And Ah Sahm? Did Chao Survive?

While Walter Buckley became mayor, he entered into a romantic relationship with Catherine Archer, a political supporter he encountered at a conference. Catherine was also romantically involved with Buckley’s political aide, Stewart, but oblivious to this, the mayor took quite interest in her and believed their connection was becoming more serious.

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The secret service agents discovered the money plates and captured Yan Mi, threatening her life. This led Ah Sahm to speak up to protect her. Concurrently, Chao’s information revealed a drug trafficking operation from the Barbary coast that was intertwined with the money-laundering conflict. This clash has now turned into a struggle involving the Hop Wei, the secret service, and the drug traffickers.

Swiftly, Ah Sahm eliminated the drug dealer from the Barbary coast and surrendered the money plates to the authorities. However, his getaway was halted by a pursuing police officer, who managed to incapacitate him. Thanks to Hong’s intervention, Ah Sahm survived the attack and returned to the safety of Hop Wei.

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After regaining consciousness, Ah Sahm realized that his sister, Mai Ling, who was previously arrested and subsequently released, was left with nothing but vulnerabilities. As soon as he got hints that Hop Wei leader Young Jun had targeted Mai Ling, Ah Sahm didn’t waste his time and attempted to save his sister. As Mai Ling was alone, it became easy for Hop Wei to orchestrate an attack on her. But Ah Sahm intervened to protect her. Ah Sahm had a longstanding brotherhood with Hop Wei, but he got back to his first priority, for which he had come to San Francisco in the first place. It was solely to protect his sister. Ah Sahm fulfilled his brotherly responsibility, even by breaking his bonds with the Hop Wei gang. After a fierce fight with Young Jun and Hong, he ultimately saved his sister. Mai Ling also recognized what her brother had sacrificed for her, and she realized that she would never be able to repay him.

As Yan Mi was released after the money plate was transferred to the authorities, she decided to leave Chinatown with Ah Sahm. She left her home and waited for Ah Sahm to join her, but Wong Chao arrived with bad news. He informed Yan Mi that her wait wouldn’t be fruitful, so she decided to leave the town herself. Yan Mi boarded the train to depart from the town. Meanwhile, Zing, a former employee of Mai Ling who also had affiliations with Fung Hai, stabbed Chao several times. Chao was left alone and helpless near a pool. It remains uncertain whether he succumbed to his injuries or if the upcoming season will reveal his potential comeback.

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Final Words

By the conclusion of the third season of Warrior, significant bonds between key characters had broken up. Mai Ling had distanced herself from her former lover, Li Yong, leaving him harboring a deep-seated sense of resentment. However, the mid-credits scene of the show dropped some hints that are likely to shape the plot of Warrior season 4. We witnessed the remaining members of Long Zi begin to follow Li Yong, expressing their desire for him to become their new leader. As Li Yong embraced this newfound authority, a subtle smirk played across his face. It was a moment of triumph, which was foreshadowing an intensifying power struggle. This suggests that in the upcoming season, Ah Sahm and Mai Ling might find themselves confronting Li Yong as a powerful adversary, setting the stage for another exciting continuation of Warrior.


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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