Portrayed by Hoon Lee, Wang Chao is one of the most important characters in the Max (formerly Cinemax) martial arts period drama series ‘Warrior.’ He is a former slave who became a black-market dealer whose main business involves getting contraband for the San Francisco police as well as for various tongs in Chinatown. He is regarded as a neutral player, though as the series progresses, he starts more and more working with Hop Wei. It was Chao who initially brings the series protagonist Ah Sahm to Father Jun. Throughout the seasons, the relationship between Chao and Ah Sahm remains complicated, though they develop a level of admiration for each other. In the end, Chao faces mortal danger while doing something for Ah Sahm. If you are wondering whether Chao is dead in ‘Warrior,’ we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Wang Chao Dead?
The job Chao does effectively makes him everyone’s friend, but at the same time, because he has a professional relationship with everyone, some view him with suspicion. He never faced as many perilous situations as he does in season 3, and the primary reason for this is that he is the one who leads the Hop Wei leadership to the currency plates, which the tong then uses to print counterfeit money. When the Secret Service gets wind of this, they recruit Lee to help investigate the matter. Well aware of how things work in Chinatown, Lee visits Chao, who realizes the danger the other man poses and decides to get rid of him with the help of Happy Jack. Unfortunately, Happy Jack betrays Chao, sending him to Georgia along with Lee. There, Chao has to relive the horrors of his past as Lee’s family tries to enslave him and kill Lee.
However, Chao and Lee kill the latter’s relatives and return to California, where they take revenge on Happy Jack before going back to their default dynamic. Lee continues to look for the plates until he arrests Yan Mi, the printer, prompting Ah Sahm to come and make a deal with the authorities. He later tells Chao the truth, giving him what he has saved up until now.
In the season finale, things don’t go according to the plans. But Lee gets the plates and releases Yan Mi, who goes to the station, hoping that Ah Sahm will show up. Instead, it’s Chao who appears and gives her Ah Sahm’s savings, convincing her to leave. Just as the train leaves the station, Zeng, the leader of the Fung Hai Tong, approaches Chao from behind and stabs him multiple times, leaving the man to die in the pool of his own blood. On the one hand, if Chao dies, it will impact the narrative in its own way, reaffirming the danger that Zeng poses. On the other hand, Chao’s death will mean that the series will lose such a fascinating character.
Did Hoon Lee Leave Warrior?
If his character dies, it’s safe to presume that Lee would leave ‘Warrior.’ But Chao is still alive at the end of the series, making his fate and Lee’s future in the show uncertain. Aside from acting, Lee serves as a writer on the show. He penned season 3 episode 8, titled ‘You Know When You’re Losing a Fight.’ “The subject matter speaks to the lived experience of a lot of Asian American people,” Lee said in an interview with Inverse. “And so I found that my desire to be as involved as possible with this particular show was very obvious to me and quite acute.”
The writer-actor continued, “I found that my desire to be as involved as possible with this particular show was very obvious to me and quite acute.” If the fourth season of ‘Warrior’ does happen, there is a considerable chance that Lee would return to one of these roles, if not both. “If we are lucky enough to get a Season 4, and I’m lucky enough to reprise this dual role, I’ll have a much better sense of what to expect,” he told the same outlet.
Read More: Warrior Season 4: Will it Happen?