Back with the Hop Wei, Ah Sahm spends his nights at the Barbary Coast fight pit, confronting a new anti-Chinese group, Teddy’s Boys. While Ah Toy accuses him of just looking for another fight, an empowered Mai Ling worries about her brother’s next steps. Meanwhile, Bill finds it hard to break out of his role as enforcer for Zing; Penny is determined to continue running Mercer Steel, much to Blake’s dismay; and Chao offers Ah Sahm some advice for his future with Young Jun.
Ah Sahm and Young Jun search for a discreet place to hide their product after striking a deal with a new opium supplier. As Lee becomes increasingly dependent on laudanum, he and Bill continue to investigate the swordsman murders. Mai Ling sends Li Yong and Zing to deliver a message to a rival tong. Penny asks for Ah Sahm’s help in protecting her factory. Sophie continues to pique Leary’s interest. Ah Toy receives a visit from Nellie Davenport, a wealthy widow committed to ending the exploitation of Chinese women.
With their new enterprise going well, Young Jun shares his worries with Ah Sahm about the new men Father Jun has brought over from China, and later, the partners are impressed by Hong, an enthusiastic recruit with a secret. Meanwhile, Chao goes to Mai Ling for help keeping Zing away from his business, Sophie grows closer to Leary, Nellie’s politics raise questions from her peers, and things take a deadly turn at Bill’s home.
As the police prepare for retribution, Chao comes to Bill with a mutually beneficial proposal. A sympathetic Sophie offers Leary a new plan. Ah Sahm and Penny have a moment when he confides his plans for the future. Buckley urges Blake to take a stand against the Chinese, Lee seeks to ease his pain, Mai Ling invests in a legitimate business, and Nellie urges Ah Toy to imagine a different kind of life for her sex workers.
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.
Ah Sahm, Young Jun, and Hong travel with Vega to Rooker’s Mill, a U.S.-Mexico border town owned by Elijah Rooker, the wealthy host of a lucrative fight tournament that Ah Sahm is determined to win. As he learns more about Vega, Ah Sahm draws the attention of another fighter, Dolph, and later, Rooker himself.
Change is afoot for the Hop Wei after Father Jun, Ah Sahm, and Young Jun face off. Ah Toy decides that Nellie may be the answer to her problems and takes matters at a sadistic rival brothel into her own hands. Leary is urged by both Buckley and Sophie to utilize his political influence. Just as his heroics are trumpeted, Bill is faced with another swordsman murder. A fatal clash unfolds at the Blake household.
The police shut down Chinatown in their hunt for a killer, just as the Hop Wei make a move that puts Mai Ling on edge. Buckley steps into a new role and considers a proposition from Leary, who faces questions from the Irish workingmen. Ah Toy fights for her life, while Chao faces a major dilemma.
After Bill and his men are confronted by an angry mob, Chinatown erupts into chaos, forcing the tongs to work together to protect their streets. As Chao and Mai Ling seek shelter, Mai Ling tends to an ailing Ah Toy. Sophie opens her eyes to Leary's world. Lee decides which side he's on.
Young Jun faces a crucial decision after Mai Ling tries to drive a wedge between him and Ah Sahm, who has emerged as a hero in Chinatown and takes the opportunity to go on the offensive against Leary. Determined to take Buckley down, Penny goes to the press. Bill reckons with what he's become, and Lee seeks out a familiar face. Mai Ling finally plays her hand against the Hop Wei.