Kung Fu – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

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Episode 2 of Kung Fu begins with a dream sequence for Nicky, including an idyllic breakfast with her family before Zhilan stabs her. In the morning, Nicky catches Evan at 6am while he’s out for a run. She wants more details on Zhilan but he doesn’t have any. Instead, he gives her some sound advice and tells her to spend time with the family.

When Nicky heads home the family are abuzz, heading off on their own errands. Among those though is Nicky’s father who’s refusing to go for a check-up.

With the house empty, Nicky meditates and thinks back over her encounter with Zhilan. There, she remembers a pendant the dastardly woman was wearing. After sketching this crane, she brings it to Henry and asks him for help. He’s a bit busy but suggests they meet later in the day instead.

For now, Nicky heads out bridal shopping with Althea, who has her dressed up. Althea notices the scar across Nicky’s shoulder and immediately quizzes her sister about it. She’s not happy – and even more so when Nicky admits she’s actually tracking Zhilan.

When her sister rushes off in a huff, Nicky heads down to the park for some more meditating – and beating up a guy wrestling with a young girl out in the park.

With Henry asking to meet in the library, her Father also wants to play a game of Go! an hour later. This is obviously going to cause some drama here, as Nicky talks to Henry about the predicament regarding the young girl. After receiving a call from Evan, she heads out to investigate alone. There, she finds the girl with a gun.

It turns out her name is Ronda and she’s been trying to get back at Derek, her Mother’s boyfriend. Nicky uses her teachings to convince the girl not to approach this with fear. This inevitably sees Nicky head over to see Ronda’s Mother, Carmen. She steps tentatively out the adjacent room, walking with a crutch and clearly afraid.

Nicky kicks Derek out his own apartment and forces him to stay elsewhere until they can get a restraining order in place. Unfortunately all this commotion also means Nicky forgot about the Go! game with her Father. Mei-Li is not happy, and even more so when she talks to Nicky and admits they’ve been fighting over that board for years.

This fight is inevitably interrupted by Ronda, who calls Nicky and admits that Derek has taken out all the money from Carmen’s account. Using Althea’s expertise, Nicky hacks into Derek’s computer and finds the location for this card game they’re involved in.

Despite not being invited to the private game, Nicky fights her way through the different security guards and demand Derek hand over the money. She even threatens to get the police involved (after assaulting 5 people of course, which is brushed under the rug.) It’s enough for Derek to succumb to her wishes and give the money back.

With Ronda and Carmen’s situation solved, Evan feeds back the truth about Zhilan to Nicky. It turns out she was Pei-Ling’s sister and they were both part of the Sword guardian’s family. Now realizing where Zhilan is, we jet across the globe to Singapore where Zhilan finds someone who can help in her quest.

The Episode Review

After the questionable first episode, Kung Fu returns for another contrived dose of drama that teaches us that violence and threats always save the day. In all seriousness though, this week’s episodic case was actually quite good and allowed for some character development to come through as well.

It’s clear that the teen angst and drama is taking center stage and it’s only a matter of time before we get a love triangle in this between Evan, Nicky and Henry.

What’s perhaps more disappointing are the flashbacks. At least 5 minutes of this episode were given to flashes from episode 1 and given how simple the story is, it’s really not necessary at all.

Some of the comedy, to be fair, is actually quite good (namely the cake tasting) but it remains to be seen whether this show can actually deliver a decent story for the weeks to come.

This is still CW quality of course so it’s undoubtedly below-average but this week’s episode is at least a mild improvement. Given how low the bar was set last week though, that’s not much of a target to shoot for.

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