In the CWs Kung FuNicky Shen (Inheritance‘Olivia Liang) still finds out who she wants to be while embracing a new fate.
Wednesday’s series premiere begins with Nicky in the middle of what she thinks is a cultural tour of China. After realizing that it’s actually a matchmaking trick to find a Chinese man (orchestrated by her mother, no less), she escapes and crosses paths with Pei-Ling (Vanessa Kai), who runs a local monastery. Her visit for one night becomes a three-year training in martial arts, and Nicky finally feels at home.
Admiring the picturesque view, Pei-Ling urges Nicky to try to make peace with her family, which she has not seen in three years. However, Nicky is determined to stay in the convent. That night, their monastery is attacked by a group of assassins looking for a mysterious sword that is said to give its power with great force. During the fight, Pei Lei is mortally wounded by an assassin named Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman), who steals the sword and leaves.
Following Pei-Ling’s last instructions, Nicky chases after Zhilan in an attempt to get the sword back and take down her mentor’s killer. During their fight, Nicky picks up the sword that lights up and burns her hand, leaving mysterious markings on the palm. Still, Zhilan gets away and Nicky returns home to San Francisco.
She receives a mixed reaction from her family: Her father Jin (Tzi Ma) and sister Althea (Shannon Dang) are happy to have their backs, while her brother Ryan (Jon Prasida) and mother Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan) are not so excited. Mei-Li is particularly disappointed, saying her daughter “died three years ago.” There’s a lot of tension between mother and daughter – Nicky is sorry for her mother for trying to control her, and Mei-Li feels sorry for her for disappearing – and they do not seem to get past their complaints about each other. Jin urges Nicky not to run away again and meets later at the family restaurant.
Meanwhile, Nicky visits her ex-boyfriend Evan (Gavin Stenhouse), who is now an assistant district attorney, to look into the sword and the assassin Zhilan from sketches she drew. Later that evening, she sees the spirit of her late mentor Pei-Ling, who again urges her to heal her relationship with her family before going after the sword. Nicky goes to his father’s restaurant in time to find his father beaten hard. It turns out that her parents had taken out a $ 50,000 loan from Tony Khan, a member of the local triad, who has now doubled in interest. If they do not pay within 72 hours, Khan’s people will kill Jin and take over his restaurant.
Nicky goes to campus to visit her brother, who is still sorry for her not being there for him when he came out to their parents. Nicky apologizes for leaving him to dry, and they share their first real hug in more than three years. Nicky also runs into Ryan’s hunky friend Henry (Eddie Liu), who is doing his masters in ancient Chinese history and will definitely be a useful ally.
She tells Henry about the sword, and he identifies it as a sword with power that can only be exploited by its rightful owner – and that is one of eight.
In an attempt to help his parents, Nicky asks the locals about Khan, but everyone is too scared to talk. She and her siblings are soon attacked by members of the local triad, suggesting they are getting close to something. Nicky, with a surprising assist from Henry, is able to take them down. Although her mother is sad that Nicky may have threatened their family even more, it is clear that Nicky’s strength has also done something good. Cindy, a local store owner, is inspired to speak up after seeing Nicky fend off the triad. But even with a witness willing to testify and having access to Khan’s confidential documents, Evan does not think their evidence is strong enough for a conviction. They need a smoking gun.
Althea hacks into Khan’s bank accounts and reveals a shady recent transaction. It looks like Khan is smuggling drugs and maybe making a big drop later that night. Ryan sneaks down to the harbor to gather evidence that will hopefully save their family. Nicky tracks his brother down and struggles with the triad. Ryan watches in amazement as Nicky assumes the entire gang alone and shows serious power – including an extraordinarily high jump that refers to her potential as someone capable of carrying the sword – which Nicky brushes off as simple training combined physics. Either way, Nicky did it.
The next day, Shens gathers for Althea’s wedding. and this is the first time we see them look like a cohesive unit. Jin and Mei-Li agree that Nicky should stay with them and bring all three of them one step closer to reconciliation.
Henry shows up to reveal important new information about the sword: If anyone were to gather all eight, they would unlock astronomical power and cause great destruction and devastation. Zhilan already has one and it’s up to Nicky to prevent her from getting the remaining seven. Then the game starts.
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