Recap: Coming Home Isn’t Easy in ‘Kung Fu’ Season 1, Episode 2 “Silence”


In “Silence,” Nicky must confront the ghosts of her past as she struggles to juggle her newfound familial responsibilities with her desire to find Zhilan. It’s not easy coming home, and Kung Fu is careful to deal with Nicky’s mental state and her family’s difficulty accepting her return delicately. We also get a new case of the week as Nicky helps a young woman and her mother escape an abusive situation, and we learn more about Zhilan’s true motives.

Althea, Ryan, Mei-Li, and Jin cook Nicky a welcome home breakfast and surprise Nicky with their cheerfulness. All four immediately demand Nicky’s time, with Mei-Li already suggesting both an eligible bachelor and a law internship. Nicky tells her she’s not going to law school as she notices the smell of smoke in the kitchen as the chicken burns. She’s transported to the night Pei-Ling died, and she awakens terrified in her own bed. It was all a dream, including the nice breakfast.

Nicky goes to the marina, where she intercepts Evan running his usual route. She tells him about her nightmare and asks if he has any leads on Zhilan. He jokes that all she gave him was a first name and a sketch, and Nicky says she wishes she knew more. She shares that in her dream, her family was happy, and Evan says maybe if she talked with them more now that she’s home, her relationship with them would improve. Back at the house, everyone is rushing around for wedding planning as Ryan tells Nicky he needs her to help out with Jin more now that she’s home. Everyone leaves for their errands, and Nicky is alone. Going to her room, Nicky meditates to remember more details about Zhilan. She remembers a distinctive necklace and sketches it, including a symbol of what looks like a crane.

At the community center, Nicky finds Henry. She gives him the drawing of the necklace, and he recognizes the style of the art. They make plans to meet at the library later to investigate the lead further. She goes to leave, and Henry asks if she’s trained lately. She says she hasn’t been able to find her groove since returning, and Henry shares that he spent two years training in Beijing and also had a hard time coming home. He offers to train her at the park, which she accepts. Just then, she gets a text from Althea reminding her about her bridal fitting. Nicky sighs, knowing she’ll have to miss her meeting with Henry.

At the dress shop, Nicky tries on bridesmaid dresses as Althea tells a mysterious caller to stop contacting her. Nicky asks who it was, and Althea smoothly lies and says it was a wedding vendor. Althea flatters Nicky by saying she looks so good in the dress that she’s worried it will be a Pippa/Kate Middleton situation. As she looks at Nicky’s shoulder, she sees the scar from Nicky’s stab wound. Althea is shocked, saying that they all thought it was a fire at the monastery, not an attack. Nicky admits that she “left some parts out” as Althea pulls her into a hug. Nicky shares the story with Althea, who is incredulous that Nicky wants to put herself in danger again by going after Zhilan. Nicky, still hurting from reliving Zhilan’s attack, lashes out, saying not everyone can live in a “bridal fantasy world.” Althea gets serious, saying that a lot has changed in three years and that “believe it or not, my life is no fairytale” as she storms off.

At the restaurant, Jin and Mei-Li argue over Nicky. Mei-Li is worried she’ll leave them again while Jin is hopeful she’s home for good. Nicky goes to the park alone since she missed her meeting with Henry. As she starts her training, she flashes back to her time in China and the night Pei-Ling died. She replays her fight with Zhilan, and loses again. She goes to leave in frustration, but sees a man assaulting a woman nearby. She pulls the gun from his hand and easily beats him. She turns back to the woman, who grabs the discarded gun and runs. Nicky notices her wallet on the ground and picks it up as she watches the girl.

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Nicky looks at a picture of the monastery and flashes back to her training with Pei-Ling. Pei-Ling defeats her, and she tells Nicky that her fear was taking over. She notes that “right action cannot flow from fear.” In the present, Nicky sadly puts the picture away. Staring at the wallet, she hears Pei-Ling’s voice tell her to help the girl. Nicky goes to the family restaurant, where Evan is eating his lunch. He’s been a regular there since Nicky left, telling her he actually had a better relationship with Mei-Li once they broke up. She tells Evan about the girl in the park. He offers to put her in contact with an officer who will take her statement, but Nicky is worried about involving the police. Evan leaves with his order as Henry texts Nicky. She goes to leave, and Jin sees her. He excitedly shows her that he saved a picture of their last game night together so they can pick up where they left off. They make a date for 8 p.m. as she leaves to meet Henry.

At the library, both Nicky and Henry are running into a wall researching. Nicky shares what happened with the girl in the park and shows Henry the wallet. He recognizes that a band in the wallet belongs to a local homeless shelter, and when the detective Evan knows calls, Nicky doesn’t answer. She goes to the shelter herself and spots the girl, who runs from her. When Nicky corners the girl, she pulls the gun on Nicky.

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Nicky talks the girl down after a tense moment and takes the gun. The girl says her name is Ronda and that she thought Nicky was a cop. Ronda says the gun was meant to scare her mother’s controlling boyfriend Derek. Her mother was in an accident and has many health issues. Derek took over her mother’s appointments and medical bills along with her bank accounts, stealing from them both. When Ronda discovered this, he kicked her out. She wanted to scare him. Echoing Pei-Ling, Nicky tell Ronda that right action can’t flow from fear. She asks if Ronda is hungry.

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Althea is running her cake tasting with precision as Nicky gives Ronda some of the food. Ryan and Nicky joke about the rating system as Althea sends them a death glare. Ryan makes a remark about Nicky “hunting down an international assassin,” and Nicky realizes Althea told him about Zhilan. Althea protests that she had to tell Ryan and that her plan is unrealistic. Ronda sees the cake, and Althea gives her a piece on the condition that she take part in the rating system. Nicky tells them about Ronda’s situation, and Ryan tells Nicky about transitional housing she probably qualifies for. Nicky’s stuck on how to get Ronda and her mom out, and Althea says Nicky should use all the years she studied law to find a way.

Nicky and Ronda go to Ronda’s building, where Ronda tearfully reunites with her mother Carmen. Ronda begs her mother to leave with her, but Carmen says she can’t make it without Derek. Ronda says they can do it together and that Nicky has a plan. Nicky tells them that they need to revoke Derek’s power of attorney, but before they can go further, Derek comes home early. Carmen stands up to Derek, and when Derek makes a move on Ronda, Nicky pulls her moves on him. She also threatens him with legal action, saying she has a friend at the DA’s office aware of his crimes. He leaves in a huff, and Ronda and Carmen are relieved.

At home that night, Nicky realizes she missed her game with Jin. He’s asleep on the couch, and Mei-Li watches as Nicky puts a blanket over him. Mei-Li chastises her, saying Jin waited up for her. She also says he waited for her after she left, never losing hope she’d be back one day. Mei-Li says Nicky doesn’t really want to be back – she just had nowhere else to go. Nicky can’t deny this, but then Ronda calls. Derek drained their bank accounts before Carmen could sign the power of attorney. Mei-Li tells Nicky to go, and she leaves.

At the apartment, Camren reveals that Derek is probably spending all their money on card games right now. Nicky calls Althea, asking her to hack Derek’s computer. Althea easily hacks in, and Nicky gets the address of the underground card game. Nicky decides she’ll go get the money herself despite Althea’s protests. At the secret spot, Nicky forces her way in and accuses Derek of stealing. The man leading the game tells them to keep playing, smirking at Nicky and saying “my rules, darling.” Her plea goes unheard, so Nicky decides she’s done talking. She beats up the bouncers and tells Derek it’s over, ending her speech with a “my rules, darling” of her own. She walks out, money in hand.

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In her room that night, she meditates her way back to the monastery and tells Pei-Ling she misses her. Nicky tells Pei-Ling she was afraid to feel her grief, but now she feels better. Nicky says she doesn’t know what to do without her. Pei-Ling tells her mindfulness will give her the clarity she is desperately seeking. The next morning, Nicky surprises Jin with a game. Mei-Li comes down the stairs to hear Nicky say she’s not going anywhere. Remembering Ryan asking her father to go for a check-up, Nicky makes their game conditional on him going for a check-up at the clinic.

Nicky calls Evan later to thank him for his help, and he tells her they found out Zhilan is in Singapore. More importantly? Zhilan is Pei-Ling’s sister. In the stacks at the library, Henry tells Nicky that he found the symbol. It’s a symbol for one of the families guarding each of the eight weapons, which makes Zhilan and Pei-Ling part of these guardians. Winston Chau is a professor who is an expert in these symbols, and Henry says he’s in Singapore now. We flash to Singapore, where Zhilan menacingly walks up to Chau.

Kung Fu airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.

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