‘Kung Fu’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 1 “Year of the Tiger: Part 1”


As Kung Fu returns for season 2, a family member arrives to change everything. A new face at Harmony Dumplings could spark romance for Ryan, and the Shen family’s attempts at normalcy go out the window as Nicky faces down an old enemy. Read on to see what happened in “Year of the Tiger: Part 1”!

Back to Normal?

We open on Nicky kicking ass and taking names in Chinatown, bringing down several thieves with her martial arts skills and connection to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, Harmony Dumplings is thriving, to Mei-Li’s pride. Althea, Ryan, Henry, Dennis, and Nicky all gather to celebrate Ryan’s graduation from med school. He’s waiting to hear where he will go for his residency, and as Althea tells it, he’s been celebrating via a string of hookups around town. Althea just started a fancy new job as a proud Dennis tells the group she’s doing amazing. Henry and Nicky’s relationship is solid, and all seems well.

Michael Courtney/The CW

But Althea is having a hard time with her new job. Her boss Gwen is laid back, only focusing on their start up getting bought out by a larger company rather than the quality of the product. Althea tells Dennis she can’t leave. After spending a year out of the workforce, she will have a hard time getting hired anywhere else. He comforts her, revealing their pet names for each other are “Pebbles” and “Bam Bam.”

Dean Buscher/The CW

Harmony Dumplings is so busy that Mei-Li doesn’t even have time to interview a new line cook, Sebastian. Ryan arrives and immediately clocks the newcomer, but any romantic prospects are quickly dashed by Mei-Li fussing over him, even noting that Ryan is “not even athletic” when he mentions training with Nicky (moms, gotta love them). In desperation, Mei-Li hires Sebastian on the spot, not even asking about his qualifications.

Jin urges Mei-Li to slow down and actually enjoy their massive success. She’s too stressed, and Sebastian offers to help her cook the Shen New Year’s dinner. Turns out, he’s a highly skilled chef. Mei-Li and Jin’s jaws drop as they realize the answer to their prayers has arrived.

Facing the Music

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In China, Zhilan sits in prison mentally reliving her greatest hits, from killing Pei-Ling to stabbing Kerwin. The other inmates dislike her, with one calling her a “sister killer.” Zhilan clutches her necklace. Later that night, the ringleader of the bullies steals it as they beat her, leaving Zhilan sobbing alone on the floor. Pei-Ling appears to her in a vision, telling her it’s time to face everything she’s done.

The Other Shoe

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Evan has been trying to help Henry and Nicky look into Russell Tan, and he warns them that his plans are hard to figure out (especially since his own boss is on the billionaire’s payroll). While Nicky is concerned, she tells Henry and Evan that she needs to have some fun instead of waiting for something bad to happen.

But the other shoe drops sooner than expected as Nicky is accosted by an intruder in the Shen home. They fight, and Nicky is surprised to find the mysterious stranger matches her skills. The other fighter gets away as Nicky chases her outside. The police arrive to investigate along with Henry. Henry wonders if maybe the intruder is related to Nicky’s last six months of crime fighting, but Nicky says this felt different. She felt a connection to this person.

Ryan has been tracking Nicky’s skills to see if she’s a “superhero,” and he thinks the Biange energy remained with her after her Zhilan fight. Nicky brushes it off, wanting to focus on the mysterious intruder.

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Evan and Nadia continue to work together, but DA Hughes picks up on the tension between them. She incorrectly pegs it as romantic interest, but she’s not wrong about there being something going on. Nadia brings Evan information on Sasha Beals, a mercenary who just returned to San Francisco. It could be the mysterious stranger from the night before. Turns out, she’s worked with Russell Tan before. On a hunch, Nicky rushes to her and Henry’s research stash to find it’s all gone. In Russell Tan’s mansion, the billionaire watches over a comatose Kerwin. Sasha waltzes in, saying that if he wants to go after Nicky, she’s going to need backup, implying that she wasn’t the one in the Shen’s house.

Althea helps Nicky and Henry track Sasha. But when they get there, they realize that Sasha can’t be the one who attacked Nicky. They find a gold bangle with the research, and Nicky calls Mei-Li to see if she recognizes it. It’s a custom made bracelet — Po Po had one made for Mei-Xue and Mei-Li. Nicky realizes the stranger is Mei-Xue’s daughter.

Evan and Nadia work late on research, but after she leaves, the intruder arrives at Evan’s house. She knocks poor Evan out, and when he wakes up, she interrogates him. Back at the Shen house, Nicky calls Duke in Nash Creek, who tells her a girl showed up months ago looking for information. Realizing Evan is in danger, Nicky rushes to his apartment and reveals herself to the girl, telling her they’re family.

Dean Buscher/The CW

The girl’s name is Mia, and she reveals to Nicky that she was raised alone in her cabin with Mei-Xue and never knew about her family. She left when she was 16, making her own way to New York. Mia says six months earlier, Sasha and her team found Mia living on the streets and killed all her friends. Mia tried to make her way back to her mother, only to find that Mei-Xue had died while she was away. Nicky assures Mia that she’s safe as all the lights turn off. A gunfight breaks out, and Sasha kidnaps Mia while Nicky runs after her. Evan is able to shoot out the tires on the getaway car and Nicky rescues Mia. Sasha claims Tan doesn’t know where Mia is as Henry arrives, having defeated the other hired attackers.

Dean Buscher/The CW

After the events of the episode, the Shens gather for New Year’s Eve dinner. Nicky brings Mia and introduces her as Mei-Xue’s daughter. Jin embraces her immediately, and while Mei-Li is in shock, she also invites Mia to eat with them. Later, Mei-Li asks Nicky if Mia is in danger. When Nicky admits she is, Mei-Li asks Nicky to promise to keep Mia safe. She doesn’t want to lose Mei-Xue again.

Kung Fu airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. You can find our other coverage of the series here!

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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