In the wake of the events from the previous episode, “Jyu Sa,” this week’s adventures on season 2 of Kung Fu are a doozy. Read on to see what happened in this week’s episode, “The Alchemist.”
The Wan Zei
We begin with Nicky having strange dreams of a woman in the wilderness. Henry still hasn’t answered his phone. They know there was a scuffle at Han’s house, but there’s no sign of Henry despite Han being admitted to the hospital. Althea manages to access nearby bank cameras that catch Henry being manhandled out of a van — a van with a visible license plate number.
Understandably panicked about being kidnapped by the Wan Zei, Henry pleads with his father to help him. But Daniel is on their side. Convinced Henry injured Han and stole the sheet music holding the secret of the Yueling song, he begins to interrogate Henry. He believes he’s lying to protect Nicky. After getting no information from Henry (you can’t give what you don’t have), Daniel gets booted aside by his former mystery female companion, Yuen, who’s ready to get a little more violent to get what she wants.
But Nicky’s not having that. Busting in through some ceiling grating, Nicky efficiently takes down all of the people in the room — besides Daniel, who Henry stops her from dispatching. Recognizing they weren’t behind the theft, Daniel stops Nicky and Henry from walking out, ready to level with them about what the Wan Zei knows.
Daniel gives them the rundown on the founding on the Wan Zei. Started by two Chinese immigrants, Lau Hing-Gai and Tsang Daoming, Henry and Nicky find out the two were friends with Li Jiaming, the guardian that rang the Yueling bell. The two founders were there and saw Jiaming be forced to ring the bell and the subsequent damage. The two vowed to never let it happen again and the Wan Zei was born, protecting the world from dangerous magical artifacts from all cultures. Daniel tells Nicky and Henry about Juliette’s plan to create another bell. While they have plans in motion to stop Tan, Daniel asks for their help. Nicky is outraged considering they just kidnapped Henry, but Henry doesn’t have the same qualms.
“The Mourne Landscape,” an Irish painting connected to an ancient Celtic ritual that could sap the Yueling bell of its power, is thought to contain a map to the ritual. Their next move is to find it, but Nicky is called away by Ryan texting her about Mia’s condition.
One of Henry’s connections lets him know that the painting is currently in the Assisi club, an exclusive club. Henry wants to clue Nicky in, but Daniel wants him and Henry to go retrieve it together.
Henry and Daniel show up to the club under the guise of AC repairmen, conning their way inside with a bit about a freon leak which evacuates the buildings occupants. They retrieve the painting (which they plan to return to the original owners) and map hidden in the back. Before they leave, they’re caught by the hotel management, who realize it was all a setup. A fight ensues as they try to stop Henry and Daniel, but the father and son take care of them quickly and get out of there.
At the end of their mission, having found out where to find the ritual, Daniel asks Henry to join him and the Wan Zei. He wanted to give him a choice instead of dragging Henry into it like his father did to him, but it’s obvious Henry was born for it. Henry seems touched, but states his place is in SF with Nicky. The two shake hands and Henry departs.
Dennis and Althea vs. the World
As Althea heads to investment meetings to find capital for her new app, Dennis’ dad shows up. Mr. Soong is upset that Dennis assaulted Chase Matheson, “one of the most influential men in the city,” in public. Dennis learns that his family didn’t completely pull out of all of Matheson’s ventures, staying involved with a few small promising ones. Dennis states he won’t have anything to do with Matheson and Mr. Soong says that he’s being childish and that his parents have coddled him. Giving him an ultimatum, Mr. Soong states he’ll have to deal with Matheson’s continued involvement if he wants to remain at Soong Enterprises.
At her investment meetings, Althea gets turned down by company after company, despite them saying they like the idea. Ordering a drink, Evan and Althea spot each other. They sit together and Althea tells him about her failed meetings, stating that she knows she killed her pitch. She thinks Chase Matheson has been spreading rumors about her to discourage people from investing. Evan tells her not to give up even though things look bleeak: he’s trying to do the same. Evan asks her why she doesn’t take a loan from Dennis’ parents. Althea tells him that was her one rule that she told herself she wasn’t going to break. Evan tells her that she’s being silly and that she should take advantage of the resources she has around her.
A drunk Althea stumbles home to find Dennis, who was supposed to be at a work dinner, sitting alone in a dark room…but in her happily inebraited state, she doesn’t realize anything is off. She tells him how she thinks Chase is sabotoging her but that she’s not giving up. Dennis tries to tell her something a couple of times but Althea rambles on, saying despite her initial misgivings, she’s ready to accept Dennis’ family’s help. Dennis finally interrupts, informing her that Mr. Soong was still in business with Chase, and that Dennis demanded he cut ties or he would walk. In retaliaion, Mr. Soong cuts Dennis off.
The Dangers of Jyu Sa Continue
Mia finally lets Ryan check out her vitals in the wake of the interaction with the Jyu Sa. Mia’s been having weird dreams: the same weird dreams as Nicky. Ryan texts Nicky that something’s wrong with Mia.
Back in the library doing some research, Ryan finds something about China’s first emperor who forced philosophers and mystics to look for ways to cheat death. According to legend, an alchemist named Xiao used “a powerful red stone” to crack the code to cheat death. She also did terrible experiments with the red stone on pregnant women. Ryan thinks this could be something.
Nicky arrives and speaks to Ryan about Mia’s deteriorating health, which Nicky thinks is due to the effects of the Jyu Sa. Briefly left alone, Mia is lured to the lock cabinet where the Jyu Sa is being stored. She picks it up, the stone glows red, and she promptly falls unconscious onto the floor.
Ryan and Nicky bring her back to the Shens’ house, where Mei-Li and Jin fret about Mia’s state. Ryan says her brain activity is spiking despite her being unconscious, like she’s dreaming. Going back to the book he was looking at earlier, he clues in Nicky about Xiao and the Jyu Sa. Nicky recognizes her from the dreams. Xiao was experimenting with a Jyu Sa infused tea, which she claimed allowed her to walk in people’s dreams by linking their consciousness together; it made her able to live forever in their minds. Nicky wants to take the tea to get Mia out of her unconscious state.
Ryan has reservations (cinnabar is toxic, if you remember), but Nicky is adamant. He makes her the tea using the Jyu Sa. Before she takes the tea, Pei-Ling’s ghost urges Nicky not to drink the tea since she doesn’t know what will happen, but she does anyway, entering the Jyu Sa dream realm.
As she wakes in the dream scape, Nicky searches for Mia. Unable to find her, Pei-Ling appears to her and urges her to go back. Nicky sees the first successful experiment that Xiao conducted on a pregnant woman with the Jyu Sa, which created the first warrior. Nicky asks if the baby was Liang Daiyu, to which Pei-Ling responds no; the warriors and guardians were created long before Liang Daiyu and the weapons. Xiao, The Alchemist, wanted to create a more powerful human. But later down the line, the bloodlines mixed, which they were not meant to do, as it’s too much power for someone to contain. Mia wasn’t the first; a girl named Suyin was the first hybrid. She lived with monks who tried to hide her from the world, but she became uncontrollable. It took the warriors and guardians to stop her.
Pei-Ling says that Mia’s power will overtake her and she will become a danger to the world unless Nicky leaves her in the dream realm. Nicky refuses, but Pei-Ling insists Mia is past saving. This statement makes Nicky realize that Pei-Ling isn’t Pei-Ling. Pei-Ling transforms into Xiao, who’s taken on Pei-Ling’s form. When Nicky and Mia were exposed to the Jyu Sa, it allowed Xiao to appear to them. The longer Mia stays in the realm, the closer she comes to dying. Xiao has trapped Mia in the memory of Mei-Xue’s death, hoping to break her spirit so she won’t fight to leave. Xiao urges Nicky to leave. Nicky refuses and the two begin a fast paced duel. Nicky can’t really hurt Xiao, as she created the realm. Nicky eventually leaves to find Mia.
Mia finds the memory and tries to apologize to her mom for leaving, but Mei-Xue can’t hear her. Russell Tan arrives at the cabin, having realized her reason for going into hiding being Mia’s existence. Mei-Xue doesn’t plan to let Tan near Mia, which is why Tan kills her. Tan respects Mei-Xue, and the memory reveals that he’s the one that gave her a proper burial at her estate. Nicky arrives right before Tan kills Mei-Xue and urges Mia to look away, as it can only hurt her to watch. Nicky watches in her stead, and the gunshot causes them to both wake up.
At Jin’s behest, the family has a sobering but beautiful ceremony honoring Mei-Xue, as Mia and Mei-Li never got a chance to truly say goodbye. Ryan tells Nicky that Mia’s vitals are back to normal. Nicky isn’t off scott-free though. She’s still being haunted by Xiao’s spirit, who says that once everything is over, Nicky’s going to wish she had let Xiao kill Mia.
You can catch Kung Fu on Wednesday nights in its new time slot at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on The CW. As always, make sure to stay up to date with all of our coverage here, and stay tuned for more updates!