Kung Fu season 1, episode 6 recap – “Rage”

May 25, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
4

Summary

“Rage” has all the classic midseason finale hallmarks as Nicky comes face to face with her nemesis once again.

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4

Summary

“Rage” has all the classic midseason finale hallmarks as Nicky comes face to face with her nemesis once again.

This recap of Kung Fu season 1, episode 6, “Rage”, contains spoilers.


“Rage”, the midseason finale of Kung Fu, has all the hallmarks. The characters are all at personal and professional crossroads. Relationships are solidifying and the stakes are rising. The hero comes face-to-face with the villain, in this case for the first time since the fateful encounter that set the whole show in motion. There’s a lot to be getting on with, and it feels suitably momentous, in most of the ways that matter. There’s personal drama, overarching plot development, obligatory action, and a dreaded cliff-hanger that should keep everyone eagerly awaiting the show’s return. If that isn’t checking all the boxes, I don’t know what is.

Much of the action in Kung Fu episode 6 revolves around the existence of a dagger that Nicky discovers and works with Henry in the library of the Chinese Community Center to pinpoint the location of. The weapon, it turns out, has been chilling in a mine in San Cristóbal, Bolivia, following a collapse that buried both it and the bones of British explorer Edward Blount and the trinket’s protector, Li Jiang. Now, having been discovered and dug up, it’s on its way to – where else? – a museum in San Franciso. We’re on a collision course, ladies and gentlemen!

There’s more to it than that, though, since Randall (Peter Dewhurst), the morally unscrupulous fence in possession of the dagger, plans to sell it off to the highest bidder, which could and indeed probably will be Zhilan. And nobody else in the Shen family is faring much better. Ryan is having his working hours at the community center clinic cut thanks to a lack of funding for essential services, and Althea is threatened into signing an NDA by an attorney who represents her abusive former boss and isn’t shy about threatening the reputations and livelihoods of her family and friends – not to mention the family of her fiancé – if she doesn’t play ball.

All of the siblings have things to deal with in Kung Fu season 1, episode 4, then, so them teaming up with Henry in order to help Nicky steal the dagger from a gala at the Reed Museum is therapy of a kind. It’s also ridiculous, but it serves enough of a function on a plot and character level to make overlooking the obviously contrived and ludicrous nature of it much easier. The siblings – and an oblivious Dennis – get to make use of all their special skills, from picking locks to hacking mainframes to stealing daggers, but they’re also forced to confront some personal problems when Evan and Sabine and Mei-Li and Jin all turn out to be in attendance at the same gala. Again, ridiculous, but fun, nonetheless.

The plan in “Rage” goes just well enough to facilitate some comedy, some tension, and some action, with Nicky and Henry fighting off some goons who have been following them before swiping the dagger and making their escape, seemingly successful. There’s even something of a resolution in Althea and Ryan’s subplots since the former decides to sign the NDA and take the payout, but only if it’s directed towards the community center clinic. You can feel the entirety of Kung Fu episode 6 lurching towards a conclusion, which is of course the best time to reintroduce Zhilan, who is posing as a curator from the Beijing National Museum and has some smug words for Nicky. She also, pretty soon after, has some high kicks for her, as the two fight over the dagger in the episode’s big, climactic, well-choreographed set-piece. Zhilan predictably gets the upper hand, and “Rage” ends with Nicky’s fate a little uncertain, and the dagger no longer in her possession even after all that effort. See? Classic midseason finale business. I told you this show knows what it’s doing.

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