Kung Fu season 1, episode 8 recap – “Destiny”

June 3, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV

Summary

“Destiny” finds the Shen family reeling from a big revelation, but several lovely scenes make clear it’ll take much more than that to break them apart.

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Summary

“Destiny” finds the Shen family reeling from a big revelation, but several lovely scenes make clear it’ll take much more than that to break them apart.

This recap of Kung Fu season 1, episode 8, “Destiny”, contains spoilers.


Last week’s episode of Kung Fu, “Guidance”, ended in rather shocking terms with the revelation that Nicky’s mother, Mei-Li, had been lying to her for her entire life. Not only is she the descendent of the first-ever woman warrior, but she’s the rightful heir to one of the weapons she and Zhilan have been pursuing, and Jin seemingly had no idea about any of this either. Naturally, this causes some waves within the family which are only compounded by the fact that Althea’s bachelorette party is right around the corner, her having signed the NDA a couple of weeks back still isn’t common knowledge, and the Nicky>Henry>Evan love triangle is still on-going. Phew!

Kung Fu episode 8 opens with Nicky taking everything she has learned to Evan, of all people, and she unburdens herself of the fact that what she had always believed to be her first real steps towards independence might have been unavoidable destiny all along. Evan, though, is more concerned than Sabine is on her way over to his cabin, so Nicky is forced to make haste, and a call from Ryan informs her that Jin, similarly wounded by these revelations, has packed a bag and left the house.

It’s a new dynamic to see the determined tiger mom Mei-Li be reduced to such a cowed figure, with everyone closest to her turning against her. Nicky and Ryan, whom she tells about what she has learned, set out to find Jin while keeping Althea, who is fretting about the party since Dennis’s mother and sister are both going to be there, is kept in the dark.

Jin, it turns out, is hiding out a motel the family visited every summer, which is hardly a good hiding place all things considered, but he’s adamant about not going home. Ryan, who has taken the day off, offers to stay with Jin while Nicky supports Althea at the party, and she’ll certainly need the support, since the tension is at an all-time high, and things quickly take a turn when Dennis’s sister, Chloe, is taken away in a car by a man named TJ (Richard Harmon).

Meanwhile in Kung Fu season 1, episode 8, back at the motel, Ryan relates his sexuality and “living a lie” to Mei-Li’s predicament in the hopes of swaying Jin around to her point of view, which leads to a terribly moving moment in which Jin apologizes for not doing enough to support his son when he came out: “I thought we were blessed with such a brave son. I’m sorry if the silence made you doubt, made you think we loved you less. We loved you more.” Blimey, there’s something in my eye!

Anyway, it turns out Chloe and TJ are involved in a pretty big-time thievery ring, and while Nicky and Henry drag Dennis away from his bachelor party to thwart the thieves’ scheme to break into Chloe’s own house, Althea shares another strong scene with Mrs. Soong, whom she finally seems to have won around on the strength of her love for Dennis – and Dennis’s love for her. Like all parents, or at least most, Mrs. Soong just wants her son to be happy, and if Althea makes him happy, then it scarcely matters about her background, personality, or socioeconomic status.

“Destiny” delivers the obligatory big fight scene when Nicky and Henry show up to interrupt the burglary, this one complicated by some funny efforts to keep the house’s valuables intact. Chloe is obviously worried about what her mother will say, but since this episode is very explicitly about family togetherness, things turn out okay. The same can be said, really, for the Shens’ predicament. Jin takes some convincing, but he finally decides he’s ready to return home, albeit after sharing with Nicky a story about how Mei-Li sent him to find her in China, which he did, though never confessed to his wife after seeing how at peace and at home Nicky was in the monastery. It’s another touching truth in an episode full of them, and it’s followed by another touchingly frank conversation between Mei-Li and Nicky. As ever, Kung Fu season 1, episode 8 excels in its depiction of a complex family dynamic, which is only getting more complex week on week. The episode ends with Mei-Li, after being forgiven by Nicky, providing her with everything she knows about her sister, Mei-Xue. What further secrets might be contained in the box Mei-Li gives to Nicky? We’ll have to wait until next week and see.

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