Kung Fu (2021) s01e01 Episode Script


I'm a warrior [Nicky.]
My name is Nicky Shen.
I'm a warrior I'm a warrior Never gonna hold me down [Nicky.]
And this has been my home for three years.
The Shaolin monastery in Yunnan Province, China.
My mom sent me on a cultural tour of China.
Turned out, it was really a matchmaking tour to land me a Chinese husband.
Find your name card at the table [Nicky.]
Just one of the many ways my mom tried to control my destiny.
I panicked.
I ran.
[tour group leader.]
Nicky? [speaking Mandarin.]
That was the first time anyone told me I had a choice in anything.
Pei-Ling ran the monastery.
I was only planning to spend the night, but then I saw something that I knew I wanted to be a part of.
Solid as rock I'm ready for a challenge [Nicky.]
These women were warriors.
And so I stayed.
And Pei-Ling became my shifu.
[both grunting.]
My mentor.
I'm a warrior Never gonna hold me down I'm a warrior [panting.]
[Nicky speaking Mandarin.]
[Pei-Ling speaking Mandarin.]
- Shifu - The purpose of the training is not to hide from your pain, Nicky.
You must find peace with your family.
Well Peace and my family don't really go together.
You believe you are the only one with a difficult family? I had a very different life before I became your shifu.
You would not have recognized the old Zhang Pei-Ling.
So much pain and anger.
I, too, thought to find sanctuary here.
But what I left behind still haunts me.
Shifu, this is my home now.
Don't make me go back.
You make the path that you live.
Your life.
Your choice.
But learn from my mistakes.
Hmm? Come, it will be dark soon.
[thunder rumbling.]
[man shouting in distance.]
[woman screaming.]
[speaking Mandarin.]
[indistinct shouting.]
- [explosion.]
- [screaming.]
[speaking Mandarin.]
[people screaming and shouting.]
[woman speaking Mandarin.]
[both grunting.]
[speaking Mandarin.]
Shifu? Shifu? [grunting.]
[indistinct shouting.]
[dramatic music intensifies.]
[woman yells.]
[mysterious music plays.]
[both grunting.]
[Pei-Ling groans.]
Zhilan, no.
The sword is not meant for you.
[pensive music plays.]
Shifu! [Pei-Ling groans.]
No! No! Shifu.
Okay, I have to get you to a hospital.
The sword.
You must get it back.
You must stop her.
Stop Zhilan.
Don't leave me.
Please [dramatic music plays.]
You killed my shifu.
I should have killed her long ago.
[both grunting.]
[groans in pain.]
The sword is too powerful for you.
[both grunting.]
[Nicky groaning in pain.]
Your shifu should have warned you.
Never step in the way of destiny.
Biange has no obstacle.
- [grunts.]
- [Nicky screaming.]
[Nicky grunting.]
[dramatic music plays.]
I looked everywhere for Pei-Ling's killer, but she was a ghost.
I had no choice.
I had to go back to the place I ran from.
Back to the people I hurt.
My family, my ex.
I had to go home.
What do you say? Is this the time For one more try At a happy life So, what do you say? Is this unwise To think my fears Baba.
I'm sorry, I should have called Come! [sobbing.]
I've missed you so much.
What happened to your eye? Oh, nothing.
I fell off the ladder.
Let me see you.
You're too skinny, you need to eat.
Come on.
Am I interrupting something? Oh, the whole family is here.
Althea's bridal gifts were just delivered.
- I'm sorry, what? Bridal gifts? - Oh.
Yeah, your sister's getting married.
Althea! Look who is here.
Nicky? Did you know about this? [Jin.]
No idea.
Come here! Look, you look amazing.
Oh, Mom's pre-wedding regime.
She has me on these Chinese herbs that taste like garbage.
Oh, my God.
You haven't even seen this.
Wow! That's massive.
You know the lucky groom.
Dennis Soong.
Dennis, come in here! The mathlete? From high school? He's changed a little since then.
Nicky? So good to see you.
Yeah, nice to see you, too.
So, how did you two Dennis' company was going to invest in my software start-up, but things are on hold.
At least until after the wedding.
The cake isn't gonna pick itself.
Look who's here.
You miss every family event for the last three years, but show up for the presents.
Power move, sis.
I missed you.
Pretty sure when you ghost someone, it means the opposite.
What's with the lab coat? You haven't graduated yet, have you? Where's your robe and shaved head? Thank God! [chuckles nervously.]
I'd have to give her extensions for the wedding.
You're just in time.
We're picking a wedding date this weekend.
Super low key event.
Just a fortune teller and 200 guests.
Mei-Li, your daughter's home.
My daughter died three years ago.
That honestly went better than I thought it would.
[Nicky sighs.]
- I'm sorry.
- Sorry? What did we do to make you hate home so much? It wasn't that I hated home.
You know why I stayed away.
What you did, you betrayed me.
What I did was make sacrifices for you.
Tutors, gymnastics camps, piano, soccer, Chinese.
I could have used that money to buy new shoes or a face-lift like Mrs.
Lee or Mrs.
I would have thought living in China would make you see "Sorry" as an American idea.
One little word is not a magic eraser.
I know that.
If you were so miserable, why didn't you say something? This was a mistake.
[sighs deeply.]
Nicky, don't leave.
She doesn't want me here.
I will talk to her.
Meet me at the restaurant later.
Don't run away again.
Because he defrauded his clients.
Because he lied to investigators and, oh, yeah, because he's guilty.
Sorry! I was gonna call, but I wasn't sure what to say.
How did you get in here? So you still use the same hiding spot.
[chuckles softly.]
[clears throat.]
Where What's going on? I'm not really sure where to start.
How about the part where you broke up with me out of the blue because you needed time to find yourself.
- That was three years ago! - Evan, I'm sorry.
I truly am.
I just needed to put some distance between me and I mean, you know my family.
The pressure, the expectations.
My mom.
I should have stuck up for myself.
Nicky Are you okay? Not really.
Well, I better get us a drink.
All I could think about was catching Pei-Ling's killer.
I pulled myself up from the cliff, made my way to a hospital and then a police station, made a full report.
Gave them everything I had.
I showed them these.
Did they know who this Zhilan woman was? No.
But as soon as I mentioned the word "biange, " I could feel a shift.
They tried to get me out of there as fast as they could.
"Biange"? It means changes or transformation.
Something about that word scared them.
I think "biange" is a gang maybe, a new Triad.
I tried looking into them, but I got nowhere.
Looking into a Triad isn't gonna end well.
You nearly got killed already.
So I was hoping maybe you can make some calls.
Reach out to people.
You are an assistant district attorney now, you have connections with the police, the FBI And that's why you came to see me after all this time, my connections? No, of course not.
That's not the only reason.
There wasn't a day that I didn't think about you, or miss you, or wish that you were with me.
But I was embarrassed and ashamed for letting my mom pull us apart.
I should have stuck up for you more.
I'm sorry.
I know that doesn't make it okay, and you have every right to hate me.
But you were the one person that I ever [door opening.]
- [woman.]
I know you said sandwiches, - Oh but they just got turbot in from Scotland, so I thought that I would Hey! Hi Uh, this is Nicky.
My old friend, Nicky.
Nicky, this is Sabine, my girlfriend.
I had it in my head but not in my heart Every word that I said brought me back to the start Hello.
Hey! But I'm not in charge But it's beautiful and beautiful will do Yeah, it's beautiful And beautiful will do Yeah, it's the way the colors fade Things were changing, it's okay The rain it came and washed away And it's okay Coming home was the right choice.
What choice? You're gone, and I have no place to go.
But I'm going to find your killer.
I won't sleep until she pays.
You told me to stop her, get the sword back.
Who is she? You will find the answers because fate has brought you here for a reason, Nicky.
Everything is connected, but first you and your family must heal.
["It's Okay" playing.]
Yeah, it's the way the colors fade Things were changing, it's okay Yeah, it's okay [objects clattering in distance.]
[man speaking Mandarin.]
Hey! Baba? Baba! Baba! [Jin groans.]
Help! Wake up.
Help! Baba! - Mrs.
Shen? - Yes? The surgery went well.
Your husband had a subdural hematoma, but he's fine now.
We stopped the bleeding with no complications.
It's a good thing you got there when you did.
- [Mei-Li.]
Can we see him? - He's resting.
I wanna be here when he wakes up.
You all go home.
I'll be fine.
Okay, what is really going on here? What do you mean? The attack tonight, Dad's black eye from before.
You really think that was an accident now? - He fell.
- This can't be a coincidence.
But who would want to hurt Dad? I don't know, but I feel like I'm missing something.
Yeah, about three years.
You have no right to come back and suddenly decide to care again.
He's tired.
We all are.
You need some sleep.
You're staying with me.
[instrumental music plays.]
[clears throat.]
- Can you talk? - Not really.
Come on.
They still have ping-pong around here? Forehand topspin still your weakness? I'll be back in a few.
- [Nicky.]
Listen, about yesterday, I - Hello.
Oh, hi.
Henry, this is my sometimes sister, Nicky.
Oh, I heard you trained with the Shaolins.
- Very nice looking couple.
- [Henry and Nicky.]
Oh No, we're not Don't waste time.
You won't be gold forever.
I get a lot of unsolicited advice from my tai chi crew.
I'm sure.
But I'd love to hear about your time over there.
I'm doing my Master's in Ancient Chinese Art History, - so any time you wanna - Hey Relax.
She probably won't be here for very long.
I would love to talk about it.
I'll see you around, Nicky.
What do you mean, "Everything fell apart"? You were the star athlete, the one with the perfect grades.
When you disappeared, Mom was a month shy of having birthed a Harvard graduate.
Instead, she had a college dropout who had a meltdown and went missing.
Sure it sounds bad when you put it all together like that.
[Ryan grunts.]
You left me here without an ally.
You were the only one who knew everything.
You still haven't told them you're gay? No.
I did.
[chuckles scornfully.]
I sat them down a year ago.
Dad got weird and Mom's still pretending it never happened.
Good old Chinese denial.
I'm sorry.
I should have been here for you.
I just I freaked out.
I know I let you down.
[Ryan sighs.]
[both sigh.]
I'm glad you're back.
I gotta go.
[Nicky grumbles playfully.]
Okay, of course.
Hey, um Do you think that Henry guy is still around? Yeah.
Why? And so I grabbed the sword and it kind of glowed.
But that could have just been the lightning reflecting off it or something.
I had only seen it once before, and Shifu warned it was hidden for good reason.
This sword is why there are female Shaolin.
Legend has it, that the sword holds an ancient magical power.
A power beyond our imagination.
Nicky, it sounds like the Sword of Liang Daiyu.
That's I didn't realize the sword had survived through all this time.
Liang Daiyu? She lived during the Tang Dynasty.
According to myth, when all the men in the village went off to war, a band of raiders attacked.
Daiyu grabbed her grandfather's sword, and single-handedly kept the raiders at bay.
The next day she began to train the other women in the village.
Pretty soon they weren't just protecting themselves and their homes, but turning the tide of the war.
And the sword I held, it belonged to her.
This Zhilan woman, when she picked it up, it didn't burn her? Not that I could see, but I was more focused on not getting killed.
Sorry to dump this on you.
I need to find this woman.
Wait, let me see your hand.
There might be a clue or something.
It's got to be some kind of ancient dialect.
I have some ideas where to start digging.
I live for this stuff.
Thank you.
And maybe keep this to yourself for now? My family is dealing with enough.
Our secret.
- Baba.
- Hey.
You're awake.
How are you feeling? The doc said no dancing, but I'll make it to Althea's banquet.
That's still happening? Your mom will wheel in my dead body before she cancels.
Besides, we can't let Dennis' family down.
They've spent a small fortune already.
Whatever's going on, you can tell me.
I never meant to put you in any danger.
They raised our rent.
Expenses kept going up.
I was desperate, so I took a loan from Tony Kang.
Who's Tony Kang? [Mei-Li.]
He was one of our best customers.
He's always sending business our way and asking about our family, I thought I could trust him.
How much did you borrow? Fifty thousand.
It's now 100,000, with interest.
Tony confronted me two months ago.
I thought I could handle it on my own, but I knew you were scared and ashamed.
Mama, if you two had just talked to each other.
Your father was protecting me.
Just like I was trying to protect him.
We have 72 hours to pay the money.
Or they said they will kill me and take over the restaurant.
[dramatic music plays.]
Let me get this straight.
You want to talk to Tony Kang? Broker some kind of peace with him? Kang owns Chinatown.
Money laundering, drugs, guns.
How do you know that? From the clinic.
I've seen his victims.
People coming in with knife wounds and torture marks.
So, talking to him isn't going to cut it.
Maybe we can get Evan to call in the police? [scoffs.]
Kang owns the cops too.
And even if he didn't, there's no way our community would talk to an outsider like Evan.
But if he's squeezing Mom and Dad, he must be doing it to other people in Chinatown too.
You're right.
We need to find his other victims.
They talk to us, we get that information to Evan, then he can actually build a case.
Hold on, you think we should be the ones doing this? Yes.
If what Ryan's saying is true, Tony's gotta have eyes and ears everywhere.
We start asking questions about him Exactly.
Plus, why would anyone even open up to us? Because we look like them.
Speak the same language, live in the same neighborhood.
One of the few times not being white has its advantages.
So, let's go out into the community.
See what we can find out.
We'll need all the help we can get.
I'll reach out to Henry.
I feel like Like I'm 16 - [conversing indistinctly.]
- I don't know If I may, we don't have a lot of time.
Hi, I'm Nicky - [Althea.]
Hi, excuse me.
- [woman.]
We were hoping to ask you a couple of questions.
Oh, sure.
So, what my friend and I wanted to know, if maybe you guys Do you know anything about Tony Kang? A man named Tony Kang? - Do you know anything about Tony Kang? - No.
No, no, I don't know anything.
I don't even think tonight! [Pei-Ling.]
Don't give up, Nicky.
Faith makes the impossible possible.
Hey, any luck? Struck out in a big way.
You? Nothing yet, but I did find some info on that sword.
For real, already? Yeah, I told you I live for this stuff.
Plus, UCSF has an amazing library of ancient Chinese texts.
The sword is believed to be one of eight weapons enchanted by an ancient Chinese sorcerer.
It holds a magical power that can only be harnessed by its rightful owner.
So, Zhilan was the sword's rightful owner? That's why it burned my hand? [Althea.]
I think I got something.
The herbalist's cousin owns a 99 cent store around the corner.
She's been asking family and friends for loans.
A few months ago her store got broken into, but she never reported it to the cops.
Could be something.
Okay, let me handle this.
Hi, can I help you? Nicky Shen.
I grew up around the corner.
My parents own Harmony Dumplings.
I heard about your father.
Is he okay? He's in the hospital.
We were fortunate.
This time.
Swans? Like, live animals? They're trained.
Okay, it'll be a mess.
when I walk down the aisle.
They're taking over our city.
You shouldn't be here.
You're not alone.
We can fight back against Kang.
I have people who can help.
I I can't.
You've been asking about Tony Kang? [tense music plays.]
[dramatic music plays.]
Thanks for the assist.
The guy pulled out a knife on us.
If you hadn't come in It was incredible.
Especially the spin kick.
Ooh! That guy went down like a sack of bricks.
This has to stay between us.
If Mama and Baba find out.
Found out what? That you're a Kung Fu butt-kicking hero? I'm not a hero.
The fact that you know Kung Fu isn't exactly a secret.
You were at a Shaolin monastery for three years.
Learning Kung Fu is one thing.
What we did today I just I don't want to make things more complicated.
What is going on here? Why am I hearing my children are going around Chinatown, asking about Tony Kang? We have to do something.
So, this was your foolish idea? - Mama.
- Mama what? Because of your sister, Tony now knows we're coming after him.
Do you know how much danger this puts our family in? We're in danger because of you and your secrets.
It's even scarier when she doesn't say anything.
What are you doing? The necklace from Baba, Po Po's jade ring.
I can get $10,000 for all of this.
You can't sell these.
My parents always told me it wouldn't work.
Coming to this country to chase after my dream.
What are you talking about? Gong Gong and Po Po were so proud of you.
After the restaurant was a success, but he always reminded me, I left China against their wishes.
You ran away? Of course not.
I would never do that to my parents.
But I didn't follow their path for me.
They didn't speak to me for years.
So, grudge holding is genetic.
We're the same.
I shouldn't have been so surprised when you ran away.
You made me learn the Harvard fight song on the piano when I was five.
Every sport, every instrument, it was all engineered by you, so that I could get into your dream school.
And you knew that I loved Evan.
So you pushed me to break up with him and live your dream life.
But, instead, I found Pei-Ling.
And I thought that maybe Away from the pressure to be who you wanted me to be, I'd finally figure out what I wanted.
There's someone here to see you.
Cindy? What are you doing here? I saw the way you stood up to those men.
I've been praying for someone like you to show up.
I want to help.
I'll tell you everything I know about Tony Kang.
You have everything you need, right? Evidence that Tony Kang is using Cindy's store to launder money, and CC footage of Kang's guys.
Plus, Cindy's willing to testify.
All of this helps.
I'm sensing a "but" here.
But Kang has weaseled his way out of charges before.
We need a smoking gun.
We have 48 hours until Kang comes after my entire family.
If he's even sticking to that timeline.
Our tech team got into his computers about a month ago.
Half of it is mega-encrypted, the other half's in Chinese.
We only have one translator, and she's overwhelmed with the volume of material.
Evan, my whole family speaks Chinese.
Give us the documents.
Nicky, they're classified documents.
If they ever got out, I'd lose my job, my career, everything.
Which is why you will need to guard them with your life.
Thank you.
Just like high school.
Nicky's making crazy visual aids.
Ryan's raiding the fridge.
Evan's stuck to Nicky like glue.
Or just being a good friend.
Oh, Sunday Chinese school's really paying off.
Your mom would be proud.
Hang on.
I think I got something.
Let me see.
One of Kang's shell companies went on a spending spree today.
How do you know that? What do you think I've been doing over here on this computer for the last two hours? Got into his bank accounts.
You hacked into a bank? [Althea.]
Hmm I prefer creative firewall jumping.
Easy to forget she's not just a pretty face.
I'm seeing payments for rented warehouse space by the docks, trucks, private security.
They dropped a lot of cash six hours ago.
If they're using the docks, it could be for anything.
Smuggling drugs, guns, people, right? I'll call in an anonymous tip.
You can follow up from the inside.
All right, I'll make sure the police scope out the docks tonight.
Wait, you're handing this over to the same cops that let Kang take over Chinatown.
We figured this out.
We should stop this.
How? No.
It's time to bring in the authorities.
The cops are going to turn a blind eye.
All those people I know he roughed up, there's never been an arrest.
We don't have a choice.
Evan's on the inside.
He can see this through.
Yeah, and if he can't, then what? The first people they're going to come after is Mom and Dad.
Then us.
Thank you.
Don't thank me yet, but it looks promising.
More good news.
Doctor says you can go home tonight.
[Jin chuckles.]
We'll go deal with the paperwork.
Have you heard from Ryan? He was supposed to meet us here after he checked in at the clinic.
I texted him too.
I'll track him.
You can do that? - I can see where he is anytime I want.
- That's not creepy.
Yeah, well, after I lost you, figured I'd keep a tighter leash.
Oh, no, no, no.
He's down at the docks.
What's he thinking? He's going to get himself killed.
Wait! Nicky! You can't go alone.
What are you doing here? You can't be here.
We have to go.
No! I'm getting the evidence we need.
[cars approaching.]
[people conversing in Mandarin.]
There you are.
[camera shutter clicks.]
Hello, Tony.
[man speaking Mandarin.]
[dramatic music plays.]
- [yells.]
- [groans.]
Ryan! [gunshots.]
What do we do now? [gunshot.]
Promise me you'll stay back here.
- What? No.
I'm not going to - It's our only chance.
Please, you gotta trust me.
[dramatic music plays.]
I am the storm that's coming I'm a warrior, warrior Come feel my thunder Ha-ah-ah, ha-ah-ah I am the storm that's coming I am storm, I am the warrior [Nicky groans.]
Ha-ah-ah-ah-ah Ha-ah-ah-ah-ah I'm coming for you! Ha-ah-ah-ah-ah Can you feel it? I am the storm I am the warrior Ha-ah-ah-ah-ah Ha-ah-ah-ah-ah [Nicky yells.]
I am storm I'm a warrior [Nicky.]
Come on.
Let's go.
That thing you did with the stick.
How did you Practice.
What do you think I've been doing the last three years? [siren wailing in distance.]
No, Nicky! You practically floated on air! No amount of practice It was just a big jump.
Come on Ryan, we gotta get out of here.
And don't tell Mama and Baba.
May 24th, is the most auspicious day for Althea and Dennis to wed.
[all cheering.]
[speaking indistinctly.]
[speaking indistinctly.]
Since you came back, Nicky, you've given our family a second chance.
I'm just glad we didn't have to cancel this.
Baba and I spoke.
You should stay at home.
Oh, I don't know.
Althea is a terrible cook.
You are going to starve to death there.
Excuse me.
Who's going to starve where? [Mei-Li laughs.]
The golden child's back.
[all toasting in Mandarin.]
[safe and happy in Mandarin.]
[microphone feedback.]
Oh? Ooh-ooh-ooh? Is the microphone set up, Baba? [Jin.]
You know what that means.
Hey, Nicky.
Hey, what are you doing here? Sorry for crashing, but I think I know why Zhilan stole the sword, and Wow.
- You look great.
- Thank you.
But, we should talk somewhere more private.
Here, follow me.
[singing in Mandarin.]
Ancient Chinese sorcerer enchants eight weapons.
Henry, I remember.
According to legend, there's one big caveat.
If someone could collect all eight weapons, their powers would be unlocked.
They'd be unstoppable.
Ancient shamans, weapons with magical powers.
Ryan said you basically walked on air.
Why is he telling everybody that? I didn't.
I had momentum.
It was physics.
Whatever it was, you took down an army, by yourself.
I don't know if I'm more impressed or afraid.
Look, whether this magic is real or not, you can bet Zhilan believes it, and she's probably working overtime to find the other seven weapons.
The legend warned in the wrong hands, these weapons would cause great devastation and destruction.
Maybe that's what Zhilan meant when she said biange has no obstacle.
Pei-Ling always said fate brought me to the monastery.
What if she was right? What if this is what I'm meant to do? To protect my family, my community, and to stop Zhilan.
[closing theme music plays.]

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