'Kung Fu' 1.11 review: Attachment

Let the fighting begin!

Kung Fu -- \"Attachment\" -- Image Number: KF111a_0006r.jpg -- Pictured: Olivia Liang as Nicky Shen -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss
(Image: © The CW)

What to Watch Verdict

Fun storylines and great fight choreography - what more could you ask for?


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    💥 The fight scenes.

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    💥 The inclusion of K-Pop.

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    💥 Nicky finally "getting some."


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    💥 The ability for characters to travel locations so quickly.

This post contains spoilers for Kung Fu "Attachment"
Check out our 
last review here.  

Kung Fu is really laying out the punches in this week’s episode. Fans finally got what they wanted: a showdown between Nicky/Henry and Zhilan/Kerwin! And, it was brutal. 

The episode opened really light-hearted with a romantic tryst between Nicky (Olivia Liang) and Henry (Eddie Liu). Filled with flashbacks showcasing the chemistry between the two characters, the scene set the tone for the new couple as they enjoy their relationship honeymoon phase. It’s really cute to see the two together, but like the title of the episode, growing attachments are difficult in this line of work. It shows later on when Nicky had to decide whether to save Henry or lose the ancient weapon to Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman). As the chosen one, Nicky realizes in the end that she will eventually have to leave all that she loves behind to keep them safe from the dangers the weapons may bring.

Kung Fu -- \"Attachment\" -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss

(Image credit: The CW)

With the season coming to an end, the ancient weapons are given the spotlight with Zhilan and Kerwin (Ludi Lin) collecting almost all of the weapons. I am surprised that the Tan family is so willingly allowing Zhilan and Kerwin to get away with so much, especially since we know Kerwin’s father is a powerful man who probably could take them all down. Kerwin was also shocked with killing Edgar in the last episode, but was so easily able to kill off a bodyguard with no remorse. It makes you question Kerwin’s true intentions. Still, it is fun to watch two attractive villains work together and, given Lin’s martial arts skill, see them fight. Lin finally displays his martial arts talents and I really wish we got to see more of Liu and Lin’s fight, especially since they are both professionally-trained martial artists. Nicky and Zhilan did come head-to-head in battle with Nicky as the victor--albeit only with the help of K-Pop star and fellow Guardian, Simon Lau (Michael Bow). It seems like Nicky still needs to train in order to take on Zhilan alone.

As for the storyline, I did appreciate the mention of K-Pop and how many others of Asian descent have chosen to move to Korea to become K-Pop artists. Not many shows have touched on the Korean Pop Wave that has been going on for years in America and I’m glad that Kung Fu added this to their story. It’s a huge movement and it deserves to be mentioned. The writers even added the meet-and-greets, which are a real thing for some K-Pop concerts. Unfortunately, Simon met his demise after trying to retrieve the Morning Star, the ancient weapon his family had protected for years. It was really hard to watch this scene as I became invested in the character and was hoping he would join Nicky in the fight against Zhilan. I would typically be angry about an Asian character being killed off in television or films because it happens so often. In most shows and films, the character of color is killed off by a white villain to further push the white protagonists into action. But with Kung Fu, the series is predominantly Asian and the murderers were of Asian descent, so I didn’t feel burdened by the death. Instead, I felt the natural sadness over the death, but also wanting vengeance for the fallen Guardian. I do hope Simon makes an appearance as a shadow figure like Pei-Ling (Vanessa Kai) in the future to offer Nicky some guidance.

Kung Fu -- \"Attachment\" -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss

(Image credit: The CW)

The side stories surrounding Harmony Dumplings and Ryan’s (Jon Prasida) love life were great for character development. Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan) and Jin’s (Tzi Ma) renewed purpose in the restaurant was refreshing as we’ve seen so many actual Chinese places closing due to gentrification and the rising costs of rent and renovations. I do hope to see Kung Fu address these issues more next season because it reflects the true reality of owning a small business in a highly-developed location like San Francisco. For Ryan, as much as I liked Joe (Bradley Gibson), the breakup between the two is actually a good thing. As much as I love shows on The CW, the relationships become too predictable and it’s nice to actually showcase the reality of dating. This will also allow Ryan to explore more of who he is as a gay man living in one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in America.

The fight choreography this week was fantastic. The hallway fight, the use of the Morning Star, and the eventual fight between Zhilan and Nicky were so much fun. I really want more of these kinds of fights between Nicky/Henry and Zhilan/Kerwin. If the majority of the finale consists of this, then I will be really satisfied with it. It is only fitting for a series called Kung Fu.

Laura Sirikul

Laura Sirikul is a freelance writer, researcher, and managing editor of The Nerds of Color. Throughout her career, she has written for Nerd Reactor,  What To Watch, Nerdist, IGN, Movie View Magazine, Red Carpet Report, Mental Floss, Trek News, The Hollywood Reporter, Character Media, Bitch Media, and many other outlets. She has been on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Nerdist's Fangirls, and many other news shows. For almost ten years, she has covered film and television extensively along with in-depth interviews with major studios such as Disney, WB, and FOX. She is also a member of the Asian American Journalist Association and the Hollywood Critics Association. Apart from addressing topics covering film and television, Laura is a strong advocate for social awareness for the underrepresented in the entertainment industry.