After two weeks without airing, Kung Fu is back, and Nicky Shen headed to Canada with her investigation companions, Evan and Henry, and searched for Nicky’s long-lost Aunt Mei-Xue.
The adventure led Nicky to go solo through the forest in Canada, and the dialogue often fell flat without her character’s help.
The tamest of the season, Kung Fu Season 1 Episode 9, failed to provide a powerful punch and often disappointed.
Henry, Evan, and Nicky’s trip to Canada started slow and ended, well, slow.
The writing brought about a solo journey for Nicky, leaving the two men to interact and bond. Sadly, only one of those two plot points succeeded.
Seeing Evan and Henry talking with each other and getting along was a lovely change from their usual tense dynamic.
They both learned to respect each other, and most importantly, to respect Nicky and her emotional choices. The strong evolution of their allyship and now friendship happens naturally on the screen.
The potential that the solo quest through the wilderness contained was high, but the execution completely missed the mark.
A non-menacing wolf and pretty lackluster production value, the entirety of the scene disappointed.
The climax of the scene is also disappointing, which showed Nicky suddenly in the right place.
The show features mysticism in some aspects, but the magic forest trope presented itself too conveniently.
If Nicky’s adventure through the woods was expanded upon, if more was shown in relation to that (not easy) journey, then the quality of the hour would not have lacked nearly as much.
The fight scene in this episode felt forced. The combat looked like it did at the beginning of the season: choppy and sloppy.
The staging of the choreography needs to be consistent, and sadly that was not the case.
The reason for the fight was also forced and messy. Nicky bothered a guy, so one of his friends decided to beat her up.
I know that the show often relies on action sequences to show the prowess of Nicky Shen, but a bar fight? They could have made a better choice.
When Nicky finished her shortened journey, the spirit of Pei-Ling visited her again. Pei-Ling continues to be a breath of fresh air, for Nicky and the story.
The story benefits from the appearance of her spirit guide, and Pei-Ling always shows up to ask Nicky the right questions and steer her in the right direction.
The use of a deceased mentor is not uncommon, but Kung Fu manages to pull off this trope for a few reasons.
Most importantly, Vanessa Kai constantly proves that she knows what she’s doing with this character, and I love Pei-Ling more every time she is on screen.
The writers are also handling her appearances well, having them not be too common or too distracting for the view or Nicky.
Pei-Ling showed up in Nicky’s cabin not to give her major advice, but to make sure Nicky asked the right questions.
Nicky and Zhilan’s journies are intercut a lot this time around, and Zhilan had some very interesting moments with Kerwin. Their relationship evolved professionally and personally.
The intimate moments they shared got ruined by a secret about Kerwin’s family, and Zhilan pried to get information out of him.
It seems that Zhilan may not entirely be on board with her romantic/sexual relationship with Kerwin.
In the last scene, as they were getting intimate, Zhilan’s eyes were open and staring off into the distance menacingly.
I think Zhilan does enjoy his company, but once she gets what she needs from him I think she is going to leave Kerwin behind.
She constantly proves that she works for herself and wants to fulfill her agenda, not anyone else’s (like when she forced Kerwin to tell her information he didn’t want to talk about.
I’m interested to see how Zhilan and Kerwin are going to handle their ever-evolving relationship.
Both parties are very headstrong and stubborn and may prove to be worthy advisories.
As a quick aside, Yvonne Chapman continues to dazzle in the role of Zhilan. Her small movements and intricacies really help to make Zhilan all the more menacing.
Mei-Li and Jin’s relationship continues to struggle, and it hurts to watch.
Their pain and emotion transcends the screen and affects me, almost to the point of tears.
The character development has gone nicely and with the end of the season fast approaching, the actors seem to have settled into their characters well and implement many wonderful subtleties that are a delight to watch.
Despite Isolation being a bit slow, the consistency of storytelling is something that should be commended.
Even with the new reveal of Nicky’s Aunt (Mei-Li’s sister), everything makes sense.
Everything revealed at the cabin lines up with previous information — and expands on it.
The execution lacked this episode, and I’m hoping it’s a one-time thing.
The episodes have been VERY consistent, and I hope the quality of the show can be maintained in the final few episodes.
So, Kung Fu fanatics! What did you think of Isolation?
Did the episode live up to expectations for you?
Let us know down below, and watch Kung Fu online anytime here!