“Choice” is an aptly-titled episode, as all three of the Shen siblings – as well as the people they care about – face a variety of decisions.
Nicky’s choice is obvious: she has to decide between Henry and Evan. Love triangles are boring, and I’m glad that Kung Fu isn’t going to drag this out any longer. She chooses Henry, which I feel is the right move. It’s nothing against Evan, but Nicky realized what I was thinking. Yes, she and Evan have a shared past, but they already tried dating once and it didn’t work out. Jumping back into a relationship based on that past without taking the time to re-learn each other and the way they’ve changed over the past three years would be unwise.
I will admit that I really liked Nicky and Evan teaming up. They’d been pushing the love triangle the entire season, but we actually hadn’t seen them spend all that much time together. Much of their interactions were focused on telling us about the connection they used to have. With them working together to free Cody, an innocent man, I could see how they must have been when they were dating.
But they’re not those people anymore, and both of them acknowledged that. The case even caused a crisis of confidence for Evan, who is concerned about the prospect of potentially sending more innocent people to prison. I can’t remember if they mentioned that Nicky was studying law before, but I find that really interesting. In retrospect it makes a lot of sense; she has a strong sense of justice and an unflinching moral code.
I’m not sure how Evan will fit in to the story without the love triangle, but I believe they’ll need his cooler head in the future. It’s an interesting parallel between Nicky’s two relationships. Evan is always trying to pull Nicky back from breaking the rules while Henry not only actively encourages it, he’s right alongside of her.
I love Nicky and Henry, though. They are super adorable, and her rambling confession was so sweet. My only concern now is that they’ll somehow make him a bad guy- although I will admit that Kung Fu hasn’t resorted to a lot of the soap-y, over dramatic tropes that most shows on The CW employ. I’m interested to see where their quest for the forge will lead and how their relationship develops now that they’ve admitted their feelings.
Ryan’s choice involves introducing Joe to his parents in an official capacity as his boyfriend. We’re finally getting the “meet the parents” scene that I’ve been calling for since the family met Joe the first time! It was important moment for Ryan, whose parents basically ignored his coming out. He’d already told Jin about Joe, and Jin was excited, and he carried that excitement over to this episode. His genuine delight at Joe helping him design a new logo and mascot for the restaurant was lovely to see.
I was legitimately worried about Mei-Li’s reaction. It’s clear that she’s always been the more stern parent, and the fact that she sent her daughter on a matchmaking trip without her knowledge would indicate that was willing to storm over her children’s wants because of what she wanted. At first, she seemed very cold and closed off. But then she chastised Ryan for not dressing up more for their date, and I thought that was a great moment. Tacit acceptance of his new boyfriend, acting the same as she would if he brought back a girlfriend, was fantastic.
Unfortunately, “Choice” ends with Joe having received a job offer in Chicago. Ryan encourages him to take it, knowing that it’s a very big deal for Joe’s career, but at the same time, he seems to realize that their relationship is too new to survive long distance. I feel like breaking up the only queer relationship on this show (on the last day of Pride Month even!) is just cruel. I really liked Joe, and I liked the two of them together.
Althea’s choice is the culmination of her plot this season – whether or not to come forward about what her former boss, Chase, did to her. I love how they’ve handled her entire storyline – even though I wish that television shows would stop using sexual assault as a plotline – because it’s incredibly realistic. The lawyer Althea spoke to did not sugarcoat anything about what Althea would be facing if she chose to press charges.
The truth of the matter is, there is a reason that victims of sexual assault rarely come forward, and it’s because of what the lawyer said. Althea spent the entire season trying to move on from what happened, to forget, but coming forward would mean that she would have to relive what happened over and over. It would become what she was known for; it would be the first result any time anyone looked her up online. And Althea, who has a life and a career, seriously struggled with that knowledge.
In the end, what convinces Althea to come forward is seeing someone else struggling with the same choice. She helps Nicky and Evan try to track down evidence that will exonerate Cody, which leads them to a witness. The witness, Margo, was threatened by the fraternity brothers to keep her silence. They promised to ruin her life if she went to the police. Althea convinces her to testify on Cody’s behalf, saying that nothing is more important or easier than the truth.
By the way, I didn’t think I could love Dennis anymore than I already did, but I love how supportive he’s being of Althea. He isn’t trying to force her into doing anything; he stepped back and is letting her take the lead.
Zhilan and Kerwin, still “searching” for the remaining weapons (which are conveniently all in Kerwin’s father’s vault), feel so much more disconnected from the main plot than they used to. I suspect it’s because Nicky has been sidetracked with case-of-the-weeks in addition to her own personal entanglements and family issues, while Zhilan and Kerwin are solely focused on finding the weapons.
It’s odd how what I once considered the main plot feels so superfluous now. It makes me wonder if all of the weapons will be found before the end of this first season, and if so, what happens in Season 2? Zhilan has been able to track down and obtain all of these weapons extremely quickly, which makes me wonder what took her so long?
Kerwin has been a bit of a mystery since he first appeared. I know that Zhilan tracked him down because of his father’s obsession with the weapons, but everything about him has been kind of sudden. Still, as they’re planning on eventually stealing the weapons from his father, it was only a matter of time until they brought someone from his life in. However, Edgar, his father’s head of security, is introduced and killed all in one episode.
I really like the way they handled what happened. I would like a better indication of a timeline on this show so I can know how long it’s been, because Kerwin seems extremely attached to Zhilan even though he hasn’t known her that long. He was willing to kill someone he’s probably known all of his life in order to protect her, and that has obvious shaken him up. His shock at having killed someone is extremely believable, as it’s likely the first time he’s legitimately gotten his hands dirty.
The events of “Choice” have me curious about what will happen with Zhilan going forward. Does she, as Nicky suspects, not know about the importance of the forge? Is she truly developing feelings for Kerwin, or is she using him to achieve her own goals? Does Kerwin have his own plans?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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