Kung Fu 1×11 Review: “Attachment”

Attachment Kung Fu

“Attachment” is up there with “Rage” as one of my favorites of the season. This is the first episode in a while with some serious action scenes, but it also had some great character moments and managed to balance the heavier moments with some humor.

I will admit that I’ve been a little disappointed that a show called Kung Fu doesn’t have more action scenes, but “Attachment” more than made up for it. There was a solid sequence in the middle of the episode that lasted a good while that not only had traditional kung fu choreography, but also the added bonus of a weapon. Simon battling Zhilan with the hammer on his own was incredible, but tossing Nicky into the mix, and how well they worked together despite never having even seen each other fight, was just spectacular.

The misdirect with Simon was great. Even though he reacted when Nicky mentioned being a Guardian, I was convinced by his dismissal of everything as a fairy tale. He kept up the act even after he realized that Zhilan and Kerwin were willing to kill to get the hammer, and then he busted out the hammer and actually knew how to use it. I legitimately cheered when that happened, because it was refreshing to see someone that Nicky is trying to help is capable of defending themselves.

I should have known that as soon as Zhilan and Kerwin targeted Simon that he wouldn’t make it out of the episode alive, but I still had hope he would be OK. Obviously, there was no way – he wasn’t going to join Nicky and Henry, and him just laying low didn’t seem to be something he would be able to accept. Still, it was extremely difficult to watch him die, and I know it was hard for Nicky; after the carnage she witnessed in the pilot, she hasn’t really been around death. She’s been helping people with non-life-threatening problems since her return to America, and Simon bled out in her arms.

Kung Fu continually surprises me as a show. I’ve been watching television for decades, and there are some story tropes that are so ingrained in our media that I expect them to happen and am pleasantly surprised when they don’t. In “Attachment”, when Nicky and Henry are driving back from Las Vegas, Nicky talks about how she blames herself for what happened to Simon because she hesitated when Henry was in danger and gave Zhilan that split-second advantage. I was so sure that this speech was going to lead up to Nicky breaking up with Henry for his own goodAnd then it didn’t.

I cannot tell you how glad I am that Kung Fu didn’t go down that route. I have never understood that as a plot device – surely it wouldn’t make a difference whether or not they were actually dating as long as the feelings were there. And Henry is already known to their enemies, who would not care if they were together or not if they wanted to use him as leverage.

On that note, I love how this show is handling Nicky and Henry’s relationship. I may or may not have gasped when “Attachment” opened showing the two of them in the aftermath of a very successful date, giving us the lead-up only in flashback form as they collected their clothing. I like that despite this relationship being an important step for Nicky, it’s not the focus of the show and we aren’t getting too bogged down in relationship drama.

Also, I got a kick of out the fact that literally everyone knew exactly what was going on. That random woman giving them that knowing look was hilarious. (Also hilarious: Nicky trying to downplay her extensive knowledge of Asian pop music and the two of them purposely causing a distraction so that they could steal meet and greet passes.)

Attachment Kung Fu

I’m glad that they’re showing how Ryan is still affected by his breakup. I’m unclear on the timeline of this show, but this was Ryan’s first serious relationship, so it would be unrealistic to have him be all right after his partner moved across the country. Tangling his emotions up into Mei-Li and Jin announcing that they were selling the restaurant was nicely done. I also appreciate that we got to see him cry; I feel like we don’t usually get to see men cry, especially over a relationship.

Ryan’s love life being torpedoed just as Nicky’s is taking off is a great way to re-emphasize the sibling dynamic. I think the Shen siblings have a great rapport and I love to see it. It’s something we see in every episode but it comes out nicely in episodes like this where emotions are high. Althea keeping her siblings apprised of what’s going on in everyone’s life is great, but I also appreciate that Ryan was legitimately happy for Nicky and Henry. We don’t get to see it that much, but Ryan and Henry are friends, and I’m sure he’s happy that they’re both happy.

I hope we get to see Ryan struggle with this some more. I can’t be certain, but I have to wonder if his convincing his parents to keep the restaurant open is a metaphor for continuing to try in his relationship with Joe. He and Joe broke up without even giving long distance a shot, and I wonder if Ryan is regretting that they didn’t at least try. Maybe if the restaurant can be rejuvenated, there’s hope for the two of them.

Then again, it is not unrealistic at all to expect that Ryan would be emotionally attached to the family restaurant. I was honestly a little surprised that Nicky and Althea were so blasé about their parents’ decision to sell. I just found out family friends are selling their house – a house that I spent a considerable amount of time in before I moved out of the state – and it made me sad and it’s not even my houseOf course, he would be emotional, and I also understand he’s upset about not being consulted. 

No doubt about it, “Attachment” is the perfect Kung Fu episode. It had action, heart, and humor, and it moved the storyline forward in leaps and bounds because Zhilan now has all the weapons.

Have I expressed my disappointment that they just roll right over her acquiring the weapons? After the first episode, I thought for sure that they would drag out finding the weapons because it seems to be the main plot of the series. The fact that Zhilan has managed to get multiple weapons in such a short amount of time… On the one hand, it’s nice that they’re not dragging things out. On the other hand, I feel like this is something they could have dragged out. Once this storyline is dealt with, what will the focus of the show be?

What did you think of “Attachment”?

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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