It's a tense family reunion for the Shens on Wednesday's new episode.
It's not all rainbows and butterflies for Nicky Shen.
After suddenly returning home following a three-year detour in China, the Kung Fu heroine finds herself trying to mend her relationship with her family after abandoning them for monastery life in China. While her father, Jin (Tzi Ma), is more than willing to let bygones be bygones, her mother is less inclined to give her the same warm welcome, especially with the family embroiled in dangerous relations with the powerful local gang, the Triad.
In ET's exclusive sneak peek from Wednesday's episode, Nicky (Olivia Liang) faces her past mistakes in a tense conversation with her mom, Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan), after they make sure Jin -- recovering from injuries sustained in a beating, courtesy of the Triad -- is peacefully resting on the couch. As the scene unfolds, it becomes clear just how hurt her mom has been since Nicky's been away.
"When you left for China, he kept that board out for you for months," Mei-Li tells her daughter, referring to the Go (or Weiqi) board game resting on the coffee table. "Even when I gave up hope, told him you weren't coming back, he wouldn't believe me. Just waved me off and said, 'She will be back soon.' We fought over that board. One day he just packed it up, didn't say it up. Maybe it hurt too much."
"When you came back, I told him not to get his hopes up," she says, the pain evident in her voice. "But he just couldn't help it with you."
Nicky tries to reassure her mother that this time is different, that she won't leave without so much as a moment's notice. "Mama, I'm trying my best," she pleads, hoping her mom will understand. "I know I left you but I came back."
But it's going to take much more than that for Mei-Li to fully embrace her daughter's return.
"You may be back but do you really want to be here? I think you just had nowhere else to go," she says matter-of-factly, stunning Nicky to silence. After a beat, the Shen matriarch asks, "Am I wrong?"
"It's very eerie how relevant it is to what's happening today," Liang told ET in March. "It's crazy how reflective of the world we're living in today, April 2021, is in the pilot. It doesn't escape us that our show is coming at a very strangely, eerily on-time moment... We talk about it being a reclamation of the original series aired in the '70s, but I think it's also a reclamation of our identity in this country."
"We are taking power over the narrative of how we're seen and it seems silly to think that a TV show can change minds, but really, entertainment shapes our worldview and shapes the narrative that we have of people," she said. "Asian Americans have and Asians in Hollywood have historically been othered, and I think our show is about to show everyone that we're not other."
Kung Fu airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. For more, watch below.
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