A terrific episode paves the way for more excitement to come.
Nicky finally ended up being one step ahead of Zhilan in Kung Fu Season 1 Episode 4.
Althea had an emotionally taxing episode that may have affected her more than we know.
In previous episodes, Althea had hinted at emotional trauma that still affected her, and we finally get to hear her side of the story.
In a beautiful conversation with Nicky, Althea revealed that an old boss sexually assaulted her. I had a hunch that this had been what happened, but hearing it confirmed broke my heart. Althea is a strong character, and seeing her finally open up to Nicky made her stronger.
I believe that in the coming episodes, we will get more from her side of this story. She has a rough road ahead, and if she decides to go to the reporter who's been trying to convince her to come forward, more emotional trauma will come to light.
Althea had so many heart-wrenching moments and the dinner with the Soongs was no exception.
Dennis Soong's parents came to the Shen restaurant to have a dinner, a dinner that decided Althea's "Worth."
Things were fine, and then Mr. Soong asked Althea to sign a prenup. Althea and Dennis were speechless by this development.
Althea already dealt with the reporter revealing that another girl dropped out of the article on the boss, and now she had to take the emotional beating from Dennis's parents.
Seh felt unaccepted, unloved, and worst of all, worthless -- which launched her into one of the most beautiful speeches I've seen on television.
Mrs. Soong: Can I just say, my mother's necklace looks lovely on you.
Althea: I'm I worth more with it on? Is that why you gave it to me?
Mrs. Soong: I'm sorry?
Althea: That's what tonight was about right? My bridal price? And now with this prenup... my objective value? Let's just say it out loud and do it in writing! But we won't do it in dollars because that would be tacky. What about... ducks! How many ducks am I worth? Hmm? Let's have an auction. I'll open up the bidding at four ducks for my legs. Do I hear four ducks?
Or what about my brain? I got a twenty duck brain uh do I hear twenty-five? No? Ok. Uh what about my body? I've been told I have nice curves for a Chinese Girl!
Althea: Why am I negotiating? The object never has a say in what she's worth.
The speech was seemingly silly (because ducks) but ended up being extremely serious and an allegory to how women are viewed around the world today.
Althea finally let her true feelings come out. Even though she has yet to reveal to others about her sexual assault, seeing her let her emotion out was unforgettable.
For me, Althea has become my favorite character. There is still so much we have to learn from her, and I love seeing her emotional growth.
The growth happened throughout the whole family during the hour. Mei-Li and Jin learned to respect Althea more as a strong young woman than their little girl.
Mei-Li's slow understanding of Nicky and her growth over her three years departed has been very natural. I enjoy watching their mother-daughter dynamic grow and heal.
Mei-Li: Did you see the pair of pants Althea was wearing today? It looked like it was made of solid gold. A present from Mrs. Soong.
Jin: Solid gold pants huh? Sounds uncomfortable.
Ryan didn't get growth with the Shen family. Instead, he got some romantic boost in his personal life.
As I said last week, seeing diversity in LGBTQ relationships on television is not common. It is very encouraging to see a budding interracial relationship make its way onto screens.
Speaking of romance, Henry and Nicky's slow-burn will-they/won't-they relationship finally came to a moment -- they kissed.
In a profoundly moving scene where Henry reveals his criminal past to Nicky, Nicky became so moved by his candor that she kissed him.
The kiss was very natural and felt well foreshadowed throughout the outing (and the series).
I feel that the already high tension between Henry and Evan will escalate in the near future. Evan broke Nicky's, and in turn, Henry's trust by performing a background check on Henry.
Evan overstepped in Nicky's life, and she did not take that fact lightly.
I think that's what partially drove Nicky to kiss Henry -- she now knows that Henry is the most trustworthy person out of two.
I predict awkwardness between these two men in the future and possibly a confrontation. They're both very headstrong men.
Speaking of headstrong Men -- Zhilan's thief was a force to be reckoned with, and we got to see Nicky defeated for the first time since her battle with Zhilan in China.
The story of the ancient box was interesting, and seeing Nicky have to push herself was terrific.
The overarching story was the only case this week, and the show stood out because of it. The case of the week stories work well for Kung Fu, like last week's factory girl story, but the characters are best served with their respective extended storylines.
Althea, with her emotional evolution, Nicky with the weapons, and the Shen parents with their acceptance of Nicky all balance each other well.
The investigation that Henry and Nicky performed this round was fascinating, and they made significant headway.
Nicky: It was her
Henry: Zhilan? You sure she had something to do with this?
Nicky: Think about it! The only reason we got the key and started this whole quest is because of what we found in Professor Chau's office. She kidnapped Chau!
Henry: Probably worse...
Nicky: Exactly. Who knows what she got out of him before then.
Nicky challenged Zhilan's thief to a fair fight and won, and she took whatever was in the box as the prize.
The contents of the box? The sword's scabbard. Zhilan knew she needed the scabbard to make the sword activate its full power, so without it, she has to rethink her whole plan.
This episode was the strongest one so far. If the show continues to progress in this direction, I will be very pleased because all of the characters and storylines are evolving smoothly.
So Kung Fu Fanatics! What did you think of tonight?
What did you think of Althea's beautifully emotional speech?
Are you glad that Nicky finally beat Zhulan to a piece of the puzzle?
Let us know what you thought, and remember, you can watch Kung Fu online here!
Michael Stack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.