This week’s Kung Fu was the penultimate episode of the season (and possibly the whole series) and while the episode only claimed two lives, more than half of the main characters were on death’s door. Read on for our review of Kung Fu season 3, episode 12, “Loss.”
Last week on Kung Fu, Mia was branded by Xiao’s magic scepter, which was all powered up with jyu sa and biange energy, and this week, we discover just what that means.
Mia’s shockingly swift death establishes the danger for everyone who carries the Warrior or Guardian bloodline — if Xiao has a way to find them. Unfortunately, Henry and his compass power is her way to find them. Xiao tortures Henry both physically and psychologically until a momentary lapse in Henry’s concentration allows her to access his power and mark every living bloodline descendant, whether they’re the active chosen one of that generation or just a relative.
With Zhilan and the Shens wilting away just like Mia, it’s a race against the clock to come up with an antidote, and the Shoobies will have to work with Bo one last time to get their hands on something that might save the day.
The official synopsis of “Loss” reads:
THE BLOODLINES — Henry (Eddie Liu) finds himself on a collision course with Xiao, whose latest plan results in devastating consequences for Nicky (Olivia Liang) and her family. Tzi Ma, Kheng Hua Tan, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Gavin Stenhouse, Yvonne Chapman, Tony Chung and JB Tadena also star. Richard Speight, Jr directed the episode written by Ryan Johnson & Peter Lalayanis.
Catch up with all our Kung Fu coverage this season or keep reading for our chat about the events of Kung Fu season 3, episode 12, “Loss.”
‘Kung Fu’ season 3, episode 12 review in conversation
Natalie: So I have no idea what I was thinking, but I absolutely didn’t expect the brand on Mia’s arm to be this big a plot point. I just didn’t. I definitely thought that Xiao would be looking to wrap up the bloodlines, as we said before. But I definitely thought that mark was just a result of being hit with magic, like a side effect. I thought they’d all get on the plane and head home and later the mark may get activated like as a tracker or something. So this all really took a turn for me.
Nichole: It all happened so quickly! Wham bam she’s dead.
Natalie: I mean! That’s jumping ahead! But indeed. It definitely was not where I expected the focus to go.
Nichole: But barely jumping ahead. It happened so fast!
Natalie: It really did. Solving this becomes urgent when Mia gets all weak and fainty, and Nicky calls Ryan to help look into the mark, which he’s seen before in research. Side note, I think back-to-back double ER shifts is very heroic, Ryan. People should give you more credit for that!
Nichole: I do too! I can’t believe no one is impressed.
Natalie: Pretty funny that you know, a life saving emergency doctor is now the “meh” member of the family.
Nichole: Poor Ryan.
Natalie: Seriously! He takes it well enough, but come on! Anyway, he goes to find Henry and can’t (we’ll loop back to his fun playdate in a minute.) But in his research he finds out that this mark was part of the ritual of Xiao setting up the pregnant mothers to breed the bloodline, I guess. This drew the power in.
Nichole: “I brought you into this world, I can take you out.”
Natalie: I have some questions about why Xiao created the bloodlines in the first place. Do we know that?
Nichole: I don’t think so. I feel like I made assumptions early on that don’t really seem to be true. Were they just experiments for the emperor?
Natalie: I feel like I should know this… Gah. Well, the point is, she’s not thrilled with how it’s gone and she is taking it all back. Starting with Mia.
Nichole: Very upsetting watching Mia wilt away.
Natalie: So this plan to create an antidote with jyu sa and biange energy is all well and good, but would you have taken that sick girl onto a quest in the snow?
Nichole: I would not. And I certainly wouldn’t split up to cover more ground!
Natalie: Zhilan just didn’t want to cope with having a feeling.
Nichole: I can relate.
Natalie: What did you think of that little moment between them? It addressed some quite nuanced emotions about their relationship. Mia literally looked like an animated corpse though, I wasn’t expecting her to actually die, but she looked super haunting in the snow.
Nichole: She wasn’t looking great. I loved that moment. I think Zhilan was right to apologize. I am glad she realized that even though she really cared about Mia, what she did was selfish. But I was also glad Mia let her off the hook. I’m very much enjoying the vulnerable Zhilan.
Natalie: I think Mia’s response was fascinating, being like, “I know you cared.”
Nichole: Yeah, it made me want to rewatch their scenes. Mia was in such a weird teenage rebellion phase. I wonder if she realized it at the time or if the knowledge came with her inner peace.
Natalie: She was so surprised to see that she survived, last episode. It was nice of her to say she was glad she got to see Zhilan again. Still no hug though.
Nichole: If Zhilan hadn’t run off there would have been.
Natalie: You think? Maybe you’re right.
Nichole: They were dangerously close to hugging.
Natalie: Zhilan definitely seems like she’s at a point where having a single extra feeling will cause her to totally break down.
Nichole: Absolutely. Our baby is barely holding it together.
Natalie: At this point, in the snow, did you think Mia was going to die from all this? I didn’t at all, but in retrospect I should have. The way she was wafting about with almost a carefree happiness while Nicky was worrying.
Nichole: Well, yes and no. Clearly someone was dying. But I really didn’t think Mia would go out like that. But, yeah, she was so keen to let Nicky know how everything was fine, RED FLAG.
Natalie: I don’t think she was letting her know it was fine in the sense of her being okay, just like more an acceptance that she was probably going to die.
Nichole: “This time might be different.”
Natalie: I think it’s very important to see the part where Nicky is trying to make Ryan get the antidote ready and she’s wasting time with Mia, you know? She’s focused on solving it.
Nichole: I loved that Zhilan is like, “Go be with her.”
Natalie: Right, Zhilan has to be like… no, this is not what you should be doing. I’m sure this is the story for many people, in the world — that reluctance to accept death so they can’t face the process of just letting it happen.
Nichole: Yes. There have been a lot of moments where I’ve thought, “Okay, this is Zhilan’s turning point,” but there was something about that moment in particular that really felt important for Zhilan as a part of her whole arc. Because who is she doing that for? Not herself on any level. It was for Mia, who should have time with Nicky and it was for Nicky so she didn’t have regrets.
Natalie: Zhilan being the one to make Nicky slow down and face it, to help her with this element of not being able to save people, but still not regret how she acted…
Nichole: Yes. It was good. Very good.
Natalie: Mia’s death is very sad and all, and Zhilan gets to be there with her too, but it also sets up a strong motive for Nicky to save her one last time. This comes up later in the episode, but when Mia is talking about finding a new home, seeing Mei-Xue. Mia knows about the heavenly realm for Warriors and Guardians. She doesn’t know it’s been obliterated. I mean she knows it was sort of getting messed up but… It sounds like she’s expecting some sort of spirituality. And we know that the spirit realm is well, fucked.
Nichole: So fucked!
Natalie: So fixing the spirit realm has to be a part of the finale, right?
Nichole: You’ve said all along they need to unfuck that. And, yeah, now more than ever the spirit realm needs to be restored in some way.
Natalie: I mean I was saying for about six seasons that they need to unfuck Heaven on Supernatural and they finally did. Not to compare the stories but… Why they gotta be so shitty!
Nichole: I mean, Heaven was such a weird situation, because I don’t feel like the show knew how bad it was when it was established. It just became increasingly clear it was terrible and had to be dealt with. Whereas, in this case, they fucked it up on purpose to unfuck it later.
Natalie: True. Mia’s death isn’t the only thing in this episode that teases — no, kind of demands — that need to sort out the spirit realm. I have to assume we are doing that next time.
Nichole: I have to think so. I’m so curious how it is going to play out. I don’t want to misrepresent what Christina said in our interview, but she said something that made me wonder if the magic might actually be gone at the end.
Natalie: Hmmmm. What exactly do you mean? I think it’s possible to just send the power where it’s needed… maybe???
Nichole: I don’t know exactly, but maybe the bloodlines are no more? Does Nicky still have her power? I don’t know. I want her to, but I just wonder if all of this magic is sustainable. LOL. I’m probably projecting, because I like to prepare myself for things that make me uncomfortable.
Natalie: I think it would be okay if all that energy went into a new realm or something. The whole losing power/losing soul thing threw me for a sec because we know from before that unlike Nicky et al, Mia’s power can’t be removed without killing her. That was established as a Mia special last season, with the Wan Zai. But this is different, this is more like Xiao continuing to reap empowered live souls the way Bo was reaping them in the wasteland. Whether they’re already dead yet or not, she’s coming for all those bloodline-flavored souls. Mei-Li’s pretty mad about it.
Nichole: Mei-Li was a little scary! Call to action!
Natalie: No pressure, Nicky!
Nichole: Okay, so they make the connection to Mei-Li’s blood and Xiao’s reaction to it, but I wasn’t sure exactly what we were supposed to make of that.
Natalie: I think…. this is jumping ahead a bit, but I think Mei-Li just happened to be the sample she got, to know there was power in the relatives. That Althea and Ryan would have tasted the same. I’m not 100% though.
Nichole: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. So, not Mei-Li specifically, it just opened up this possibility about the bloodlines. In that sense, is the mystery of Mei-Li’s blood solved? Like, this was it?
Natalie: For now, I’m saying yes. I could be surprised though. Luckily Nicky doesn’t get super sick until after she’s completed a couple of important jobs. They realize fairly quickly that Xiao has Henry, and I feel like one of the others could have made that conclusion earlier, it didn’t have to wait for Nicky. When Evan’s like… “Xiao is a traveler!” Yeah, you could have realized that 4 days ago probably. Bit harsh, there’s not anything they could have done power-wise anyway… but LOL.
Nichole: Has it even been that long? I felt like it was only a day.
Natalie: I mean, how long does it take to fly to China? They were already there when Henry was taken, but they had to spend like a day with Mia dying… Then did they have some sort of monk funeral? Plus time zones. Maybe not 4 days, but I would say 3.
Nichole: Yeah, never mind, my mind is going to explode.
Natalie: Don’t worry about it. It’d be a few days since Henry was taken unless Zhilan and Nicky are also travelers. So I guess she’s kept him tied up without any food or water… he’s weak!
Nichole: It was bleak.
Natalie: When Pei-flavor Xiao is with him at the start, what did you make of her aims for him?
Nichole: I…don’t actually know what I thought. She obviously wanted to use his compass powers. I don’t think I had a sense of what she could do with it though.
Natalie: We now know her aim was for him to do much like he did with the antidote and literally find everyone in the world, but instead of healing them, hook on to the power and drain it. But I didn’t get it at first, mainly because I have no idea how he would even do that as the compass. Anyway, he starts out clean and defiant and progressively gets weaker and dirtier. And bloodier. She had a great time ripping his shirt open. All sorts of torture.
Nichole: It was surprisingly brutal to watch. I don’t know if it was because it was Pei-Ling’s face or what, but it was upsetting.
Natalie: What did you think of her running her hands over his bare chest?
Nichole: Upsetting! The whole thing had a vaguely sexual feel to it that just made it feel so much more violating. Just when you think Xiao couldn’t get worse!
Natalie: TV torture often does that. I’m sure there’s a psychology behind it that I don’t have the energy to investigate. Something pinging in my brain about the puritan way that over time film has used sexuality to code for deviance, especially queer coded villains, but I genuinely can’t even go there right now. It goes into straight up violation though when Xiao takes Nicky’s face. Did they have you fooled at all?
Nichole: Maybe the instance she burst through the door, but right away I was like, “Wait, this timing doesn’t feel right.” And then the way she went around to check his hands, but didn’t actually free him. I was like, “That is not Nicky.” I didn’t know she could do that though!
Natalie: The cut between real Nicky discovering Henry’s location and then her bursting in, yeah, it wasn’t right. And regarding the shapeshifting, I guess with her new magic wand she can do a lot of things. It’s a bit unfortunate.
Nichole: Too many things.
Natalie: When she started pushing him immediately to use his power, I mean I was very much assuming before this that it was fake, but the demand to use his power I was like… absolutely not. I think when you’re a magic torturer it’s legally required to do this kind of soft loved-one dupe. Like, are you even really a magic torturer if you don’t give it a go?
Nichole: Well, if they fall for it it makes your life so much easier!
Natalie: I was actually concerned that we might get a Peeta from The Hunger Games scenario, where Henry may be left ruined by Xiao and unable to believe the real Nicky is Nicky.
Nichole: I’m glad that didn’t happen. Too dark. What did you think about the fact that it was the kiss that clued Henry in? Or, I guess maybe the I love you? I just remember thinking he figured it out on the least sketchy part of the whole business.
Natalie: I don’t know! I really don’t know. But when Xiao did eventually get Henry to use some power, when he called out to Nicky and she just punched straight into his chest… I straight up thought he was dead. She used his power to broadcast that power sapping symbol onto all the bloodline carriers. And when Nicky and Zhilan do burst in, I thought he was going to be dead, like a shock death.
Nichole: I did think he might die. I really did.
Natalie: For sure! Luckily he’s okay… mostly. The others are less so. Everyone got zapped.
Nichole: I really liked the cuts to all the Shens getting marked. But Mei-Li and Jin. That one really got to me.
Natalie: There’s a dedication that they have, a level of interdependency, that really is special to see. And obviously Mei-Li is the root of all this for the family, well, her side of the family. I kind of want her to be the one to truly take Xiao down, lol. It feels like she’s the most… not empowered, but she is taking this personally in the most fierce way. Jin is perfect, obviously.
Nichole: Not to jump ahead, but we finally got our Dennis/Jin moment.
Natalie: Dennis is a mess, so that was great. They want Henry to reverse the spread by somehow reaching out with a magical cure, which is… I mean… It’s the best option they have. A wild leap, but there you go.
Nichole: I was so confused when Henry drank the potion. I totally misunderstood how that was working until it was literally spelled out for me.
Natalie: Look — it’s a very shaky logic, but they can’t do a Santa Claus and visit everyone personally in time. So if the magic says this is the way, this is the way. It’s not so much jumping ahead to discuss Jin and Dennis, because everyone starts to get a little weak and all the partners react differently. Dennis is an utter wreck. He’s panicking and just at a loss, I think Dennis still has a big inferiority complex about Althea in some ways, like she is everything and he is just her puppy. He values her a lot and himself not a lot.
Nichole: It sounds bad when you put it that way, but I prefer to think of him as just being a simple guy. Not tortured with a lot of angst. He loves his nerdy hobbies and his wife and making his wife happy. I love that for him. I want that to be good for him.
Natalie: I do too, but I think a lot of it is also, he would not be okay as a whole person without her. Anyway, he’s reacting badly and Mei-Li signals to Jin to get him out of there. Althea isn’t panicking but his behavior will probably make her upset.
Nichole: Again, Mei-Li and Jin — the true power couple of the show.
Natalie: What did you think of how Jin handled Dennis then? Pretty great?
Nichole: So great. Jin’s so great. So quiet and calm. Strong in his own way. I love him. There’s a real, “this isn’t about us” vibe to his talk, when you know he would be devastated if Mei-Li were to die. But it’s like, “We have to stay calm for them.” I’m such a sucker for a “still waters run deep” kind of guy.
Natalie: Dennis remains fussy and over-attentive which is also cute, but it’s good Jin gave him that support. And brought him back down to earth, because it’s also a bit like – yeah everyone else’s wife is dying too, guy.
Nichole: The mood in the house is pretty low, LOL.
Natalie: I found it interesting that we shifted from Dennis and Jin to Nadia and Evan. Nadia acknowledges that she feels a bit out of place but still like she wishes she could do more. More than soup. That line delivery was great.
Nichole: It was good. Were you surprised by the news?
Natalie: Very, actually.
Natalie: I just didn’t ever register that as something that would be a part of the show. Even for Dennis and Althea. Who has babies in this economy?
Nichole: I know, I mean, I KNOW, intellectually that birth control can fail, but I’m still like, “Weren’t you taking precautions???” It’s not like I didn’t have an “AWWW how sweet” reaction to it, but also, I don’t like surprise, unplanned pregnancies in my stories. I say this as a human who planned and gave birth to a baby… it’s a lot of fucking work and not something to do by accident. I definitely get an unpleasant swoop in my stomach with that kind of storyline.
Natalie: I don’t know what to think about it really. Good… for… them???? Yes, some people have accidental babies and are like Oh wow! I guess this is happening! I can’t imagine that. I almost wondered if we will get an abortion!
Nichole: Well, as much as I’d like to see that normalized on TV, I think they are happy about it and seem ready enough, assuming the world doesn’t end.
Natalie: Yeah, I mean it doesn’t seem like an “oh shit” reaction. They’re like wow! I dunno, man. I’m not exactly pro children. It’s… Look. It is what it is. I think people should only do it with extreme intention, as you mentioned. And with extreme consideration of the fact you are burdening a new person with the troubles of life. They didn’t ask to be born, having children is inherently a selfish act that the child is the victim of.
Nichole: Yeah, I could probably get way off topic about this…
Natalie: The best parents I know are the people who entirely agree with that angle and are doing their best to make sure of the child’s development. I know you agree.
Nichole: I do.
Natalie: A lot of people don’t think like that, and a lot of people find that statement shocking or even hurtful, but I do know parents who agree. I guess kind of that parenting can still come from an accidental pregnancy. I think Nadia and Evan will be good parents.
Nichole: They will be.
Natalie: But if someone gets pregnant accidentally I’m going to immediately need them to switch gears into that approach of like, shit, “We better really make it up to the child for forcing life upon it.” LOL, a terrible way of putting it.
Nichole: Ha. But, also, yeah. You’ve got to be ready to change your entire life! And then keep changing it all the time!
Natalie: Well, I suppose we may get a chance to see what that looks like if there is a season 4. Especially regarding the careers. I felt like what was being said here was also about Nadia’s direction in life. Maybe Althea will take the NSA job and Nadia will work with Evan.
Nichole: Interesting. Although Nadia and Evan maybe shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket. Let Nadia keep making the big bucks.
Natalie: That’s true too. Hmmm. And then, are their jobs dangerous day to day? Helping Nicky aside. I feel like being a PI is kinda dangerous. Someone might randomly shoot you.
Nichole: Ok, now this is stressing me out, lol. Maybe I’ll just pack Nadia in bubble wrap and keep her in the closet.
Natalie: I’m not sure she would like that, but hopefully next episode we will see a bit more of their future plans.
Nichole: Fingers crossed we get season 4 and get to meet their undoubtedly adorable offspring.
Natalie: Moving on to the baby’s aunt and uncle – Evan’s ex and the dude she left him for! Such an odd bunch. Did you catch that he was speaking to Mia’s half-sister? Marcie Liu, daughter of John, the Guardian who betrayed her. I wonder if he was like “You had a sister and she dead!”
Nichole: Oh no! I didn’t see that. Good catch.
Natalie: That’s who he says he was on the call with, confirming the mark. I guess family members of their known bloodline folk. Simon Lau’s mom and stuff. Or father.
Nichole: Yeah, I realized that was what he was doing, but I didn’t think to connect it to people we might already know.
Natalie: I guess that this is a pretty big chat for Henry and Nicky, huh? Lots of feelings. And blame. She finds the fact that he was tortured for days to protect her prettttty sexy.
Nichole: It was pretty sexy of him. Of course, he feels like he failed.
Natalie: Well… objectively…. he did. OBJECTIVELY.
Nichole: I guess… but like he didn’t consciously give anything up. I feel like you can’t be blamed for an involuntary reflex that you didn’t even know would do it!
Natalie: But objectively it was still his doing.
Nichole: So harsh!
Natalie: I’m just being cruel. It’s fine, Henry. It is what it is. It did cause a massive problem that they have to solve, but on the flip side, you got Bo killed! Good job!
Nichole: Natalie, OMG.
Natalie: I’m sorry. Ben, I am sorry.
Nichole: I did think of you while he was being devoured. I was like, “Well, I hope Natalie’s happy.”
Natalie: I’m sure the love that Nicky and Henry make on top of your grave will be very sad. Wait, no, you won’t have a grave, you were eaten in another realm. They’ll make love in front of a large photographic tribute to your vague honor.
Nichole: That is not the kind of threesome I’ve been looking for.
Natalie: Well it’s the one you’ve got. Let’s backtrack a bit to the part where Bo is still alive. I actually do have things to say in his defense later, don’t worry everyone.
Nichole: I feel like he acquitted himself pretty well.
Natalie: Anyway, they call him in for more info because Ryan discovers more weird paranormal compounds in the blood. What did you think of the scene where he comes over and everyone is like “Fuck this guy”?
Nichole: Well, really just Zhilan. Everyone else seems willing to put it aside. But yeah, it’s pretty awkward for everyone.
Natalie: Henry and Ryan were both very hostile in their own way. Just not the same flavor. Ryan being like Yeah… I gotta leave… (can’t be around this guy.) And Henry just being super blunt. Like there were no niceties. It just felt like everyone was their own top level of “fuck this guy.” Zhilan’s “fuck this guy” is just louder.
Nichole: Yeah, that’s probably true. Did you notice the way he talked about that other realm? It seemed like he might have told Nicky more than we saw in the last episode. He says, “When I was trapped in that realm.” Which implies Nicky already knows about it. She might have gotten a bit of a trauma dump that we didn’t see.
Natalie: Unfortunately not realistic in terms of onscreen timeline — like we discussed, that scene is cut where we see every second they’re together, the whole convo. Like I said, I feel it would have been better if it were cut to imply the large infodump was given. Like, picking back up. If we pretend it was edited like that? Sure. What struck me I guess was his desperation not to be dismissed, like hang on! Maybe I have something else! It’s a big long shot. If you want to talk about the new baby Bo flashbacks I will try to be kind about it.
Nichole: They were more brutal, in a way, because he was basically alone trying to manage this second life or death situation on top of his general life or death situation. But I’m a bit more interested in the logic of this other world that we learn about when they get there this time. I wanted a bit more clarity on that.
Natalie: In this case, Xiao did really save his life, for whatever reason she wanted to groom this boy for.
Nichole: She saved his life, but she wasn’t very nice about it!
Natalie: I do not know why they let Nicky go with him when she is so weak.
Nichole: I know! I thought the same thing. Like, they literally don’t know when she might just keel over and die!
Natalie: I guess it’s kind of like, if she dies, she dies. But they need Henry to save 100000 other people.
Nichole: It’s a real triage situation.
Natalie: Well, off they pop to the land of haunted dolls. It was actually very moving to me when Henry gave Bo back his swords.
Nichole: I was very surprised by that! I guess Henry is willing to put Nicky’s safety before what could really be a very big grudge.
Natalie: Yeah, but there’s just a sense of honor to it. Weapons are a really emotional thing… not guns though. Like, when someone who identifies as that kind of warrior, I don’t know… Accepting a weapon for a quest is always an emotional thing for me. Moreso when you were a baddie and the goodies are giving you back your weapon for the greater good. Maybe even moreso again given that Bo thought he WAS the greater good.
Nichole: Yeah, it felt good. I like that it didn’t feel reluctant.
Natalie: There was some level of respect there. For his skill and experience at least.
Nichole: It was also clear he believed Bo would do the right thing. No one seemed worried he was still on Xiao’s side.
Natalie: I can definitely believe that. I get why they aren’t worried. They all just clearly think, like I do, that he’s pretty pathetic for having ever gotten into this. But anyway. Why does this land have to be filled with creepy toys and stuff?
Nichole: I don’t know! I am confused about the whole place and why it is like that and what destroyed it.
Natalie: Well, it seems to me like this realm is like our world layered closely to it and possibly that certain magic is universal, like, not limited to one world. And something about the usage in our world unbalanced this one. Like a certain amount of whatever energy, had to come from somewhere and go somewhere.
Nichole: That’s what I’m curious about. How? Did it have something to do with Xiao or Bo being there?
Natalie: It looks like a somewhat similar society that was only abandoned in modern times. It was already fucked when Bo came there. But I really don’t know.
Nichole: It felt like a big thing to bring up, the idea of magic in our world messing up another world.
Natalie: It does. It could be the thing it all hinges around, or it could be something that is just a quick explainer for the anti-magic.
Nichole: Yeah. I guess we’ll find out soon.
Natalie: The big, vaguely amoral tree guardian didn’t offer a ton of clarity. Nicky’s life is not his problem.
Nichole: He did not. He didn’t seem to care about much except guarding that tree.
Natalie: I can respect that. He’s just doing his job.
Nichole: He says he ignored Bo the first time, but wouldn’t make that mistake again, but I don’t understand if Bo’s first theft caused a problem?
Natalie: It could have thrown things off balance the first time. Made it worse. Maybe he never had a fruit taken before. He thought, what’s the harm?
Nichole: It felt like that was what he meant, but it wasn’t clear, because like you said, it was already fucked up when Bo was little. I couldn’t really tell if it looked worse.
Natalie: Yeah… maybe it’s even worse now? I don’t know.
Nichole: I probably shouldn’t be hung up on this.
Natalie: I am wondering if them killing the guard and stealing the fruit will cause bigger problems than just Bo being followed. I’m always a bit bummed when an amoral guardian gets killed by a hero. “Hero” being a loose term here. Like, collateral in the quest but I always find it unfair. And this guy wasn’t so much amoral as dedicated to HIS duty. So his own morals. Certainly not evil, and probably right.
Nichole: He did seem like he was probably right, which I think is fueling my unease with the whole thing.
Natalie: What did you think of Bo’s plan and that final fight?
Nichole: Bo’s distraction plan or his shove Nicky back home and get devoured plan?
Natalie: Distraction first I guess.
Nichole: Well, I wondered a bit why Bo’s plan wasn’t to just zap over there and get it. Feels like teleportation would do the trick there.
Natalie: Oh God! I didn’t even think of that!
Nichole: It also felt like Bo didn’t really want to kill that guy. He did it, obviously, but I think if he could have done it without killing him, he would have.
Natalie: I feel like they didn’t have to kill him! I don’t know. Bo deciding to stay there and not let the shadow things track him seemed very self-flagellating. We also didn’t actually see a body. We assume he was torn apart. But maybe Xiao popped in and grabbed him for some reason. If not, I feel like his death was actually a fair bit like I said last week, in that it was a little dishonorable. Not his actions but the literal nature of it.
Nichole: It was certainly gruesome.
Natalie: Like, okay, you did something for the hero, but because you suck, you get to be ignobly chowed down upon. I actually felt like it felt a bit wrong that he never got to confront Xiao, but maybe that’s a part of it, no narrative reward for him. He sucks, so he doesn’t get his fair chance at an ending.
Nichole: I wanted him to kill Xiao, but maybe they are saving that for Mei-Li.
Natalie: We did not see Bo’s body. So…. Reserving judgment.
Natalie: He throws Nicky back to her world with his little toy, where everyone is in bad shape. We can catch up with how they’ve been handling dying while she was away. Althea’s got a pretty specific last wish. Her and Dennis are just such silly sweethearts. Just let her hold the phone, she’s dying!
Nichole: It is so funny. She’s dying, just let her scroll! But they are so cute curled up together. It’s like, you know they aren’t all going to die, but it still pulled at the heartstrings.
Natalie: I thought maybe one of them would?
Natalie: Anyway, Althea and Dennis are a bit of a juxtaposition to the Mei-Li and Jin chat. How long do you think Mei-Li and Jin have been together? 35 years? Althea’s about 30.
Nichole: That seems about right. Which is, uh, the same amount of time Aaron and I have been together. Yikes.
Natalie: Do you feel like that at that age, which has to be I don’t know, 60? They would have had a death plan? Do you have a death plan?
Nichole: No. But we should.
Natalie: You’re not that old though. But you never know, you may get infected with a life-zapping magic rune.
Nichole: I mean, my parents are in their 70s and they don’t. They should, obviously.
Natalie: What did you think of their chat anyway? Pretty painful, right?
Nichole: I mean… so painful. I think it’s one thing to lose someone unexpectedly, but to have that person look you in the face and convince you it will be ok? I don’t know. It’s so terrible.
Natalie: It sucks. And I frankly don’t think Jin would be okay, hence his refusal to entertain it.
Nichole: It feels like a situation where he dies of a broken heart six months later. Or maybe not. He’s strong. I don’t know.
Natalie: He is, but that’s what I’m thinking, yeah. I don’t think that’s a measure of strength or not.
Nichole: Some things are just too much to bear.
Natalie: And then there’s Zhilan.
Nichole: How can she be so funny even under these circumstances?
Natalie: Because she’s perfect. Her and Henry are truly incredible. Henry is really her go-to person for like, just not giving a shit.
Nichole: Yes. I love it.
Natalie: She knows the Shens are so nice and lovely and not prone to bitter nasty feelings. And she knows Henry is a bit more pragmatic. I guess they’re best friends now.
Nichole: Besties for lyfe.
Natalie: Or for death?
Nichole: I was just going to say, I hope they are both alive by the end of the next episode.
Natalie: God, you never know. By the time Nicky gets home she’s very weak and the others are even sicker, leaving Hot Chef to cook up the cure. Unexpected twist but an amazing one.
Nichole: Oh, yes! I was like, “OF COURSE!” Save your man with the power of being a Hot Chef!
Natalie: Sebastian is so important!
Nichole: Your honor, I love him.
Natalie: It’s a strong episode for the boyfriends as he hands the magic tea off to Henry so he can drink it and I suppose infuse the magic of all those people. He’s having a bit of “performance anxiety” about consciously doing what Xiao’s magic forced him to do earlier.
Nichole: It’s ok, because the power of love fixed it.
Natalie: It always seems to! I mean, this was a good one. “Find ME.”
Nichole: It was so sweet. If they both are alive at the end of the finale, I would say I am now convinced they will get back together.
Natalie: HOW were you not already assured of that, man?
Nichole: I don’t know. I mean, to be fair I was mostly not sure because I was worried Henry would die before they could get back together. But also, I think I just really want Nicky to have some Nicky time.
Natalie: But yeah. Big montage of history, not just Nicky but all that spirals out from her for Henry, with the family, Slightly annoyed me that not all the moments are things he was there for, his lens… it always bothers me when shows depend on a flashback that the person didn’t see. But there’s a magical connection in the mix so I’ll let it go.
Nichole: Yeah, I think in this case you can definitely blame the magic for it.
Natalie: I suppose I’ll have to. But it works! They are cured.
Nichole: A MIRACLE!
Natalie: And Zhilan gets to SIT NEXT TO some Shen-provided food. On camera. A more minor miracle.
Nichole: OH MY GOD. “I’m glad you’re ok.” And Zhilan’s shy smile.
Natalie: WE CAN DO BETTER THAN A BOWL OF GRAPES, THOUGH!
Nichole: Maybe near death experiences call for light fare.
Natalie: Look… we’ll get there. Maybe. I think it’s safe to say she’s part of the family whether she likes or not.
Nichole: Yes. She has been adopted. Ok, but what about that final twist. I remember wondering WAY back if the Xiao/Delta storylines were going to intertwine, but I had honestly given up on that!
Natalie: TRULY shocked me. I know we were like “What if…” but what the hell!
Nichole: What does she want to do?
Natalie: I have absolutely no idea but seeing Incel Matt again was just not how I expected this to end. Hey, at least Xiao is giving him his credit?
Nichole: And he called her crazy! I was like, “Matt, I have some news for you.” Although to be fair, Xiao probably has him beat.
Natalie: I don’t think they’re going to find true love with one another, unfortunately.
Nichole: Oh God.
Natalie: Xiao already has all their bloodline “power” – we aren’t sure what that level looks like in someone not Mia, but the girls have their superpowers taken away. So she’s got a little bit from everyone. Zhilan and Nicky are going into this as trained but ultimately regular fighters.
Nichole: She basically seems invincible. What is going to happen????
Natalie: Well, David’s dead. Is Matt going to seek vengeance? Will Xiao kill him too? Whatever Xiao wants, she thinks Delta’s algorithm can help her.
Nichole: I think she might have to keep Matt alive, at least for a while.
Natalie: I still have NO IDEA what she wants. But her controlling the guards was a bad sign.
Nichole: I’m wondering if she wants to remake the world in her image, you know? Control everything? Everyone?
Natalie: I’m just thinking last season, we guessed not the true plot, but we guessed the red herring plot, remember? We guessed what Juliette Tan guessed. About what her father wanted. There was some level of like, understanding the bits the show was putting down, to the point of being misled the way she was. But this time I don’t even have a theory like that.
Nichole: No, I don’t either and I keep feeling like I’m missing something! But I really don’t think she’s given us more information than her general contempt for all life that isn’t her.
Natalie: I mean… she’s crazy, so it might be just… that. But she does have some goal here and I don’t know what. The only thing I keep thinking is that it may be some sort of revenge for however the emperor fucked her over, but I don’t know.
Nichole: I would love for the emperor to factor in somehow, but I don’t think he will.
Natalie: I’ve got literally nothing. Fixing the source realm heaven, sure. But here, nothing.
Nichole: I guess we don’t have to wait very long to find out.
Natalie: THE END IS NIGH.