Post Mortems

Kung Fu Bosses Break Down Pei-Ling's Mysterious Return in Premiere — Plus, Is There Still Hope for Nicky and Henry?

Olivia Liang in Kung Fu

The following contains spoilers for Kung Fu‘s Season 3 premiere. Proceed accordingly.

Pei-Ling is back on The CW’s Kung Fu… or is she?

That’s the question on Nicky’s mind after seeing footage of her shifu fighting in Wednesday’s Season 3 premiere. Though it looked like Pei-Ling, Nicky noted that she used some of Shao’s moves, suggesting there’s far more to the story.

“The mystery of how much of this is Pei-Ling and how much of this is Shao is the central mystery of the first half of the season,” co-showrunner Robert Berens tells TVLine. “It’s very charged for Nikki because all she wants is her shifu back, but there may be some dark consequences or some dark forces behind Pei-Ling’s return.”

Kung Fu Season 3 Spoilers

According to series creator and co-showrunner Christina M. Kim, Pei-Ling’s return also throws Nicky off her game. “So much of Nicky’s journey as a person started with her relationship with her shifu in China,” Kim explains. Witnessing Pei-Ling’s murder at Zhilan’s hands was a huge motivator in the first two seasons, so this unexpected second chance with her shifu is going to have a “really big impact on her character in good ways, but also in some ways that may not be good and could affect her judgment going forward. It’s going to be really interesting, very complicated, but [also] juicy and twisty because it’s such an unusual story.”

The episode also caught us up with Henry, who’s been traveling afar in search of answers about his father’s past. He even gambled away the ring he got for Nicky, but then stole it back later. That was a hint for fans that despite Henry’s radio silence and going on this quest without Nicky, he “still sees [her] as the one for him,” Berens notes. “He still has to complete his personal journey and get answers about his past and his father, so we’ll be telling that story across the first few episodes of the season.” But don’t worry, Henry and Nicky eventually “will collide.”

In the meantime, he has some things to figure out about himself. “Henry comes out of this matured and evolved as a person,” Berens adds. However, it will be a challenge coming back “when everyone else has moved on.” Fans can expect “some very exciting dynamics to play with Henry and the whole cast in due time.”

As for Nicky, things are going to be very complicated given Pei-Ling’s comeback and the arrival of a new guy named Bo (played by Legacies’ Ben Levin). Season 3 is “all tied up in what she wants — her desire for the second chance with a woman who means so much to her; her own desires for maybe a different kind of relationship now that there’s this new guy,” Berens teases.

“The focus really does draw closer and closer to Nicky as a character and what she does want beneath the armor that she has to put on. It’ll take us to some really dark and complex and juicy and dramatic places with Nicky’s character,” he adds.

What did you think of Kung Fu’s Season 3 premiere? Grade the episode below, and then sound off in the comments.