In Review: Kung Fu (S1 – Ep5) Sanctuary

In 'Sanctuary'. A Police shooting of a black man in Chinatown sends shockwaves through the community. Mei-Li and Jin are forced to revisit a traumatic experience from their past.

Synopsis: In ‘Sanctuary’. A Police shooting of a black man in Chinatown sends shockwaves through the community. Mei-Li and Jin are forced to revisit a traumatic experience from their past. Nicky and Henry make a startling discovery about the weapons.


The Story

When a police shooting of a young Black man in Chinatown happens. Protests break out, which send shockwaves through the community. Nicky’s mother Mei-Li is fearful of the protests because the shooting takes her back to when she and Jin faced similar discrimination. This protest really hits home for the Shen family because they all have friends and loved ones caught up in the protest. Nicky’s brother Ryan is in a relationship with the activist who is leading the BLM protest and shows his support by leading the protesters to the sanctuary of the Shen restaurant when Police start using tear gas. But when Ryan’s boyfriend gets targeted by the police. Nicky and her family along with the other protest have a real Spartacus moment and all stand together. Which allows time to find evidence exonerating Ryan’s boyfriend.

Also, Nicky and Henry learn that the weapons they are searching for all have a commonality, which makes it easier for Henry’s contact to track down.


The Acting

Olivia Liang does a great job of leading this episode as Nicky. Her best scene comes at the close of the episode where she stands in front of the Police and tells them to arrest her, which leads to all those supporting the protest standing as one. It’s a really powerful moment. Even though it is somewhat of a much-used trope now thanks to the movie Spartacus. But I’d argue that much usage means that it works.

Jon Prasida gets to shine in this episode as we see Ryan become the supportive boyfriend and a fantastic ally for the protesters. In the build-up, to the protest, Ryan is questioning where he stands with his boyfriend Joe. Is it serious or just a casual thing. Well, the protest kind of help give him the answer to that question. He loves Joe enough that he will stand with him and actually take his place should it come to that. Bradley Gibson is fantastic in the role of Joe and was very convincing in the role.



‘Sanctuary’ pulls a little away from the mysticism aspect of the show and instead tells a powerful story of protest and togetherness. But does so without it being preachy. I really liked that we got to see why someone from another ethnic background would be fearful of protests because of their own experience of discrimination from being the victim of a hate crime. Overall. A solid episode with a real message.

Kung Fu (S1 - Ep5) Sanctuary
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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