Kung Fu airs its midseason finale tonight and while Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang) has been making headway in her quest to find both Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman) and eight mystical weapons the assassin seeks, her return after being in China for years has caused those around her to deal with some complicated feelings and situations -- especially her ex-boyfriend, Evan Hartley. Evan, played by Gavin Stenhouse, has gone on to become an assistant district attorney in San Francisco as well as enter a serious romantic relationship in Nicky's absence and her return not only stirs up his unresolved feelings, but Nicky's quest also puts Evan in a complicated situation -- one in which he's starting to question some of what he thought he knew about the law and justice.
"Nicky and Evan actually shared the same passion for law and they had the same passion for being figureheads of change in the criminal justice system," Stenhouse told ComicBook.com. "They both wanted to go into the same practice, they both wanted to be prosecutors, they both wanted to change the system from the inside out. And Nicky disappearing has obviously thrown a spanner into that slot for Evan because now he has to deal with all the complicated feelings of why Nicky disappeared without any explanation. And picking up in episode one, he's only really starting to kind of move on with his life, with a relationship with Sabine when Nicky comes back and, as we've seen the last few episodes, we get to see just how willing Evan is to change his paradigm of what he perceives to be right and wrong."
Stenhouse likened that paradigm shift to what many college graduates experience as they get to interact with their chosen field in the real world for the first time, seeing it for not only its strengths but its weaknesses and realities as well.
"I definitely think that as anyone graduating college could probably attest to, going into the field that they studied, you're assaulted by a barrage of a world that you didn't know exists of like, things, protocols, this is how you do it, or you can't do this, like, this is how this works," he said. "You're sheltered when you're studying those things and then you realize only when you're doing the job, 'oh, this is an issue, this is an issue, this is an issue.'"
For Evan, he's going to run headlong into some of those issues of ideal versus reality, a situation made more acute as he watches Nicky and Henry (Eddie Liu) handle issues and injustice their own way, seeing results in ways that he himself does not.
"He has ambitions to want to be a figurehead of good in the DA's office and as the season goes on, you'll see that many of those attempts at making good are thwarted by powers above his control and you'll see Evan start to get really frustrated with his position," Stenhouse continued. "Even as an assistant district attorney, someone with the power to prosecute or not prosecute, you'll see him really struggle with being able to do good things. And, on the other hand, he is also seeing every day that Nicky and Henry, although their choices of how to do things are somewhat morally ambiguous, they get things done. They help people every day. And that's the frustration for Evan. That compounds the frustration that he feels at work. So, yeah, as the season goes on, you're really starting to see Evan realize that maybe Henry and Nicky have a point, maybe there's something to the way they work. I'm excited for Evan to take his kid gloves off and get stuck in."
Kung Fu airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.