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Forever Knight: Cherry Blossoms

"It's just like the movie. 'Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown.'"

A Chinese acupuncturist has a surprise for Nick Knight.

Every 90s show had a Chinatown episode. And half of them starred James Hong. Heck, he still stars in every other thing I watch, which is just fine with me.

There's a blood bath when a Chinese gang opens fire on a taxi cab and kills everyone but the intended victim, a Chinese woman named Nancy who was supposed to testify against the gang. Immigration had been keeping an eye on her. She's fled the scene, bleeding to death, and wherever she is, she's injured and in grave danger.

Nick hits the streets alone while his partner, Schanke, pounds the pavement with an immigration officer named Quon. The two... don't get along. Schanke is a good cop but he hates everything. He's a lot to put up with. But it doesn't take long for his instincts to kick in, and he soon decides that the Immigration department has a leak. Quon doesn't even want to dignify that theory with a response.

Nick finds the missing woman holed up with an acupuncturist, an old man from China whose knowledge of herbs and needles is barely keeping Nancy alive.

But... there's something else. The acupuncturist recognizes Nick.

As the case wraps up (turns out Quon himself was the leak—Schanke was right again) we realize the Chinatown story was just the tip of the ice berg. As Nick's ready to call it a night, the acupuncturist stuns him with a magic needle and ties him down. He has a spell to kill Nick (it involves a sharp stick), and now I'm thinking "Acupuncturist Vampire Hunter – Starring James Hong" would have been a really cool TV show.

The kicker of this episode is Janette saves the day and then lets Nick know what his peaceful life has cost him. The consequences of turning his back on his vampire nature is weakness, being taken down by an old man. Nick insists that his life is better this way, but it's easy to see Janette's point.

Forever Knight does a great job of keeping our hero from being too perfect, from always being right. He's on a difficult journey, and his choices don't always work out. If you remember 90s television, you know that the main character of a show was usually an untouchable and ideal character, but Nick's life is nothing but trouble around every corner, especially when he's doing the right thing. Without his friends, Nick's decision to become human again would have cost him his life.


Nick visits China to see an acupuncturist who thinks she can stop Nick's blood cravings. She puts him in a paralyzed state and leaves him alone... but, of course, La Croix shows up to ruin everything. He kills the acupuncturist, but a little boy is watching. That little boy grows up to be the acupuncturist from the present. Due to some confusion, the boy spends his entire life thinking it was Nick who killed his mother.


"You know it's funny how you've taken my theory and decided to call it your own."
"Hey, law of averages, Schank. Every once in a while even you've got to be right."

"After nearly 800 years I would have thought that you could do just a little bit better than this."
"Well, I'm a cop, Janette. If I have too many possessions they think I'm dirty.
"Oh, yes. Right. You know I honestly I don't know why you bother, Nicolas. You're not human and you never will be."

Little Bites:

-Finding the Cure: At least one acupuncturist thinks she can stop Nick's murderous urges, but nothing materializes out of this effort. If Natalie is correct, it's going to take stronger medicine than that.

-Vampire Lore: A well-placed needle can (apparently) paralyze a vampire.

-Unlike most cop shows with a fun sidekick, Schanke routinely solves cases. He's legitimately a good detective, a refreshing break from the stereotypical TV partners.

-Natalie walks in on Nick and Janette while they're making out, and she says, "Sorry, I thought you would be asleep!" Uh, does she normally creep in while Nick's in bed?

-Janette is always the best part of Forever Knight. The actress is the perfect on-screen vampire, seductive and mysterious, but also hilarious and tenderly in love with Nick. A much more nuanced and deep performance than one would expect from a TV show about a vampire cop.

-Early in the show's run, the directors tried to have a narrow band of light hitting the eyes of an actor when they "vamped" out. Neat idea, but hard to pull off. This episode has two obvious mistakes where the vampires bare their fangs while the light misses their eyes and hits their foreheads instead.

-James Hong, of course, is possibly the most prolific actor in the profession's history. Recently his fans got together to give him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, because the Hollywood bigwigs keep giving those to talentless morons instead of hard-working actors like Hong. I think a lot of people remember him from Big Trouble in Little China, but recently he's been in Red and Everything, Everywhere All at Once. The man is and will always be a legend.

Final Analysis: I like this one. Janette is too much fun, and so is James Hong. Four out of four misplaced yellow lights.

Adam D. Jones is a writer, musician, and medievalist who feels a kinship for vampires because his sensitive eyes that make it difficult to go outside during the day.

1 comment:

  1. Loved that the resolution involved Janette being a character witness, after the last episode. I love her face so much, she's like a more attractive Fairuza Balk who I was already a huge fan of


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