The adventures of a Shaolin Monk as he wanders the American West armed only with his skill in Kung Fu.
Kwai Chang Caine is a Shaolin Monk who is on the run after he killed the Chinese Emporer’s nephew after that coward killed his teacher in cold blood with a gun. He flees to America both to escape retaliation and to search for his brother in order to settle down in this new land. However, in his travels in the wild west, he can not help but continually run into trouble from desperados and other ruffians as they oppress the innocent, while bounty hunters pursue the price on his head. Against this, he has his skill of Kung-fu martial arts which proves to be devastatingly effective in this gun-dominated land
Season 1 Ep.05: An Eye for An Eye
A woman (Annie) who was a victim of rape is with child. Kwai Chang Caine meets them as her father falls ill. The father asks Kwai Chang Caine to accompany the woman on her trip to an army fort. While there, she confronts the father of her child who denies the charge. Without corroborating evidence, the base commander turns them away. They return to her sick father Kwai Chang Caine has a memory of finding an abandoned infant when he was a child. His master tells him that all life is sacred, even if unwanted or difficult to feed. Annie’s brother (a former confederate officer) arrives and also confronts the union soldier. He demands justice and arranges a duel at dawn, with revolvers loaded with two shots at eight paces. The union soldier turns and shoots before the full count, hitting Annie’s brother in the back. He aims at Annie with his second shot and misses. While he is re-loading, Annie’s brother recovers enough to roll part way over, shoot and kill the rapist. Her father offers Annie his sword, asking what he has left to him. Shelter, food and a loving daughter, though Kwai Chang Caine points them out, do not seem to be enough. In a fit of anger after Kwai Chang Caine denies the efficacy of revenge, Annie charges off with the wagon and falls. This precipitates labor. When the child is born, its mother refuses to feed him or call him her son. A party of Indians appears on an overlooking hill. Kwai Chang Caine reassures Annie that they will not to anything before morning. He has a flashback to jumping off a cliff into a river as part of his training. He confronts his fear of not knowing if such a jump is survivable. The Indians awake with Kwai Chang Caine sitting in their midst. The chief calls the sentry in from his post. They form up, and after defeating two braves on horses with spears, he walks away. Annie shows an emotion other than hate and anger for the first time when he returns to find the baby dead. Calling him her son for the first time, she grieves as the child is buried. Meanwhile two of the union soldier’s buddies have convince the commander to let them go avenge their fried’s death at the hands of ‘three’ attackers. They are holding the father hostage when Kwai Chang Caine arrives. While they fight, Annie arrives and is shot and wounded in the shoulder. Shocked from their passion, they remark on how she is younger than they remember, that the confederate army killed many young men younger than her, then they leave. The father offers Kwai Chang Caine his sword, which is all that is left to him. Kwai Chang Caine breaks it. Annie appears to have learned about the value of life and the emptiness of anger, hate and revenge.
This series follows the adventures of Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin priest, in the American West. Caine was an orphan of a Chinese-American marriage, and was schooled in a Shaolin monastery, by his mentors, Masters Po and Kan. Through his life’s journeys, he remembers the lessons and philosophy they imparted him with, in dealing with the prejudices and problems he faced. A man of peace, though trained to defend himself, Caine always made an attempt to address situations in a way that was morally acceptable to his beliefs, and to resolve them through least violent means possible. His journey is not only one across the frontier of America but one through the light and dark areas of the soul as well.
Cast and Crew:
Director: Richard Lang
Creator: Ed Spielman
David Carradine, Radames Pera and Keye Luke
Production Company: Warner Bros. Television
Audio/Visual: mono, color
Date Release: 1972
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Filed Under: Kung Fu