The ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ Reunion in ‘American Born Chinese’Disney + series American Born Chinese bought back the toast of this year’s Academy Awards –  A cast comprising the stars of Everything Everywhere All At Once, including Academy Award Winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke Quay Han and Stephanie Hsu reunited in this graphic book adaptation. It is a story set in the States, but there is a portal across the world that allows Chinese mythological characters to somehow end up in America to seek the help of an American Born Chinese. 

In the following article, we will look into the intricate plotline of American Born Chinese, with each twist and turn described in detail. If you haven’t checked out the show yet, please make sure you come back after you have. 

American Born Chinese Episodic Analysis:

Episode 1: 

The show begins in the Heavenly Realm with a high-speed chase featuring a shape-shifting being  (Sun Wukong, aka The Monkey King) and Wei-Chen. He tried to use a staff despite not being able to and was propelled to the edge of a cliff. Wei-Chen then leaped off into the clouds and headed to Earth. American Born Chinese then cuts to a scene showcasing a young boy clothes shopping for day one of tenth grade. He joined Sierra Mona High School and was invited to soccer tryouts. Like the typical Asian, he has family that has imbibed in him the urge to stay quiet and get things done without attracting attention. Being with the crowd has seen him lose a friend, but he gets one in the form of a new student “who is also Chinese.” 

This new person, Wei-Chen in disguise, turns out to be a bit too much as he results in Jin missing out on having Amelia as his lab partner. He also tries standing up to a bully and then gets to know Jin. 

The next day, Jin Wang, who is annoyed at Wei-Chen, turns away in anger and suffers a series of unfortunate accidents. It saw him become a reel with an edited ceiling fan falling into his head as he crashed into a trophy cabinet. The incident caused him to lose his cool, and his violent conduct at soccer trials ended his sports activities hopes. 

Later in the day, Wei-Chen looked at the video and identified the videographer. While Jin proceeded with his life, audiences learned that the cloud portal opens straight into his city. It is through this that Sun Wukong tracks his son and tries to take back his staff. Wei-Chen stands up and holds his own against his father, proving that he can indeed use the staff. After beating Sun Wukong, Wei-Chen receives a visit from Guanyin. She urged Sun Wukong to let his son be as he was on his own path. She shrunk the staff, and he stuffed it into his ear; it was crucial that nobody managed to find the staff.

Meanwhile, Jin Wang placed a statue that Wei-Chen gifted him on his desk at home. The episode ended with the statue’s eyes changing color. 

Episode 2:

Guanyin took Wei-Chen back to discover his motives for being on Earth. He said it was because he had received a vision that he needed to take a leap of faith to find a guide to help him recover a fourth scroll. Guanyin then suggested that Wei-Chen find a better place to hide his staff and then gave him the advice to get Jin Wang to help him. Trust was crucial. 

Wei-Chen first offered to share his comics with Jin Wang. The latter refused and returned the gifted statue to the former.  He then joined the Culture Club to speak out about the video of Jin that had been circulated. The new boy identified Greg, resulting in Jin becoming the center of attention, i.e., something he wasn’t keen on doing as he even told the school paper editor- ‘I just want to be a regular guy who does regular things’.

Since that wasn’t possible due to the Culture Club’s eagerness for “justice with just us,” Jin made a statement. He claimed that the video was in good spirits and Greg (the videographer) was a friend. This was actually a deal for him to get another shot in the soccer tryouts. What was in this for Greg? Had Jin not made that statement, Greg would have been in violation of the school’s anti-bullying policy and missed a few games. 

Wei-Chen displayed his strength when he tried to help Jin in his task of arranging the weight room. It saw the room get destroyed in a hilarious domino effect-like sequence where contraptions collapsed in a sequential flow. Later, he got into a battle with Pigsy (a being from the heavenly realm who had come in to locate Wei-Chen and the statue). In the brawl, a curious Jin showed up in response to the loud sounds and got knocked out. Wei-Chen won the fight and ordered Pigsy away, saying he would return on his own. 

Episode 3:

Guanyin and Sun Wukong had dinner together and discussed Wei-Chen. The former spoke about faith being something that is earned, but the latter remained worried about his son and not being able to control him. Guanyin is watching over Wei-Chen, but Su Wukong remains skeptical and said he will wait a week before dragging Wei-Chen back himself. 

Jin remembered the fight against Pigsy but was confused about whether it was a dream or real. Wei-Chen confirmed that for him and also began opening up about the other realm. He finally asked Jin to help him in his own world and called him to his apartment at 5 pm. That time clashes with Jin’s soccer party, where he has to participate in a chump run. This saw him wear a costume, dance, sing a song, steal coins from a fountain, and chug root beer. 

As Guanyin struggled to assemble Swedish furniture, Wei-Chen paced around in anticipation of Jin’s arrival. His guardian urged him to find his friend as he may be lost. Once Wei-Chen left, Niu Mowang dropped in and tried to recruit Guanyin. He tried to recruit her for the uprising. However, she opted for peace and suggested he air his grievances with the Jade Emperor. Niu Mowang then fought Guanyin but accepted defeat and vowed to return later. 

Wei-Chen did just that and found Jin at the church, where he sneaked in to get the toilet paper required for a task. Wei-Chen used his staff and assisted Jin in papering the statue. He then left it unattended as he seemed to understand that Jin was busy. Jin, however, promised to help his new friend find the fourth scroll. 

As Jin left, Niu Mowang took the staff. Guanyin learned of this and summoned Sun Wukong, Pigsy, and an unnamed female to the earth. The Monkey King asked Guanyin to stay out of it as he took his son back home.  

Episode 4:

AMERICAN BORN CHINESE – “What Guy Are You” (Disney/Carlos Lopez-Calleja)

Jin Wang observed that Wei-Chen was not at school. The Monkey King took Wei-Chen back to the realm and grounded him for 200 years for losing the staff. That wasn’t it, though, as he was ordered to work at the Imperium Stables from the two hundred and first year onwards. Wei-Chen then told his father he did not want to be like him, allowing the audience to flash back many thousands of years earlier to when Sun Wukong was not a monkey king. Just a monkey. 

The story flashed back many years ago when Sun Wukong and his friend Bull Demon tried to enter the Sublime Banquet. Guanyin attended that party, and Wukong stuttered when he tried to talk to her. He could not enter as he didn’t have shoes, but he used his magic to keep filling Ji Gong’s cup with alcohol (drinks from outside weren’t permitted in). This saw Gong keep drinking and fall flat, allowing Bull Demon and Wukong to enter. The duo tried to locate Dragon King.

They spoke to Princess Jade Face and Princess Iron Fan to try and find their target. Once in, thanks to a timely distraction from the Princess, they sneaked in and found the Dragon King. He looked like a fish. Bull Demon then explained about a quest to the West to seek enlightenment and unlock the sutras. However, Dragon King dozed off as Bull spoke. 

Once outside, Bull Demon took to the stage and presented the staff he had taken from Dragon King. He began singing before getting shooed away. The show hosts presented Dragon King with a 10k-year peach, but Sun Wukong took the spotlight and called the party great and a big lie. He even disses Dragon King, saying he doesn’t look like the creature he labeled himself as.

Wukong even spoke about the peach growing for that long only to be fed to a fish. The Monkey proceeded to smash the pear to bits. While the audience seemed taken aback, Dragon King praised Wukong. He said he had been waiting for someone to speak the truth. Dragon King offered to make Sun the next Great Sage, but he refused and passed the test. This upset Bull Demon, who said he would never want to be Sun Wukong. 

Back in the present day, Sun Wukong let Wei-Chen go back to Earth. He met Jin Wang and learned that the few hours at home were a month on Earth. 

Episode 5:

Wei-Chen returned to find Ji Gong and visited the Wang residence. He impressed the matriarch and saw the family pendants. Jin Wang and Wei-Chen headed out to find Ji Gong. They were successful, but Jin got tired and headed over to Amelia’s for his project. Meanwhile, Wei-Chen fought a drunk Ji Gong and shared his quest for the fourth scroll. Ji Gong had headed to Earth for that exact same reason. He showed Wei-Chen four paintings that led the boy to one conclusion.

The fourth scroll (the scroll of power), which would render the three scrolls (discipline, discourse, philosophy) as useless, had been destroyed. Families collected fragments of that, but selfishness led to war. That resulted in Buddha declaring that it would only be revealed when there was harmony. Wei-Chen assumed it was the Wang family pendant and tried to take it from the residence. Mr. and Mrs. Wang put the two pieces together, and the latter wore it. During Mrs. Wang’s Bible study, Ji Gong came over and invited everyone to his restaurant. 

Jin Wang showed up to see his parents and the Bible study group extremely drunk and singing karaoke. Wang then confronted Wei-Chen to understand why everyone was there. He was furious when Wei-Chen explained his beliefs behind the fourth scroll. After an argument between Mr. and Mrs. Wang, the latter realized that she had lost her pendant. 

Ji Gong stole it as he was supposed to be Great Sage. He decides to use it for his own needs and finally be able to return home. Wei-Chen chased him and tried to get it back for the uprising between the Jade Emperor and Niu Mowang. He tricked Gong and entered the restaurant, where a disappointed Jin told him he couldn’t just ‘come to their house, take their things and lie to their face.’ Meanwhile, Ji Gong learned of Wei-Chen’s deception and came face-to-face with Niu Mowang.

Episode 6:

Guanyin and Wei-Chen talk about the latter’s plan for the pendant. They needed the staff to open it, but Niu Mowang had it. Wei-Chen realized that in securing the pendant, he hurt Jin. Guanyin decided to take the pendant to Lady Rocky and help Wei-Chen. 

Amelia decided to take Jin Wang out for his birthday. She even invited a few friends, including Wei-Chen. He gifted Jin the bottle of green powder that Mrs. Wang had given him. 

Niu Mowang showed up at the party to aid Ji Gong, who had trailed Wei-Chen there. Sun Wukong revealed himself and fought Niu Mowang, allowing Jin and Wei-Chen the opportunity to flee. Ji Gong chased them. Mowang/Bull Demon had Wukong at his mercy before Sandy popped up to even the odds. It proved to only delay the inevitable as Bull Demon injured Sun Wukong and took him away. 

Also, in the episode, Guanyin took the Wang pendant to Lady Rocky (Shi Ji). She wanted to find out if it was indeed the fourth scroll. It turned out that it wasn’t, as Lady Rocky’s dog ate it without spitting it out. Has it been a celestial stone, the dog would have spat it out after its stomach glowed blue. 

The episode featured Jin trying to mediate an issue between his parents over his mother using half the family savings as an investment, thereby ensuring that Mr. Wang couldn’t quit after he didn’t get his promotion. 

Episode 7:

Wei-Chen decided to take his troubles to Guanyin as she would know what to do next. The Goddess of Mercy finally met Jin and offered him tea. She then told the two boys that the pendant was not the fourth scroll. Guanyin also refused to help Wei-Chen anymore, as she had only promised to support his quest. There was no guarantee that it would come true. She decided to head home and ordered Wei-Chen to join her. 

In captivity, Sun Wukong tried to get Ji Gong to help him. His pleas fell on deaf ears.  Wei-Chen decided to remain on earth; Guanyin told him he would have to fulfill his quest alone. 

Jin was drafted into the football team, and the midfielder was injured. Amelia noticed something was off with Jin. As he tried to tell her, the school mascot tried to get a high five and slammed it into the locker. Amelia looked scared as Jin got taken to the principal’s office and his parents were summoned to school. Mr. Wang defended his wife in the face of accusations from the principal. He managed to shut her down for stereotyping the Wang family as an achievement-oriented Asian family. 

Sun Wukong apologized to Bull Demon for failing him in his time of great need. Niu Mowang replies it was not necessary, as Monkey King’s actions helped him become who he was. Wei-Chen returned to help his father but didn’t have the pendant (fourth scroll). That saw Niu Mowang decide to kill Wei-Chen and Monkey King. Wei-Chen fought valiantly, and it took an assist from Ji Gong to help him get away. 

Ji Gong only intervened as he felt Niu Mowang should have gone away after getting the staff rather than focusing on killing his rival and rival’s son. Bull Demon then focused on Monkey King and delivered the killer blow as Ji Gong dragged Wei-Chen out of harm’s way. 

Episode 8:

Guanyin talked about the realms being in balance due to the autumn equinox. Freddie Wong explained that it was the day Bull Demon could finally complete the uprising. The Goddess of Mercy claimed that Jin needed to stop him. Wong inspired him to be a hero and go on the journey even without powers. Jin awoke from his dream and took the statue gift from episode one in his hand.

He then went to school looking for Wei-Chen. Jin then understood that his dream was a warning. He managed to convince Anuj, and they went to Wei-Chen’s apartment. There, they saw Wei-Chen in his original form. He shared the fate of Sun Wukong with the two boys. Anuj suggested that they explore Manga to decipher Bull Demon’s plan. 

Mr. and Mrs. Wang went to the restaurant to retrieve their pendant. They then sneaked underground to see what exactly was there. The walk took them to the room that saw Bull Demon battle, Monkey King. Sun Wukong was alive! Mr. and Mrs. Wang helped Monkey King and then left the property to prepare for their son’s soccer match that evening. 

Meanwhile, the trio of Anuj, Wei-Chen, and Jin realized that Bull Demon was trying to destroy his world from below, i.e., literally an uprising. They even entertained the thought that Bull Demon may have shapeshifted. Hence, on the ground, they concocted a plan to draw him out. Jin and Anuj cosplayed and tried to taunt Bull Demon. 

Did Amelia and Jin progress from “just buds?”

Amelia suggested that she and Jin be just buds. However, over the course of the season, they got closer and felt a connection. Just before Jin’s football game, Amelia decides to go to be more than just buds. She felt that Jin zoned out, and he walked away from his game. However, he did return to kiss Amelia, thereby giving her a non-verbal answer. 

How did the trio draw Bull Demon out?

Anuj, Jin, and Wei-Chen came up with a cosplay idea to taunt the Bull Demon and draw him out of hiding under the shape he had assumed. 

How did Jin unlock the strength?

Jin knew that it was up to him and Anuj to stop the staff as Wei-Chen was fighting with Niu Mowang. At that moment, Jin reentered his dream where Mr. Wang told him to just be himself. This saw him understand and take a leap of faith in the staff. 

Who beat Niu Mowang? 

Wei-Chen conquered Niu Mowang, but he still tried to use his staff to overpower the boy. The good guys received a timely assist from Monkey King, who wrested the staff and used it only as he knew to make quick work of Bull Demon. 

Who was the fourth scroll? 

Monkey King congratulated Wei-Chen on finding the fourth scroll and looked at Jin. Hence, Jin Wang, the American Born Chinese, proved to be the fourth scroll. 

What happened to Niu Mowang in the end?

Monkey King took Niu Mowang to face the Jade Emperor to answer for his actions. 

What happened to Jin in the final scene of American Born Chinese?

As Jin went home after the game, he saw an unknown lady in his house. She told him to come with her if he wanted to find out who his parents were. This person did not reveal her name, and Jin didn’t even understand what she said as she spoke in Mandarin. 

Also, Read – American Born Chinese (Season 1): Recap & Ending Explained – How does Jin manage to save Earth and Heaven?

American Born Chinese (Season 1) Links – WikipediaRotten Tomatoes
American Born Chinese (Season 1) Cast – Michelle Yeoh, Ben Wang, Yeo Yann Yann, Ke Huy Yuan
Where to watch American Born Chinese

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