“Rush Hour” Pilot Recap (Warning: Spoilers)


Starting today, I will be recapping episodes of the television series adaptation of the film series Rush Hour, starring Jon Foo as Detective Inspector Lee and Justin Hires as Detective James Carter. The pilot is actually a pretty good transition with showrunners Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick actually collaborating with Jim Kouf and Ross LaManna, the pair who wrote the original film screenplay.

What is quite interesting about this version of Rush Hour is that Foo handles himself quite well as Lee. After all, what would you expect from a former wushu champion who for two films (House of Fury and The Myth), was a member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team? As for Hires, he didn’t act completely like a pseudo-Chris Tucker. He had a few of the mannerisms, but somehow added something more to the mix, making the role truly his own.

If you have seen my recaps with Into the Badlands (which will return for a second season in 2017), there will be some spoilers, so if you plan to see the episode, do not read below. Look for Rush Hour Thursday nights at 10:00PM EST on CBS.


The action begins in Hong Kong, where Detective Inspector Lee leads a team, which includes his little sister Kim (Jessika Van), to take down the Kwan Dao organization. After successfully completing his mission, Lee gets major press coverage along with his boss (George Kee Cheung) and FBI agent Thomas (Henry Ian Cusick). However, Kim is not happy because she feels her brother is holding her back. When a team of officers are asked to bring the Terracotta Warrior statues to Los Angeles for a museum display, Kim is asked to be security for the transport.

Switch to Los Angeles, where we meet the fast-talking L.A.P.D. detective James Carter. Carter, going undercover meets with Carlos (Maurice Compte) to buy some unorthodox weapons. After two beat cops arrive at the scene, a shootout ensues with Carter going after Carlos. Carter finds Carlos in a helicopter and the two are soon flying in L.A. When Carter shoots Carlos in the leg, Carter lands in the pool of a L.A. councilman while Carlos crashes the chopper in the garden next to the pool. A shocked group of women sees Carter, who responds, “This weather is crazy. It’s raining black people.”

Of course, Carter is reprimanded by his superior officer, Captain Cole (Wendie Malick) for his actions and while she usually helps him out in a jam, the fact he ended up in the pool of a L.A. councilman won’t cut it this time and she relegates him to desk duty.

Meanwhile, the transport of the Terracotta Warriors to Los Angeles is a success until they reach the airfield, where it is revealed that members of the Kwan Dao organization are dressed as cops. Jawlong (Leon Lee) orders the Hong Kong officers dead and when Kim hides out in the plane, she too is busted. The next shot is the organization stealing the statues and the inside of the plane exploding. Kwan Dao wants a 200 million dollar ransom for the statues. Lee gets the call about Kim and heads to Los Angeles.

When the FBI inform the L.A.P.D. of the incident, Captain Cole sends Carter to her office. The FBI inform Carter and Cole that because the incident involves the deaths of Hong Kong police on U.S. soil, a Hong Kong detective will be arriving to act as a consultant. The FBI inform Carter that he will have to be the one to watch over him. Carter is none too thrilled as he says he will have to babysit the detective. Cole responds, “I hope you hate it.”

Carter meets Lee for the first time and the two head off to a local pool hall. Carter confronts a group of thugs playing cards and points his gun at ringleader Gerald (Page Kennedy). Carter takes Gerald out back and gives him a hug as they are cousins. Meanwhile, Lee waits until he hears gunshots from outside. When Lee tries to find out what happened, he is forced to fight the goons using his martial arts skills. After beating them up, he goes outside and finds Carter and Gerald shooting at beer bottles. “This is unacceptable,” Lee said with Carter becoming shocked when he learns Lee speaks English!

The pair get a tip from Gerald about security guards who may be tied to the recent job. When they find one possible suspect, they find him but he has been killed by a shot to the head. They find the suspect’s wife, who tells them of another security guard named Dicky (Dan Donohue). When Lee and Carter catch up to Dicky, Carter resorts to putting him in the trunk and back to his house when he refuses to cooperate, much to the chagrin of Lee. When the duo confront Dicky in his home, Lee asks if the guards who shot up the police were Chinese, Dicky nods. Carter then learns that Kim was one of the officers who was killed in the hit and when Dicky reveals a clue about a “noodle restaurant in Chinatown with a hot ass waitress”, Jawlong arrives and shoots Dicky in the head. Lee goes after Jawlong and eventually catches up to him.

A brief fight ensues between Lee and Jawlong until a mysterious accomplice arrives to free Jawlong. When the accomplice takes off their helmet…(cue the dramatic music)…it is Kim!!! She has betrayed her own brother and joined up with Kwan Dao. Kim and Jawlong escape. A shocked Lee informs Carter of what happened. Carter finds a shell casing, which he gives to his ex-partner Didi Diaz (Aimee Garcia) to see if she can help get it analyzed since technically, he’s not supposed to be working the case. When Cole asks Lee and Carter if they know anything about Dicky’s death, the two deny the claim and go to search for more clues.

When Lee and Carter head to Diaz’s house for a break, Lee reveals to Diaz that he was overprotective of her because when their father, another Hong Kong cop, died in a car accident when Kim was fifteen, he had to be both “brother and father” but regrets it because he knows she can be a good cop. As for Diaz, she reveals a stunning revelation about Carter and how he took the rap for something Diaz did and thus, earned him his reputation of being somewhat of an outlaw cop. Lee realizes he and Carter do have something in common: they will do what it takes to protect the ones they care about.

Lee and Carter head to Chinatown. As Carter attempts to get answers, he is brushed off but Lee successfully learns there are two possible places to get more clues. They come across one place and as they look around, Carter finds the “hot ass waitress”. He grabs Lee’s chin and tells him to “note the booty”. Lee responds, “The booty is noted”. Carter talks to the waitress and Lee finds Jawlong. As a shootout ensues, Jawlong escapes with Lee hot on his trail again. As Lee again catches up to Jawlong, Kim arrives and points her gun at Lee. Jawlong orders her to kill him. A gunshot is heard and Carter finds Lee on the ground. However, Kim had missed (purposely no less) and finally, the duo is busted. Cole suspends Carter and Lee is to go back to Hong Kong.

The next day, Carter picks up Lee and Carter somehow convinces Lee that they have to finish what they started. Diaz calls Carter with an analysis of the shell casing. Carter and Lee meet with Carlos, who is in prison. Carter promises Carlos if he helps out, he will get his sentence reduced and to prove it, he even leaves a voicemail to Carlos’ lawyer. Carlos reveals the location of an empty mall where the statues may be hidden.

Lee and Carter find the empty mall and lo and behold, they find the statues. Lee calls Thomas, who had arrived in Los Angeles as well. Lee tells Thomas not to pay the ransom. Thomas tells Lee to wait for backup. However, he tells the men counting the money to stop paying as he shoots them both.

As Lee and Carter go inside the empty space, they are near the statues when Jawlong and the boys arrive. The boys approach them without shooting because the statues are worth more than anything, so they must protect them. Carter looks out for snipers as Lee fights off the goons. A third and final confrontation pits Lee against Jawlong. When Carter has an idea, he tells Lee to get Jawlong towards one of the statues. Lee hits Jawlong so hard the blonde-haired villain is impaled on the sword of one of the statues.

Lee finds Kim who again, points her gun towards him. She calls herself a coward but Lee attempts to convince her she is not a coward. Thomas arrives and attempts to shoot Lee but Carter jumps in and takes a bullet to the leg while Lee rushes forward and knocks Thomas out. Kim, however, makes her escape despite Carter calling out for her.

The next day, Carter arrives with one crutch and is given a warm welcome from the rest of the department (minus an arrogant cop who hates Carter). Cole informs Carter he has his job back. As for Lee, he has been given a permanent transfer to Los Angeles because he has no family to go back to in Hong Kong. He knows that Kim and Kwan Dao are still in L.A. and it ends with Lee saying his first act as a new L.A. cop is he’s going to arrest Carter’s cousin Gerald.

Look out for the next episode of Rush Hour on April 7 at 10:00pm on CBS and look out for the recap of the episode next Friday here on Uncanny Pop.


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