American Born Chinese (2023): Season 1, Episode 3 - Rockstar Status - full transcript

Jin must decide between impressing his soccer teammates and helping Wei-Chen on his heavenly quest.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
I hope you're hungry.

[cricket chirping]



Let's make this quick. This
place smells like a wet ox.




What do you think?

We serve ourselves?

[clicks tongue]

Oh, don't fill up on the
rice. Focus on the good stuff.

[Sun Wukong] It's been a long
time since we've eaten together.

That's true.

And you don't look a
day over 40,000, Wukong.

That's kind of you to say.

But kids do age you.

Look at me. A member of the
Jade Emperor's inner circle,

and I can't even
control my own son.

Perhaps you don't have to.

So that's your stance then?

I don't have a stance.

You slammed me into a wall.

I just want your son to have
the same chances you did.

Have a little faith in him.


He stole from me.
He disobeyed me.

As Ao Guang, the
Dragon King, once said,

[in Mandarin] "Faith is
a gift, not a reward."

[in English] Ao Guang also
has the brains of a goldfish.

I know Wei-Chen is overly
confident and reckless,

but it's in his nature.

Well, he needs to learn to grow
up and control that nature.

Like I did.

Easier said than done.

You know this could end
very badly, don't you?

If Niu Mowang gets jīn gū bàng,

who knows what darkness
he could unleash.

I am aware.

That's why I'm watching Wei-Chen
as I did you once upon a time.

That was different. That
was a sacred mission.

He's chasing a silly dream.

Dreams can bring great success.

Or great failure.

Failure can bring enlightenment.

Enlightenment will not bring us victory
over Niu Mowang and his uprising.

Wukong, enlightenment
is victory.


One more week, then I
drag him back on my own.

Didn't they say these
drinks were bottomless?




Time for seconds.

Oh, my God.

No! No! [shouts]

[cell phone alarm beeping]

[beeping stops]


[Jin's mom] Jin, breakfast!


[audience cheering]

It's the fall sports pep rally!

First up is the defending regional
champion boys soccer team!

Dude, welcome to
rock star status.

[chuckling] Yeah. Nah,
this is pretty cool.

Oh, no. I'm not talking
about the pep rally.

I mean our phones, bro. I
am blowing up right now.

Last time I had this many
likes, I was in the hospital.


[Jin grunts, shouts]

Let's hear it for
your Fighting Cranes!

[cheering continues]

[intercom beeping]

[announcer] If you left your
backpack at the pep rally,

please report to
the principal's…

- Jin.
- [gasps]

Are you okay?

Yeah, I'm fine. Why?

You hit your head so hard.
I was worried all night.

So, that really happened?

Okay. [stammers] Can you just
explain that to me, so what...

You beat the crap out of a gardener
so hard he turned into a pig?

He's not a gardener.
His name is Zhu Bajiè.

And he works for my dad.

I thought you said your dad
worked in another country.

No, he lives in Heaven.

His name is Sun Wukong.
He's the Monkey King.

Okay, cool. I just came to see
if they had any oatmeal cookies,

- so I'm gonna...
- Jin, wait.

I know it's hard to
believe, but it's real.

I'm not from this world and…

I need your help.

You need my help?


Just listen. I had a dream.

A crane spoke to me and said

there's a hero and his guide
will find the Fourth Scroll.

And do you know what I saw
when I first arrived here?



- A crane!
- [sighs]

- That's a sign. You are my guide.
- Yeah... Yeah, dude,

I don't know anything
about any fourth scrolls.

And, honestly, I don't even
speak Chinese that well.

Jin, it's okay.

Just come to my house
and talk to my guardian.

She will explain
everything to you.

I thought you said you
live with your aunt.

[stammers] Well, she's
not actually my aunt.

- Okay, so you...
- Jin! Can I talk to you for a sec?

- Just...
- Yes. Hey, just give me a sec, Trav.

Please, I... Jin.

Five o'clock. Please.

[Jin sighs]

Yeah, okay. I'll come.

Hey, what's up, man?

Throwing a little team
hang after practice today.

- You should come.
- Yeah, definitely, I'll stop by.

- Uh…
- See you there.

[soft instrumental
music playing]

[gasps, grunts]

[in Mandarin] The more you
move, the longer it takes.

Sorry. That one
makes me nervous.

It's just so close to my eyes.

Third eye.

The gate to higher

[chuckles] And hopefully
less headaches.


[chuckles] Bad joke.

Your gate is blocked.



How long have you
been married again?

Uh, eighteen years.

You're going to need
a double session.


Let me see your tongue.

[speaks Mandarin]


I've never seen a
tongue like this.

[shutter clicks]

- Hmm? Did you just take a picture?
- Hmm.

For your files?


No. Not my files.

[speaks Mandarin]


[in English] Hey, Melly.

- Hi, Mrs. Wang. Feeling better?
- Yeah, a little.

Oh, I need a bottle of
this, uh, herbal powder too.

You got it.

How's college? Studying hard?

I'm actually taking a year
off to focus on my music.

Good for you.

Young people should
follow their dreams.

- So what kind of music do you make?
- It's kind of hard to explain.

Do you know what
bubblegrunge is?


- Nu metal?
- No.

- Hyperpop?
- Mm-mmm.

- Glitch hop?
- No.


Uh, sorry, Melly, I don't
know any of your music styles.

Oh, it's none of those but
has elements of all of them.

Sounds interesting.

It's nice to see you taking
care of your grandma.

Oh, I'm not taking care of her.
I'm helping her pack up the shop.

- What do you mean?
- We're closing.

Rents are going up,
sales are going down.

Plus, you can buy Chinese herbs
from white-people stores now,

so it's kind of over for us.

That's terrible.

I better get a whole case then,

since you won't be open
for much longer, huh?


Sucks for Grandma.

That's actually the
title of one of my songs.

[in low voice] ♪
Sucks for Grandma ♪

♪ Sucks for Grandma ♪

♪ Sucks for Grandma Su... ♪

[guests chattering, laughing]



[teammate] Hey, bro!

[Travis] Yo, Jin!

Over here.


- What's up, man?
- What up, bro?

- This is a cool place.
- Thanks.

Yeah, if you like fire pits and
huge Jacuzzis. It's great, right?

Well, it's my mom's
boyfriend's place.

His place is bomb-ass.

Gotta stop saying
"bomb-ass," man. Really.

Everyone says "bomb-ass."

Uh, hey, Trav, um, I feel like we kind
of got off on the wrong foot last week.

Oh, you mean when you
tried to break my neck?

- Yeah.
- Hmm.

I'm just messing with
you, dude. Chill out.

Wait, seriously?

Yeah. I mean, we're all teammates
now, right? Fresh start.

- Yeah, thanks. I appreciate that, man.
- Yeah, of course.

Uh, we do need your help
with something real quick.

- Josh's hair…
- Yeah.

…looks like he tried to cut
it with rocks or something.

- Dude. I didn't cut it. Someone else did.
- [Travis] No. It's bad.

- Actually, it was 60 bucks plus tip, so...
- [Andy] Mmm. Still bad.

Hey, uh, I thought you said this
was gonna be a soccer thing.

Oh, yeah. We invited
some other people too.

Oh, yeah. Cool. Yeah, for sure.

- Does anyone know what the Wi-Fi is?
- Uh, the network is "Josh's hair."

Password is "looks terrible 45."

- It's all lowercase.
- [Josh] Okay, okay. Yeah.

- [grunts]
- [audience laughter]

Freddy, I'm not sure this is
what they mean by "pumping iron."

[audience laughter]

I wanna be just like
Arnold Sportsinvader.

I have seen all of his movie.

Complete Recall, Twin Sibling,

Kindergarten Policeman.

Are you sure this
is a good idea?

Why? What could go Wong?


[audience laughter]


Oh, Freddy.


These instructions seem
simple, but they were not.

- Hey.
- Yeah?

What do you think?


I think the legs
are upside-down.

[sighs] Okay. I've eased the
sufferings of millions, calmed oceans.

I will not be defeated
by Swedish furniture.

- [speaking Mandarin]
- [in English] Uh-huh.

Are you sure we need all this?

Hey, what's with the face?

[sighs, mutters]

[in Mandarin] Jin's late.

Are you beginning
to doubt your guide?

[in English] No.

He'll come.

I know he will.

[guests] Jin! Jin!
Jin! Jin! Jin! Jin!

Dude, you're killing it.
That's five. Keep going.

No... Mmm. I'm not gonna
do... I gotta get some water.

[chuckles] I didn't even think he was
gonna get two, but that's Jin with five!

[guests applaud, cheer]

Okay. All right.

Somebody record this, huh?

- Three, two, one, go!
- Okay.

[guests] Barry!
Barry! Barry! Barry!

[Amelia] Hey.

Do you think that there are any
hot dogs left at this party?

Hey, yeah, uh...

I feel like if you...

If you just turned me upside-down
and just gently shook me,

three would probably
just fall onto the floor.

- Congrats on making the team.
- Thank you.

Oh, and I wanted to tell
you, good luck tonight.

They do this thing every year,

but I really, really think
you're gonna be fine.

[chuckles] Do what every year?


Wait, do what ev…

[in Mandarin] Her
son is at Stanford.

- Wonderful.
- Mmm.

What major?

Art history.

Good thing she has two sons.

- [inhales sharply]
- Everything okay? Does that hurt?

Just my arthritis.

I have something for
you. It's herbal.

I'm fine. No big deal.

It's okay. I have a whole
case. I'll give you some.

Fine. But I'll pay you.

Don't be silly. I'll go get it.

[Barry] If I can be
honest with you guys,

sometimes I do log in to an
alt account late at night

and like my own posts.

[Travis] Okay. Cool.
Thanks for sharing, Barry.

Uh, Jin.

- You are up next.
- Me?

Don't be nervous, bro. We're just
trying to learn about the new teammates.

All right.

- All right, rapid-fire. Are you ready?
- Uh, sure.

Okay, who is, uh,
your favorite player?

Uh, Messi.

- Hmm. Basic, but hard to disagree.
- [Andy] Yeah.

- You speak any other languages?
- Uh, little bit of Chinese and...

- I also know all the words to "Despacito."
- That counts.

- Siblings?
- Nah, it's just me.


Uh, mom won't let me have one, I'm
allergic to cats, birds freak me out.

What do your parents do?

My dad's a computer engineer, and my
mom does just, like, church stuff.

Um, least favorite food?

Uh, root beer. It...
It makes me gag.

- Huh. Hobbies?
- [Andy] That's...

Not really. [stammers] Soccer.

No, aren't you into, like...
Like, comics and stuff?

Well, yeah. Well... I mean,
yes, but when I was, like, five.

And I also had a killer
coin collection, so…

- [Josh chuckles]
- Cool.

All right, last question.

Who are you crushing
on right now?


Dude, it's, like, the
second week of school, man.

- Gotta answer, bro.
- Come on.

I don't know, dude. Um… [sighs]

- [chuckling] Ooh!
- Oh. Yeah.


Yeah, you know? I
don't know, she's cute.

It's good to have dreams.

Yeah, who knows? Maybe
she's into shy mumbling.

[teammates chuckle]

All right, Cooper. You're up.

All right, uh, is it true
you take meds for your BO?

'Cause if not, please do.

'Cause that's like... You
know that's happening, right?

Can I present to you, your
new coffee table? [chuckles]

[clicks tongue, sighs]


[in Mandarin] Are you sure this
boy is who you think he is?

- Yes. I believe in him.
- [chuckles]

Or maybe you're just
searching for a friend.

[in English] Maybe.

- [sighs]
- You know, on second thoughts,

if you truly
believe in this Jin…

[whispers] …you
should go find him.

What? Really?

Mm-hmm. Perhaps he's lost.

But I thought you
said he was a...

- Mmm, mm-mmm. Go. Uh-uh.
- Go...

[in Mandarin] But be careful.
Especially with that staff.

[in English] Okay. Thank you.

[in Mandarin] I'll bring
him here to speak with you.

- [Wei-Chen panting]
- [sighs]

[door closing]

[thunder rumbling]

Hey, Travis, thanks for inviting me,
man, but I think I'm gonna head out.

Hey, no problem, but
don't leave yet, okay?

- Hey, everybody!
- [Josh] Quiet down, guys!

- As we know, tonight is a very big night.
- [Josh shushes]

We had some fun meeting
our new teammates,

but now it's time for
them to prove themselves.

It's the Chump Run!

[Travis] This year's new chumps
are Barry, Cooper, Austin and Jin.

Boys, take your phones out.

For the rest of the night,
whatever we text, you gotta do,

with photo evidence
within three hours.

Fail to complete the
tasks or run out of time,

you'll be wearing a jockstrap on the
outside of your shorts for a week.

The lucky chump who
goes above and beyond,

- they get… the golden cleats!
- [Andy] Yeah!

[guest] Yeah! Whoo!

[guests applaud]

[Travis] The Chump Run is
about loyalty, dedication,

and proving to us that you'll do
whatever it takes to be on this team.

And now that we know a
little bit more about you,

well, it's gonna suck
that much more. [chuckles]

Get to running, chumps.

'Cause tonight, we own you.

[guests] Ooh. Yeah.

[cell phones chiming]

[guest] Come on.

- [guest 1] Get ready, chumps.
- [guest 2] …everything.

[wind blowing]

[door creaks]

[wind blows]


[chuckles] Niu Mowang.

[speaking Mandarin]

It's good to see you.

In sweatpants.

So, what brings you here?

You know, shopping trip.

Good deal hunting.


Me too… [chuckles] …in a way.

But I'm hunting for
something quite different,

something I heard was stolen
from Wukong by his very own son.

You wouldn't know where I might
be able to find that, would you?

I really don't want to hurt you.

[in Mandarin] That's very
merciful, Goddess of Mercy.

[in English] Why don't
you join our uprising?

Help us bring about
a new era of change.

You don't want change, Mowang.

You want power.

You and I both know that Heaven is
a broken system far beyond repair.

If you have grievances, request
an audience with the Jade Emperor.

He will listen.

I learned long ago that
requests get you nowhere.

No one gives you anything.

You have to just take.

[whispers] Look at you.

All pumped up.

- [gasps]
- Take a look at yourself.

[speaks Mandarin]

[in English] It's just a mirror.

Enough with the games, Guanyin.

Just tell me where the boy is.

Why so mad?

- Is it me? Or your own reflection?
- [shouts]



Not my coffee table.



Go away.


[growls, roars]

[strains, groans]



[in Mandarin] You
win, Guanyin. For now.

But once I get that Staff,

it won't be so easy to stop me.


Do what you need to do.

[in English] Just
don't mess with my boy.

[growling, panting]



[in Mandarin] One scoop
in water, not tea.

Helps tension,
headaches, fatigue…

Could it help my ankles?

I don't see why not.

Maybe I should take two bottles.

I'm keeping some for my family…

[speaks Mandarin]

…but I can ask the
herbalist for more.

Tell her to put me down for two.

- Me too.
- Okay. I should write this down.

I can pay you now.
Let me get my purse.

[speaks Mandarin]

Just don't tell anyone, okay?

The herbalist makes it by hand.

It's hard work.

[all laugh]

What's that you're
talking about?


[line ringing]

- [Anuj, in English] Hello?
- [Jin] Hey. Uh, I need a huge favor.

I'm still at school. We had a
cosplay club meeting. What's up?

- Right, yeah, I know. I'm outside.
- What?

Hey. Uh, I didn't know who
else to ask. It's for soccer.

You need my help with soccer?

"Chump Run task number one,
you must wear something stupid.

The stupider the better."

You came to the right place.


- Yeah? Uh, anytime.
- [shutter clicks]

For the record, in my mind I was
picturing an ugly sweater or something.

I know.

Oh, careful with the tail, by
the way. My mom custom made it.


Let's do this thing.

[cell phone chimes]

["Despacito" playing
on cell phone]

[singing, in Spanish]

[song continues]

[song continues]

[security guard] Hey!
Hey, stop running.

Get over here!


[cell phone chimes]

[song ends]

- [speaks Mandarin]
- [speaks Mandarin]

[in English] Hey, Julie!
Tuesday Bible study, huh?

- Okay, yeah.
- See you later.

[church members chattering]

[Mrs. Wang] Oh,
hello, Pastor Mike!

It's been a long time.
Where have you been?

- Our sister church.
- Good to see you.

[Pastor Mike] How are you?

- [Wei-Chen] Jin!
- [screams]

Uh... Shh. Wei-Chen?
What are you doing here?

I've been looking for you.

Is this how you worship?

What? No, um...

Listen, I'm really sorry.

I was gonna come find
you and your aunt,

but, uh, I gotta do this
Chump Run thing first.

What is a chump run?

It's just, like, a series of
tasks that I gotta do for soccer.

Right now I gotta steal a bunch of
toilet paper from my mom's church.

Toilet papers?

Yeah, it's a fun bonding activity. Plus,
if I don't do it, they're gonna punish me.

Who's gonna punish you?

I can't really explain
'cause I gotta figure out

how to wrap a 15-foot statue in
toilet paper in the next hour, so…

Jin, if I help you, will
you come meet my guardian?

Yeah, dude. Definitely.

Okay, then we're gonna need
some more toilet papers.

[clicks tongue]

[dance song playing on speakers]

[Mrs. Wang] Melly.

- Melly. Oh!
- [song stops]

Hi, Mrs. Wang. I
was just closing up.

Here, for you.

What's this?

Money for your grandma.

I bought the herbal powder for
myself, but I sold it at church.

Wait, really? You sold
a whole case in one day?


Here, you should take a cut.

No, no. It's not necessary.

Of course, it is.

That's how my band works.
We split everything 12 ways.

Melly, your grandma
helped me so much.

I just want to help.

That's really sweet, Mrs. Wang.

But, honestly, we need to make, like, a
hundred times this to even make a dent.


Well, do you have more
of the herbal powder?

Yeah. Like, a lot more.


Is everything okay, Mrs. Wang?

Yeah. My headache is gone.

[Jin sighs]

Isn't that the stupidest
bear you've ever seen?

How are we gonna do this?

Well, earlier you asked
me how I found you.

- This is my Uber.
- With a toothpick?

[whooshes, rumbles]

Whoa! [chuckles] Okay.

Oh, my God. Uh...

Are you, like, allowed to use that
thing for stuff like this, or…


Okay. [chuckles]

Come on! Throw me one.

Oh... Uh… Oh, oh, okay.

You want me to
just, like, toss it?

- Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
- All right, here it comes. Ready?


Wow. God.

Whoo-hoo! [chuckles] Dude.

Come on, come one! Another one!

- [Jin] Are you serious, right now?
- Whoo!


- Whoo-hoo!
- Whoo-hoo!

[Jin] Wei-Chen, is...
is that kung fu?

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- [cheers]

- Yeah.
- Let's do this.


[Jin] Dude.

[laughing] Oh, my God!

Dude! Dude! [grunts]

This is so freaking
unbelievable. [chuckles]

Yeah. I should do this
to Jade Emperor's palace.

Yeah, you should!
Whatever that means.

[chuckles] Oh, oh, uh, I
gotta get a selfie, so…

- Uh, okay.
- Yeah. I just gotta...

- [shutter clicks]
- [laughs]

- Here, get in on this, um...
- [stammers]


Oh, my God.

So, um, do you believe me now?

About where I come from?
And about the quest?

Yeah, dude. I do.

Yeah? Okay.

- Come with me.
- [cell phone chimes]

Oh, oh. Uh, one sec.

[chuckling] Oh.

What's that?

[Jin] That means they liked it.

[chuckles] That means they
really freaking liked it.

Jin. Just, um, go
to your friends.

Yeah, we can talk more tomorrow.

Uh, are you sure?

Yeah, just go. Come on. Yeah.

Okay. Um… Thanks.

I really appreciate that.

And, listen, I'm gonna
help you find it, okay?

The... The whatever it is
that you're looking for.

It's the Fourth Scroll, right?

- Uh, yeah. Really?
- Yeah.

- Thank you. Jin, thank you.
- Yes, definitely, dude.

No, dude, thank you.

Um, okay, see you later?

- Yeah. [chuckles]
- Okay.


I'll catch you later, all right?



[Niu Mowang] So this is
what you came here for.

[in Mandarin] Give it back.
That doesn't belong to you.

It never belonged to
your father either.

I was curious why you stole it.

The Fourth Scroll, huh?

[in English] Niu Mowang, please.

You've been very
helpful tonight.


[reporter on TV,
speaking Mandarin]

[Mrs. Wang, in English]
Jin-ah, why so late?

Uh, it's just soccer stuff. It's
not gonna be like this every night.


Good day?


It's a great day, actually.

Me too.

[whispers] 124, 125…

[sighs, grunts]

[shattered glass]


[in Mandarin] Wei-Chen, I told
you to take care of the Staff.

It's not a toy.


Who else knows?


[Sun Wukong sighs]

Time to go home.

Before you make things worse.

Take it easy on the boy...

Enough advice from you.

He's caused enough trouble.

I'm sorry. You had faith in me.

I let you down.


[in English] It doesn't
matter if you let me down,

it only matters if
you let yourself down.

Wait a minute.

Fried rice. We ordered
too much, as usual.

[in Mandarin] Let's go.