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Evan Hartley is a highly successful Assistant District Attorney who still has a soft spot for his first love, Nicky, when she returns home.


Early life[]


Once she is back from the Yunnan Province, Nicky reconnects with her ex-boyfriend Evan, whom she broke up with because she at the time had been feeling lost and pressured under all of her mother's expectations. Nicky then reveals to him that she is investigating a new Triad gang extending their operations into Chinatown, and hoping that Evan's connections as the city's Assistant District Attorney can help. Their reunion is interrupted by Evan's new girlfriend Sabine, to which Nicky takes poorly as she confides in a vision of Pei-Ling Zhang who appears to console her and encourage her to reconcile with her family.

Later, while Nicky and Mei-Li finally have it out, Nicky mentions that it was Mei-Li that pressured her to break up with Evan and micro-managed her life until she traveled to China.


Nicky goes to the marina, where she intercepts Evan running his usual route. She tells him about her nightmare and asks if he has any leads on Zhilan Zhang. He jokes that all she gave him was a first name and an admittedly good and detailed sketch, and Nicky says she wishes she knew more. She further shares that in her dream, her family was happy, and Evan says maybe if she talked with them more now that she’s home, her relationship with them would improve.

Once Nicky arrives at the family restaurant, Evan is eating his lunch there much to her surprise. As it turns out, he’s been a regular there since Nicky left, telling her he actually had a better relationship with Mei-Li Shen once they broke up. She tells Evan about the girl in the park. He offers to put her in contact with an officer who will take her statement, but Nicky is worried about involving the police. Evan leaves with his order as Henry texts Nicky.

Later, Nicky calls Evan to thank him for his help, and he tells her they found out Zhilan is in Singapore. But more importantly, Zhilan is Pei-Ling’s sister.


Nicky and Henry Yan spar for a bit, until they are awkwardly interrupted by Nicky's ex-boyfriend Evan, who confirms Zhilan kidnapped Chau by sharing CCTV footage of her approaching him forcefully in a parking garage.

Distrustful and a bit jealous of the new guy in Nicky's life, Evan launches a private investigation into Henry after learning he and Nicky broke into Chau's office.


Elsewhere in San Francisco, Evan is feeling guilty over letting his jealousy get the better of him, and investigating Henry. He gets a call from the friend who was looking into Henry, and initially he wants to back down, but it is too late. As his friend just emailed him the information he got on Henry, who isn't all he appears. As it turns out, Evan's background check on him reveals Henry has an extensive criminal record.

Eventually Nicky is quietly updated on Henry's past from Evan. But she doesn't take to the news well, mentioning how she hated the way Evan went about things.


As the Shen family opens up the restaurant to allow activists a place to shelter from the police's unrelenting response, internal pressures between the family begin to form. Althea has concerns of her own, torn over telling Dennis about her past trauma enduring workplace sexual abuse from her former boss, with Nicky urging her to tell her fiancé as her sister's stress over keeping the secret becomes noticeable. Ryan's boyfriend Joe is then identified as a person of interest by the police for allegedly inciting the crowd, but Evan gives Nicky the heads up that the police intend to search the restaurant for him.


Nicky brings Evan fried pickles as thanks for all of his help. Noticing she’s acting weird, he asks her what’s wrong. As she begins to tell him about being frustrated at hitting a dead end with Zhilan, Sabine, Evan’s girlfriend, interrupts the two, and goes on to invite Evan to the Reed Gala. Nicky leaves shortly thereafter.

Nicky bumps into Evan, who expresses surprise at seeing her at an event like the gala.

Evan suspiciously looks on as Althea and Nicky get into the security system. Althea says the firewall was already down due to routine maintenance according to the system.

As Nicky goes to meet Henry, Evan corners her, saying he knows the Shens are up to something.

Eventually, Nicky tells Henry to get her family away from the gala before she goes after Zhilan. Evan looks on in concern as she marches away.


Sometime after the fight, Nicky is discovered by Evan , who helps her and takes her away from the scene as Nicky contemplates the bombshell revelation from Zhilan. Meanwhile, Henry is forced to watch from the sidelines.

Evan and Nicky seek refuge at Evan's hideaway just outside San Francisco. As the former couple shares a tender moment, Evan decides he needs to check up on his girlfriend Sabine, leaving Nicky to angrily confront a vision of Pei-Ling and demand the truth.

Later, Nicky endures a nasty blow to her ribs, she rallies and humiliates Drake before his students as Evan and Althea work together to bust his operation.

In the aftermath, Henry admits he watched Nicky and Evan depart from the art gala without knowing where they went off to. Thus, until Nicky can resolve her lingering romantic feelings for Evan, he decides to pause any progression in their own romance.


Evan is on the phone with Sabine, who wants to talk, and is heading over to his cabin to do so, but Evan hears a knock at the door. It turns out to be Nicky, who still reeling from Mei-Li’s revelations. She tells Evan everything, telling him she feels like her first independent action going to the monastery is now part of destiny instead. Nicky mentions how Mei-Li pushed her away from Evan, and Evan lets her know that Sabine is coming to the cabin.


Evan pulls some records about Sandra Yang, finding that she entered Canada and vanished 20 years ago. Nicky realizes that the date on her last letter is after her entry date and knows there must be a clue to her location inside. Nicky finds a small town in Canada that sells the red panda figurines and realizes Mei-Xue sent this on purpose. It’s time for a road trip, and Evan invites himself along when he realizes Henry is accompanying Nicky.

Evan packs the car, with a text from Sabine confirming she’s moved out of their apartment. Nicky and Henry approach, and all three get in the car for what is proving to be a tension filled trip.

In the car, Evan turns on Dua Lipa to keep Henry awake as he drives, making both Henry and Nicky laugh as he dances along. The next morning, the trio arrive at their destination. While Henry and Evan understandably want to use records to find Mei-Xue, Nicky gets a gut feeling about where she is. The two follow her to a local bar. They ask the bartender about Mei-Xue, but she doesn’t have any information about her. She does point them in the direction of Hank, a local whose father Duke used to own the bar. Nicky tries to talk to Hank to get to Duke, who Hank shares is dead to him. When another pool player tries to get Nicky to leave, Evan steps in and gets punched for his trouble. Nicky takes over, and she and Henry tag team the other men. Evan even gets a shot in before Hank relents and gives them Duke’s address.

At Duke’s cabin, Nicky spots a red panda statue. They split up to look for Duke, and Nicky notices a carving of a woman. Duke points a gun at Nicky, and she pulls out the red panda statue. She tells him about Mei-Xue, and he lowers the gun. He raises it again when Evan and Henry emerge, but Nicky tells them to wait in the car.

Meanwhile, Evan and Henry are antsy waiting for her and find Duke, who tells them Nicky went looking for Mei-Xue following his directions.

Henry wants to go after Nicky, but Evan reassures him. He says he and Nicky used to go camping all the time, and she knows how to handle herself.

In the forest, Nicky finds herself facing a wolf as she gets closer, and it drags away her backpack as she twists her ankle. She splints it herself and continues on. Henry and Evan continue bonding while waiting for Nicky. They both note how Nicky is independent and really doesn’t need their help, laughing at the realization. Evan shares that he broke up with Sabine and that Nicky doesn’t know yet. Henry says that in the end, it’s Nicky’s choice whether to be with Evan or Henry.

Alas, Nicky makes her way back to the car and wakes up Evan and Henry, telling them what happened.


Althea and Ryan then tease Nicky about being stuck between Evan and Henry now that Evan broke up with Sabine.

Somwhere in San Francisco, Evan’s boss comes into his office and tells him one of his clients took a plea deal, which surprises him.

Althea notices Nicky seems happy and starts prying for details on her love life. Nicky tells her about her and Henry’s kiss a while back but that it’s complicated now. She admits how she loves Evan; always have, and probably always will. She doesn’t want to tell Evan how she feels about Henry and risk losing him, especially since he and Sabine broke up.

Eventually, Nicky pays a visit to Evan, wanting to talk to him like Althea suggested. They agree to go get coffee before Evan gets a phone call saying Cody Long, his client that just accepted the plea deal, is innocent and there is video proof. Surprised, he tells Nicky this.

Going over the case with Evan, it is revealed Cody was accused of slipping GHB into a victim’s drink. Members of the frat said they saw him do it, but Evan wasn’t convinced by his confession. He was a poor kid on scholarship who got stuck with an overworked public defender and couldn’t afford bail, meaning he was stuck in prison for a while. He’s just not buying it. Evan subpoenaed footage from the party but there was none, which they both find suspicious. Nicky offers to help.

Evan and Nicky visit Cody in jail. Cody admits that he took a plea deal because didn’t want to drag out the trial since it was hurting his family’s reputation and the DA convinced him he’d lose if he went to trial. Evan asks Cody if there was any footage from the night of the party.

Althea asks Nicky if she’s talked with Evan yet, thinking she’s on this quest to delay having to talk to him. Nicky insists she’s just trying to help Cody and Evan.

Nicky proposes that whatever footage the frat has isn’t on the cloud. She plans to infiltrate the frat, find the video, and leave an anonymous tip so that Evan can follow up.

Nicky, Althea, and Evan confront Margot. She was the one who called Evan. She was afraid to come forward because Justin threatened to ruin her life. Althea tells her that coming forward sucks and is complicated and messy, but the truth is simple.

Margot gives an official account back at Evan’s office. While Evan’s boss is mad about how he went about solving this case the good thing is that tCody will be free by the next morning. Evan thanks Nicky for her help. He then tells her that he’s been having doubts about his job, not sure that being a prosecutor is for him. His life is different than he and Nicky imagined for themselves in high school. Nicky tells him they’re different people, and Evan agrees. She tells him she’ll never stop caring about him, but she wants to be with Henry. Evan takes it well. He envies her for being able to find her own path. Nicky leaves the office with their friendship intact.


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