Narco-Saints – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

If you can’t beat them… join them?

Episode 2 of Narco-Saint starts with Kang in prison trying to make a phone call but he is informed that since he was arrested for smuggling drugs, he has no right to make a phone call. This forces him to bribe a guard and he is finally able to make a few calls.

He first calls the Korean Embassy but they don’t prove helpful. He then calls his wife who is scared and wants to get him a lawyer. Kang is worried that a lawyer will cost a lot of money and refuses. He reassures her that he will find a way to clear his name.

He gets a surprise visit from Agent Choi Chang-ho who works with National Intelligence Services. Agent Chang-ho says he is planning on helping him as he is aware that Kang is innocent. He knows the guilty party and he drops a bombshell on Kang. Pastor Jeon Yo-hwan is not who he says he is.

He is using his ruse as a pastor to smuggle drugs and he controls 60% of all of Europe’s narcotic distribution and trade! Color me shocked!

Kang is surprised to learn that his new friend is Suriname’s cocaine godfather. As it turns out for the past 18 years Pastor Yo-hwan has been on the run, assuming new identities and running different drug operations. He is a con man, drug dealer, and murderer. He is also the reason Kang is currently in jail. Agent Chang-ho explains that Pastor Yo-hwan is looking to expand into Korea and that is why he used Kang’s skate shipment to ship his cocaine.

Chang-ho also informs Kang that Eung-soo is dead and he was probably killed by the Pastor’s men. Kang is overwhelmed with this news and agent Chang-ho asks for his help to bring Pastor Yo-hwan to justice. They can’t arrest Pastor Yo-hwan as Suriname and Korea don’t have an extradition treaty which makes it hard to take him down.

Chang-ho suggests that they help each other by getting Pastor Yo-hwan out of Suriname. They plan to get Kang to convince him to sell his drugs to the West. Once he leaves Suriname to expand to the US, they will use international agencies to arrest him and bring him to justice. In return for his help, Kang will be able to clear his name and have the charges against him dropped.

Kang is obviously hesitant and feels that it would be a suicide mission. He is prepared to do it but under one condition, he wants to be paid 500 million won. He wants to get back the investment he made in the skate export business. Agent Chang-ho immediately accepts the condition and agrees to pay 200 million won upon release and a further 300 million won once Pastor Yo-hwan is in custody. The plan is now set in motion and Kang is ready to risk his life.

He is tasked with getting close with Pastor Yo-hwan’s personal bodyguard from Nigeria who is currently serving time in the same prison. For the next seven months until his release, Kang will feed the bodyguard information to deceive Pastor Yo-hwan. He will do that by distributing drugs in the prison and acting as a “pusher.” Using his charms and his judo skills, Kang establishes himself as the drug kingpin in the prison.

He finally serves his time and is released from prison. Agent Chang-ho picks him up on his release date and introduces him to a female colleague who will be helping them. They also discuss the 200 million won promised to Kang upon his release. Agent Chang-ho thinks it is best if the money is paid in ten monthly instalments to Kang’s wife.

Kang is not pleased with the new set of arrangements and he negotiates and asks for Eung-soo’s family to be taken care of as well. After the financial matter is settled, they get straight to business. 

He goes back to Suriname and pays a visit to the leader of the Chinese gang (Chen Zhen ) to make him an offer. He tells him of his plan to sell Cocaine in Korea and asks if he can be his supplier. He says he needs a ton of cocaine for the first shipment and Chen says he is crazy but he is willing to get on board. 

A few days later, Chen Zhen gets back to Kang and they set up a meeting at his restaurant in Chinatown. On the other hand, Kang is being followed by the pastor’s men and a bloody impasse ensues in the meeting. They threaten to kill Kang if he refuses to go meet with the pastor. Kang’s meeting with the pastor proves to be a mental power play as the pastor is curious about only one thing. Why did Kang return to Suriname? 

The Episode Review

I felt moved by Kang’s desire to secure the future of his kids even though he knew he was risking his life. He is also a good friend because he thought of Eung-soo’s family. 

The stakes in this episode are raised and it looks like viewers are in for a good showdown in the next upcoming chapters. How will Kang’s plan to bring down the powerful drug leader masquerading as a holy man go?  

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You can read our full season review for Narco-Saints here!

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