Parasyte: The Grey – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

The Saejin Church Massacre

Episode 2 of Parasyte: The Grey begins with Kang-woo selling off a watch and pocketing the money from a pawnbroker. Across the road, he decides to spend some of his money to crack into his sister’s phone, determined to find out whether she’s left him a message.

Speaking of hiding, Kang-woo is a wanted man and those thugs from before, the Yeongdeungpo gang, have been searching around the area for him. Despite managing to crack into the phone and finding Jin-hee has called his friend Ki-seok, Kang-woo is forced to stop this search and run. He’s been spotted. Kang-woo manages to escape on a motorbike though in a pretty chaotic action sequence. There’s a lot of shaky cam here though.

Anyway, after these dizzying scenes, Kang-woo heads to the dock and speaks to his friend, Kyu-min. He points out about the Yeongdeungpo guys are serious and they decide to meet at 9 to discuss things further. Kang-woo is also determined to try and find Jin-hee too, given what he’s found out thus far.

Meanwhile, Jun-kyung sets to work and is taken aback by one of the enthusiastic local officers approaching. This is Won-seok, and he’s apparently a big fan of her work. He wants to be part of the taskforce and she agrees to put in a good word to HQ for him if he helps to track down some of the parasites. She also signs his book for him. However, as the camera pans down to the workload on her desk, we see that Su-in’s case is one of those that she’ll be looking into soon.

Chul-min has a soft spot for this girl and he decides to go see her while she’s working. He’s determined to find out the truth and he plucks a hair from her at break. However, it doesn’t disintegrate. Su-in does get that strange ringing in her ears when a guy passes from afar, seemingly showing that he’s one of the parasites. Before Chul-min leaves, he hands over a keyring to her.

That night, Kang-woo’s sister, Kyung-hee, shows and picks up Su-in, as they head to the church. The Pastor wants to meet her given she can mimic humans, unaware that Su-in is actually a mutant. They show at the Saejin church, but Kang-woo happens to be here too and he watches from afar, filming this on his phone.

When Kyu-min asks to meet, Kang-woo ignores him and moves in closer to take a look. What he finds are numerous dead bodies wrapped up in a shed, just off to the side of the church. Unfortunately, one of the parasites show up and begins searching the place, forcing Kang-woo to move stealthily around and out of view. In doing so, he stumbles around and finds that his little sister is one of the people inside these bags. He’s overcome with grief and struggles to control his sobs.

While this is going on, we cut across to Su-in in the church who learns that the parasites arrived on earth with one purpose – to control everyone and kill humanity. They play the victims, pointing out that they’re being slaughtered and how Jun-kyung is using one of their own as a hunting dog.

According to the Pastor, the parasites aren’t able to reproduce and they need to do everything they can to ensure their own survival. The meeting is cut short though when Kang-woo, in his blinded rage, decides to kill the parasite in the shed. Unfortunately, this alerts all the others at the church who head out and begin hunting him. There’s a moment where Su-in and the pastor lock eyes that seem to hint at some sort of showdown in the future but I may be reading too much into this.

As everything crescendos toward the end of the episode, the Yeongdeungpo gang show up and grab Kang-woo in the woods. As they do so while trespassing on the parasite’s ground, they’re all killed by the aliens.

Kang-woo escapes, and so too does Su-in as she guides him away from the carnage. They manage to meet up with Kyu-min at the gas station, and they hurriedly drive off. Unfortunately, Kang-woo soon learns that Kyu-min is not actually his friend and he’s ratted him out to the rival gang to save his own skin. While driving, a knife-fight ensues between them, until one of the parasites drops on the windshield and immediately attacks.

Su-in’s parasite gets to work protecting them and a fight breaks out on the road. At the same time, Kang-woo finds himself in the car precariously resting on the edge of a cliff. Kyu-min is still alive but he points out that Kang-woo has been set up by Jong-do (his former leader) and Kang-woo has to die. The whole operation was a suicide mission for Kang-woo, with him being used the whole time.

When Kyu-min loses consciousness and dies, Kang-woo is saved at the last second by Su-in, who kills her parasite brethren and returns to her normal state. 

At the same time, Jun-kyung looks over her desk and notices the file on Su-in. She’s closing in on her now…

The Episode Review

The second episode really starts to turn this story upside down and it’s clear that the script is going in a very different direction this time. The plot is focusing a lot more on the mystery and the wider implications across Korea with the parasites rather than Su-in grappling with her own inner demons, which may have been a more compelling character study.

That part of the anime was partly what made the show so endearing and helped grow the characterisation between Shinichi Izumi and Migi, helping to form the bond between parasite and human. Here though, the rules are a little less clear and Su-in doesn’t have a whole lot of characterisation just yet. We do know that her mum left when she was little but beyond that, we don’t get a lot of depth about her as a person, which is a shame.

Quite how Kang-woo and Su-in are going to come out of this in one piece, given the issue with the church and the taskforce, is anyone’s guess but it certainly sets everything up for some exciting episodes ahead.

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