Camping & Drugs
With 500 million pills of MDMA flowing in from Colombia every year, Undercover begins with an introduction to the hugely profitable and shady world of drug smuggling. Set in the province of Limbourg in Belgium, the series begins with two Chinese workers in a drug lab having a disagreement. After their discussion gets heated, their initial conflict spirals out of control as one of them stabs the other before running away across a lush green field.
At the Prosecutor office, superintendent Marc Gevers speaks to the Prosecutor about a case he’s working on. They’ve arrested an MDMA dealer and the drugs they’ve found are the same ones found all over the world. That drug happens to be connected to Ferry Bouman – a man at the head of a drug organisation and in charge of the biggest ecstasy/MDMA maker in the world.
In order to try and take him down, the Belgian and Dutch police decide to join forces. Despite his fortune, Bouman prefers to spend his free time in a simple chalet on a popular camping site close to his spacious villa in Limbourg. In order to infiltrate his operation, the police call upon their two best undercover agents – Belgian Bob Lemmens and Dutch Kim de Rooij – to pose as a couple, camping in a chalet near Ferry and his wife Danielle.
At the camping site, Ferry is reprimanding 2 of his accomplices about the incident with the Chinese workers. He tells them they have to finish the job and find the Chinese man that has escaped.
Nick Jansens, the coordinator of the undercover operation, then meets with Bob and Kim. He explain who Ferry is and that they have rented a caravan for him and his undercover wife, Kim. Bob needs to become best friends with Ferry in order to infiltrate Bouman’s life, gain his confidence, and make Bob appear like a criminal who can do business on the drug scene. Nick also mentions a few of Ferry’s accomplices here too, including John Zwart, who was married to Ferry’s sister and Jurgen van Kamp, his son in law and an aggressive kickboxer well known to the police.
Remco Engels, who studied chemistry in university, is another accomplice mentioned along with Denis de Vries who they think is in charge of the drug lab with Remco.
From here, we then see Remco and Denis pay another Asian guy to pose with his head in a troth of water to fool Ferry into thinking they found and killed the Chinese worker that previously escaped. When Bob and Kim arrive at the camping site, they get settled under the watchful eye of Ferry. As they report to the federal police, Bob explains that he wants to be discreet at first because he’s not happy they’re living right next to Ferry. Kim disagrees, explaining it’s a bad idea as everyone is always so friendly while camping.
Later on in a DIY store, the Chinese guy from earlier is caught trying to break his chains and Ferry comes to get him. While chaos breaks out at the store, back at the camping site we meet Danielle, Ferry’s wife, who is having trouble making friends. Kim finds an excuse to introduces herself to Danielle by borrowing a screwdriver. Thanks to that excuse, they manage to get themselves invited to Ferry’s barbecue later that day and from here, they begin to learn more about Ferry.
Ferry then takes Remco into the woods, angry that he was lied to about the Chinese man. Losing his temper, he stabs and shoots him while John buries the body in a pre-made hole, stopping momentarily when he notices a GPS tracker under his car. He then tells Ferry that the police are on to them and watching. The episode then ends with John and Ferry meeting with a corrupted cop – Walter Devos.
For the most part, Undercover sticks closely to the tried-and-tested crime drama formula. It’s still good, and there’s enough here to make for an engaging watch but it also feels very familiar for those who have dabbled a little in this genre. The use of music montages are quite good too and some of the camera work is pretty slick throughout as well. There’s enough here to make for an enjoyable watch and the ending leaves the door wide open for where this show may lead in the future.