Vincenzo episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: February 20, 2021
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Netflix k-drama series Vincenzo episode 1


Well, that was some premiere — there’s plenty to flesh out, but Vincenzo episode 1 proves we are going to be dealing with an insanely cool character.

This recap of Netflix k-drama series Vincenzo episode 1 contains significant spoilers.

If you are a k-drama fan, then the next several weeks will be a treat — not only do you have Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce), but you can also feast your eyes on crime drama Vincenzo, which has had Twitter by storm. And that’s after a double bill of Sisyphus: The Myth. The Netflix Original K-Drama plate has scheduled a feast. Anyway, to the premiere of Vincenzo.

The opening scene in Vincenzo episode 1 sees Vincenzo Cassano narrating and saying he wants a building in the distance to be torn down. It flits to 72 hours previously in Rome, Italy and he wakes up to church bells. The series introduces him as consigliere of the Cassano family, a lawyer and legal advisor to an Italian mafia boss. Vincenzo heads to Emilio’s house, which is at the Grecco Vineyard. When he gets there, Emilio asks him how he can do business on the day of his boss’s (Fabio) funeral. Vincenzo tells Emilio that he made a mistake killing the union boss. Tensions rise, and Emilio tells Vincenzo to leave, stating he is not scared of war and remarks something racist. This was clearly a mistake…

Negotiations were short

It doesn’t take long to show how ruthless Vincenzo is in Episode 1…

As Vincenzo walks away, a plane flies over, spraying fuel over the estate. Vincenzo sparks a lighter and throws it to the ground, and the estate lights on fire. There’s suddenly panic with Emilio and his staff racing to fight it, but it’s already burning quickly. Emilio vows to get revenge on the Cassano family (audience — take a mental note). Vincenzo returns to the funeral and pays his respects; he’s carried out Fabio’s last orders. In the middle of the night, hitmen come for Vincenzo, but he manages to evade their assault and kill them from his bathroom while wearing a fancy robe. Afterwards, he tells Paola that he’s leaving Italy forever and warns him not to find him. He’s returning to Korea.

Cha-young, the hotshot corporate lawyer

The opening episode then introduces another lead character and possibly the love interest in the series… who knows.

Cha-young, a lawyer, attends a courthouse. She is defending medication from Babel Pharm and claims there is no proof that side effects killed the victims. She’s clearly a hotshot and fiery lawyer, and the prosecution lawyer is frustrated. Cha-young tells him to wash his hair for court in the future and that they could have settled — the prosecution lawyer is her father, and he accuses her of working with a mafia. Cha-young gets tearful and wants the fighting to stop and family to come first. The father asks her to quit her life as a lawyer.

So there’s a lot of bitterness between father and daughter.

The police are alerted at Vincenzo’s presence

Episode 1 shows that the lead character has fame in Korea — a police station is alerted that Vincenzo has arrived in Korea. Mr An is concerned, as he’s a player in the Italian mafia. He wants to track him, but his boss tells him to leave him be and kicks him out of his office. As Vincenzo arrives in Korea, his driver watches him sleep, and then he and his friend take money and items off him. Vincenzo wakes up, and he’s kicked in the face. He’s facing trouble in Korea already. When Vincenzo wakes up again, he curses and shouts “stupid Korea” and ends up getting the bus.

The family process

Vincenzo describes a process his family have used for years; buy an old building and hide gold in there, stashing it in a secret basement that requires a biometric pass. Vincenzo meets Mr Cho, the man he uses to get the buildings. Vincenzo settles into an apartment at the plaza, one of the buildings Mr Cho owns.

A tour and the temple

Mr Cho gives Vincenzo a tour of the building and the tenants. There are plenty of weird tenants as he looks around. Vincenzo asks for the secret basement, and Mr Cho tells him he has a more sensible tenant who owns that area of the building now. It’s a Temple, and underneath it, there’s plenty of illegal gold. This is definitely a breach of ethics!

Hong Yu-chan introduces himself

Vincenzo episode 1 sees a rivalry between two lawyers brewing from the start — one viewed as a good lawyer, while the other is viewed as bad.

Lawyer Hong Yu-chan (Cha Young’s father) introduces himself to Vincenzo as he saw him walk in with the building owner Mr Cho — nearby tenants are interested because he has an Italian name. Hong Yu-chan reminds him that because his law licence is in Italy, he cannot practise law in Korea, only advise it. Vincenzo claims he has no intentions of practising law in Korea.

Oh Gyeong-ja

A flashback shows Vincenzo at court, and it’s about Oh Gyeong-ja, who has apparently abandoned her child and committed crimes. She’s relinquished parental rights as part of the trial. Oh Gyeong-ja gets frustrated and claims Chairman Hwang sexually assaulted women. She’s told to be quiet. In the present day, Vincenzo sees that Hong Yu-chan is now her lawyer and is trying to get her a retrial for her crimes.

Hong Yu-chan visits Oh Gyeong-ja in jail. She can tell he hasn’t got good news. It’s been five years since she was imprisoned. She tells him he doesn’t have to visit every month — they seem to have a warm friendship. Hong Yu-chan tries to bring up a retrial, but Oh Gyeong-ja dismisses it, stating she’s done some terrible things.

This will surely get fleshed out in future episodes, but I wonder what interest Vincenzo has in this story.

Vincenzo meets Hong Yu-chan

The team leader for Babel’s Investment and Development wants to meet Vincenzo. Hong Yu-chan asks him to meet the team leader in his office. Vincenzo tells the team leader that his client will demolish the building and build a new one, and the previous tenants will have their lots back. The team leader tells Vincenzo that he will regret it if he continues to reject his offer — Vincenzo takes it as a threat.

The tenant group

Vincenzo tells a tenant group that he will have an agreement drawn up and promises that they will get their lots back. Hong Yu-chan joins the tenants and trusts Vincenzo. However, afterwards, Hong Yu-chan reveals he doesn’t trust Vincenzo, and he’s worried about the tenants — he states Vincenzo represents money and that he represents people. There’s a lot of battles of morals and ethics within the law in this k-drama series already.

But then the story changes dramatically. When Mr Cho gets home, his family have been taken hostage by a group of men. They ask him to sign an agreement for the sale of a plaza — the same one Vincenzo is dealing with. He has no choice but to go through with it.

Relinquishing parents rights

Vincenzo episode 1 shows how bad it has gotten between Cha-young and her father.

Cha-young gets a legal letter — her father, Hong Yu-chan, has relinquished his rights as a father due to ethical violations. She’s frustrated by it and tries to ring him, but he puts the phone down. Cha-young barges into his office, and Hong Yu-chan wants her removed from the family registry.

Hong Yu-chan is dismayed that Cha-young doesn’t have a sense of justice, and then the father and daughter argue intensely.

Notices are put up

The next day, Mr Cho rings Vincenzo and tells him that he had no choice (referring to the plaza) due to his family being hostages. Suddenly, Mr Cho’s car is hit by a truck. Notices are put up on the plaza: “Seller: Cho Yeong-un, Buyer: Babel E&C”. The tenants are dismayed, believing Vincenzo has betrayed them.

Violating the law

As we near the end, we see how cool our lead mafia lawyer is going to be.

Park Seok-do, the CEO of Ant Company and the chairman of the Development Committee for Babel Tower, shows up. He tells the tenants that the building belongs to his company, and his compensations team will be in touch soon. Hong Yu-chan claims they are violating the law by doing this, and one of Park Seok-do’s men pushes him. Cha-young defends her father and tells them this is not how to do business.

The ending

As tensions escalate, Vincenzo shows up and tells everyone to stop. He approaches Park Seok-do and states he represents the owner of Geumga Plaza, Cho Yeong-un. One of the men tries punching Vincenzo, but he disarms him quickly. Vincenzo then punches Park Seok-do in the face and then uses a tape measure to hang him over the building balcony — everyone is in complete shock. He tells the man that Babel E&C bought the plaza through illegal means and will not forgive their atrocity. He tells the CEO that he will get this building back and make him pay for what he did.

Well, that was some premiere — there’s plenty to flesh out, but Vincenzo episode 1 proves we are going to be dealing with an insanely cool character.

Additional points
  • Vincenzo struggles with the water pressure and temperatures of the shower in his temporary apartment.

Netflix, Weekly TV
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