Multiple roadblocks lead to several last-minute decisions in a slow, trickier episode of Narco-Saints.
This recap of Narco-Saints season 1, episode 4 contains spoilers.
The fourth episode of Narco-Saints starts with a bang — literally. With the cocaine having been intercepted at the border by the Brazilian authorities, panic is rife among the group. David and Changho, obviously posing as Sangman, try to talk their way out of the predicament, but Jeon’s men show up guns blazing and mow down the Brazilian border guards. It’s a chaotic sequence shot for maximum delirium, and quite a way to kick off an episode.
Narco-Saints season 1, episode 4 recap
Of course, it was the NIS who tipped off the border guards, which Ingu isn’t exactly thrilled to learn given that it put him directly in the firing line. His relationship with Changho is already strained, and it’s only getting worse. I neglected to mention this in my recap of the previous episode, but Changho promised Ingu additional compensation for his trouble that Ingu asked him to send directly to Eungsoo’s family. Ingu took his word for it, but neither he nor we saw any proof that the transaction happened. Changho seems content to continuously endanger Ingu, and his justification that the bust was technically a win for the NIS since it closed off Jeon’s Brazil supply route is small consolation.
The fact that the authorities just so happened to stumble into their first shipment also raises suspicions within Jeon’s camp, only endangering Ingu even further. Luckily Ingu is such a shrewd negotiator that he manages to deflect suspicion to everyone other than himself, though especially Preacher, who he accuses of sabotaging the deal on behalf of Chen Zhen (Preacher’s deference to Jeon is very bizarre, and I hope we get some more explanation of how and why he changed sides.) While Changho taps into Ingu’s phone, Jeon takes him to meet the President of Suriname in a bizarre scene which looks like the president was added to in post, and then to a lush viewpoint from which he sends golf balls sailing over the military land where he plans to grow his own cocaine rather than relying on the Colombians. He’s willing to make Ingu the director of that operation, but it requires a significant cash injection to get up and running, which requires Ingu patching things up with Sangman to find another route into Korea for the borrowed two tonnes.
Coincidentally, having been pitched such a lucrative offer by Jeon, Ingu suddenly advises Changho to be cautious in his approach. With Europol having already frozen Jeon’s accounts, with him owing the Colombians such a large amount of money, the plan was to flush him out as soon as possible. With Ingu campaigning for patience, nobody from the NIS to the audience knows which side Ingu is playing at this point, which is a pleasing development.
What’s more, is that Changho doesn’t know entirely where he stands either. He makes contact with the DEA, who’re willing to participate in Jeon’s apprehension but only in an unofficial capacity so that they don’t have to answer to Congress down the line for a South Korean sting operation. But Changho also needs to convince Jeon to reroute the shipment through Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, and he’s savvy enough not to do that. The two disagree and argue and Jeon eventually calls Changho’s bluff.
This leads Ingu to suggest a different approach — perhaps, instead of going to all this trouble to arrest Jeon, he could simply be killed instead? Changho seems to care about law and order and making the Pastor answer for his many crimes, and he has devoted years of his life to making that happen, but it might be the only option.
Pressed for time and unwilling to risk following Changho’s suggested route, Jeon comes up with a new idea. Ingu follows him directly to… Chen Zhen? As Ingu himself says, what’s going on here, Pastor?