Narco-Saints ups the ante with some fun action and high-stakes turns as we rocket towards the finale.
This recap of Netflix’s Narco-Saints season 1, episode 5 contains spoilers.
So, here’s why Jeon went to see Chen Zhen at the end of the previous episode — he wants to use his European meth networks to sell his cocaine in record time so that the Cali Cartel doesn’t kill him. There’s no love lost between the pair and little trust, so any chances of a longstanding arrangement are shot down immediately. Instead, Chen Zhen agrees to help in exchange for the Preacher. There’s some unfinished business there, after all.
Narco-Saints season 1, episode 5 recap
Of course, this isn’t ideal for the NIS, who need Jeon to move the coke into Puerto Rico, so the responsibility for convincing him to do so falls to Ingu. That doesn’t go well either. In fact, this is the first time we see our protagonist’s strongarm negotiation tactics legitimately backfire. Jeon ends up flipping out, bottling him, and having him dragged away by his security.
Realizing that he isn’t going to be able to get through to Jeon, Ingu instead goes straight to Chen Zhen, shows him the photograph of Jeon’s coca farm, and implores him to kill Jeon so that they can go into business together. However, at the same moment, David calls up to tell Chen Zhen that Jeon is going to hand over Preacher. It’s time for some chaos.
Narco-Saints really ups the ante here. On the one hand, we have Chen Zhen and his men getting the jump on Jeon and his closest associates and trying to gun them all down while they try to move the coke. And on the other hand, we have a bunch of thugs heading to Preacher’s location to try and kill him. Both scenarios erupt into violence. Preacher absolutely owns Chen Zhen’s goons, while Jeon, David, and Jeon’s big bodyguard — the one who was in prison with Ingu — escape into some tunnels, rather crucially without the coke.
All this chaos leaves the drugs in the care of Chen Zhen and everyone else in complete disarray. Changho wants to pull the plug on the operation and have Ingu flee to the U.S. embassy, but he wants to stay undercover. With a relationship between Chen and Jeon now completely off the table, the only option to move the coke is through Puerto Rico. Suddenly, the NIS might be back in business.
But that means throwing Jeon off Ingu’s scent. Which in turn means allowing David to be shot in the head — and everywhere else — for his apparent treachery, even though he’s innocent. Jeon suspects David because of a Blackberry full of calls to Chinatown that he found hidden among David’s things. But he’s unconvinced, even then. David was always a coward and apparently wouldn’t have had the stones to pull off this kind of deception without help. So, Jeon’s still not especially inclined to listen to Ingu. Still, the number one priority must be finding the cocaine, so Ingu sets out to do that while everyone else bickers.
Chen Zhen, though, is in hiding, and won’t reveal where either he or the coke is. He’s still worried about the inevitable repercussions from the Pastor. So, that leaves Ingu with zero options, and his position is worsened by Sangjun and a couple of Jeon’s other goons tailing him. Luckily, he receives help from an unlikely source — Preacher.
As it turns out, Preacher is the NIS agent on the ground, and it was him who planted the phone in David’s things. Now, Ingu’s only chance of survival is to work with him. Meanwhile, Jeon takes the nuclear option and appeals directly to the president, imploring him to send the army into Chinatown to locate Chen Zhen and the drugs. In exchange, Jeon will give him a heftier cut, but he also promises to install Preacher as Chen Zhen’s replacement, thus ensuring his re-election by controlling the Chinese vote. The President agrees, and the troops roll in. Chen Zhen, with no other option, calls Ingu and tells him where he is. Ingu arrives with Preacher, and the latter shoots Chen Zhen dead.
Jeon considers this a win. But he doesn’t realize that both Ingu and Preacher are now in his ear, sending him in the wrong direction. When Preacher explains that Chen Zhen’s network will take much too long to move the coke, Jeon has no option but to call Changho and agree to move the product into Puerto Rico.