Based on a true story of the drug kingpin Jo Bong-Haeing, “Narco-Saints” on Netflix is a 2022 crime-thriller series that will delve into the dangerous world of smuggling and fraud. This six-episode series is a Yoon Jong-bin and Kwon Sung-Hui directorial. The show revolves around the story of a common man Kang In-gu whose entire life is changed due to a drug cartel. From the beginning, In-gu has been a hard-working man, and growing up, he has encountered many life-changing decisions that grew over his mind. In 1968, In-gu’s father decided to represent himself in the Vietnam war, which ideally separated him from his father, and after five long years, he came back, but things didn’t follow up as expected. His father would often stay out for hours looking for jobs to feed the family. So it was pretty obvious that In-gu’s family lacked love and connection. Growing up, In-gu often glanced at his father’s picture in a military outfit, and at that time, he never understood the exact reason for his disappearance. As he reached middle school, In-gu excelled in Judo, and things went out quite well for him.
But In-gu lost his mother, and that day, he noticed that his father didn’t shed a single tear. Instead, he spent all his hours gulping skate fish and soju. Soon, In-gu’s father began working endless nights driving a cement truck to make ends meet. But, he failed to realize that all these hours were taking a huge toll on his mental health, causing him to suffer from sleep deprivation. Well, six years passed by, but one night, In-gu’s father met with a terrible accident and lost his life. During his father’s funeral, In-gu finally understood that his father’s feelings were crushed under the harsh realities of life and debt. Now, In-gu had to take over all the responsibilities of the house and the younger siblings. To make it possible, In-gu worked hard every day. In the morning, he sold Makgeolli to hikers at Mount Soyosan and spent the night catering at a karaoke bar. In-gu saved up for the betterment of his siblings, but they didn’t support him much.
To ease up his responsibilities, In-gu decided to get married, and after multiple tries, In-gu finally met the right person. With Hye-Jin in his life, In-gu was a bit relieved as she helped him out with the household chores. After his siblings graduated from high school, the couple got the house for themselves, and In-gu started to earn more from the army base food delivery service. Soon, In-gu and Hye-jin had two children of their own. His children motivated him to work harder as both of them were incredibly smart in their studies. To provide them with all the advantages, In-gu secured a spacious home, but In-gu was not satisfied yet. In-gu always hated the idea of surviving since he was repeating the same history. To make ends meet, In-gu’s father worked day and night, but this didn’t provide them with any happiness. In-gu’s family was stepping into the same chapter as well; they finally became a family who never spent time together or went on vacations.
In-gu wanted to secure the future of his children as he didn’t want them to suffer like he did. In-gu wanted to earn more money, but Hye-Jin was never comfortable with this idea. She wanted In-gu to be a part of her life. But Eungsoo’s proposal for the skate fish trade opened up opportunities for In-gu. He somehow managed to convince his wife and travelled to Suriname. In-gu became the manager of the Karaoke bar, but sometimes it was difficult for him to keep up with the downfall of his mental health, to the point where it was unbearable to deal with rude and drunk customers. So, he finally decided to step into the skate business, and he learned more about it through Eungsoo. The people of Suriname often tossed out the skate fish, and their coasts were filled with it. Its stench is unbearable, and Brazilians don’t prefer its consumption. So, with a few cents, In-gu and Eungsoo got their hands on skate fish, which are very expensive in Korea.
But nothing comes for free. In-gu had to pay the price for everything. Together, the duo travelled to Suriname and officially began their business. Everything changed around In-gu’s family as earning became easier, and his children got to attend better schools. But Chen Jin’s arrival created huge havoc in In-gu’s life. He claimed to own the Suriname sea and asked for $5000 a month as compensation for the skate fish. Eun-soo and In-gu were brutally injured by Chen’s men, and they also threaten to murder him. While Eungsoo and In-gu were worrying about the outcomes, both of them were enlightened by the involvement of Jeon Yo-hwan, a pastor. Both of them share their issues with Yo-hwan and with his men. Yo-hwan confronts Chen and prohibits him from invading In-gu’s business. But guess what? Chen does not have it. He commands Yo-hwan to maintain boundaries.
But he manages to convince Chen. Moreover, the pastor is well acquainted with the politicians across Suriname, and he is all over the news. Since then, Yo-hwan has made several donations to help people in need. As In-gu thought things were getting back on track, he was struck down with a shocking revelation. Captain Kim informs him about cocaine smuggling and that it was mixed with the ice he supplied. The captain loses his cool, but In-gu tries his best to prove his innocence. The whole stock is stacked in Aruba, which falls under Dutch jurisdiction. But his whole world is turned upside down after he’s arrested by the police. The idea of earning more money for a better livelihood would cost him a fortune, as In-gu had to find ways to pull himself out of this drug scandal misery.