Chang-Wook, Wi Ha-Joon, and Lim Se-Mi starrer The Worst of Evil begins with a scene that looks like it came out of Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy. Set in the 1990s, this show follows a police officer’s ambitious mission to infiltrate a drug operation in Gangnam, Seoul. The show is immediately violent and super brutal, thrilling viewers right from the start. Now, this operation is on a global scale, and Junmo, a mere detective in the police department, has to try and get to the bottom of this all alone. Ironically, Junmo isn’t new to drugs, and he really wants to clear up his reputation. Will this mission help him do that?
Gicheul’s Gangnam Takeover
It’s 1994, and Jung Gicheul is a mere DJ at one of the big clubs in Seoul’s popular Gangnam district. He’s grown up in Gangnam and has a gang of friends who went to school together with him. He’s popular as a DJ, but on one fateful day, Gicheul is visited by a gangster from the area named Sergeant Jang. He’s the right-hand man of Korea’s “biggest boss,” Song Donghyuk, and he wants to take in Gicheul and his friends as his own men. Sergeant Jang promises to make Gicheul a club owner rather than having him be a DJ and waste his time. Thinking he’s making the right connections and taking it as a promise from Seargent Jang, Gicheul agrees to the deal. A year later, though, there isn’t much progress, and he doesn’t get the treatment that he thinks he commands. Gicheul makes a visit to Sergeant and reminds him of his promise. He gives him the idea of becoming the biggest drug dealer in Gangnam. Jang feels disapproving of Gicheul for even suggesting drugs as a solution.
Gicheul’s friends don’t like that their main man is getting treated like a low life with no respect, and Gicheul wants revenge, too. He finds a knife-wielding man to side with him and offers him two clubs in Gangnam for helping Gicheul kill Jang and his entire gang. Gicheul takes the gang to a secluded hotel for what we can describe as an office vacation. Everyone is there having fun after a game of baseball, drinking and eating to their hearts’ content. At 3 a.m. at night, Gicheul and his team attacked Sergeant Jang’s gang. With the help of the knife guy, it’s rather easy for them to attack them all, especially because they catch them completely off guard. When it comes time for Jang himself, Gicheul gets his best friend Taeho to handcuff the guy. They can’t kill one of the big boss’ men just like that, so Gicheul is cautious about it. But Taeho, in a rush of adrenaline, takes the man’s watch, and Jang apoplectic with rage over it. Taeho kicks the guy down and wears the watch, but in the meantime, Jang has picked up a pair of scissors on the floor. Before Gicheul can get to him, Taeho is struck in the stomach by Jung, killing him instantly. Gicheul becomes overpowered by emotion and kills Jang by stabbing him multiple times.
Gicheul then makes his way to Donghyuk himself, even with the possibility of never returning. He tells Donghyuk that Jang ran away, but Donghyuk knows the truth. Gicheul offers to send him 50 million won every month if he’s able to get just two areas for himself in Gangnam. Somehow, Donghyuk is impressed by Gicheul’s ambition and confidence, so he turns a blind eye to Jang’s death and gives him what he wants. Gicheul also has ties with a woman named Professor Yoon, but we don’t know much about her just yet in The Worst of Evil episode 1. Gicheul then establishes the Gangnam Union, which from the outside looks like a place for startups but is Gicheul’s den from where he has taken over all of Gangnam’s clubs over the last 6 months.
Junmo is a detective married to a police officer. She’s ranked higher than Junmo at the workplace, and somehow, her family uses that as an excuse to insult Junmo all the time. On top of this, his father is a drug addict, and there was an incident at the wedding when everyone found out about Junmo’s father, which led to him not getting merit for his work at the department. Junmo also happens to be close to a police officer, an older man who showed him the right path when he was just in school and had a broken family. That’s how Junmo was able to become a police officer.
Unsettling as all of this is, Junmo is presented with an opportunity to move up the ranks and clear his name when a friend of his asks him to go undercover and infiltrate Gicheul’s organization. Gicheul may be involved in making meth that is distributed not only in Korea but in Japan and China too. At first, he refuses the offer because he doesn’t want to do something shady when no one respects him. He’s the right man for the job because he could act as a gangster if he needed to and would fit in pretty well. Ultimately, it’s his ego that takes over, and he agrees to the task on a condition. He wants to go up two ranks rather than just the one offered with a heavy bonus.
Will Gicheul Believe Junmo?
The head of the police department agrees, and they explain the plan to get into Gicheul’s gang. Junmo is going to pretend to be Taeho’s cousin, Seungho, to find out about the best-selling drug named “Gangnam Crystal.” Junmo pretends to take sick leave from his actual posting, where nobody knows anything about him being undercover. Now, he finally gets to go to Seoul, and he tells his boss that he’ll find a way into Gicheul’s gang in his own way. Junmo makes it to Gicheul’s favorite restaurant and makes a big scene to get a meeting with him face-to-face. At first, Gicheul’s team tries to take care of it themselves, but when it gets too violent, Gicheul shows up himself to be amused.
Junmo is wearing the gold watch that Taeho had taken from Jang, and seeing that makes Gicheul angry, but it also gives Junmo his undivided attention. The Worst of Evil Episode 1 ends with Gicheul asking Junmo who he really is and what he wants.