Hot snap, I love this show! It is well thought out and has pulled me right in. I am curious to know anyone else’s thoughts. So hurry up and think them so we can think thoughts together!
VINCENZO RECAP EPISODE 1
We open In Italy. Vincenzo is at a wealthy man’s vineyard. This man, Emilio, is the head of a large mafia family in Italy. Vincenzo is a lawyer for another large mafia family in Italy. Emilio does not listen to Vincenzo and also insults him as a savage Asian man.
All this time they were talking, a crop duster has been dusting the vineyard. However, this crop duster has been putting gasoline on the vineyard. Vincenzo leaves and tells the man that he is the savage then lights a match as he walks to his car and burns the entire vineyard down.
He goes back to his fabulous family home where we see that Vincenzo is the adopted son of a mafia boss. He is also a top lawyer for the family. But his adopted father has died so the birth son, who is jealous of Vincenzo, tries to kill him and sends assassins to Vincenzo’s apartment. Vincenzo kills the assassins and also sends his brother a warning by blowing up his car. He tells him not to bother him otherwise, next time, he will blow the car up while he is in it. He says he is leaving Italy, don’t ever look for me.
Vincenzo travels to Korea but gets robbed by a fake driver in a pretty comical scene. However, just arriving in Korea alarms the NIS agency that he is there. There is one man named Ahn Ki-suk whose job is to look into Italian oversight. He never has anything to do, but he jumps to attention as soon as the alert comes in that Vincenzo is in the country because he knows who Vincenzo is. He alerts his boss, however, his boss does not really care at all.
But back to Vincenzo. Vincenzo is left in a dirty abandoned lot on the outskirts of the city On the bright side, the crooks left him $50 won so he takes a bus to Seoul. His only goal of being in Korea is that he wants to get tons of gold out of the basement of a building in Seoul. This gold originally belonged to a Chinese mafia who wanted to hide his gold in a safe location. So the boss hid his gold in a secret basement of this building in Korea. We do not know what happened to this Chinese mafia boss, he could still be alive or not, they don’t mention that yet.
However we do know that Vincenzo owns this building and he is about to get this gold.
The landlord of the building works for Vincenzo. The important thing to know about the landlord is that he never entertains people who want to purchase the building because he knows that the basement is filled with gold. However, the Babel Group really wants to purchase this building in order to demolish it and build another building in its place. The Babel Group is huge, they are like Samsung, LG, or Hyundai, and are the main villains of this show. They are like the root of evil, though it is not shown how evil they are yet.
THE BUILDING OF NOTE
Vincenzo, and us, get a tour of the building where we find out who all the tenants are. They are all small time business owners who all own their own shops in the building, and – they are all crazy (I love them all so much). The tenants do not want to move to another building. So they are against Vincenzo and do not trust him. On the bottom floor is the newest tenant who is a monk that has a Buddhist monastery. The entrance to the secret, gold room is right under this Buddhist monastery.
In a nicely hilarious move, Vincenzo is going to be living in the building, which is pretty dilapidated, we get a funny showering scene where the water is extra cold and then piping hot but it also spits out the water instead of running in a steady stream. So, his shower is not relaxing. He tries to sleep that night, but a bird bothers him at his window, all that, along with getting robbed, is all just a mess of a welcome to Korea.
The next morning, we find out that his mother is in jail and lawyer Hong Yoo-chan is her lawyer. This lawyer is also a tenant in the building Vincenzo owns which complicates the situation a bit.
There is some fun and games where we see Vincenzo eating at the Italian restaurant in the building. The owner is a very stereotypical fake Italian chef. His restaurant is like Olive Garden style but times twenty. The Italian owner really tries to get by on being authentic Italian, but he is 100% fake (fake hair, fake mustache, fake food) and Vincenzo calls him out on that.
Vincenzo tries to get his jacket cleaned at the dry cleaners in the building, but the dry cleaner gives him a hard time and does not believe that the cloth of the jacket is expensive. He ends up shrinking it several sizes though he might have done that on purpose because the tenants don’t trust Vincenzo at all and think that he works for Babel group. He calls a meeting to try and convince them that he is on their side, but they do not believe him.
Later on, a Babel group lawyer comes to the building and tries to buy it. Vincenzo and the landlord, Jo Young-woon, do not sell it. It does not matter how much the price is because they have hundreds of millions in gold in the secret basement so they are not interested at all.
This leads to several thugs assaulting Jo Young-woon and his family and forcing Jo Young-woon to sign the paperwork to sell the building to them. He and his family are tied up all night. He tries to tell Vincenzo this the next morning while driving, and basically gets it all out while on the phone, but he gets hit by the truck-of-doom while in the middle of his explanation
The thugs that purchased the building go to the building in the morning and basically tell all the tenants that they own it now and it is about to be demolished to build the new Babel building. On top of that, they bully the tenants around to leave immediately. But Vincenzo comes out in dramatic fashion and stops them.
The thugs try to bully Vincenzo too, but Vincenzo ain’t the one to be bullied. In a very quick and elegantly dramatic move, he uses the dry cleaners tape measure, ties the boss up around the hand, then dangles him outside the nearest window.
He tells him, “I am going to get this building back, and all of you are going to pay for all your illegal dealings because this building belongs to me.”
One important side story to note is of Vincenzo’s mother’s lawyer, Hong Yoo-chan, who is basically a good pro-bono lawyer who works for the people. His daughter, however, is a lawyer that works for Babel group. Her name is Hong Cha-young. She is excellent at her job and has no remorse for what she does. Their story is pretty funny because he tries to disown her and she is like, you can’t disown me. This leads her to being at the building when the thugs try and take it over so this is her first meeting with Vincenzo.
I love Vincenzo! It is stylish, well written, well acted, and hilarious! The same writer who wrote Fiery Priest is writing Vincenzo so you know there will be loads of hilarious situations that are played straight (which I just love so much). Everyone looks really good in it, especially Song Joong-ki who is cleaned all the way up from his previous role in Arthdal Chronicles. He looks truly amazing. Shoot, just seeing how he looks is more than enough to check out the first episode.
The only thing I am wary about is using Italian culture as a central piece of Vincenzo’s character. I am only wary about it because cultural appropriation is huge in America right now. In the show, they have more than just Italian mafia, they also have Chinese mafia and Korean mafia so they get several crime families from different countries in the mix. The only time they are making fun of it is with the Italian chef in Korea, though Vincenzo does call the chef out for being fake.