Parasyte: The Grey season 1 episode 1 recap (and grade)

Check out this extensive recap to the first episode of Netflix's Parasyte: The Grey.
Parasyte: The Grey 
Image Courtesy Netflix
Parasyte: The Grey Image Courtesy Netflix /

Netflix has just released a new Korean series for everyone to stream. It's called Parasyte: The Grey, and it's definitely worth watching. It's a live-action adaptation of the bestselling Japanese manga Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki, and it's easily one of the best Korean shows to be released in 2024 so far.

Coming from Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho, the story follows the aftermath when a bunch of mysterious parasitic creatures fall from the sky and start violently taking over human bodies in an effort to grow their power and take over humankind.

That's when the government mandates that an anti-parasite task force be formed to put a stop to these unidentified parasitic life-forms. The show mainly centers around Su-in, an ordinary woman with a dark past who becomes infected by a parasite. However, the parasite hasn't fully taken over and instead coexists with Su-in, making her half-mutant. With the anti-parasite task force after her and other parasitic creatures trying to take over the world, Su-in must do everything she can to survive.

Now that all six episodes of the sci-fi horror series are streaming on Netflix, we’ve decided to recap each episode, breaking down what happens. We even graded each one. Obviously, we'd start with the first episode.

Spoilers ahead from Parasyte: The Grey episode 1!

Parasyte: The Grey Image Courtesy Netflix /

The first episode opens with a man chatting with people online, talking about killing someone. Then, it cuts to a strange looking spore falling from the sky and landing on the floor of a EDM festival. A larvae then sprouts out of the spore and makes it way to the nearest person, entering the human's body through its ear and takes over. The man who has now been possessed falls unconscious. A young woman runs into the room and tries to wake the man up but to no avail. We find out she's his sister. She leaves the room and then suddenly the man wakes up, but he's no longer himself. The extraterrestrial larvae has completely taken over. He walks out of the room to where the festival is being held.

His sister notices him and reaches out to touch him, but as he turns around, his head transforms into a tentacle-like creature with blades at the tips. He then slices her open with one his tentacles. All the festivalgoers begin running away, while the parasite-possessed man begins killing whoever is in his sight. Then, we cut to the title card.

Once the opening ends, the episode cuts to a hour ago. The man we met at the very beginning of the episode is at the supermarket buying meat. Instead of waiting for the butcher to put a price tag on the meat, the man picks it up and walks to a register to pay. Since the meat doesn't have a price tag, he has a confrontation with the cashier. After the cashier refuses to sell him the meat without a price tag, the man angrily leaves the store.

The workday is over and the cashier gets ready to leave the supermarket. We find out that her name is Su-in. As she makes her way home on her moped, she notices a man in a car following her. It's the angry customer from earlier. The man hits her with his car, and Su-in is thrown off her bike onto the ground. The man quickly gets out of his car and begins to stab her with a knife. Su-in is able to push him away, and then tries to run away. But she doesn't make it very far since she's critically injured. As she lies on the ground, a spore falls from the sky next to her, and a larva pops out. It quickly enters her body, and just as the man approaches her with his knife, he's sliced open by the tentacles with blades that sprout out from her head. The police then show up.

Now, we're taken to the police station where we meet Detective Chul-min. He's debriefed on the mysterious killing that just happened. His colleagues inform him of the victim's name, and he's shocked to find out it's Su-in. They have a prior history. He goes to visit her at the hospital where she's in a coma. He finds out that she's unharmed, which is shocking since she was stabbed multiple times. Meanwhile, a comatose Su-in dreams of a past memory from her childhood. She suddenly wakes up, and she and Chul-min talk about what happened. We find out that Su-in was abused by her father as a child and Chul-min was the detective to save her. That's their past history. Chul-min talks to Su-in a little more before leaving to let her get some rest.

We cut to a few months later. A gang leader enters a club and is attacked by a mysterious assailant. The attack ends up being a failure and the assailant has to run away. We find out later that the assailant's name is Kang-woo and that he's a member of a rival gang called the "Mangnani gang." Since his attack didn't go well, he now has to lay low because the other gang is after him. He decides to go back home, where he's encountered by his strange older sister. He asks his older sister where their younger sister is and she tells him that she's gone somewhere. But he finds this strange. He later finds a pamphlet for a church called "Saejin Church." According to the pamphlet, a revival prayer meeting is happening later that night. There's also a weird symbol printed on the pamphlet.

The episode cuts to Su-in who is on a bus on her way home from work. Suddenly, she hears a large screeching noise and covers her ears. This happens just as a strange man enters the bus. The man stares at Su-in as he makes his way to his seat. This freaks Su-in out and she quickly gets off the bus. Then, the episode cuts to a man taking a woman back to her house. The woman is very stoic and acts in a strange manner. When the man pulls up to the woman's house, it looks like a rundown building. This can't be good...

She takes him to a room where plastic is covering the ground. The man immediately starts to panic. Then, a group of people enter the room and only talk to the woman. They're just as stoic as the woman. As the man begins to make a call for help, the woman transforms into a tentacled creature and attacks. Suddenly, smoke bombs are thrown into the room and the man is able to run away. The other stoic people begin transforming too. Armed men run into the building and begin shooting and killing the tentacled creatures. One tentacled creature is able to get away, though.

The tentacled creature hears a high-pitched noise coming from a van and finds a man strapped to a seat with a helmet on. He asks the man if he is one of their kin before he notices the man holding a remote. He realizes that the man is a prisoner. Suddenly, a woman with a shotgun appears and begins shooting at him. Although the tentacled creature does get shot, he's able to escape. The woman and her team then head back into the building to see what the tentacled creatures have been hiding. They find a room where human body parts are being kept. They also notice a weird symbol on the wall. It's the same symbol that was on the pamphlet from earlier in the episode. The woman realizes that the tentacled creatures are banding together.

Back at Kang-woo's house, Kang-woo's older sister talks to somebody on the phone about recruiting Su-in into their organization. As she leaves to go find Su-in, Kang-woo secretly follows behind her. Elsewhere, Su-in encounters the strange man from the bus again and he begins to chase her into a junkyard. As she tries to run away from him, Kang-woo's older sister and the strange man trap her. Kang-woo watches everything from a hiding place. We find out that Kang-woo's older sister and the strange man are tentacled creatures. This is when we get to see how Su-in looks as a tentacled creature as well. Kang-woo's older sister and the strange man give Su-in a pamphlet for the revival prayer meeting at Saejin Church and tell her to join them later that night. They leave afterward.

Kang-woo tries to escape from his hiding place, but a possessed Su-in captures him. She demands that he does something for her or she'll kill him. The episode then cuts to normal Su-in waking up from her possession. Kang-woo explains everything that happened to her and how she became a tentacled creature. This is what the possessed Su-in wanted him to do. He explains to normal Su-in that when the parasite entered her body the night she got stabbed, it couldn't fully take over her brain, so she's not a full mutant. She's a half-mutant. Kang-woo then leaves.

Later that night, Su-in is able to get in contact with the possessed side of herself who tells her that she'll explain their condition in detail. The main takeaway from this explanation is that a possessed Su-in can only take over Su-in's body when she's in danger and only for 15 minutes a day. The reason that she can't be in control longer is because she failed to completely take over Su-in's brain. The possessed Su-in's, who I will now call a parasitic Su-In, job is to take care of Su-in's body and protect it from harm since that's its new home now. It also warns normal Su-in of getting involved with anyone who gives her a strange feeling because they're not good people and will try to eliminate her.

Back at Namil police station, a special investigation unit briefing is held for the entire force regarding the parasites. Detective Chul-min is joined by Detective Won-seok. As the meeting begins, the woman from earlier who had the shotgun appears and introduces herself. Her name is Choi Jun-kyung and she works as the parasite special forces unit Team Grey captain. According to Jun-kyung the parasitic organisms all appeared at once and have already matched up with their human hosts. She then shares a presentation of the EDM festival killings before revealing that the man on the table in front of her is the parasitic organism (tentacled creature) responsible for those killings. Everyone stares in shock.

She explains that a few months ago the parasites dropped on Earth in a larval state. They entered into a human's body through the ears, nose, or mouth, and took control over the host's brain. The person's consciousness is completely absorbed by the parasite, making them not human anymore. The parasitic organisms that complete their mutation follow their instincts and kill humans. She explains that their heads can transform completely and that they can use them as a sharp blade to kill.

When asked on how to kill a parasite, Jun-kyung explains that when a parasite doesn't have a living host body, it will shrivel up and die. So, the best way to kill a parasite is by making the host body bleed out all at once, or destroy the heart entirely in one go. She explains that a knife or a shotgun is the best weapon to use to kill a parasite. When it comes to identifying a parasite, she explains that the best way to do so is by plucking out a strand of hair from the host body. If the strand of hair crumbles away and vanishes completely then there's a parasite living in the human.

Jun-kyung then brings out the man with the helmet from earlier in the episode. This man is her husband and a parasitic organism. She explains that the helmet has a device that dispenses a chemical that is susceptible to parasites and will immobilize them. The helmet also has a sensor that monitors if the parasite transforms itself in order to escape. If this happens, the chemical dispenses and the parasite experiences a lot of pain. They're keeping this parasite alive to use as bait to lure in other parasites so they can capture them.

Parasites can use brain waves to detect other parasites that are near them. So, the Team Grey task force is using Jun-kyung's husband as a radar to detect if other parasites are nearby. They're calling it the "Hunting Dog." The meeting ends with Jun-kyung telling the police force to come to Team Grey with any suspicious cases they stumble upon. They're hoping one of the cases leads them to the parasite gathering spot. The first episode ends with Su-in sitting on a bench outside screaming into the open air.

Grade: B-

Next up, the second episode!

Next. Parasyte: The Grey season 1 episode 2 recap (and grade). Parasyte: The Grey season 1 episode 2 recap (and grade). dark