26 February 2024

Red Ink episodes 1-3 recap: Lucy meets The Butcher

Red Ink premiered on Showmax in February, immediately captivating audiences with its gripping storyline set against the backdrop of Johannesburg. Three episodes in, and we’re hooked! Here’s a recap of Red Ink so far:

Kick off in Johannesburg: 2010 World Cup fever and a tragic encounter

Bonko Khoza and Nirvana Nokwe in Red Ink

The series opens amidst the buzz of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg. Napoleon, a seemingly ordinary man, assists a young woman named Busi with her groceries. However, this encounter takes a dark turn with Busi’s brutal murder.

Thirteen years later

Nqobile Nunu Khumalo as Lucy Khambule in Red Ink

Fast forward 13 years, and we meet Lucy Khambule, a woman grappling with a fractured marriage and professional turmoil. Her husband Gary is cheating, and her best friend Patricia has conveniently forgotten about their partnership agreement. When Busi’s remains are discovered on a building site on the outskirts of Johannesburg, Lucy’s life takes a tumultuous turn.

Napoleon is moved to Gen Pop

Bonko Khoza in Red Ink on Showmax

We meet Napoleon, “The Butcher of Soweto,” in prison, where he’s being moved to the general population. When Detective Charlotte Morapedi confronts Napoleon about Busi’s remains, he tries to make a deal with her: if she gets him out of Gen Pop, he’ll give her what she wants – the names and locations of all the women he killed. However, she refuses to help him. 

Lucy is interviewed on TV

When Lucy’s friend and former colleague Kagiso contacts Lucy to participate in a TV interview about Napoleon, it rekindles her past as a journalist. Lucy, who had covered the story of Napoleon’s arrest by police many years ago, returns to the newsroom to appear on Kagiso’s show.

Napoleon contacts Lucy

Lucy visits Napoleon Dingiswayo in jail on Red Ink

After watching Lucy’s interview on TV, Napoleon reaches out to her and invites her to visit him in prison. Lucy hesitates, but her curiosity ultimately wins out, and she agrees to meet him. During their conversation, Napoleon proposes that Lucy write a book about him, making her an offer she can’t refuse: he reveals that there are more women involved in his crimes than the police know, and he promises to share this information with Lucy. In exchange, he wants her to investigate the disappearance of his brother, Sifiso.

Gary kicks Lucy out

Lucy wants a divorce, and in a show of control, Gary insists she leave their home and find another place to live. She and their son, Khaya, stay with Fundi until she can find a place of their own. 

Napoleon navigates Gen Pop 

Bonko Khoza as Napoleon Dingiswayo in Red Ink

Meanwhile, in prison, Napoleon is attacked in the shower by Bones, a notorious gangster, but Napoleon fights back and kills him. Later, he is befriended by Goliath, who warns him that by killing Bones, he’s put himself on the wrong side of some very dangerous inmates. 

Lucy quits her job

Tired of Patricia’s empty promises, Lucy quits her job. Without any other viable options, she realises that writing a book about Napoleon might be her only choice. When she starts writing the book, the words seem to just flow out of her.

Patricia is murdered

Patricia calls to apologise to Lucy. There’s more she wants to say, but not over the phone. Lucy is worried and agrees to meet Pat late at night at the office. When she gets there, she discovers Pat on the floor in a pool of blood. She has been murdered.

Kagiso and Lucy grow closer

After Lucy’s shocking discovery of Patricia’s body, Kagiso drives her home and offers to stay with her so that she’s not alone. She’s traumatised by the experience, and he offers her comfort. He wants to grow closer to Lucy, but she’s hesitant. 

Fundi’s risky venture

Fundi in Red Ink on Showmax

Fundi’s got an Only Flames side hustle going and receives R25 000 from a viewer with a foot fetish, KK. Is she playing with fire when she agrees to meet with him? He promises to arrange an audition for her for a TV show his friend is producing. Can he be trusted?

Napoleon’s desperate move

Red Ink on Showmax

Napoleon confronts Bones’s gang in prison, suggesting they can come to an agreement. It doesn’t work, however, and they warn him that they are going to kill him. To get himself out of Gen Pop, Napoleon murders a warder and is thrown into solitary confinement, where he is safe… for now. 

A cliffhanger ending

As the tension reaches a peak, Lucy is attacked in her home by a masked assailant. Who is it, and what do they want? You don’t want to miss the next episode of Red Ink, available exclusively on Showmax! New episodes are released every Tuesday.

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