Season two begins as season one ends with Escobar embarking on a daring a prison break after a firefight with the army, which included: “four thousand soldiers, tens of thousands of rounds fired and bunch of fucking helicopters” to mimic the words of DEA Agent Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook). It’s time for prison break and that’s just the entrée. The creatives did all the heavy lifting in season one with the character and scene establishment. Now in season two, the chase is on, with one objective. Find Pablo Escobar! Well, this is easier said than done. He’s a menace to society, but the people love him. He’s their Robin Hood. He’s the world’s richest drug dealer, being the seventh richest man in the world at the time, handing out money to locals like he’s picking cotton candy at a funfair. Finding Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) is like playing ‘Where’s Wally?’ You think it’s impossible, until you find him.
“But the problem was Pablo was never more dangerous than when you almost have him” says Steve Murphy. Pablo is cunning and if you “almost have him“, that’s because he‘s allowing it. This time around, Pablo Escobar is pulling out all the stops, ordering bloodbath after bloodbath, instigating mass hits on cops, purely to make a point. Even bombings aren’t out of the question. This is when the public begin to see that Colombia’s Robin Hood is more like Prince John, a person who will stop at nothing to establish absolute power. Narcos is Netflix’s crime drama equivalent to The Wire. It’s that good, from the progressive storylines to the excellent acting performances from Boyd Holbrook (Morgan) and Pedro Pascal (Game Of Thrones) to the thought-provoking scripts. You have to give this show one hundred percent attention otherwise you’re not going to get a damn thing, especially since it’s bilingual, consistently switching between Spanish and English.
After the epic firefight, Escobar’s escape wasn’t really daring. But more of a cool collected walkout. He told the soldiers to get out of his way and they did. That’s the definition of power if there ever was one. Even in prison, he’s still as powerful as when he was free. But then again, he was only in prison because he chose to be. Escobar has plans of plans. And back ups of those plans. He’s always thinking seven moves ahead. When you’re moving your pawn two spaces forward, he’s already pinned your queen on the other side of the board. It’s no secret that Escobar dies this season. Historical fiction is cruel like that. One Google search and you can be spoiled in an instant, since there have been books galore on the famed kingpin.
Early on in the season, we are witness to suspense and constant buildup. Also, Escobar can feel his power slipping between his fingers and again, Moura delivered as Escobar. He kills it. His performance is legendary, especially with Pablo’s unreadable face. We know the end is nigh, and that he won’t go down with a fight, a bloody one at that. His rivals are closing in, and Escobar is trying to keep his empire active. Once you get a taste for power, you don’t want to let go of it. Escobar is a prime example. He’s paranoid and he’s lashing out at anyone and everyone. Betrayal is coming from all sides and he doesn’t know who to trust.
Escobar’s comeuppance is matter of history, but that doesn’t make this series any less bingeworthy. This is based on the true story of one of the world’s greatest criminals. At times, it glamorizes at him, at other times, it demonizes him. He can go from Robin Hood to The Sheriff Of Nottingham in a matter of seconds. One minute he wants to hug you whilst showering you with money, and then the next, he will not hesitate to put a bullet through your skull and that’s if he’s feeling pleasant. Not all who come into contact with him are so lucky as to have a merciful deaths like that. Boyd Holbrook returns with his season-winning Henry Hill-esque (Goodfellas) voiceovers in direct contrast to Escobar’s hypocrisy in the way that he sees his business and life. It’s good two see two sides of the same story, from opposing vantage points. Murphy is no saint. But what cop isn’t? In any cop drama, the lead character has always got issues whether that be with alcohol, drugs, relationships or simply being married to the job.
Both Murphy and Pena aren’t wearing their white hats of good old Murican righteousness. They’re wearing very grey ones since their actions are blurring the lines of good and evil. Murphy highlights in the first season that good and evil are relative concepts, and that they are. Despite being set in Colombia, it is still a very American show, sending Uncle Sam to bring peace to this supposedly tranquil nation during the 1980s. This season has many examples of bloody violence and cut throat brutality. This makes Game Of Thrones’ Red Wedding look like the Mad Hatter’s tea party. This transforms into a darker and grittier tale of the dirty war between law enforcement and the cartels but also how these street wars impact the Colombian people as it quakes Southern American democracy.
After Sicario last year, and the release of Hell Or Highwater this month, the second season of Narcos follows their epicness to new heights. This is the gold standard of that genre. Narcos is the million-dollar baby of Netflix and is one more show to add to their growing conglomerate of original programming. Narcos has set the Fall up to a great start with Luke Cage out the end of the month and The Crown coming in November. The finale of Narcos may mean the end of the Escobar Empire but the story of cartels in Colombia is only just beginning.