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Narcos recap: La Catedral

Escobar is living like a king in his own prison, but the Cali cartel and the DEA aren’t done hunting him down.

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TV Show
Crime, Drama
run date:
Pedro Pascal, Michael Stahl-David
Current Status:
In Season

Pablo Escobar is finally in prison, but it’s not exactly the type of confinement that the DEA was looking for. His prison might look shoddy from the outside, but on the inside it’s a thriving spa/nightclub/casino. It has everything, from pool tables and roulette wheels to a soccer field and alcohol. Escobar’s living the good life, surrounded by men in his employ while the police are legally bound to keep at least two miles away from the fortress.

With Escobar essentially still controlling his operation, Murphy is losing his grip. He’s more unhinged these days. He and Connie are working on adopting Natalie’s child, but he’s still worked up about the failure to truly capture Escobar. When he rear ends a cab and the driver gets out and shouts at him, Murphy pulls out his gun, points it at the man, and then shoots out his tire. He’s got a lot of pent up rage right now.

His anger only increases when he and Pena meet with Carrillo, whose Search Bloc has been disbanded as part of Escobar’s deal with the government. Carrillo shows the DEA agents overhead photos of Escobar’s “prison,” pointing out the soccer field and how well he’s living right now.

For Murphy and Pena, this is unacceptable. A lot of people have died during this operation, and to see Escobar living it up is too much. They need to find some sort of evidence to bring Escobar down, to show that he’s still running his operation from inside his prison.

That starts with Murphy figuring out that Escobar and his men are no longer using satellite phones. They’ve gone old school, using pigeons to carry messages to everyone in the cartel. Murphy and Pena station themselves outside the prison, waiting for a pigeon to leave. When Pena can’t hit his target, Murphy takes his gun and shoots down one of the carrier pigeons. Attached is a message about a tunnel and a delivery.

That leads to the DEA agents looking for a tunnel using aerial photos illegally obtained by the CIA, but they can’t find anything. That’s when Connie points out that there’s a truck in every single photo.

That truck is bringing goods in and out of the prison, so Murphy and Pena need to monitor it. They pull the truck over and coerce the driver into putting a camera in the back. The driver cooperates, taking photos of every single trip and showing the DEA that Escobar is having lobster, TVs, politicians, and soccer players transported to his prison. He’s living like a king.

Murphy and Pena take the photos to Gaviria, hoping that this revelation will lead him to take action to get Escobar into a real prison. Gaviria has no interest though. He believes that even though Escobar is living like a king, it’s better than having him out in the world, running all of Colombia and terrorizing the country. With Gaviria refusing to do anything about Escobar, Murphy and Pena have to find another way to truly bring the drug kingpin to justice.

NEXT: This narc is on fire