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Narcos recap: Despegue

Gaviria calls for an end to the war and orders a raid on Escobar’s prison.

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

The photos that Murphy and Pena released to the press in the penultimate episode of Narcos have blown up. There’s been public outcry over Escobar’s living conditions and the fact that two men, even though they were drug dealers, were murdered inside the prison. The media storm forces the police to actually investigate the murders, which is exactly what Murphy and Pena wanted.

Their victory is short-lived though as the Ambassador suspends them for executing the leak. That means they have to sit on the sidelines while the police try and catch Escobar. For Murphy, that’s fine. As he says in his voice-over, he’s perfectly content to go home, crack open a beer, and watch the downfall of Escobar play out on his television.

That’s not to be though. When Murphy heads home and opens his garage, a group of men slip a hood over his head and kidnap him. The assumption is that these are Escobar’s men out for revenge, but there’s little the viewer knows.

Hours later Connie tells Pena how she found the truck outside, the keys in the ignition and the engine running. She’s assuming the worst, and so is Pena, but he’s not ready to call the police yet. He worries that sounding the alarm will panic the kidnappers, so for now he’s going to try and find Murphy on his own.

Meanwhile, Escobar gets some bad news in the morning before he’s even had a chance to get some Colombian coffee in him. One of his men hands him the local newspaper, where pictures of Moncada and Galeano adorn the front page. Escobar knows this is bad news, but he also knows the bodies have been disposed of. Escobar has always been careful, but this threat seems more real.

The threat quickly becomes very real as Gaviria orders the military to go to the prison and remove Escobar. The plan is to tell him that they’ve uncovered threats against his life, so for his own protection they’re going to move him to a different prison while the government renovates his own. If that sounds like a flimsy plan, you’re right. It also doesn’t help that the general in charge of the operation seems to have misunderstood his orders (perhaps on purpose) and is merely stationed outside the prison along with his soldiers.

Sandoval shows up at the prison assuming that Escobar is in custody. When it turns out that he’s still inside the prison, Sandoval decides to head in and tell him about the prison transfer. He says that Escobar isn’t stupid enough to kill the Minister of Justice, so he’ll be safe.

Of course, that’s not completely true. Escobar refuses the transfer, and when Sandoval goes to leave and tell Gaviria about the decision, Escobar senses that something is off. He tells Sandoval to call the President from inside the prison so that he can keep an eye on him.

Sandoval calls and Gaviria picks up, but the Minister of Justice doesn’t let on. He continues talking to Escobar, essentially warning Gaviria that this is now a hostage situation and that he’s stuck inside. That leads Gaviria to make a tough call: He sends in the special forces and tells them to end this once and for all, even if that means putting Sandoval in danger.

NEXT: Assault on La Catedral