Episode 2: “The Plaza System”
Kiki isn’t wasting any time getting down to business. The DEA is involved in a raid that seems a bit too easy, and it is since this is an annual “donation” from the dealers. Kiki also happens to notice that Azul is watching from afar. Later, while driving Mika home from the doctor, Kiki spots Azul and tails him to a guarded warehouse. After some surveillance, Kiki gets Jaime and the MFJP to agree to a raid on this building, but this second raid proves to be even more unsuccessful than the first (there’s no drugs, only a lot of pipes). But that won’t stop Kiki, who proceeds to follow one of the trucks leaving. He eventually runs out of gas in the middle of the desert, forcing him to walk, and as he does, he’s passed by trucks full of people with hoods on.
Well, we got all of Kiki’s stuff out of the way quickly, so let’s move onto the more exciting goings-on in the drug world. Things aren’t going as planned in the desert as the plants are dying, the result of no water. This delay prompts Rafa to go back to the university and interrupt the geology professor’s class, forcing him to come with them. But even the professor is no help, instead the key is Rafa drunkenly throwing grenades into a pit until the water begins spouting up like crazy. Let the drug growing commence!
With that business taken care of, now comes the hard part: getting the most powerful bosses in Mexico to agree to work together. Before cartels existed, it was essentially a lone wolf operation as each plaza was its own world and had its own boss. So Miguel, Don Neto, and Don Neto’s nephew Amado set off for a trip around the country to pull off the impossible. First up is Pablo (not our Pablo), who is intrigued, but can’t do business with Miguel’s boss, Don Aviles. Miguel decides to lie and say that Aviles regrets the two men’s beef and wants to move forward. Okay, Pablo is in and will come to Guadalajara to meet with the others, including the DFS, which we get a dark background on via our man Scoot.
Next up is Tijuana and the Arellano Felix brothers, led by Ramon and Benjamin. They’re also down but reveal that they need the approval of Falcon, so Miguel agrees to meet with him. Luckily, an old, sexy pal of Miguel’s, Isabella, has an in with Falcon and sets up a meeting during a big party at the powerful man’s mansion. While Miguel goes in with Falcon, Amado and Don Neto enjoy a bump or two of coke, a business Miguel makes clear he’s not interested in. Falcon admits to being skeptical of Miguel’s plan, but he gives his consent. Once done, Miguel rebuffs Isabella’s advances. “I forgot that you’re the last decent man in Mexico,” she says, to which he responds, “Let’s hope not. I want to make some real money.”
It’s now time for the big sit down. But ahead of the crucial meeting, Miguel tells Aviles that he needs to make amends with Pablo Acosta. The don initially refuses before Miguel begs him to do it for the greater good. Well, that sentiment doesn’t last long. During the roundtable, Pablo gets up and gives credit for this enterprise to Miguel. This pisses off Aviles, who announces that he won’t work with Pablo, causing the whole thing to fall apart. With the plan no longer a viable option, Miguel knows he’s a goner as he’s forced into a car with Aviles. He hopes they will tell his son and wife where he’s buried, but Aviles declines, saying he doesn’t want to worry about a revenge-seeking son (good call). The car is soon pulled over by the police and all of them are ordered to get out. The DFS and Neto then arrive and Aviles and his boys are shot dead. Well, not all the way dead. Aviles is not a full goner yet, so Miguel takes a gun and finishes the job. Looks like we’ve got the don of a new era.
Episode Grade: B