With Escobar’s dominion over the drug trade firmly established, the third episode of Netflix’s Narcos works to show off just how powerful the DEA can be. After getting beaten at every turn by the cartel so far, Murphy and Pena are ready to do everything they can to disrupt Escobar’s operation.
For now, that means using Murphy’s murdered cat as the driving force behind an investigation into how far Escobar’s influence reaches. Murphy, with his voiceover, evokes the death of DEA agent Kiki Camarena as an example of how the DEA cracks down on drug traffickers, how there’s an unwritten rule that DEA officers are off limits, and that the threat to Murphy and his family must have consequences.
Despite the threat being to Murphy, it’s Pena who spearheads the investigation, having more experience in Colombia than his relatively new partner. He pays Suarez to find out who gave Murphy’s photocopied passport to the cartel, and that leads to them questioning the two employees from the airport.
Pena threatens them with federal charges, and says the killing of the cat, which is under U.S. protection, is a federal offense; the same as killing a police dog. It comes across as absurd, but it’s also indicative of the larger story being told. Murphy and Pena need to find a way to put Escobar away, but odds are that the charges won’t involve drug trafficking. It’ll likely be easier to get him on “lesser” charges, much like the U.S. did with Al Capone, a figure that Escobar himself mentions.
Meanwhile, Escobar continues to move away from his drug trafficking operation and into the political sphere. He tells Valeria that he wants help getting into Congress, where he can really make his changes happen, giving his ideas a public and official forum.
She introduces him to Fernando Duque, a lawyer and lobbyist for the New Liberals, a party that may suit Escobar’s needs. A $300,000 bribe helps Escobar get his foot in the door, as the Minister of Justice, Rodrigo Lara, agrees to let Escobar into the party, having him run as an alternate to an already-placed candidate.
Poison is all set to deliver the bribe money to Duque, but his plans quickly change as Murphy and Pena coordinate with Carrillo to set up a roadblock under the assumption that Poison is delivering cocaine. Escobar finds out about it from Carrera and orders Poison back to his house, meaning that Escobar’s plans for Congress are still in place, for now.
Not everybody is happy with Escobar’s focus on politics though. Gus believes that Pablo is spreading himself too thin, that he needs to focus on his family and the business. “We’re bandits,” he says, suggesting that Pablo may be overestimating his own influence and vision for the future. With a new daughter in his life, and Tata growing tired of playing second fiddle to Valeria, Pablo’s expanding empire is causing a rift in his personal life.
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