With Gaviria now the President of Colombia, he turns his attention to capturing Escobar, who's taking hostages and starting a civil war.
One-hundred and seven people died in the bombing. One-hundred and seven innocent people dead at the hands of Escobar, and the cartel didn’t even get the man they wanted. Gaviria never boarded the plane, and Jaime was left there on his own, just a pawn in Escobar’s increasingly violent game. The news footage that opens up the episode is the worst we’ve seen of Escobar. He’s killed plenty of people, but this is another level of malicious.
With news of the bombing spreading quickly, and Escobar’s name being thrown around as a possible suspect, it’s time for Pablo to flee. He needs to leave while all of this blows over, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be giving up his fight. He says a few tearful goodbyes to his family and assures them that everything will be okay.
Rather than kill Gaviria, the bombing of the airplane actually ends up creating a groundswell of support for the candidate who’s openly spoken out against the cartel. That support leads to Gaviria being elected the 28th president of Colombia, putting him in a position of power in order to continue chasing Escobar and fighting for extradition.
Now that he’s president though, Gaviria decides that he doesn’t want the help of Murphy, Pena, the DEA and the CIA. He believes that he needs to distance himself from their efforts and use Colombian resources to catch Escobar.
Thing are only getting worse though, and those U.S. resources might come in handy. While the Medellín cartel have been moving most of their product to Miami and controlling much of the cocaine operation, there’s also another gang in town. The Cali Cartel supplies for New York, and there are rumors that they’ll soon be trying to move into Los Angeles.
Where the Medellín cartel piles up bodies, the Cali cartel tends to run a cleaner operation, and they see Escobar’s sloppy ways as a threat to them all. It’s all part of the continuing mistrust of Escobar within his own ranks. Now that he’s on the run he has a target on his back, and not just because of the U.S. and the Search Bloc.
All the threats around him lead Escobar to seek out negotiation with Gaviria. He may be willing to turn himself in, but it’ll come at a price. Gaviria has no interest in negotiating though, refusing to play into Escobar’s hands. It’s the right decision to make, but it amplifies the war. Pablo wants chaos and civil war, and he’s going to create it.
That means that Escobar not only sends Poison to find Natalie, Jaime’s wife and one of the loose ends that could tie him to the plan bombing, but also has his men kidnap the families of influential Colombians, be it politicians or journalists. Rather than pile up the bodies, Escobar wants to “influence” the politicians. He wants to negotiate terms, and he’s going to use hostages as leverage.
Once he’s kidnapped many members of influential families, he sends Fernando to negotiate with the president. He brings Gaviria Escobar’s conditions for releasing the hostages. Once again, Gaviria has no interest in negotiating and he sends Fernando back empty handed.
NEXT: Castles made of sand
Meanwhile, Murphy and Pena convince the CIA to help them find Escobar, even if Gaviria isn’t willing to work with them at the moment. They start using their satellite phones and aerial images to try and track the cartel. They want to put planes in the air too, but Gaviria won’t allow it, so they’re stuck doing work on the ground.
That works for a time though, as they can track the cartel based on the relatively expensive cars that they drive. The cartel quickly catches on though, switching to junkers to better blend in with the poorer Colombian community. Murphy and Pena are running out of time to find members of the cartel, knowing that Gaviria can only hold out so long. Before long, he’ll have to cave and negotiate in order to end the violence.
That’s especially true once Escobar kidnaps Ms. Turbay, a national reporter and daughter of the previous president. She’s valuable leverage for Escobar, knowing that her high profile and link to the president will likely force his hand in the negotiations.
Gaviria still isn’t bending, even when a video of Ms. Turbay surfaces where she, under duress, says that Escobar is showing her great care and is very willing to negotiate. It’s propaganda, but in at least one way, it works in Escobar’s favor. Former president Turbay urges Gaviria to negotiate. He initially refuses, but when Turbay says he’ll pull all his support of the president, both financially and politically, Gaviria relents.
At the same time, he agrees to let the U.S. back in. He consents to the CIA putting their planes in the air in order to catch Escobar and other members of the cartel. While Gaviria’s decision to let the U.S. help with the investigation might be beneficial, it’s too late for Natalie. Poison and his crew catch up with her and kill her, just as Pena and Murphy arrive on the scene.
That leads to an exciting shootout and foot chase. Even though we know what the outcome is going to be — we already know that Poison is killed at the karaoke bar — it’s still a thrilling sequence, with Pena and Murphy chasing Poison and another of Escobar’s men across the rooftops and through the tights streets of Colombia.
Both men get away though, for now. When Murphy and Pena return to the house where Natalie was hiding out, they find her baby there. Murphy can’t leave her there, so he brings her home to Connie. The look on Murphy’s face when he brings the baby in is one of utter despair. He’s starting to feel the toll of this job, of Escobar’s ruthlessness and inhumanity.
Still, they have Escobar on the run. The question is: for how long? At the end of the episode, he stands alongside Gustavo, looking over the mountains as they did when they were teenagers. He says their going to live here, build an impenetrable fortress that looks over everything, where they will all be safe. “You want to build a prison?” asks Gustavo. “No. A castle,” replies Pablo. Escobar may be on the run, but he’s still firmly in control and drunk on power.
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