Netflix dropped all 10 episodes of the second season of Narcos on September 2. So, much like DEA Agent Steve Murphy treats a bottle of booze, we devoured, binged, and recapped every single episode from the season. There are two recaps per page, so feel free to dig in and read along while you watch.
The supply went dry for a while, but Narcos is finally back and sating all of our drug empire drama needs. On with the recaps!
Episode 1: “Free at Last”
“Okay, here we go again.” That’s how the second season of Narcos begins, with DEA agent Steve Murphy reminding us that Pablo Escobar managed to escape the raid on his luxurious prison compound in last year’s finale. But how did he escape, you might ask? Well, as we see, he just straight up told a few members of the National Army that he would not be arrested, and he walked by them and on to freedom. If last year’s finale was about putting the heat on Escobar, the season 2 premiere does a wonderful job of once again establishing that he’s not going to be easy to take down.
Unlike the messy and laborious plotting of last year’s early episodes, season 2 gets right down to business with clear stakes and character motivations. President Gaviria, dealing with the fallout of letting a notorious and dangerous criminal escape, puts the National Army on every street corner in Medellin to keep an eye out for Pablo, while Murphy and Pena are barely allowed to work the operation, which is run by Colonel Pinzon.
The goal is to stop Pablo from moving around Medellin and bringing his empire back into the game. You see, his empire has been split in his absence. The Medellin Cartel is really just a number of smaller gangs, and those gangs are in flux. For instance, Judy Moncada, the widow of the man who Pabo brutally killed last season after mistakenly believing he was stealing from him, wants him dead. When Pablo, on a tip from the Pricos, hits her operation and kills a number of her men, she’s forced to take more drastic measures. We don’t know exactly what those are yet, but she says she knows a powerful person who also wants Pablo dead.
Clear stakes and conflicts abound in the season premiere, and that makes the episode immediately engaging. We’re able to see how Pablo’s plan to travel around Medellin in the trunk of a cab comes together, only to then put La Quica, and therefore Pablo’s whole operation, in danger. Of course, there’s the personal mixed in there too, as Connie takes Olivia and flies back to Miami. Murphy gets to the airport, but not in time to stop them. His life is falling apart and their chase of Escobar is getting nowhere, so he takes it out on two Wall Street types snorting coke in the bathroom by beating the hell out of them.
Clearly, season 2 will be about the growing need to capture Pablo Escobar. Pablo has Fernando Duque call Gaviria and offer up terms to go back to La Catedral, but what he doesn’t know is that Gaviria has other plans. He goes on national television and delivers an address: It’s time to stop Pablo Escobar’s reign of terror, and a $1.4 million reward will be given to anyone who has information that leads to his capture. Buckle up, season 2 of Narcos is here.
Episode 2: “Cambalache”
So, with President Gaviria making his public announcement in order to put the pressure on Pablo Escobar, you’d have to assume it wouldn’t take him long to strike back. Sure enough, he comes out with his own interview at the top of the second episode, saying he’s willing to go back to prison if his safety can be guaranteed. It’s another PR move, another interview that makes him a hero to many people in Colombia.
With the whole Escobar deal being continually fumbled, the DEA, and President George Bush, decide it’s time to make some changes. Arthur Crosby, an army vet, is established as the new ambassador, and Claudia Messina is hired to head up the DEA. In other words, she’s in charge of Murphy and Pena, and she makes her presence known right away, telling Murphy that if he messes up again like he did with those Wall Street guys he beat up, he’ll be sent packing.
What season 2 is doing so far is not only looking at just how crafty Escobar is at evading the police and the government, but how many different sections of the Colombian population help Escobar remain elusive. So, there’s the Attorney General, who’s openly negotiating with Fernando about a prison term despite Gaviria’s insistence on not negotiating with Escobar and his men. Then there’s the horrible violence of La Quica and his men, who look for the rat in the brothel and end up killing everyone in sight. Only Limon’s friend Maritza is safe, and only because Limon keeps her hidden from La Quica.
Essentially, season 2 is setting up three different but interconnected story lines: There’s Pablo Escobar trying to keep his business running smoothly while dealing with the elusive Judy Moncada and her labs. There’s the growing tension between America and Colombia, as each government understands they need each other’s help and yet feels exploited by it as well.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s Murphy, Pena, and now Messina, trying to track down Escobar despite the red tape put up by Colonel Pinzon. He’s running the show, and his in-your-face tactics lead to yet another failed raid, as Escobar once again escapes through a tunnel in his home. Murphy wanted to go in stealth, but Pinzon is all about the show of force, and sure enough, it backfires once again.
This time though, Escobar isn’t just going to accept the slight victory. He’s going to retaliate. Escobar orders a mass retaliation, as his men slaughter police officers all around Medellin. Narcos uses the scene to create a stark contrast in tones. There’s Escobar sharing a tender moment with his wife Tata, dancing, singing, and snuggling as if they don’t have a care in the world, while elsewhere Limon makes his first kill, grenades kill numerous officers, and blood flows through the streets.
NEXT: Episodes 3 and 4
Episode 3: “Our Man in Madrid”
Remember at the end of the last episode when Pablo Escobar ordered a number of cops to be killed? It turns out that’s kind of his modus operandi. As Murphy explains, he kills, by his order, an average of 400 cops a year in Colombia. His latest attack forces some big change within the Search Bloc, and it’s change nobody is all that happy about by the time this third episode comes to an end.
The big change? Colonel Pinzon resigns, and President Gaviria is forced to bring in the one man who he believes will do anything to take down Pablo: the divisive, ruthless Colonel Carrillo. It’s a last ditch effort, but it could work. When Pablo is informed that Carrillo is back in Medellin, the look on his face is pure terror. He knows this man is a threat, and maybe the only thing that can stop Pablo’s reign. Tata knows too; all she wants to do is flee before her husband is killed.
Narcos has been good at balancing all of its different tones to start this season. For instance, just because Pablo is a murderous, vicious man doesn’t mean we can’t empathize with Tata and her struggle to keep her family safe. Narcos is at once a drug drama in the vein of Scarface while also being about the toll the war on drugs takes on everyone involved, no matter which side of the law they fall on.
This episode is largely about how the hunt for Pablo Escobar is getting out of control, and the show puts its protagonists into situations where they must question their morality and just how far they will go to see Escobar caught. For Pena, Carrillo goes too far when he rounds up a bunch of the young spotters and shoots one in the head as an example. These are kids, and yet Carrillo has no sympathy. Murphy, meanwhile, believes he can handle what Pena can’t, but after the Search Bloc captures Gato, working off a carefully placed tip from Judy Moncada, who’s also working with the Rodriguez Brothers of the Cali Cartel, he also watches Carrillo go too far. While flying to Bogaton, Gato and his sidekick refuse to give up any information on Pablo. So Carrillo pushes them both out of the helicopter and watches them plummet to their death.
The drug war and hunt for Pablo Escobar is taking its toll. Murphy is calling Connie, trying to access some sense of normalcy, while he and Pena drink at their desks. In the meantime, Pablo is retaliating, bringing in Valeria to interview a young spotter who survived. He’s getting him to tell his story about Carrillo and his men killing the other spotter, hoping to turn the population against him.
It all sounds like a game, but the consequences, as this episode proves, are very real.
Episode 4: “The Good, The Bad, and The Dead”
I thought there might not be anything more dangerous than an angry Pablo Escobar, but perhaps an ignored Pablo Escobar is in fact worse. You see, as “The Good, The Bad, and The Dead” picks up, Pablo’s plan to have David go on air, read his statement about Carrillo, and turn the people against the violent Colonel, didn’t work. With Gaviria refusing to engage the story or give any credence to it, the story doesn’t gain any traction. So, Pablo turns to writing a letter that he has Fernando send to newspapers all across the country. None of them publish the letter. Pablo is losing the attention and favor of the people, and he’s not happy about it.
That state of mind is important to this episode. For perhaps the first time this season it really feels like Pablo Escobar is this close to being caught. After all, it’s when the bad guys aren’t thinking clearly that they slip up, and clearly Escobar’s mind is a little preoccupied. Carrillo’s Search Bloc is taking down all of his sicarios and the Moncada labs, all while, unbeknownst to Pablo, the Cali cartel is working to team up with the Autodefensas, a right-wing paramilitary group headed up by the Castaños, to take him down.
Essentially, Pablo’s operation is in disarray. “The Good, The Bad, and The Dead” does a good job of exploring how a number of factors are contributing to making Pablo’s life difficult. Every now and then Narcos gets a little bogged down in all the information and detail it needs to convey in order to do the story of Pablo Escobar justice, but this episode is remarkably clear. That’s important because this is an integral episode to the plotting of this season. It sees Pablo go from a man on the run to a man once again (mostly) in control.
The whole episode hinges on a single crucial scene, which is set up like a web of secrets and lies. Basically, Limon convinces Maritza that if they turn Pablo Escobar in, they can both be free. So, after Maritza talks to Pena and convinces him that her claim to know where Escobar will be is legit, he takes that information to Carrillo and Messina. They organize a takedown and everything is looking good.
That is, until the real plan is actually executed. First, Murphy and Pena are left behind because of bureaucracy, which doesn’t make them too happy. Then, as Carrillo and his men pull up to the location Maritza has given them, they’re ambushed. A car bomb goes off and a truck blocks the men from escaping. From there, Escobar’s men gun down members of the Search Bloc one by one, until only Carrillo is left, barely breathing.
He’s left for Pablo. The drug kingpin stands over him, gives him back his bullet, and then shoots him dead. It’s a shocking, violent scene, and suddenly the tables are turned back in the favor of Escobar. Now, everything has changed. Pena and Murphy are heavy with guilt about the misinformation, but as we learn at the end of the episode, it wasn’t Maritza who betrayed them, but rather Limon. This was his plan all along, to work himself and Maritza into Pablo’s favor.
As much as “The Good, The Bad, and The Dead” sees Escobar once again claiming a position of power, vanquishing his biggest rival in Carrillo, there’s still a mounting threat he doesn’t know about. Don Berna has brought Pena to meet with Judy and the Castaños brothers. You know what they say: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
NEXT: Episodes 5 and 6
Episode 5: “The Enemies of My Enemy”
Apparently the end of my previous recap was prescient, because the fifth episode of the season is called “The Enemies of My Enemy.” Unlike previous episodes, this one is a little slower, a little more muted in its look at Pablo Escobar. It’s a typical placeholder episode. With the explosive set piece from the previous episode resulting in the death of Carrillo, this episode hits the reset button. That means it’s a necessary episode, if not exactly the most exciting of the season so far.
With Carrillo dead, Gaviria is forced to convince some other sucker to take on the job as head of the Search Bloc. Of course, nobody wants that job, but the President has a sneaky way of making sure they get the man they want. When Gaviria asks Colonel Martinez to take the job, he refuses. But then Gaviria tells him that his son, who’s just graduated from the police academy, has accepted an invitation to be part of the Search Bloc, Martinez has no choice but to accept. It’s about keeping his son safe, which won’t be easy considering Martinez is soon mailed an urn and obituary courtesy of Pablo Escobar.
For Pablo, home life is good. With Carrillo taken care of he’s feeling free, and business is picking back up. Carlos, Tata’s brother and also Pablo’s head of operations in Miami, comes to visit and brings news that business is good, and that The Lion is doing great work. Pablo, ever the optimist, wants to meet with The Lion face-to-face to discuss growing the business even further. So, they send word back to Miami and wait for his arrival. He does make it to Colombia, but he’s intercepted by Rodriguez’s men and forced to meet with Pancho and his pals. Something fishy is being set up here, but we’ll have to wait for answers.
Meanwhile, Pena has little confidence in Colonel Martinez’s dated methods being able to bring down Escobar; he just doesn’t see the grid search working, especially considering how elusive Escobar has been thus far. That lack of faith is important to the decisions he makes going forward, and it’s a credit to Narcos that they lay out his psychology so simply. Essentially, when he and Trujillo track down Limon with the help of Maritza, which leads to them spotting Velasco in Medellin, Pena’s call for backup is denied. So, he turns to the one option he knows will come through: Don Berna. Berna shows up with his muscle and together they take down a few sicarios and snag Velasco.
Berna takes Velasco back to his compound and tortures him, but the man doesn’t give up much. The only information Don Berna gets is the addresses of three accountants on Pablo Escobar’s payroll. It’s something, I guess. Still, the relationship between Pena and Berna is cemented. “This is about killing Pablo Escobar” he says, and the two work together to start taking down Pablo’s sicarios.
None of this comes without a price though. As Murphy puts it, allowing Don Berna, the Castaños brothers, and a number of vigilantes to roam the streets looking for Pablo is like “pouring gasoline on a fire.” No need to be subtle, Narcos.
That much is clear when the episode ends with Velasco hanging in public, a sign around his neck promising the downfall of Pablo Escobar. It’s signed “Los Pepes.” “Who the hell are Los Pepes?” asks Murphy. I think we’re about to find out.
Episode 6: “Los Pepes”
“Los Pepes” begins by looking at the past. It’s an intriguing way to kick off the episode, not just because it gives us another look into the life of Pablo Escobar, but also because it fits in with one of the themes of the show: how we can’t escape the things we’ve done in our past. They haunt us always, sometimes in the form of guilt, sometimes in a more physical form, like armed men raiding our homes (well, most of us don’t experience that, but you get the point).
So, we start by seeing Pablo having a race with Gustavo. It’s a jovial if competitive affair, largely because Pablo has an ego the size of Colombia. Still, there’s a tenderness and camaraderie between Pablo and his men, and that flashback stands in stark contrast to his current situation: The episode cuts back to “present” time, and everything Pablo has is burning to the ground.
That’s thanks to Los Pepes, the vigilante death squad headed up by Don Berna and the Castaños brothers. They’re really taking it to Escobar, killing one sicario after another and often displaying the bodies in public. They’re sending a message, and it’s starting to get under Pablo’s skin.
As much as there’s tension between Los Pepes and Pablo Escobar — that tension comes to a head at the episode’s end in a stunning, explosive sequence that, as per usual with Narcos, is beautifully shot — the real tension highlighted here is between Pena, Los Pepes, and the Search Bloc. See, Pena is essentially taking intel from the Search Bloc and handing it to Don Berna because Los Pepes can skip the bureaucracy and just hit Escobar where it hurts. As much as Pena believes he’s doing what’s best to get Escobar, there’s obvious conflict here. Murphy suspects that Pena is involved with the Bloc — sure enough, he confirms it later on in the episode — and when Colonel Martinez locks down a section of Medellin in order to catch Blackie, the two forces come close to clashing. Thankfully, Pena manages to talk Los Pepes down at a checkpoint run by Martinez’s son. He gets there just in time, as the scene is only moments away from turning into a bloodbath.
While Pena and Los Pepes continue to navigate their complicated relationship, Escobar is looking for a way to hit back. Dr. Prisco, a vicious man on his payroll, tortures one of the Los Pepes gunman who’s laid up in the hospital, and it isn’t long before he gives up who he works for. You can here the disdain in Pablo’s voice when he says, “the Castaños.” That disdain leads to a vicious attack, and another wonderfully shot, violent scene. Pablo’s men manage to set off a bomb at the wedding of Rodriguez’s daughter. It’s an attack that the Cali cartel considers to be crossing the line. They vow to hit back with no mercy.
Of course, they have to find Pablo first. Lucky for them, Pablo’s mother is a stubborn Catholic, so she sneaks out and goes to Christmas mass. That means Los Pepes spot her and follow her car back to Pablo’s compound, and they wreak havoc on the place. Tata and the kids barely make it out alive, but Tata’s brother Carlos isn’t so lucky.
This is the most violent we’ve seen the drug war get so far, and Pablo knows things are escalating. He’s in a tough spot. He’s backed into a corner and literally burning money to keep his family warm. But, we know that Pablo usually finds his way out of that corner. And with Tata and the kids presumably being sent out of the country, Pablo will be free to be as violent as he pleases. We’re at the halfway point of the season, and things are about to really heat up.
NEXT: Episodes 7 and 8
Episode 7: “Deutschland 93”
“Deutschland 93” begins with an important bit of context. A traditional, everyday family is getting ready for work and school in the morning. There are all the typical cues: untied shoes, hurried breakfasts, and worries about money. But there’s something else typical for this Colombian family that’s not familiar to most of us: a bomb goes off and shakes the house. “That was a loud one,” exclaims the young boy, as if this is a common occurrence. Narcos spends most of its time focusing on the hunt for Escobar. This scene, however, is necessary. It gives us a peek outside of that narrow focus. Colombia is reeling, and innocent citizens are living in constant fear.
That’s because Los Pepes and Pablo Escobar are continually upping the violence of their attacks. Los Pepes are displaying the bodies in what Murphy terms “Colombian folk art” while Pablo is gearing up to fire back once his family is safe. He’s shipping them off to Germany, hoping to hide the destination by booking numerous flights, but it’s not going to be so easy. Gaviria gives Messina and Crosby free rein, so they tell Murphy to head to the airport and follow the family to wherever they go.
Once they arrive in Germany, Murphy informs the police that the Escobar family has a large sum of money in their bag that they’re trying to get across the border. Apparently it’s one of the only things that allows the cops to detain the family; sometimes Narcos is a little skimpy on the detail. Murphy waits around all night while the Colombian, US, and German officials discuss what to do with the Escobar family. Eventually, they’re sent back to Colombia, where they’re immediately taken in by the National Police under the order of the attorney general, who’s also working in some sort of collusion with Pablo Escobar.
“Deutschland 93” is all about the escalation of violence. It’s about establishing just how volatile the situation in Colombia really is. So, Fernando Duque does his best to escape the clutches of Pablo Escobar and flee with his 14-year-old son, but ends up dead in the trunk of a car at the hands of Los Pepes. That happens despite Pena’s attempts to distance himself from Don Berna and the Castaños brothers, whose actions he can’t condone. Nobody is safe.
More than that, Narcos continues to establish that just about every character on this show operates in a moral gray area. Trujillo is the one who gives the information about Fernando to Don Berna, and he feels no remorse about his decision. Murphy manages to help prevent the Escobar family from entering Germany, but how much danger does that put them in? Do they deserve to be punished for Pablo’s crimes? And then there’s Pablo. He’s livid that his family isn’t safe — which is an understandable concern that humanizes him to some extent — so he launches his most devastating attack yet. Two-hundred and twenty pounds of C-4 goes off near the Presidential Palace.
The only people here not in a moral gray area are the innocent families, like the one at the beginning of this episode, trying to get by. And yet, the daughter ends up dead by the time the credits roll on “Deutschland 93,” killed by the explosion Pablo ordered. He’s keeping his family safe while destroying countless others. This is the reality for the people of Colombia.
Episode 8: “Exit El Patrón”
Narcos works within a pretty familiar pattern. There’s an ebb and flow to the season that becomes obvious as the season rolls on. Generally speaking, this is it: The DEA and Colombian government receive new intel on Pablo, they nearly capture him, and then he responds with escalating violence. It’s like clockwork, but unless you’re a horologist, clockwork isn’t exactly exciting. So, “Exit El Patrón” isn’t the most thrilling episode of the season, as it’s the calm after the storm, and perhaps before the next.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some intriguing aspects to the episode. For one, the attack in Bogotá has turned Colombia truly against Pablo Escobar, with even his adamant supporters decrying the killing of so many innocent people, namely children. All that killing while his family is safely in protective custody, too. Still, that’s not enough for Escobar, and with an election upcoming, Gaviria is feeling the pressure to allow the Escobar family to find asylum in another country.
“Exit El Patrón” largely works to establish that Escobar’s stronghold on Colombia, and on the drug trafficking business within and outside the country, is largely falling apart. There’s no more expansion, only regression. Pacho and the Cali Cartel take over in Miami, and the Lion is killed. The police arrest Blackie and he hands over information to Peña and Murphy that leads to the capture of La Quica. Then there’s Valeria, who ends up dead at the hands of Los Pepes and displayed outside the hotel where Pablo’s family is staying. Pablo is on the outside now, fighting for his life while everything around him crumbles.
All is not lost for Pablo just yet though. Sure, Gaviria boldly proclaims to the Attorney General that he has no plans to let the Escobar family seek asylum in another country, but Pablo does manage to avoid capture yet again. La Quica gives up the location of the Montecasino, where Pablo has planned to raid and kill members of Los Pepes, so the DEA and Colonel Pinzon’s people stake out the location in the hopes of snagging the drug lord. But Pablo is too savvy. He can tell La Quica isn’t being truthful when he receives a call only moments before showing up at Montecasino. So, he avoids capture once again, sending Peña into a fit that results in the DEA and Search Bloc raiding Montecasino anyway and killing a number of those men.
Escobar remains alive though, with only Limón by his side. It’s not much. Escobar is slowly losing his control and influence. With only two episodes left in the season, surely another confrontation is right around the corner. The question is: Will it be Pablo’s final violent confrontation?
NEXT: Episodes 9 and 10
Episode 9: “Nuestra Finca”
Here I was thinking that the previous episode was going to be the calm before the storm. Alas, “Nuestra Finca” is the more quiet, contemplative episode. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily dull or pointless — the episode certainly serves as a kind of obituary for Pablo Escobar, even though, you know, he’s not dead yet — but rather that it feels listless. Much like the trajectory of season 1, the second season of Narcos is spinning its wheels in its later episodes.
It’s been one month and 14 days since there’s been any news whatsoever about Pablo Escobar. The DEA and the Search Bloc are sitting still, with nothing new to work on. Sure, Gaviria has finally publicly denounced Los Pepes, and the hole left by Escobar’s absence has left the remaining cartels clamoring for control, but all in all, the drug scene is quiet.
That is until a chasm definitively develops within Los Pepes. They’re not a collective anymore. Rather, Judy Moncada and Don Berna are, in a sense, at war with the Castaño brothers and Gilberto Rodriguez. Judy wants control of all her labs back, but the Cali cartel has no interest in ceding that control. So, they take the next logical step: They attempt to kill Judy Moncada. The bombing ends up killing her driver instead of her, but the message is sent.
That sends Judy Moncada straight to Peña. She wants a deal. So, Pena brings the proposal to Messina, who approves of immunity for Judy Moncada after she flips on the Cali cartel and, hopefully, Pablo Escobar. Judy never makes it to the interview though, but not for the reasons we might assume. You see, there are complex political motivations at play here. So, Don Berna partners up with the Castaño brothers to get rid of Judy Moncada, and that results in her being handed over to the CIA rather than the DEA. It’s a coup pulled by CIA Bill, who’s still interested in seeing Messina and Peña take the fall for helping out Los Pepes. Like I said, lots of complex motivations here, and lots of backdoor politicking.
While “Nuestra Finca” explores how there are many different power struggles driving the drug trafficking situation in Colombia and the United States, it’s also an episode that digs into what Pablo Escobar could have been had he chosen a different path. Along with Limon, Pablo is hiding out at his father’s secluded farmhouse in the country. It’s a peaceful place, as Limon lovingly says, and it’s clear that Pablo is enjoying the return to something simple.
It’s a peek at the life Pablo and his now endangered family — De Grieff informs them that they’re no longer in protective custody — could have had if he hadn’t had more nefarious ambitions. The result is an emotionally affecting episode that suggests Pablo could perhaps have had a simpler life, while also making it clear that his drug empire is no accident; an ego, and a thirst for power, fame, and money, kept him from that simple life. He was perhaps always destined to be Pablo Escobar. Now, he drives away from the comfort of the farmhouse, back to Medellin and an uncertain future.
Episode 10: “Al Fin Cayó!”
The dream is no longer alive. That dream: President Pablo Escobar. It’s what Pablo’s thinking about on his birthday, as he sits alone in his apartment in Medellin while his family sings him “Happy Birthday.” It’s the lowest we’ve seen Pablo Escobar. Little does he know, it won’t be the lowest he gets before this episode ends.
“Al Fin Cayó!” is all about winding down the story of Pablo Escobar. As the episode opens, Javier Peña is being sent back to the United States after Judy Moncada’s quotes in the Miami Herald about his involvement with Los Pepes threaten to launch a scandal for the government. That means Peña won’t be there to see the end of Pablo Escobar; but Peña’s story is still far from over.
Back in Medellin, Colonel Pinzon’s son believes he’s finally found Escobar. He’s picked up a signal coming from Casablanca. So, Gaviria orders Pinzon to set up a temporary home base there in order to snag Escobar. As the Search Bloc and DEA set up for another raid, Tata pleads with her husband to turn himself in. It’s the only thing that might save her and the kids from harm, as Gaviria has ended their protective services.
For a short time however, they’re safe. The DEA and Search Bloc raid the apartment complex where Escobar is believed to be, but he can’t be found. “It’s a ghost signal,” explains Pinzon’s son, meaning that the signal must have bounced off the water from somewhere nearby. The search for Pablo is back on.
Narcos has sometimes spent too much time on scenes where Pablo Escobar doesn’t get caught. Every single raid we’ve seen has followed a similar pattern, and the editing and structure of the scene means that they’re often devoid of real tension. But that all changes in “Al Fin Cayó!” because we can feel that this is it. This is the moment where Pablo’s reign finally ends.
Sure enough, they track down another signal, but this time Pinzon’s son has even more evidence: He spots Pablo in the window of the apartment complex. The DEA and Search Bloc swarm the place immediately. When they break in Limon does his best to keep the cops away from El Patron, but it’s to no avail. As Pablo tries to escape across the rooftops of Medellin, Murphy shoots him twice in the back. He’s not dead until another officer stands over him and puts him down with a single shot to the head. “Long live Colombia,” he screams. If only justice was that simple.
You see, Pablo Escobar may be dead, but that doesn’t solve Colombia’s drug trafficking issues. So, we see the Cali Cartel celebrating, and Gilberto strong-arming Tata for everything she has, because they know this is their time to shine.
So, the story doesn’t end with Pablo. As the season comes to a close, Peña sits in a room awaiting his hearing from the board, ready to be reprimanded for his ties to Los Pepes. There’s a twist though. The hearing has been called off. Rather, these men and women of the United States government, who see that the coke business just keeps growing and that the elimination of Escobar doesn’t solve a thing other than a PR problem, want to know one thing: “What do you know about the Cali cartel?”
The story isn’t over because the war on drugs isn’t over. Season 3 can’t come soon enough.