Directed by: Andrés Baiz, Fernando Coimbra, Gerardo Naranjo, Josef Kubota Wladyka
Written by: Carlo Bernard, Chris Brancato, Doug Miro
Starring: Alberto Ammann, Boyd Holbrook, Bruno Bichir, Diego Cataño, Germán Jaramillo, Gustavo Angarita Jr., Joanna Christie, Juan Pablo Shuk, Julián Díaz, Leynar Gomez, Maurice Compte, Mauricio Cujar, Mauricio Mejía, Paulina Gaitan, Pedro Pascal, Raúl Méndez, Stephanie Sigman, Wagner Moura
Season Two Review
On DVD in the UK now
Spanish and English language with English subtitles
After storming Pablo Escobar’s self-made prison La Catedral and coming up empty handed after Escobar’s cunning escape, the Columbian government have to put a stop on the notorious drug dealer once and for all. With the murders of innocent civilians, politicians, police and other drug dealers to his name, Columbia cannot be at peace until Escobar is dead or behind bars. When Escobar’s no-nonsense nemesis Colonel Carrillo returns to Columbia to once again head the Search Bloc team, the government believe that success is within touching distance and that peace may come to Columbia after all. But when events don’t turn out as planned, it’s down to a DEA agent who’s willing to break the law in order to finally put Escobar on the back foot as a new gang in town called Los Pepes pile on the pressure.
The second season of exhilerating drug-fuelled Netflix series NARCOS has hit DVD and what a breathtaking show it is. Following on immediately where season one left off, we follow Pablo as he makes yet another escape from the law; his power over the people and the respect he commands allowing him to get away with murder and worse. DEA agents Murphy and Peña continue to claw their hair out as they’re always one step behind the cunning drug kingpin who always seems to get out of a sticky situation. With his armed goons and sicarios willing to die for him, Escobar is as untouchable as ever but drug dealer widow Judy Moncada knows exactly where to hit him the hardest – his wallet. However, since his escape from prison, Judy’s labs have been seized by Escobar and so she turns to the Cali cartel for help. Realising her predicament and too wishing to see the end of Pablo’s stranglehold, they propose a collaboration with the police department in order to weaken Escobar’s grip.
Meanwhile, the government are embarassed that Escobar has once again got the upper hand. When he begins to wrench an arm up their back, the president realises that they must win this war now and that waiting out and playing by the rules gets them nowhere.
Season two of NARCOS is just as emotive and colourful as its predecessor, but whereas the first season was the rise of Escobar, this second season is most definitely the tail of his downfall. You wouldn’t think it watching the opening episodes as it’s clear to see Escobar is still a major threat however as time goes on, we see that he isn’t as powerful as he once was. Rubbing Judy Moncada up the wrong way by murdering her husband was perhaps not the right choice for Escobar and his actions see both Judy’s life on the line as well as his own as Judy partners up with Escobar’s rivals, the Cali cartel, who are quite keen on elminating Escobar from their cocaine equation, even if it means getting a little help from the ruthless Castaño brothers.
In a turn of events which was refreshing to witness and made me sigh ‘finally’, President Gaviria finally has enough of Escobar and declares him as a terrorist who must be stopped. Of course, Escobar doesn’t take this lying down so expect a lot of blood shed but it sets up nicely the return of one of my favourite characters, Colonel Carrillo who had been sent away to work in Spain. His direct approach in Season One saw him gut punch Escobar by having Escobar’s cousin Gustavo beaten to death and so it’s quite nice to see Escobar afraid for once when La Quica informs his boss that his cousin’s killer is back in the country and heading up Search Bloc; a team of police soldiers who’s sole mission is to take down Escobar. Never a series to play out how you’d expect, the pressure and intensity is taken up a notch until it gets to a point where it doesn’t seem like anybody is in control of what is happening the job the government require is getting done so they might as well sit on their hands and see how it plays out…
Shocking, gripping and thoroughly entertaining, NARCOS season two is the icing on the cake of the Escobar story. The performances from all the stars involved have you forgetting this is a fictionalised drama based on true events and actually have you thinking you’re watching this all play out as if it was happening today. We know the outcome isn’t good for Escobar but the journey is as thrilling as you’d want and expect it to be with tight writing and editing that never relents and very rarely comes up for air. From the deaths on the street to the pressure put on Escobar’s long-suffering family, every single aspect is explored to show each side of the story: from the government, from the army & police, from the DEA, from innocents embroiled in Escobar’s shenanigans, from his disgruntled business partners and of course, from Escobar himself. No character here is flat. Every single person has a dimension to them which breathes real life into the series to give it an authenticity that is rarely seen in shows like this.
I tip my hat to the creators of NARCOS because they have genuinely managed to create two seasons of pure perfection. With a third series having just released on Netflix following the rise of the Cali cartel, I hope NARCOS continues to keep up its high intensity, edge-of-the-seat drama to deliver more of the addictive television we’ve come to adore.