“The following is a guest post by The Shamrock Show Mage.”
“Pablo was never more dangerous than when you almost have him!”
*Possible Spoilers Ahead*
The popular Netflix original series Narcos returns for season 2. Just in case you are new to the series, season 2 picks up right where season 1 left off; with Pablo Escobar escaping from prison. We’ve previously been exposed to the violent rise of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) and how he came to become such a powerful and (especially) dangerous man. At one point he was the fifth richest man in the world. He accomplished this feat by simply being the creator and leader of the famous Medellín Cartel of Colombia.
This season takes us on a journey of Pablo going into hiding after he escapes from prison. In season 1 we saw how great of an influence he had with the locals and how it connected with his political run. We see this power carry on into the new season as he continues to easily attract local men and women willing to work for him. These locals not only see working for him as an honor but they even see the opportunity to die for him as an honor.
We see Pablo use his crew to help him move around the town undetected and maintain control of his cartel business. While Pablo stays in hiding, his rivals view him as being weak and see this as an opportunity to take over the empty kingpin throne. They want to eliminate him immediately, before they allow him to regain his full power. Pablo never being one to lay low for too long realizes what’s coming from his rivals and he decides to strike first. He starts by eliminating some of his rivals right away before they can even make their first move.
Pablo’s war with his rivals is not his only worry; he still has the DEA and Colombian Colonel closing in on him. The DEA agents are Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal) who both come from the U.S. already having a vengeful mindset towards Pablo.
Their hatred towards Pablo escalates in season 1 and continues this season. They want to catch Pablo with hopes of stopping his cartel’s cocaine shipments, which reach Miami and supply the drug for the big cocaine movement. We also have Colonel Horacio Carrillo (Maurice Compte) returning to his position this season. We get a continuation of his extreme calculated methods of killing suspects in order to get answers.
We also see President Cesar Gaviria (Raul Mendez) reaching his tipping point and questioning his accountability for the deaths of soldiers while going to war with Pablo’s cartel.
This season we get a deeper view and understanding of Pablo justifying his actions in order to protect his family. When Pablo and his family have to move from their house (again) his wife Tata Escobar (Paulina Gaitan) argues with him and blames him for the move. She expresses to him how their family is no longer safe no matter where they go, after their family was put in danger.
This moment gives us a better view on the influence Tata has on Pablo. This argument causes Pablo to go to the extreme as he orders his cartel to have an all out war with the local police. The cartel goes as far as blowing up a police station. They also kill random officers in the streets and ambush them in public areas. We see Pablo’s only weakness is his family (wife, children, and mother) and the government finally is able to take advantage of this as they use his family to get him out of hiding and make mistakes. Which lead to (spoiler: highlight to reveal) his eventual capture and death.
Season 2 is 10 episodes long but the great thing is the episodes don’t drag. They are enjoyable and the dialogue keeps you glued to the screen. Make sure you hit pause if you need to get up to get a drink or use the restroom because chances are if you don’t you’ll end up missing some dialogue that explains something vital going on. I tried not ruining too much of the show for you with my explanation, with hopes of you to still being able to follow and enjoy it. If you enjoy a great show to binge watch in a day or a weekend this is a one. We follow a person who was alive only 2 decades ago and had control over a country, it’s government and people. The only downside I can think of is that 99% of the show (except the narration) is in Spanish. However, the show is translated with the subtitles. I’ve spoken with quite a few friends who don’t know Spanish and they enjoyed the show with no issues.
The 8-Bit Review
I loved the visuals of the show for the fact that we get to see a wide range of the country of Colombia from the towns, government offices, the jungles, and even the countryside.
The visual shots of Colombia help you understand the poverty the people are in but we also see how beautiful the country is. There are also chilling visuals where we see children surrounded by drug traffickers with automatic weapons, handguns or shotguns.
By far one of my favorite parts of the visuals was how they kept the show authentic to the characters. At times we’re shown actual pictures of Pablo Escobar or the DEA officers of the same scene we’re watching. The pictures show us how the series made the characters dress authentic to the real life people. This authenticity gives the show an realistic feel to it.
The music for the show gives you a very authentic Colombian feel. The theme song is smooth and gets you ready for the episode every time you hear it. All the songs used for each specific scene or ending were also perfectly placed for the show. The score was great as well. There might have been very few scenes where I didn’t love the music chosen but those scenes are few. I am not a big fan of Spanish music myself but I did love the music when it came on because it went with the show.
The beginning of this season was great giving us a quick review on what occurred last season and how that tied into the new season. They also successfully continued their use of established characters and introducing the new characters while keeping them all relevant. The dialogue was amazing and the acting was outstanding. The quality of this show definitely reminds us that Netflix has become a reliable outlet for release top grade shows.
Family Friendly 1/10
The show is full of violence, sexual acts, heavy drug use and references, as well as profanity. If I gave the show a rating based on if you can watch with family members who are old enough to watch the show then it would get a different rating. The show has an MA rating for mature audiences only and can be enjoyed being watched with adults.
The theme at the end for Pablo Escobar was that nobody lasts on top of the world forever. However, the theme for the DEA, Colombian and U.S. government is that even if you stop and kill the kingpin of the cartel someone else will rise and take his position. The drug world can’t be stopped. It’s never going to be short of someone willing to take the kingpin’s place if the government takes them down.
Was there enough conflict in the show? I would say ABSOLUTELY! We have the main character of Pablo Escobar on the run from the authorities while also having a war with some rival cartels. One of his new rivals is a new group called “Los Pepes” who is a formed group of assassins coming together precisely for Pablo and his cartel. This group shows no mercy and their tactics are intense as they show no glimpse of fear towards Pablo or his power. We also see authorities keep Pablo on his toes the whole season each time they get close to finding him.
There have been a few attempts of telling Pablo Escobar’s story but most have been in a documentary form. The quality Narcos brings to the table is something spectacular that had me questioning how long the creative process took for the show. The writing, acting, and directing of the show all mix perfectly together. The reason I rated the uniqueness is based on the quality of the show. This show can be seen as a Grand Theft Auto V while other interpretations of the story can be seen as a Grand Theft Auto 1. The other interpretations might not have been terrible but once you see this show you can see the how the gameplay and options the newer version offers make you appreciate the quality of Narcos.
My Personal Score 10/10
I loved this season and will continue following the show. Season 3 and 4 were just confirmed just after season 2 only being released a couple of days. I was anxiously waiting for about a year for season 2 to come out. Once the new season was release my wife and I finished watching season 2 all in one day. We started it early afternoon and finished late at night on the same Friday it came out. Now the sad part is we have to wait until another year for season 3 to come out. Even though Pablo Escobar (spoiler: highlight to reveal) dies at the end of season 2 they will continue the next season with the cartel who takes over the throne of cartel king. The good part is the show is called Narcos so it was never intended to only follow the story of one drug lord. The show has potential to keep going since the stories are all tied together.
Hopefully you enjoy the show as much as I did. Many of my family and friends have spent hours discussing the dialogue and action of the show and I’m sure it will continue next season. If you have not seen season 1 then I sincerely recommend you start with season 1; it’s not a necessity but I genuinely believe you’ll enjoy both seasons. Regardless, if you enjoy season 2 I’m sure you’ll want to go back and watch how it started. Trust me you won’t regret it!
–The Shamrock Show Mage
Aggregated Score: 8.6