Warning: This review contains spoilers. Haven’t seen Season 2 of Narcos? Catch up with our spoiler-free first-look review.
Two seasons into Netflix’s Narcos and there it is. The final moments in the larger-than-life story of Pablo Escobar occur on a rooftop, after a day out in the sun. What makes Narcos different is that the main moment of Pablo’s death isn’t his murder or the shootout that lead to it, but Murphy’s voiceover stating that after all this time, after every death and strategy in the preceding two seasons, he finally had the man himself in front of him, and he was just a man.
Part of the show’s charm – if the cocaine, blood and bullets can described as charm – is that it did make Escobar just a man, especially in his final episodes. We met his stoic, troubled father (with Wagner Moura demanding respect dripping in blood). We saw his final outing into the world in which he enjoys the anonymity of politeness, silence and strawberry ice cream. We saw him joking with his family over the phone. Both Moura and the writers took a character larger than life and made him both logical and human, as well as ruthless beyond comprehension.
The final push to catch and kill the most famous drug trafficker of all time encapsulates a great deal of what makes the show special. The chaos of it all strikes repeatedly, with a few close escapes for Pablo and the finale being pushed back simply by an unfortunately-placed stream messing with radio signals. There are the tension, shootouts and shock murders the series delivers brilliantly, but the team’s ability to research and translate life’s natural poetic twists is at the heart of the show. Narcos’ style, though, is what really makes it addictive. Ensuring the 90s appearance of the show, and particularly Wagner Moura’s sizable weight gain, are two examples of many in which the dedicated cast and crew have made sure that this wild ride is paid the respect it clearly deserves.
Entertaining, educational, and more often than not a little terrifying, there should be little doubt that even without the towering stature of Pablo Escobar and the slick, committed performance from Wagner Moura, Narcos can certainly produce another spectacular season of international drug-fuelled anarchy.
Narcos Season 1 and 2 are available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.