First look Netflix UK TV review: Narcos Season 2
Chris Bryant | On 29, Aug 2016
“This wasn’t a manhunt. This was an invasion.”
After Season 1’s hard-headed rollercoaster of documentary-style anarchy, political obstacles and the grand master of drug kingpins, it’s understandable to wonder if Season 2 could possibly have much more story to tell. It does. Within an episode, Narcos puts its gritty boot-print back on the audience’s chest and starts asking the difficult questions.
Narcos thrives on its thought-provoking relationship with the truth. The dichotomous mix of believable fiction and disbelievable fact comes together again here to produce a show where the wildest, craziest moments are the most likely to be taken from the history books. The painstaking realism and detail blend perfectly with the jaw-dropping characters and larger-than-life story. Put simply, you will not believe that this actually happened.
Wagner Moura continues his reign as cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar, who has transitioned from drug kingpin to worldwide legend. Moura and the writers make it very clear within the first hour that, even during his time, people weren’t sure what to make of Escobar. Commended in the streets, vilified in the media, hunted by every law enforcement agency that could get close, Moura delivers a villain more intelligent, more fearless, and more powerful than any fictional bad guy you’ve ever seen.
Rallying primarily around the country-wide hunt for him, Narcos endeavours to show every aspect of these events. We are treated to reactions from cartel leaders, politicians, DEA agents’ families, street children… the list goes on. It’s a rich, elemental world – every corner touched by the rise and struggle of a cocaine dealer – that is captured in a way that provides a sense of tension and danger, not to mention total wonder at the fact that the chase is continuing.
Boyd Holbrook’s narrative – somehow both threatening and bitter – guides the audience through the news footage and off-screen events with a very real grandeur, as though even he doesn’t buy it. Holbrook’s driven DEA agent, Steve Murphy, delves even deeper into the mysteries of Don Pablo at the start of this second run, but it is apparent that Murphy and his partner, Agent Pena (the ever-energetic and likable Pedro Pascal), are going nowhere. Whether it’s shoot-outs, mountains of paperwork, or family problems, though, they’re here until the end. And so are we.
Narcos Season 1 and 2 are available on Netflix UK from Friday 2nd September, as part of a £7.49 monthly subscription.