No Escobar, but still addictive
Ahead of the return of Narcos for a third season, Netflix released an incongruously chirpy suite of drug war-themed musical numbers.
Presented by the so-called “Netflix Community Theatre”, it features upbeat show tunes with pun-laden titles such as The Blow Must Go On, There’s No Business like Blow Business, but also the rather direct Pablo Dies ( the first two seasons followed the career of Pablo Escobar to its grisly conclusion).
This season resumes with DEA agent Javier Pena (played by Pedro Pascal, last seen as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones) coming to terms with the moral lines he crossed to take down Escobar. Pena is treated as a hero in some quarters, and reviled for his association with CIAbacked paramilitary Los Pepes in others.
“When you were little, you couldn’t wait to get out into the world,” says his father, played by Edward James Olmos. “You didn’t like what you Narcos found — many don’t — but don’t try to change it, more likely it will end up changing you.”
Filling the vacuum left by Escobar is the Cali Cartel. Styling themselves as “gentlemen”, they are nonetheless willing to inflict medieval punishments such as tying their enemies’ limbs to motorbikes and pulling them in different directions, for as little as a perceived slight.
But, intriguingly, their leader Don Gilberto (Damian Alcazar) announces a desire to reach an agreement with the authorities for an orderly retreat from the cocaine business. Is he sincere? Or is it a gambit? Some Cali subordinates react angrily; the competition (including Dominican gangs) prepares to step in; and the substantial number of bribe takers prepares to abandon them. It all promises to add up to another highly engaging instalment. streaming on Netflix, from Friday.
Pedro Pascal as DEA agent Javier Pena in the third season of