Episode two of Narcos starts with the mass murder of all those hookers, one of whom turned Escobar in to the authorities. Despite La Quica killing the one responsible, he still wants t0 kill Limon’s friend Maritza.
The president, who said perviously that he will not negotiate with Escobar, is blind sided when the country’s prosecutor gets a visit from the cartel leader’s lawyer. Before that, Pablo gives an interview where he addresses the president’s statement.
Meanwhile the president orders a crackdown on all drug dealing. The soldiers are all over the area and headed up by Colonel Pinzón. A stiff necked and unrelenting military leader, Pinzón is put in charge of everything and the DEA have to deal with the prickly team leader.
Murphy and Peña get a boss. A women sent in by President Bush to head up the DEA contingent. Murphy barely avoids being fired and sent back stateside. It is Peña’s efforts that save him. The new boss; Claudia Messina (Florencia Lozano) wastes no time letting the two men know who is in charge.
Messina is no babe in the woods, however. She snipes at Pinzón, by flanking his authority when he refuses to cooperate. While it gets her access to what she wants, the general is no fool either. The move is not wholly successful.
This episode of Narcos, follows the three sided build up of all the players after Escobar’s escape from prison. The US, under the guidance of former CIA director President George Bush Sr., builds up a team comprised of heavy hitters and one “spook” (complete with beard, long hair and a poor attitude).
On a sidenote, the actor Brett Cullen, who plays Arthur Crosby, sounds so much like Oscar winning actor Gene Hackman that he could do (voice) loops for the star if Hackman ever goes back to acting. It is very uncanny.
President Gaviria sets the Army on Escobar and they cover the streets of Medellin.
Escobar, apart from giving the interview and instructing his lawyer to negotiate with the president, stays low. The streets, as the narrator points out, are his. The children of the area are his eyes and ears and the Army does nothing without the urchins telling Escobar.
Even as the cartel leader relaxes, he plans on retaliation against Gaviria and Pinzón’s troops. His network take out scores of the Army patrols quickly. Blood runs red in the streets and the president learns the hard way that Escobar is more powerful than he thought.
Escobar’s retributory attack on the Columbian troops is prompted by the DEA and the colonel raiding his compound. Pablo and his family flee in the night just as the authorities reach his hide out.
As the army harasses the locals, Pablo’s men, and children, watch the troops closely. After the raid, Escobar gives the order to kill the Army in the streets they are patrolling.
Pablo dances with his wife while the men are murdered. As one reviewer puts it, Escobar does a “Godfather.”
Meanwhile Le Quica is obsessed with killing Maritza. She had the brass to turn him down when he suggested having sex and it infuriated him. He wants her dead; less for the alleged tip off than for his injured machismo pride.
After a narrow escape Maritza goes on the run with her child.
This is, to a large extent, a fictionalized version of Pablo Escobar’s rise and fall as one of the richest criminals in history. Certainly we do not really know if Pablo danced with his “child” bride as wholesale slaughter flooded the streets with crimson.
But it looks good.
The cartel leader with the Robin Hood persona had the support of a lot of people whom he helped. This episode shows just how much help he could rely on from the “common” people.
It is a foregone conclusion that the series must end with Escobar’s death, this is, after all, what happened in real life. Apparently this may happen in season two.
Narcos is streaming on Netflix right now. All 10 episodes are available to watch in one sitting. Do not miss this addictive retelling of the fight to capture Pablo Escobar.