Killing of ‘Narcos’ scout resurfaces Escobar trademark feud
Heavily subtitled, “Narcos” demands undivided attention for those who aren’t fluent in Spanish, but the series really derives its power from the unpredictability of the various factions, and the corrosive influence of the huge money that illegal drugs generate. That also produces some darkly comic moments, such as one of Gallardo’s lieutenants meeting with a realtor at a gigantic mansion, asking, “Do you accept cash?”
Given the mercurial nature of the players even a criminal mastermind like Gallardo can’t possibly foresee all the angles, grappling with corrupt officials, ancient grudges and regional feuds that complicate every effort to cement deals, even when they’re to everyone’s mutual advantage. The show also cleverly builds on prior seasons, while throwing in tantalizing tidbits like introducing El Chapo — a small-time soldier destined for bigger, more infamous things — whose trial in New York is a reminder how current this all is.
“I can’t tell you how the drug war ends,” the narrator says at the outset. “Man, I can’t even tell you if it ends.”
That line dovetails nicely with producer Eric Newman’s comment a few seasons ago about the show’s longevity beyond the Escobar storyline, saying that the writers needn’t worry about running out of material until “cocaine stops.” While that’s hardly a reassuring thought while watching the carnage the drug war unleashed, in terms of delivering quality TV, mission accomplished and then some.
“Narcos: Mexico” premieres Nov. 16 on Netflix.