Historical dramas face the unique challenge of having to deliver on a story that has already unfolded in reality, and a story as well-known as Pablo Escobar’s has made its rounds around the world for decades now. Despite knowing full well how it ends though, you can’t help but revel in Wagner Moura’s complex and captivating performance as a powerful drug lord, who could have just as well been a farmer or a preacher, had his life been slightly different.

Shift in focus

DEA officer Steve Murphy remains the narrator of the series, but the focus firmly shifts onto his partner Javier Pena, played by the talented and charming Pedro Pascal. Pena, much like nearly every Colombian on the show, is highly conflicted about the methods employed by the Search Bloc in order to bring down Escobar.

Conflicted” may in fact be the keyword of this season, as this emotion is seen several times in the decisions of the President, Officials, Sicarios, Escobars and even the people of Colombia themselves. The existence of an all-powerful ‘Narco’ with a heart of gold manages to do that to a nation I suppose.

The end is neigh

Apart from Pena, the other character who receives the most amount of screen time this series are Pablo Escobar himself, and the show is certainly better for it. Moura manages to steal the spotlight in nearly every scene, delivering a near-perfect performance that is sure to change his career forever. We get a good look at the life of the seventh richest man in the world, while also diving deep into the emotions and thought-processes responsible for some of his outrageous decisions.

It is obvious that the hunt for Pablo remains the focus of the series this season, but the way it is executed may be controversial. A few critics have claimed that the second half of the season is a tad repetitive, and although that may be the case, it is done purely with the intention of giving us a deeper glimpse into the mind of a dangerous man who has been cornered like never before. I shall dive into this and a lot more in my full review soon.

The fallen and the faithful

The series managed to stay strong by introducing some strong characters who add real substance to the overall arc while also re-introducing some favorites and giving their characters fitting closing points. Limon, a taxi driver responsible for getting Pablo around the city undetected was the strongest new character this season.

The story also opens up massively in terms of broadening our understanding of the drug cartels operating in Colombia, and uses the opportunity to introduce us to Pablo’s rivals this season.

A highly dysfunctional group of powerful and dangerous individuals join forces knock the drug lord off his throne, and their operations also having a telling impact on the future of the series.

In the end though, season 2 of Netflix’s Narcos remains a tribute to Pablo Escobar – the character, not the drug lord. We may never know the real individual responsible for so much madness and chaos in the 80’s, but we become quite intimate with the fictional version who takes on all the facts and history, and presents us with a version of an individual that perfectly represents the duality of human beings, one that exists within each of us.

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