For most dramas, creating the type of buzz and impact that Narcos pulled during its first season is like a dream. The stunning Netflix series managed to tell the story of Pablo Escobar to a near perfection, setting up a host of other important characters and building a setting that can lead to great television in the future. The second season of Narcos is due to premier on September 2nd, 2016, but before it does, let’s quickly rewind and examine the events that unfolded during a glorious first season.

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An outsider’s perspective

Using Escobar as a pivot to tell his own story might have done the trick, but the creators of the show decided to engage the audience by using the perspective of a DEA agent highly intent on bringing down the charismatic drug lord.  This worked wonders for the show and it also allowed us to better relate to the events transpiring around Escobar’s world.

The show begins with DEA agent Steve Murphy pursuing Escobar on behalf of the American government, after Escobar’s cocaine begins to negatively affect the economy and society in the states.

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The agents walk into a heated battle ensuing between Escobar’s men and the M-19, a communist militant organization keen on taking down the king pin of cocaine. Murphy is partnered with local enforcer Javier Pena, and together the duo attempt to work with Colombian authorities to try and stop the flow of Cocaine into America.

The birth of the Medellin cartel

In order to fight the assault carried out by the M-19 in the form of kidnappings and other personal activities, Escobar brings together the local dealers in the region and forms an association called the ‘Death to kidnappers’.

Through flashbacks, we are shown Escobar’s origins and his transformation into a drug lord from a black marketeer. All of his important associates are introduced during this period, including his closest cousin Gustavo and his first real partner Carlos Lehder. The many faces of Escobar are brilliantly explored during the first half of the season – including Escobar the husband, the politician, the humanitarian and Escobar the murderer.

Fighting higher powers

As Escobar becomes a bigger name in South and North America, the attempts to bring him down grow proportionately as well.

The major route the DEA uses to make a dent is by making Extradition legal in Colombia. This does not sit well with the Medellin cartel and Escobar, and they end up taking drastic steps to make a point, including brutally murdering the Colombian minister of Justice Rodrigo Bonilla.

Cesar Gaviria – a brave and ambitious man looking to change the fortunes of Colombia by becoming the President of the country, decides to take a tough stance on Escobar and personally supports the actions of the DEA and the law enforcement hunting him down.

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The cartel even attempts to bring down Gaviria by blowing up a plane in which he was traveling, but the attempt backfires badly on the group. Not only does Gaviria survive the attempted assassination, but public perception towards Escobar drastically turns after the brutal plane bombing ends up killing over a 100 people.

You say jail, he says fort

The season ends with Escobar negotiating the terms of his capture with the Colombian government, and arranging for a private prison that will be guarded and run by his own men.

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It is called La Catedral, and it ends up becoming his own personal fort – a head office where Escobar continues to run his operations. Unfortunately for him though, the DEA continue to track everything that happens at La Caterdral, and they notice the disappearance of two of Pablo’s close associates who they suspect have been killed off by Pablo itself inside the fort.

After gaining President Gaviria’s permission to hunt down and kill Escobar in La Catedral, a team attempts to ambush the drug lord in his own home turf. In the end, we see Pablo barely escape his fort/prison, but he has been stripped of all the support and resources that made him a force.

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