‘Narcos’ is an American biographical crime drama web series that has been created by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro. It airs on Netflix and first premiered on August 28, 2015. The show chronicles the drug kingpins who laid the groundwork and built the cocaine cartels that went on to supply the drug to the rest of the world and made Colombia infamous for its resultant corruption and violence. Naturally, the series is set and filmed in Colombia.
Before you read on about the show, you should know that the word ‘narcos’ is abbreviated from the word ‘narcotraficante‘ which means drug trafficker in Spanish. In English however, especially in the US, the word narc or narco denotes an officer of the law like a DEA agent who works in the narcotics division. Thus the naming of the show is apt since it displays both sides of the story to the viewers. Over the seasons, the show has become wildly popular and has amassed an unimaginable fan following. Critics have also praised it saying that even if it does not have sympathetic characters, it manages to tell a tale so gripping that one does not recognize the formulaic elements in the stories of the cartel bosses.
Narcos Cast: Who is in it?
The most notable cast members over the seasons have been Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal as DEA agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena, who help dismantle the Medellin cartel. This brings us to the cartels, the bosses and the most important members. Wagner Moura amazes as Pablo Escobar, humanizing the most notorious drug trafficker in the world. Juan Pablo Raba appears as Gustavo Gaviria, Escobar’s cousin and one of the founding members of the Medellin cartel. Jon-Michael Ecker appears as El León or “The Lion”, Escobar’s childhood friend and his first smuggler in Miami.
There are several lethal sicarios or hitmen who work for Escobar, helping him to rule by his motto of ‘plata o plomo’, meaning ‘silver or lead’, wherein if bribes didn’t work, the obstacle wound up dead. Among these sicarios, perhaps the one deserving mention is Limón, a taxi driver who becomes Escobar’s hitman and is shown to be with him till the end. The character is played by Leynar Gómez.
Now to the Cali cartel, which was more of a corporation than a one-man show like Escobar’s. The main members are Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, and Helmer ‘Pacho’ Herrera. The characters are played by Damián Alcázar, Francisco Denis, and Alberto Ammann respectively. If we are talking about the ‘gentlemen of Cali’ as they liked to call themselves, we should also mention one of their top hitmen, to prove they were not so gentlemanly after all. This brings us to Navegante played by Juan Sebastián Calero. Coming to the most important member of the Cali cartel, insofar as he was the insider responsible for bringing down the cocaine empire, is Jorge Salcedo. Played by Matias Varela, he is the cartel’s head of security, hired to keep the members safe when the Cali cartel decided to take on Escobar’s Medellin cartel.
We must also mention Chris Feistl and Daniel Van Ness, played by Michael Stahl-David and Matt Whelan. They are the actual agents Salcedo reached out to, and who brought down the Cali cartel. On the local law enforcement side of things is Maurice Compte as Horacio Carrillo, a tough leader who forms the Search Bloc, which shot first and asked questions later.
Narcos Plot: What is it about?
‘Narcos’ perhaps sums up its plot better than anyone else can in its very introduction. The title card at the start of the show reads, “Magical realism is defined as what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe. There is a reason magical realism was born in Colombia”. Thus we are introduced to the singularly unimpressive figure of Pablo Escobar, who rises from being a petty smuggler to becoming the dominating figure in the cocaine trade in the entire world. The show devotes two seasons to this man whose ruthlessness and humanity mingles all too often for us to be left unsure as to whether he is a tragic antihero, a Robin Hood-like character, or a monster to be slain. By the end of the show, however, we are left in no doubt, as Escobar lashes out when he feels the walls close in, be it from guerilla factions, or local and American law enforcement. A grand man is reduced to a hunted animal as the final shootout on the rooftop ends a dangerous narco empire in a pitiful whimper.
Season 3 shows us a new monster, the Cali cartel, a many-headed monster, making it more difficult to slay. While the Medellin cartel was brought down with brute force and Escobar’s own hubris, the Cali cartel was brought down by a mole. This makes the anticipation even more heightened throughout the season as Salcedo fears getting caught will mean the inevitable death of him and his family. We also see how the drug trade flourishes and the network it makes through Mexico before moving to the USA. Eventually, the gentlemen of Cali, too, face justice and overall, we get the impression that the DEA is not something to be trifled with if you are remotely in the drugs business.
Narcos Season 4 Release Date: When will it premiere?
‘Narcos’ Season 3 premiered on September 1, 2017. It does not seem likely that the show will be getting a Season 4. However, this does not mean that the story of ‘Narcos’ is over. Netflix has just moved in a different direction and picked up the cocaine trade from the perspective of the Mexican cartels, and this can be seen in ‘Narcos: Mexico‘. If for some reason, Netflix or any other network decides to revive the original show, we will let you know of the ‘Narcos’ Season 4 release date.
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