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Review: ZeroZeroZero S01 E06

March 5, 2020
4 min read

While Stefano is fighting for his life as a result of the war that he himself stirred and the Lynwood siblings are busy getting their shipment on track, trying not to die on the way, something completely different is going on in Mexico. Manuel had started out as a soldier on the payroll of the cartel. His job had been to not do his job as a part of the Mexican Army. And he excelled at it.

Not just that, he also took care of the men in his unit. Yes, he was ready to sacrifice one of them, rather brutally too. But that was the price that had to be paid. The needs of many and the life of one- the choice was not that difficult. He pushed into the business when he got the chance, but things are getting out of control now.

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Emma and Chris finally reach Casablanca and feel safer in familiar territory, amongst the people that they know. Now, the product must move on to its intended place. It has already been delayed for too long and the Leyras aren’t happy about it either. But they have found other things to busy themselves with. Or at least, they have busied Manuel.

The Firm is now a well-established armed unit for the cartel and through it, they have succeeded in curbing the competition. They have increased their hold on the drug business in Monterrey. Those against them are killed, and their men are asked to join the Firm. With it becoming an army of its own, it needs weapons and it is during the delivery of one such shipment that problems emerge. Meanwhile, Manuel has been visiting Diego’s widow and they have developed a goodwill that is turning into mutual attraction.

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After dedicating the past couple of episodes to the Lynwood siblings and the shipment that has become more problematic for them than it is worth, ‘ZeroZeroZero’ takes some time to focus on the power dynamics in Mexico.

Manuel had offered his services to Leyra and helped them kill a competition. It led to some bloodshed, but that was just the beginning. Manuel’s Firm increases exponentially as he takes down one local cartel after another. Not just this, but we also find him become crueller with every conquest.

His character is the most distinct one on the show yet. It is difficult to understand his motivations because we don’t really know anything about him. Who is he? Where does he come from? What’s his backstory? How did he become a mole for the cartel while being a soldier in the Army? The only thing that we do know about him is that he is a firm believer in God. Whatever his religious affiliations might be, it does not stop him from killing people, even if they have nothing to do with Leyras, the cartels and the drugs.

One would wonder if he is ambitious, the way he got himself from being a simple soldier to running an army for the cartel, but that had been more of an opportunistic move, an effort for survival. We do get a softer, a more human side of him with Chiquitita, Diego’s pregnant widow who has no idea she is fraternising with the man who killed Diego. He is driven by guilt here, and perhaps, that has something to do with his past. Hopefully, it is not just a plot device to make us care for him despite his devilish deeds. For now, though, it does look like it.

The episode does allow the show to break out of the sluggishness it seemed to have inhabited in the previous episode. It turns back the attention towards the things that make the show an exciting watch and nudges the plot in the direction that will potentially change everything about the whole story.

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