Netflix became a television force to be reckoned with once it began creating its own original content. One of its most successful shows, Narcos, just released its newest season and was also renewed for two more seasons. As a fan of the show, I was elated to hear that the historical remake would continue past the death of Pablo Escobar (Should I have said spoiler alert? Are there people who don’t know Pablo Escobar was killed? Weird.), but there was also some critical speculation as to whether this was a good idea on Netflix’s part. A show about Pablo Escobar and the narcos of the 1980s without Pablo Escobar? What could possibly be the next move for the show?
Current subscribers who have seen the second season have already been introduced to our new leading men: the Cali Cartel. Well, three out of the supposed four. Brothers Gilberto and Miguel Orejuela make up half of the Cali Cartel while Pacho Herrera and “Chepe” (to whom we have yet to be introduced) make up the other half. However, the reign of the Cali Cartel will play out much differently than that of Pablo Escobar. Hollywood Reporter talked to showrunner Eric Newman who reminded us, for all those non–history buffs out there, that, “Unlike Escobar, who had positioned himself as an outlaw, [the Cali Cartel] was very much a part of the system”. Newman describes them as “more pervasive and more insidious,” and he’s right. Historically speaking, when the Cali Cartel took over after Escobar, the drug trade reached new heights of corrupting government. In 1994, the Cali Cartel had bought its way into the Colombian presidency, which complicated the war on drugs in Colombia. Though the Cali Cartel’s season of Narcos will potentially see less violence than that of Pablo’s, the danger is still real.
There’s also speculation as to whether there will be a storyline concerning Pablo’s family after his death. With the more prominent role of Tata, Pablo’s wife played by Paula Gaitan, in season two, it would make sense to follow her fleeing the country in order to protect her children. Yet, as riveting as that would be, it’s best to leave that to the audience’s imagination––out of respect for the family, for whom Newman says he has “enormous sympathy”. What would be interesting to see is how the Cali Cartel expanded their trade routes to Mexico and how that would later affect the drug trade. The Cali Cartel only survived two short years after Escobar’s death, so the show will need to find another narco to follow. So what can we expect of the next season? Drug lords infiltrating government in a way the world hasn’t seen before and the spread of the cocaine trade from Columbia to Mexico––all thanks to the Cali Cartel.
Watch the trailer for Narcos Season 3 below.