Narcos Season Finale Recap: A Roof and a Hard Place

By
Wagner Moura as Pablo. Netflix
Narcos
Show
Narcos
Episode Title
Al Fin Cayó
Season
2
Episode
10
Editor’s Rating
2/5

Does the world need another season of Narcos? Does the world need two more seasons of Narcos? With Pablo dead on a rooftop and the rest of Medillín's drug lords either missing or boring, the answer is probably no. But we're going to get them anyway.

The next season look like it will focus on … Cali? Really? To date, Narcos has relied on an understated villain at its center, thanks to Wagner Moura's decision to play Pablo alternately as a confused extraterrestrial and the world's most vengeful baby. But the Cali Cartel — which includes Gilberto, Pacho, and a guy whose job is nodding gravely at Gilberto — makes Moura look like Nicolas Cage.

Remember the macabre antics of Los Pepes, which went a long way towards making this season interesting? Cali's leaders hated all that stuff! As we learned last season, Cali is successful because they're so dull. I can't wait for two more seasons with those snoozers.

Putting meta-Narcos concerns aside, the need to set up a third season put the end of this finale in a bind. With Pablo finally dead, you might think the last scene of "Al Fin Cayó" would involve the Escobar family, or Murphy wondering if his obsession was worth it. Instead, we get Peña at the DEA, asked to head back to Colombia in a scene so over the top he might as well be signing on for S.H.I.E.L.D.

Although the episode's end felt out of place, its opening sequence fit perfectly. Pablo, the newly elected president of Colombia, has the respect he always craved. After offering departing President Gaviria a puff of his joint, el nuevo presidente listens to his family sing "Happy Birthday." Except it's all a fantasy: Pablo isn't the president, and he can't even be in the same room as his family, who instead sing to him over their clandestine radio.  

While Pablo dreams about presidential legitimacy and takes his life cues from Julius Caesar, Tata attempts to bring his delusions down to more manageable levels. While trying to convince Pablo to turn himself in (and save their family in the process), Tata offers a consolation prize: When he eventually gets out of prison, he'll be treated like Nelson Mandela! Limón, who doesn't know who Mandela is, can only offer that Pablo would rule the world if cocaine were legal.

Unluckily for Limón, though, Search Bloc doesn't give Pablo a chance to mount a comeback. After a radio-tracking mishap that exists mostly to eat up precious minutes of runtime, the police and Murphy finally close in on Pablo's hideout. After a rooftop gunfight and a final coup de grâce from Los Pepes adjunct Flores, it's all over. Pablo Escobar is dead.

"When you lay eyes on him, the devil's a real letdown," Murphy says, who didn't really do much but poses for a picture with Pablo's corpse anyway.

In the end, only Pablo's mom sticks with him. After she leaves police custody, she hops onto a conveniently timed bus right as the other passengers burst into applause at the news of her son's death, then insists in a TV broadcast that he was "the noblest of men."

This being Narcos, there's time for one last montage: Murphy walks by the new post-Pablo drug dealers, standing side-by-side with the police. As Murphy intoned at the start of this season, here we go again. But do we want to?

Cartel Club:

  • Pablo's enemies party it up at the news of his death, with the Castaños even blowing coke on their new pals. Cocaine production is up. Pablo is finally gone. Don Berna, Navegante, and Pacho are on the rise. Does Peña really have to break up their good time?
  • This season often focused on air travel, so it's good that the airport bar seems like a nice place to hang out, say good-bye to your DEA buddy, or get drunk after your wife leaves you.
  • Pablo and Limón play endless games of Monopoly in their hideout. It's too bad they don't live to see Settlers of Catan, which popularized German-style board games just a few years later.
  • Moura's stiff salute in the presidential scene is top Awkward Pablo.
  • Narcos kept the runner about Judy Moncada's taste in art going for almost the entire season, with her last appearance featuring a new portrait with a tiger — albeit now with late husband Kiko gone entirely.
  • What do you call Orientalism, but for South America? Whatever it is, Murphy's voice-over narration about Colombia and magical realism — an echo of similar dialogue from the first season — totally fits the bill.
  • Gilberto will be the lead baddie in season three, right? His turn from Fortune 500 executive to crazed wedding-revenge murderer definitely sets him up to out-villain Pacho and that other guy. Guess we'll find out next year.
  • Thanks for joining me on our journey to Medellín. May all your friends be Navegantes, and all your paintings portraits with tigers.