Narcos Recap: Hell Week

Wagner Moura as Pablo
Wagner Moura as Pablo. Photo: Juan Pablo Gutierrez/Netflix


Deutschland 93 Season 2 Episode 7
Editor's Rating 4 stars

Were the ascots worth it? That’s the question Fernando Duque faces in “Deutschland 93,” as the flashy drug lawyer ends his long, lucrative association with Pablo Escobar.

Before abandoning Pablo by cutting a deal with Peña, Duque confronts his son for calling him a thief while enjoying all those toys bought with cartel money. Who did Duque Jr. think paid for all that? Of course, Duque’s son never had the choice his father had — and he doesn’t have a say when they’re stuffed inside the trunk of a car, either.

As “Deutschland 93” reveals, Duque and his unlucky son aren’t the only people whose Pablo-sponsored good times have ended. The Escobar family tries entering Germany with a bag filled of cash, but it can’t help them get into the country. If it weren’t for Pablo’s money, in fact, they could have entered without any problems.

Meanwhile, Peña has his own allegiances to consider. The murder of Blackie’s girlfriend soured him on Los Pepes, and their new antics certainly haven’t swayed him back. Can you blame him? The Castaño brothers relish beheading cadavers and posing them in gruesome tableaus. Alas, Peña can’t put the Los Pepes genie back in its macabre bottle. As Murphy’s voice-over narration intones, the gates of hell are already open.

Peña’s attempt to eliminate Duque through witness protection, rather than a vigilante execution, prompt his former allies to consider killing him instead. (The Castaños, always the nuttiest guys in the room, want to feed Peña to a crocodile!) Angering Los Pepes doesn’t pay off for Peña, who finds Duque dead after Flores betrays him to the death squad. Of course, his deputy never would have known Los Pepes if Peña hadn’t introduced him to the vigilantes in the first place. He may regret what he’s helped create, but he’s not exactly an innocent party.

Without Peña, the always-uneasy Los Pepes alliance grows even shakier. Don Berna, who only wants to sell drugs and chill out, has no choice but to deal with the deranged Castaños. Then, Judy Moncada has her own doubts after becoming the last to realize that she isn’t an equal partner in the alliance. When the Castaños refuse to give her the drugs from one of her seized labs, Judy suddenly understands that Cali isn’t interested in helping her rebuild their cartel rival.

It’s not much better on Pablo’s side, where even his most loyal associates seem eager to get away from him. Blackie groans as his stint in Bogotá stretches on — how many Cali-owned pharmacies can one guy bomb? — and Quica looks ready to split. The attorney general, who once saw Pablo as a wedge to use against Gaviria, won’t take his calls anymore. Even Pablo’s own body fails him, causing him to collapse after his family leaves for Germany. Rather than reconsider his war, Pablo doubles it down by ordering Blackie to place a bomb close to Gaviria’s palace. The sky, Pablo says, should “burn with gunpowder.”

And so Colombia suffers the consequences of Pablo’s anger. The bombing sequence leads to a neat pair of juxtapositions: A stricken Colombian father picks up his lost daughter’s shoe, just as Pablo considered his exile’s daughter’s shoe, and when the car bomb goes off, Gaviria runs to the window, just like the average Colombian family introduced at the start of the episode.

Like his endless promises to bomb German planes, the Bogotá attack may satisfy Pablo for a brief time, but it only ensures that his position will get much worse. After all, there’s no way the Colombian government will negotiate with a man who blows up kids.

Cartel Club:

  • Another great episode for Narcos’ overhead shots. Most episodes revolve around a few repeated moments — Peña running down a street, a helicopter shot of a cash delivery —  but the show keeps finding new ways to show the same thing. Did anyone else catch some Zodiac vibes from all the mysterious cars cruising around Medellín?
  • With Quica looking for the exit, Ricardo Prisco solidifies his position as Pablo’s most valuable crony. After using his position as a doctor to torture a hospitalized member of Los Pepes, Prisco jumps into action when the drug lord collapses. A bro to the end, Prisco advises his boss to smoke more pot.
  • A tactful Murphy explains that Germany’s generous immigration policy comes from “some events in their very recent past.”
  • Between the Duques and the off-screen guards who got roasted in Gustavo’s car, Los Pepes really have a thing for car trunks.
  • Pablo’s toothless promises to terrorize Germans don’t provoke much of a reaction, earning only mild Teutonic frowns from the German ambassador and a Lufthansa ticket agent.
  • CIA Bill continues to be the puppet master who’s more than happy to show off his strings. When Peña rejects Don Berna’s paternal advice not to cross Los Pepes, Bill shows up to reveal that he’s responsible for Peña’s involvement in the coalition. He even gives Peña a seriously understated warning: “These folks are prone to emotional decision-making.”
  • Given Murphy’s usual level of professionalism, he probably spent the flight to Germany with an inflatable pillow around his neck, browsing SkyMall.
  • The episode is called “Deutschland 93,” a nod to Germany’s (bizarrely unloved) spy show Deutschland 83. If you can’t get enough period thrillers after Pablo hits the dirt, head there next.
  • Narcos writers really lean into “gonorrhea” as an insult, with both Duque and the German people compared to the pesky (but treatable!) STI.

Narcos Recap: Hell Week