“Slowly at first, then all at once.”
Murphy’s voice-over narration in “Nuestra Finca” is supposed to explain how Pablo lost everything. But it also applies to the rest of Narcos’ cast of characters, who slowly, then rapidly come to realize that their paths have already been determined by Medellín’s power brokers.
Just ask Peña. He tries to redeem his involvement with Los Pepes by turning Judy Moncada into a DEA informant against the Cali Cartel, but she never shows at the safehouse. Only then does he discover that CIA Bill was in control the entire time.
Or Judy. When she tries to take over Medellín’s drug trade, a car bomb nearly kills her — a grim reminder that she’s attempting the impossible. After deciding her fate by siding with the DEA, Don Berna takes her instead to the CIA, prompting her to realize that she was never more than Cali’s puppet.
Or Tata. With the attorney general ready to pull the Escobar family’s protection, she has to finally prepare for a life without Pablo. Meanwhile, the Castaños, who once claimed to despise drug dealers, decide that they maybe should put all this cocaine to use. They’re pushed to make that decision by Cali, of course.
Or Limón. Hiding out on Pablo’s father’s farm, he initially seems to be getting past cartel life. The elder Escobar won’t deal in drug noms de guerre, so he even reveals his real name: Jhon. Soon enough, he settles into ranch life, working hard and drinking late. When Pablo calls on him, though, he must answer. Limón digs up Pablo’s $500,000 back-up stash, only to discover that the cash has rotted away. He even goes digging around in Maritza’s house, since he’d rather shoot her in front of her daughter and steal the money she earned for the Carrillo ambush than disappoint Pablo.
The only character who’s still ignoring his fate is Pablo himself, as he spends a month on his dad’s farm recasting himself as a rural rancher. The intermittent TV commercials offering a reward for his whereabouts cut into the reverie a bit, but Pablo impresses his distant father by being surprisingly skilled at the life he started dealing drugs to avoid.
Still, Papa Escobar remains quiet when Pablo proposes a delusional plan to buy a nearby ranch and move there with his family. The reason? He hates his son’s guts! That revelation comes when he guts a pig, spraying Pablo with geysers of blood. He calls Pablo a murderer; Pablo counters that he made their last name famous throughout the world.
His dad’s response — “So what?” — sends Pablo fleeing into the night with Limón in tow. He’s heading back to Medellín, preferring near-certain death to confronting his father’s shame.
- Between the shot of a spider web, the crows circling overhead, Pablo’s trunkful of rotten money, and that gutted pig, “Nuestra Finca” isn’t the most subtle episode.
- By the way, “nuestra finca” means “our ranch.”
- For all their technology, no one in Search Bloc thought to check that maybe Pablo was hiding out with his dad?
- CIA Bill proves once again that when you mess with the Bill, you get the horns. The DEA’s attempt to turn Judy against Bill’s favored Cali Cartel earns Messina a one-way ticket to the Midwest meth-lab beat, and he has even worse in mind for Peña. Rather than saddle Peña with a dead-end assignment, Bill sends Judy Moncada out for an interview with the Miami Herald, where she’ll spill about his involvement with Los Pepes.
- In case you ever doubted it was all about Pablo: After Limón kills Maritza, Pablo gives her money to his father, a last attempt to implicate Papa Escobar in his life of crime.
- The terrific elevator encounter between Peña and CIA Bill played like a Colombian version of The Wire’s awkward elevator exchanges.
- Yet again, Peña’s putzing endangers an informant. It’s absurd how he continues to just assume these people can take care of themselves for a few days. Just take them to the safehouse immediately after they offer to snitch!
- Peña’s incompetence extends to his inexplicable trust for Don Berna. After he insults Berna — whom Judy would presumably testify against — then just assumes that Berna will get Judy to the DEA safehouse. Instead, Berna cuts a deal with the Cali Cartel that allows him to split Medellín with the newly empowered Castaños.
- Trend alert: Fugitive Pablo has ditched the mustache style so popular in Medellín, opting instead for a big bushy beard.
- Navegante looks thrilled when Berna shows up to deal with the Cali Cartel. If only Ricardo Prisco could have lived to join their flunky super group.
- With the season nearly complete, Narcos finally gives us some shots of Pablo’s famous hippos that still cause trouble in Colombia to this day.