After his daring escape from prison, Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) is forced to go to ground, hiding from not only the DEA but also his former associate, Judy Moncada (Cristina Umaña). Of course Pablo has no intention of stopping his operations, leading to every craftier ways of moving his merchandise around but as the stakes get higher and higher will the price of success become to high?
Season 2 of Narcos is all about crossing lines and about obsession. Pablo is so obsessed with being a kind of Colombian statesman that he will put his family at risk and commit ever more disturbing acts of terror against his enemies. Peña (Pedro Pascal) is so obsessed with catching Pablo that he is willing to get in bed with the devil. Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) is facing life without his wife and child, living, fuelled only by coffee and cigarettes. And Judy has ended up running the Los Pepes death squad with the nefarious Cali cartel and assisting the DEA.
In this season I quite enjoyed the descent into chaos as well as the endless cat and mouse games between Pablo and the DEA, alongside Los Pepes and the performances are better than ever. Pedro Pascal is a standout and the moment where Peña makes the decision to start sharing information with Los Pepes is so powerful. Holbrook does a great job portraying a man with such tunnel vision that he can’t see that his end goal might not actually be worth what he will have to give up to achieve it. His mental and physical deterioration demonstrate his vulnerability in equal measure. It is absolutely the Wagner Moura show though. Pablo Escobar is a character of such duality and Moura captures both sides perfectly. He is ruthless, unforgiving and brutal but by the same token he adores his family and is kind, gentle, affectionate and devoted. When he is separated from Tata (Paulina Gaitan) and his children he can barely cope.
There is a great subplot following the character, Limon (Leynar Gomez), a hapless taxi driver who gets unwittingly dragged into Pablo’s inner circle, ruining the life of his childhood best friend in the process. Limon demonstrates how one decision can change your life completely and how quickly violence wears away your humanity.
In the end Narcos proves that obsession turns everyone into bad guy. It doesn’t matter whether your end goal is noble if your methods are so destructive that the outcome is irrelevant. In the end the people of Colombia are the ones who ended up in the crossfire between Escobar, Los Pepes and the US government.
I think I enjoyed this season even more than the first. It didn’t suffer from the same lull in pace and knowing the characters made seeing their development even more interesting.