“Narcos” thoughts, Season Three, Episode Two: “The Cali KGB”

Without a doubt, the New York City massacre perpetrated by Cali kingpin Chepe Santacruz-Londoño in the hair-salon headquarters of some young Dominican rivals is the dominant image of “The Cali KGB,” the second episode of Narcos Season Three. Appearances and voiceovers to the contrary, Narcos rarely goes for the Coppola/Scorsese gusto when it comes to memorable execution scenarios. But Chepe’s behavior here — accelerating the countdown issued by his enemy in an attempt to be intimidating, blowing everyone away with an UZI concealed under his barber’s gown, and, in a bit straight from The Godfather Part II, awkwardly struggling to extinguish the fire in the fabric ignited by the heat of the gun barrel — is a gangster set piece par excellence.

I reviewed the second episode of Narcos Season Three for Decider. The shootout was a fun outburst of violent spectacle, but elsewhere the show is trying to have its cake and eat it too with regards to its characters’ hypocrisy about justified violence.

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