“Narcos” thoughts, Season Two, Episode Ten: “Al Fin Cayó!”

NOTE: As best I can tell I never linked to my review of last year’s Narcos season finale. In the interest of completism, here it is!

“Al Fin Cayó!”, the tenth and final episode of Narcos Season 2, was the series’ finest episode. That’s a major achievement in itself, entertainment value aside — a sign that the season and the show got better as they went, which was by no means a guarantee. Particularly regarding Pablo Escobar, Narcos in general and this episode in particular wound up pulling off a work of real emotional alchemy. It made him more human — sympathetic to the point of it being hard to watch him endure his agonizing downfall — even as grew more unequivocal about the monstrousness of his crimes.

Contrast him with comparable TV crime bosses. By the final season of Breaking Bad, even as we pulled for Walter White to get out of each scrape, it was difficult to not want him to suffer. Despite committing several of his most heinous acts in The Sopranos’ last season, Tony was always a more appealing character than his New York rivals. On the flip side, Marlo Stanfield, the archvillain of The Wire’s waning years, was pure evil, impossible to see as anything but a dead-eyed killer.

But with Pablo Escobar, Narcos managed to make you feel like you were watching a human being’s life fall apart as he lived in mortal terror and depressing isolation, and that he was a world-historical murderer who’d killed countless thousands so he could sit around palatially appointed estates in the world’s ugliest sweatshirts. It’s difficult to think of another show so certain that both halves of such a story needed to be driven home even in its final hour.

So yeah, last year I reviewed the season finale of Narcos for Decider.

Tags: , , , ,