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On Netflix’s ‘Narcos,’ the Battle Turns to the Cali Cartel


Pedro Pascal in Season 3 of “Narcos.”

Juan Pablo Gutierrez/Netflix

The historical Netflix drama “Narcos” could easily have concluded after its riveting second season, which ended with the death of Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord, in a rooftop shootout. But, in the show as in real life, Escobar’s death in 1993 did not stop the flow of cocaine out of Colombia. As one character said late in the Season 2 finale, “Every one of his labs has been shut down, and cocaine production goes up.”

Thus on Friday, Sept. 1, comes Season 3, and the battle against illegal narcotics continues. The first two seasons chronicled Escobar’s rise and fall, but the new one turns its attention to the Cali Cartel, which dominated the market after Escobar’s organization was dismantled.

Escobar’s death leaves “Narcos” with a big hole to fill: Wagner Moura was simply great in the role, menacing and yet occasionally evoking sympathy. Among the returning characters in the new season is the American drug agent Javier Peña, played by Pedro Pascal.

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