ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

As I said when talking about FX's excellent 'The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story', history is not a spoiler. I'm pretty sure that everybody with even the vaguest interest in Pablo Escobar - and thus, everybody watching Narcos on Netflix - knows that Colombia's most divisive criminal has been dead since '93.

There's an extra layer of excitement in true crime stories told on television, especially when, as with OJ and Escobar, you know how it ends. Fashioning a cliffhanger out of a story whose every beat is well documented becomes an artform.

An unlikely hero

Narcos finds great entertainment in the cat and mouse chase between law enforcement and a man whose criminal empire had tentacles on multiple continents, and whose philanthropic work made him a hero in the eyes of millions of impoverished South Americans.

But the real joy of this show is that you find yourself rooting for Pablo Escobar. It could be Wagner Moura's hyper-charismatic performance or the sheer insanity of Escobar's achievements - he was among the 10 wealthiest men in the world - but he doesn't come across as the villain of the piece.

Which leads us neatly to the problem facing Narcos going into season 2: DEA Agent Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) is our protagonist, but it's not him we're watching for. He's replaceable. And, like I said in the intro, Escobar died in 1993. Season 1 wraps up in '92. Effectively, there's one more season of story material in Escobar's legend, and then the series is done.

But then again...

The season one finale found Pablo escaped from the clutches of US law enforcement, outside of the luxurious so-called "prison" of La Catedral. He had served only thirteen months inside a temple equipped with a tennis court, a jacuzzi and a waterfall.

If Netflix is clever about it, season 2 could be the perfect gateway into a new story, wrapping up Escobar's tale and transforming Narcos into an anthology series with a new focus every season (or two), like American Crime Story.

Not only would that keep Narcos fresh long after Escobar is dead and buried, it would also allow the series to tap into themes so far unexplored, like the impact of the thriving cocaine trade on low-income neighbourhoods of the US' biggest cities, or the struggles of the political elite to stay on top of the war on drugs.

Pablo Escobar may be the breakout star of this show, but it's not titled Escobar. It's called Narcos, and narcotics didn't stop being a problem the day Pablo Escobar died. He was just the trigger.


Is there life in Narcos beyond season 2?


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