‘Narcos’ Season 2 Preview: What To Expect From New Netflix Season About Hunt For Legendary Colombian Cocaine Kingpin

Last year’s hit Netflix docudrama, drug-war thriller Narcos returns for Season Two this week. The first season told the incredible story of Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar and the effort to catch him by two obsessed DEA agents. But what to expect in Season Two? Where do Escobar and agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena go from here?


Spoiler Warning: Even though Narcos is closely based on the true story of Escobar, not everyone is familiar with his story, so be warned that this article contains spoilers for Season One and possibly for the second season as well.

At the end of Season One, Escobar, the powerful and murderous head of the 1980s-era Colombian cocaine cartel, escaped from his prison, which was more like a luxury estate in the hillsides of the country. The facility was built specifically for Escobar to his specifications, and the drug lord and his cronies were the only inmates.

Escobar continued to operate his international drug trafficking empire from inside the custom-built prison known as “The Cathedral,” but when he tortured and killed two of his henchmen there, the Colombian government tried to crack down on him.

But before they could extract him from “The Cathedral” and move him to a real prison, Escobar escaped, disappearing with his gang into the mountains.

Readers who want to discover the full, true story of Pablo Escobar can watch the following documentary, which should give a pretty good idea of the events that will transpire in the new season of Narcos.


That’s where Season Two picks up, starting in July of 1992. The 10-episode second season of Narcos will conclude with the death of Pablo Escobar, portrayed on Narcos Season two once again by Brazilian movie star Wagner Moura (pictured at the top of this page), in a firefight with Colombian law enforcement at a house in Medellin, Colombia.

The city had long served as Escobar’s base of operations, and his crime syndicate became known in the 1980s as The Medellin Cartel, but on December 2, 1993, one day after his 44th birthday, Medellin finally saw the end of Pablo Escobar.

But that time span of only about 16 months means the action in Season Two of Narcos will be far more compressed and intense than in Season One, which spanned a decade of Escobar’s rise from an obscure petty criminal and smuggler to the world’s wealthiest and most powerful drug lord.

As a result, the explanatory narration delivered by actor Boyd Holbrook as Agent Murphy is scaled down to a minimum, and Holbrook’s partner Pena, portrayed by former Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal, takes over the role of Escobar’s lead law enforcement adversary.

In fact, some scenes in the trailer above have given rise to rumors that Agent Pena meets his demise at Escobar’s hands in Narcos Season Two. Viewers will have to watch the series to see if that’s what happens, but if so, the show would be taking a significant and uncharacteristic liberty with the facts.

The real Javier Pena not only survived the six-year war against Pablo Escobar, but he continued to work as a DEA agent for almost two decades after the Colombian kingpin was dead and gone, finally retiring from the Agency in 2011. Both Pena and Murphy served as paid consultants to the Netflix series.

But according to Entertainment Weekly magazine, Narcos Season Two includes enough fictionalized elements to keep the emphasis heavily on the drama side of the docudrama genre. In particular, the role of Colombian cop Horacio Carillo, the head of the Search Bloc, a ruthless task force whose only job was to track and either capture or kill Escobar, escalates the action to new levels of violence, raising questions about the morality of an all costs approach to catching one of history’s most brutal and dangerous criminals.

Season Two, however, will dwell largely on the lonely life of Pablo Escobar, who is on the run, desperate, and paranoid. Escobar is no longer able to enjoy the vast wealth he has accumulated as his drug empire, once untouchable by the government or law enforcement, crumbles around him.

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Narcos Season Two goes live on Netflix starting on September 2, and as with almost all Netflix original series, every episode will hit the service simultaneously, meaning fans can binge-watch the whole season over the weekend, or space out the episodes for a more leisurely pace. Meanwhile, Narcos Season One remains available to stream on Netflix right now.

[Image via Netflix]

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