Back in 2015, Netflix announced its plans for Narcos to make its presence felt in the South American regions. Deriving elements from real life incidents, Netflix had the perfect recipe to expand its empire to the land of magical realism. Wagner Moura’s portrayal of Pablo Escobar was one of the major highlights of the preceding seasons of Narcos. The rise of Pablo and the infamous Medellin Cartel was nailed to perfection by Moura in the first season. The second season showed the fall of his empire and his subsequent demise at the end. After the end of the charismatic Pablo Escobar, did Netflix have enough content to carry out the third season? Putting all skepticism to rest, the third season of this period drama series hit it out of the park in grandeur.
The third season of Narcos witnessed the departure of Boyd Holbrook (Agent Murphy), along with Wagner Moura (Pablo Escobar). Lacking Moura’s intimidation and Holbrook’s narration, the entire weight of the series is carried by Pedro Pascal (Agent Pena), right from narration to action sequences. After the fall of the Medellin Cartel, the third season dives straight into the notorious Cali Cartel, which has been slowly climbing to the top spot.
Coming straight to the narration, the third season is fast paced and fueled with pure adrenaline. Unlike the previous seasons, the plot doesn’t revolve much around a central character. After the events of the second season, the DEA and the law enforcement authorities of Columbia face exhausting opprobrium in their hunt for the Cali’s Godfathers. The lack of an intimidating and powerful villain is felt in the first few episodes, but, the intricately designed plot manages to keep the memories of Escobar at bay. The dramatization of certain facts have been done with nigh perfection in order to keep the viewers hooked, as well as to maintain the veracity of the incidents to respect the real heroes who died to bring down the largest cartel business in the world.
Another major win for the third season over the preceding seasons is its cinematography. Though, the third season doesn’t have much violence, the few gun fights in the series are visceral and heart-thumping. The tension rises gradually in the series and the cinematography makes it palpable to the core. The aerial shots of the beautiful city of Cali along with lush forests of Colombia is a respite to sore eyes after continual bloodbaths. Major credits must also be given to the editing team for the smooth transition of scenes to keep the viewers interested in minute details.
With the departure of Agent Murphy, the limelight is no longer shared by Pedro Pascal, who effortlessly plays the role of Agent Javier Pena. Pascal’s grip on the character and the time frame in each and every scene is breathtaking. While the third season is a continuation, Pascal takes it a notch up by making the viewers understand the sacrifices he has made in the previous seasons. The exhaustion of the job added with the ingrained corruption takes a toll on Agent Pena, and drives him to break point in several occasions. Though some viewers might have preferred Holbrook’s narration to Pascal’s, in rest of the scenes, Pedro is almost flawless. His old school charm along with his accent gels easily with the setting of the show.
The third season of Narcos is fundamentally different from its predecessors, while still managing to retain some of the premier qualities which made the show famous at the first place. It is a fast-paced and relentless story which wastes no time in character depth, which can be termed as one of its few flaws. This season also witnesses significant improvement in cinematography, sound effects and action sequences over the preceding seasons. Though Narcos has always managed to show the downfall of these monstrous cartels, it also manages to remind the viewers that the war on drugs is a never ending battle. The blow must go on.
- Pedro Pascal's Javier Peña
- Fast-paced story
- Engaging Music