Narcos Season 3 Having Nothing To Do With Pablo Escobar Is Probably A Good Thing

While there was a lot riding on an Escobar-less season of Netflix's beloved Narcos, the third series paints a different, wider picture of what was going down in Columbia.

Narcos Season 3 Having Nothing To Do With Pablo Escobar Is Probably A Good Thing

by Jazmin Kopotsha |
Published on

We spent the entirety of the previous two seasons of Narcos (and the stretches of time thereafter) tirelessly trying to piece together the full picture of the Escobar family. We lived vicariously through Javier Pena’s escapades and our hearts ached for Tata Escobar. We thoroughly researched Manuela Escobar once the last Netflix episode came to its dramatic yet pre-empted conclusion. So with the brand new series of one of the most intently followed fact-meets-fiction dramas now at our feet, you couldn't be blamed for wondering what else could there possibly be to explore?

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After having associated Pablo Escobar with the Columbian drug trade so fixedly for so long, it can be hard to envision a Narcos storyline without him at the centre. But the reality is that the story of cocaine in Columbia extends far beyond the bounds of the one drug lord we got to know. And the fact that in season 3, Pablo Escobar is little more than a memory of what Javier Pena had been up to before, can only be a good thing. In this season we’re given a deeper insight into the inner workings of the Cali Cartel, aka the Gentlemen of Cali, who run a very different game to the one Escobar did. We're talking huge scale, systematic economic and political integration. They ran shit in a way that had roots that stretched deep into the foundations of society and is honestly a whole lot more frightening. So, without further ado...

Meet Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez

These guys, as you may already know, are the leaders of the Cali Cartel. We heard about them briefly last season and yes, they’re brothers. They do business together and run one of the biggest, most successful cartels. Trouble hits though when Gilberto decides that he wants everyone to surrender to the authorities in six months’ time (as we’re told in episode one). Obviously, not everyone agrees, but his brother Miguel, who you might consider as the brains of the whole thing, approves of this huge decision which essentially drives the narrative of the whole season.

And then there’s Pacho Herrera

Pacho is another one of the four Gentlemen at the head of the cartel. From what we can gather, he’s the more rash one in comparison to the others. He also happens to be openly gay and is accepted as such which many might have anticipated to cause some sort of sub-narrative conflict given the time and stereotypical context of the drugs game. But he’s pretty much accepted and well respected in his circle.

And Chepe Santacruz Londono

This guy is based in New York and runs things over there. He isn’t particularly on board with the idea of surrendering and giving up the drug lord lifestyle. He's something of a legend in the business and was key in operating the Cali Cartel's US market.

Is Javier Pena still around in season 3?

But of course. Pedro Pascal is back on our screens to tirelessly try to save the day, which is elaborately more complicated a task this time around compared to dealing with Pablo. He’s also pretty much the voice of the show this time what with narrating and taking us through the story and everything. It's nice that he's back.

Like this? You might also be interested in…

What Do Young Women In Columbia Actually Think About Narcos?

Manuela Escobar From Narcos: Who Was She In Real Life?

How Colombia’s Problems Are More Complex Than Narcos Suggests

Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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