Narcos: Mexico

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Narcos: Mexico
Narcos, Mexico - Title card.png
Genre
Created by
Starring
Narrated by
Theme music composerRodrigo Amarante
Opening theme"Tuyo"
Composer(s)
Country of originUnited States
Mexico
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)
  • Mexico
  • United States
Running time45–69 minutes
Production company(s)Gaumont International Television
DistributorNetflix
Release
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseNovember 16, 2018 –
present
Chronology
Preceded byNarcos
External links
Website

Narcos: Mexico is an American crime drama web television series created and produced by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro that premiered on Netflix on November 16, 2018. It was originally intended to be the fourth season of the Netflix series Narcos, but it was ultimately developed as a companion series. It focuses on the illegal drug trade in Mexico, whereas the parent series centered on the illegal drug trade in Colombia. On December 5, 2018, Netflix renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on February 13, 2020.[1]

Premise[edit]

Narcos: Mexico explores the origin of the modern war on drugs, beginning at the time when Mexican traffickers were a loose and disorganized confederation of small-time independent cannabis growers and dealers. The series dramatizes the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s as Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) unifies the traffickers in order to build an empire. DEA agent Kiki Camarena (Michael Peña) moves his wife and young son from California to Guadalajara to take on a new post, and he quickly learns that his assignment will be more challenging than he ever could have imagined.[2]

Cast and characters[edit]

Michael Peña and Diego Luna play the lead roles in Narcos: Mexico.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
110November 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
210February 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Camelot"Josef Kubota WladykaEric Newman & Clayton TrussellNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
In 1980, while the Mexican army pillages the countryside of Sinaloa, an ambitious policeman Miguel Angel Félix Gallardo decides to create a drug empire in Guadalajara. Meanwhile, a young DEA agent Kiki Camarena is transferred to Mexico.
22"The Plaza System"Josef Kubota WladykaCarlo Bernard & Doug MiroNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
Rafa studies a new type of marijuana which can only be grown in the desert. Problems arise when there appears to be a lack of water for cultivation leading Rafa to confront and threaten the geology professor who helped to locate the land. Frustrated and drunk, Rafa eventually turns to throwing explosives in dug-out holes, happening to discover a source of water. Félix continues his meetings to reach an agreement with the plazas but a humiliated and stubborn Avilés refuses to make amends with Acosta and condemns Félix to death after the deal falls apart. As they both are traveling back to Sinaloa, they are intercepted by the police, who kill Avilés, putting Félix at the head of the Guadalajara cartel.
33"El Padrino"Andrés BaizAshley Lyle & Bart NickersonNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
Kiki, after realizing the high level of corruption, undertakes a dangerous undercover operation on his own in the plantation camps. After reaching the desired agreement, Félix, Rafa and Don Neto become the bosses of a drug empire. Félix organizes a wedding party for one of his best friends, a son of the Governor, at which he forces an end to the conflict between Nava and the Arellano brothers.
44"Rafa, Rafa, Rafa!"Andrés BaizScott TeemsNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
After months, Kiki and his men try to arrest the narcos without success. Félix remains in an unsafe position for the reckless actions of Rafa who conspired with Sofia, his lover, to organize a fake kidnapping, unleashing a manhunt by Sofia's father, an important political figure in Mexico City. To ensure Rafa's safety, Félix agrees to do a favor for Nava, whom he had previously refused. After following through with the favor, Félix is beaten by Nava's men to make clear who is in charge.
55"The Colombian Connection"Amat EscalanteAndy BlackNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
The investigations endanger Kiki's wife but he is convinced to continue his job. Kiki infiltrates Felix's office in order to obtain financial documents and with his men plan to arrest him in the United States. After the routing of the cocaine shipments through the Bahamas was blocked by the United States, Félix makes contact with the Colombian cartels and reach an agreement with the Cali Cartel of the Orejuela brothers. Following the meeting, Pablo Escobar warns Felix and proposes another deal, half and half with him and Cali.
66"La Última Frontera"Amat EscalanteJessie Nickson-Lopez & Clayton TrussellNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
The war of marijuana trafficking between Rafa and Falcón continues. The pressure on Félix is increased after the deal with politics is not closed. The DEA set up a trap using one of Félix's American associates to make contact and lure him to the US on the pretense of signing documents to protect his financial interests. Isabella is able to reach an agreement with Falcón before she finds that decisions have already been made regarding his fate. When Félix is ready to cross the Mexican border, he receives a call from Zuno, a high-ranking political figure warning him of the trap. Kiki cannot intervene and returns home frustrated and disillusioned.
77"Jefe de Jefes"Alonzo RuizspalaciosStory by : Ashley Lyle & Bart Nickerson and Clayton Trussell
Teleplay by : Ashley Lyle & Bart Nickerson
November 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
Rafa is out of control as his cocaine use continues. He begins to attract attention when one night in a club, shots are fired after seeing Sofia with Amado. Don Neto is grieving his son, who is killed in an altercation outside a disco. Paranoia starts to get to Rafa leading him and others to brutally murder two American tourists, convinced the DEA had sent them to spy on him. Félix organizes a reunion to place new orders and territories excluding Isabella who does not take it well. Afterwards, Nava attempts to intimidate Félix before the latter murders him as Azul watches.
88"Just Say No"Alonzo RuizspalaciosDoug MiroNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
The DEA agents and the Mexican army penetrate the marijuana plantation, confiscating and burning the entire crop, making it one of the greatest drug busts of all time. In doing so, it begins a war with Rafa, who manages to escape with the help of Chapo and his men. A confused Félix goes to Mexico City to seek guidance on the how to deal with Kiki, all the while Azul persuades Rafa to order the kidnapping of Kiki and Don Neto is too late to intervene.
99"881 Lope de Vega"Andrés BaizClayton TrussellNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
As Kiki is interrogated and tortured, Mika reports his disappearance to Jaime. Knowing there will be a manhunt for Rafa, Félix tells him to flee the country and so he leaves with Sofia for Costa Rica. Jaime is sent in circles by the Mexican police system and an angry Mika confronts Ed Heath. A new police chief is appointed to the operation but, after intercepting Rafa at the airport runway, allows his escape. Elsewhere, Félix manages to escape arrest after being informed by Azul on an imminent raid. An anonymous tip to the DEA regarding Rafa's whereabouts leads to his arrest and information on Kiki's location. Don Neto visits Félix and it is revealed that, knowing his empire was in danger, Félix made the anonymous tip.
1010"Leyenda"Andrés BaizCarlo BernardNovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
After a week, Jaime and the DEA agents find the body of Kiki Camarena near a ranch. Neto leaves Guadalajara and goes into hiding by the coast. Félix returns to Sinaloa and asks the Governor for refuge which is only achieved with a large payment deal. Isabella persuades Benjamín to take what is left of the cartel. The Governor betrays Félix and the police ambush him when he is about to leave. However, Félix is able to make an agreement with the commander, allowing him to be politically protected. Neto is found and arrested, knowing he had been betrayed by Félix. Azul informs Félix of a new meeting in Ensenada which he gatecrashes, presenting the new deal with the politicians and taking leadership again, kicking Isabella out in the process. The DEA begins Operation Leyenda in Mexico to put an end to the Guadalajara Cartel.

Season 2 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Salva El Tigre"Andrés BaizCarlo Bernard & Johnny NewmanFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Several months after the arrests of Don Neto and Caro, Félix celebrates his fortieth birthday with the heads of his plazas. Félix meets with the Cali Cartel's Pacho Herrera to request payment for debts they owe him, as he has been keeping his organization operating with his own funds. Herrera rejects his request citing the increased seizures due to the Americans targeting him following Camarena's execution. Isabella travels to Colombia to acquire her own supply of cocaine. DEA agent Walt Breslin begins Operation Leyenda by kidnapping Delgado, the physician who aided in the torture of Kiki Camarena by keeping him awake with adrenaline, and forcing the doctor to give up the name of the torturer Sergio Verdín, a DFS agent. Breslin's team then kidnaps Verdín on the streets in a gunfight.
122"Alea Iacta Est"Amat EscalanteEric Newman & Eva AridjisFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Félix travels to meet with Juan Nepomuceno Guerra, head of the Gulf Cartel that primarily deals in opium, to make a new partnership and create a monopoly on the import of cocaine into America and take away options from the Colombian cartels. Breslin tortures Verdín, but Verdín has been trained to resist torture and only breaks once he is shot in the gut. He gives them the name of the owner of the estate where Camarena was tortured: Rubén Zuno Arce.
133"Ruben Zuno Arce"Amat EscalanteClayton TrussellFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Zuno goes into hiding in Puerto Vallarta with a heavily armed guard provided by his uncle, Mexico's Secretary of Defense. Operation Leyenda then scare Zuno into fleeing from his guarded estate, where they divert his jet to Texas and is arrested. Meanwhile, Amado helps Acosta end a feud that was keeping Acosta from helping complete the runways. Tensions rise between the Sinaloa and the Tijuana plazas when Félix imposes a tax on Sinaloa to transport through Tijuana.
144"The Big Dig"Marcela SaidDoug Miro & Alec ZiffFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Zuno gives the DEA the names of his uncle and Félix as those that knew about Camarena's kidnap and execution, but then denies his statements in front of the Grand Jury, effectively putting an end to Operation Leyenda as an official investigation into Camarena's death. Following a plane owned by CIA-backed arms smuggler Juan Matta-Ballesteros being shot down on its way to the Nicaraguan Contras, Félix meets with the CIA to offer his assistance. Matta is subsequently given up by the Mexican government as an act of compliance with the United States efforts to stop the drug trade following Zuno's arrest, and Félix takes over Matta's routes for the CIA. Sinaloan El Chapo takes matters into his own hands and buys property outside Tijuana on both sides of the US–Mexico border with the intentions of building a tunnel. Isabella makes a deal with Enedina Arellano Félix of the Tijuana plaza to transport her cocaine behind Félix Gallardo's back.
155"AFO"TBATBAFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Breslin and his team learn of the escalating conflict between the Sinaloa and Tijuana plazas. The Sinaloans pull their product from Tijuana and begin taking it through the tunnel, which is then discovered by the DEA team. Breslin's team then leaks the information to the Tijuana plaza who retaliates by destroying the tunnel and executing everyone at the tunnel with El Chapo escaping though the other end of the tunnel. Félix takes Amado to meet with the Cali Cartel in Panama to enforce his monopoly on the cocaine transportation and get into the direct sale of the product in America utilizing Amado and his airstrips in Ciudad Juárez. However, Félix is betrayed by Guerra who made a deal directly with the Colombians to transport cocaine. To cover his surprise, he asks the cartel for as much cocaine as they could supply and agrees to transport about 70 tons.
166"El Dedazo"TBATBAFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
In need of transportation for the cocaine, Amado begins purchasing jets. Breslin's team learns of the meeting in Panama and follow Amado to an auction and place trackers on the jets he purchased. Using the trackers, they find the runway outside Juárez. Following a failed assassination attempt on him by Guerra, Félix goes to Sinaloa to try and visit his ex-wife and children. The Tijuana and Sinaloa plazas agree to make peace, but upon learning of the attempt on Félix, Benjamín Arellano Félix uses the leverage to instead execute Sinaloan Cochiloco.
177"Truth and Reconciliation"TBATBAFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
The head of the Sinaloa plaza, Palma, calls the head of the Juárez plaza, Acosta, and proposes they join together against Félix, but is recorded by Aguilar, the corrupt DFS commander that had been working with Acosta and Amado in Juárez. Félix then orders Azul to execute Palma. Palma escapes after his wife is tipped off by her lover Clavel, Félix's chauffeur. Meanwhile, Acosta meets with Breslin about a deal that would get him out of the trafficking business in return for Félix Gallardo. Félix initiates a plan to gain influence with the new PRI presidential candidate in the 1988 election utilizing the new polling computers to sway public perception on election day.
188"Se Cayó El Sistema"TBATBAFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Acosta goes to the American press and gives an interview on the trafficking through Mexico, leading to multiple parties looking to hunt him down. Breslin finds Acosta in a small border town to give him an immunity deal, but Acosta is killed in a joint DFS and FBI assault on the town. Félix is in Mexico City overseeing the election results with the computers displaying false results from the polling stations leading to a lower voter turnout, but they crash the system when others get suspicious. Félix then makes his plazas go to the polling stations and alter the tally results of the election for a PRI win. They burn the physical ballots afterwards. Herrera informs Félix his 70 tons of coke are ready for pickup and Amado must rush to get his planes ready in time; Amado then finds the trackers on the planes.
199"Growth, Prosperity, and Liberation"TBATBAFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Félix reconciles with his ex-wife Maria. Amado picks up the cocaine in Chiapas, but stays behind when the planes are sent to Juárez. Breslin and his team intercept the planes at the runway and attempt to burn the coke, but are ambushed and most of the team is killed. The real shipment makes it to Juárez the next day where Félix splits it evenly among the plazas and Breslin gets reassigned.
2010"Free Trade"TBATBAFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Twenty tons of the Colombian's cocaine is seized by the DEA in Sylmar, California, which Félix then uses as leverage to have the Colombians give him cocaine for retail in America on top of being their primary transporter. Following the requests of the plaza bosses, Félix grants Palma clemency for his planned betrayal, but has Clavel murder Palma's wife and throw his children off a bridge as a message to the bosses. Maria then kicks Félix out of the house and forbids him from seeing his children again. At a meeting of the plazas, Félix informs the bosses of their new goal of setting up sales and distribution in the United States. All the plaza bosses then withdraw from the federation with the Arellano Félix family forming the Tijuana Cartel; Azul, Palma,and Chapo forming the Sinaloa Cartel; and Amado and Aguilar leading the Juárez Cartel. The Tijuana Cartel uses Isabella's contact in Colombia to source their own supply of cocaine and cut her out of the business, while Amado contacted Herrera directly to give the Cali Cartel another option to transport their supply through Mexico. Félix is then arrested at home as a signal by the Mexican government that they were complying with the effort to end drug trafficking and get included in what would become NAFTA. Breslin meets Félix in prison, who then proceeds to outline the upcoming chaos that will be caused by the disputes among the new cartels that eventually leads into the Mexican Drug War.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Netflix renewed Narcos for two more seasons on September 6, 2016, a few days after the release of the second season.[3] Production on the fourth season began in Mexico in late 2017, following the release of the third season. On July 18, 2018, Netflix announced that the fourth season would instead "reset" with almost an entirely new cast as a new Netflix original series titled Narcos: Mexico.[2]

The first season was released on November 16, 2018,[4] and Netflix renewed it for a second season on December 5, 2018.[5]

Cast and crew[edit]

In December 2017, Michael Peña and Diego Luna were announced to star in the upcoming series.[6] A few days later, Matt Letscher joined the cast in a regular role.[7] Other key cast members revealed by showrunner Eric Newman include Tenoch Huerta, Joaquín Cosío, Teresa Ruiz, Alyssa Diaz, and José María Yazpik (reprising his role from the third season of Narcos).[8]

Amat Escalante and Alonso Ruizpalacios directed episodes for the upcoming series, while Colombian Andi Baiz, director of several episodes for the first three seasons of Narcos, also directed for Narcos: Mexico.[8]

Murder of location scout[edit]

Carlos Muñoz Portal was one of the show's location scouts, but he was found murdered with multiple gunshot wounds on September 15, 2017 in central Mexico near the town of Temascalapa.[9][10] A spokesman for the attorney general in Mexico said that there were no witnesses due to the remote location, but the authorities would continue to investigate.[11] Authorities are considering the possibility of narco gang involvement,[12] but the murder has not been solved.[8]

Factual differences[edit]

Although many of the events and characters are based on true history, some liberties were taken to streamline the story of the Mexican drug war into a cohesive narrative. Unlike in the television series, Mexican police say that Félix Gallardo personally ordered the capture of Kiki Camarena. The murders of John Clay Walker and Albert Radelat were real, however they were reportedly tortured beforehand.[13] The character of Sofia Conesa, portrayed as the love interest of Rafael Caro Quintero, was named Sara Cosio in real life.

Critical reception[edit]

The first season of Narcos: Mexico has a score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 35 reviews with an average rating of 7.43/10, with the critics consensus stating "Dangerous, thrilling, and highly addictive, Narcos: Mexico's first season expertly expands the franchise by exploring new territory in the drug war's grim history and showcasing electric performances from Diego Luna and Michael Peña."[14] On Metacritic, season one holds a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2019 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Diego Luna Nominated
Platino Awards Best Ibero-American Miniseries or TV series Narcos: Mexico Nominated
Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV series Diego Luna Won
2020 Casting Society of America Television Pilot & First Season – Drama Carla Hool Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Narcos: Mexico' Season 2 looks set to hit Netflix in February 2020". Entertainment.ie. December 7, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Strause, Jackie (July 18, 2018). "Netflix Releases First Look at Reset 'Narcos: Mexico'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  3. ^ Hibberd, James (September 6, 2016). "Narcos Renewed for Two More Seasons". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Russell, Scott (September 6, 2018). "A New Empire Rises in First Teaser for Narcos: Mexico, Coming to Netflix in November". Paste. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  5. ^ Ramon, Dino-Ray (December 5, 2018). "'Narcos: Mexico' Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Otterson, Joe (December 19, 2017). "'Narcos' Season 4 to Star Michael Peña, Diego Luna". Variety. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 3, 2018). "'Narcos': Matt Letscher Joins Netflix Drama As Series Regular For Season 4". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c De la Fuente, Anna Marie (May 17, 2018). "'Narcos' Showrunner Reveals Key Cast Members Joining Season 4 (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "La violencia en México supera a la ficción". El País. September 11, 2017.
  10. ^ "Narcos filmmaker shot dead scouting for locations in rural Mexico". The Telegraph. September 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Collins, Pádraig (September 17, 2017). "Netflix scout for Narcos TV show found shot dead in Mexico". The Guardian. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Narcos location scout shot dead in Mexico". BBC News. September 17, 2017.
  13. ^ "Two Bodies Unearthed in Mexico Forest". Los Angeles Times. United Press International. June 18, 1985. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "Narcos: Mexico: Season 1 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  15. ^ "Narcos: Mexico : Season 1 (2018)". Metacritic. Retrieved January 3, 2019.

External links[edit]