Narcos: Mexico - Review of the Netflix TV series

Back under a new guise Narcos, the series that brought to the small screen the story of one of the best known and richest cocaine traffickers of all time, namely Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria. Narcos: Mexico is a spin-off that, as the title suggests, is set in Mexico in the 80s and tells the rise to power of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo founder of the Guadalajara cartel and undisputed leader of Mexican drug trafficking of that period. The series, directed and created by Carlo Bernard e Doug Miro, is made up of 10 episodes visible starting from November 16 on the digital platform Netflix.

Change the cast but not the substance

The story unfolds over a five-year narrative arc and simultaneously with what we have seen in past seasons of Narcos. The agent of the DEA Kiki Camarena played by Michael Peña (actor we recently got to appreciate in the series "From Dusk Till Dawn") is at the center of the plot of this "fourth" season. The Mexican drug traffickers, led by "The Godfather" or Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, are actually organizing for the first time in an attempt to create a solid criminal structure with the task of producing and selling marijuana. In a short time El godfather and his closest collaborators Rafael Cara QuinteroErnesto Fonseca Carrillo they become the undisputed kings of drug dealing, sweeping away all competition from the country. All this was partly possible thanks to the support of the local police, which are extremely corruptible. Over time, the thirst for power and money of the Guadalajara cartel grows so much that the distribution of marijuana alone begins to hold tight.

For this Félix Gallardo and associates decide to start trading Colombian cocaine and to manage its transport to the United States. The series has the great merit of capturing the viewer from the very first bars thanks to a talented cast where all the interpretations of Michael Peña and Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Kiki Camarena and Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo respectively. The plot is complex but at the same time smooth and well structured, which made many fans think again about the "controversy" of some time ago, where it was said that after the death of Pablo Escobar in the past seasons, the following series would lose their bite and it would not have been as successful. Instead, what Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro offer us is a series extremely consistent with what we have seen in the past seasons, but also unpredictable and well narrated. Yes, it's true: interpreters and settings change, but the substance doesn't. Narcos: Mexico is the confirmation that this brand can exist regardless of whether or not Pablo Escobar is present in the series. A note of merit goes to the splendid photography, to which the magnificent landscapes and colors that distinguish Mexico have contributed in a decisive way.

The real enemy? A corrupt system

Looking at the series from another perspective, we can see how the real "enemy" of the DEA agents are not the Mexican drug traffickers of the Guadalajara cartel but rather a deeply corrupt system that will prevent agent Kiki and his men from carrying out the best own investigations. In a historical context such as that of Mexico in the 80s where every man has a price and every single police officer was on the payroll of some powerful, crime has been able to organize itself better and proliferate undisturbed for years. In history corruption is an element that is often highlighted, just think how Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo you go from being a policeman, also corrupt, to becoming one of the undisputed leaders of Mexican drug trafficking. In 80s Mexico, good and evil are divided by a very fine line.

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