The war on drugs is never-ending and if the creators behind Narcos have their way, their acclaimed television show will have the same type of longevity. Netflix has increased its output of original programming in recent years, with a diversity of shows that feature superheroes battling in Hell's Kitchen in Daredevil, to the political wars that are waged behind the walls of Congress in House of Cards.
Last year they took their viewers deep into the heart of the Colombian drug trade in Narcos, which also served as a biopic for infamous drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, brought to life by actor Wagner Moura. The trajectory of the second season is not in question, as history has already written the end of Escobar's story. Moura's portrayal of notorious kingpin has been a highlight of Narcos resulting in a Golden Globe nomination and further notoriety, so it's hard to imagine the show having a third season without the actor.
However, as reported by Deadline, series creator Jose Padilha cleared the air at a recent panel at the Television Critics Association and shed light on the future of the show:
“Pablo Escobar happens to be the man that created the mass business of cocaine trade...The show is about cocaine. It’s about drug dealers that deal cocaine...The fact that we can take a broad perspective and talk about all the different drug lords allows us to take a critical view of the policies that America has and other countries have toward drugs, which is kill the supplies and do nothing about the demand… it's a repeating story.
It should be noted that the show's title is Narcos not Escobar. So there is understandable wisdom in changing the focus of the show in its third season. Keeping the focus on one drug lord, such as Escobar, could end up having the undesired result of glorifying the figure. However, Padilha's big-picture approach to dramatizing the long-reaching effects of the drug trade may ultimately be what takes the show into uncharted territory, as seeing the different perspectives and histories of how the trade developed could provide further insight into its effects in modern times.
Provided that the second season keeps up the top-notch level of the first, it will be interesting to see how willing fans will be to stick with a show that “is not about Pablo.” There were hints at the panel that the show's third season could potentially follow the Cali cartel, who succeeded Escobar after his death. However, it will be up to the Narcos team to find new charismatic leads to fill the inevitable void left by Moura's absence.
The show's second season will pick up where the last left off, so expect to see clues within the narrative to where the showrunners are taking the third season. Regardless, with the endless war on drugs as the show's source material, we can expect to see high quality of drama continue for a time to come.
Narcos season two premieres September 2, 2016 on Netflix; season one is currently available in its entirety on Netflix.