Netflix’s legendary saga of Narcos started in 2015 with the gritty stories of the Colombian cocaine trade in the 1980s, following the entangled mess of a drug war between law enforcement agencies and mighty drug lords such as Pablo Escobar.
If you put daring, driven and mastermind together, you get Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo – the Mexican drug lord, or rather, legend who united the scattered drug cartels of Mexico into one federation and switched from marijuana to the cocaine trade. The fourth season records his transformative rise from an ex-cop to a drug giant. Although “Eye of the Tiger” introduces the mighty legend of Miguel Angel, “Guts and Glory” is what defines him. The throne is merely a starting point for Miguel and as for the viewers, there are a lot of frustrating build-ups before the end is realized. Given the crude and crucial detailing of the show, multiple events happen simultaneously, and the audience must be warned in advance in order to keep up with the pace.
The fifth installment follows the fall of Miguel Angel, who is frustrated by the growing animosity Sinaloan-Tijuana Cartels, Acosta’s abandonment of Juarez due to personal discords, the duplicity and difficulties with Guerra of Gulf Cartel and Isabella’s persistent efforts to earn a seat at the table. But then again, Felix has had enough money problems with the bully Cali Cartel and is ready to sweep them off the scene with the help of Mexican political party called PRI to make space for his business. If that isn’t enough already, after the murder of Agent Camerana, the DEA is seriously annoyed, especially Agent Breslin who finally reveals his face and lands in Mexico with Operation Leyenda determined to take down Felix. Felix is losing his friends and allies left and right, with Maria and his family at cross with him.
One would get overwhelmed just reading the plot, but it isn’t nearly enough to break down Miguel Felix, who might be “skinny” but puts the ‘dare’ in daredevil. Much of the thrill in this crime-thriller is watching Diego Luna (Star Wars: Rogue One, Y Tu Mama Tambien) embody Felix’s ingenius who even Breslin admits is undefeatable because he “built this machine”. The bloody and begrimed reality which Hollywood glamourised in Bad Boys for Life and The Godfather is slowly broken down in this 10-episode series to highlight the sooty crooks and corners of a Mexican drug empire. Scoot McNairy (Monsters, Argo) is resolute as Agent Breslin but lacks the desperation of Camerana, reminding the viewers of a void left by his loss. The nostalgia is compensated by the sweet romance of Mimi and Acosta, a melting centre of this dark series.
The fifth season slows down the heat and adrenaline of its predecessor and gives a measured account of Felix’s fall, with his spirit nowhere near brokenness in sight. In his own words, the end promises that the dedicated audience are sure to “miss” Felix, with his captivating allure forever remnant in their hearts.
Last modified: 24th February 2020