Recap 'Narcos' Season 1 To Get Caught Up On The Life Of Pablo

Season 1 of Narcos has proven to be one of Netflix's greatest successes, which means that Season 2 has a lot of pressure to live up to. However, while many marathoned the series last year, one of the drawbacks of watching a season of television all at once is that details often get lost in memory. By the time the next season comes around a devoted viewer may find themselves asking "wait... who is that? Are they new?" If you find yourself forgetting major details from its debut season, here's the Narcos Season 1 recap in answer to your woes!

Part of the promotional push for Season 2 of Narcos has been centered around the date 12/02/93 – December 2nd, 1993, the day that Pablo Escobar died. If Season 2 will focus on the eventual death of Narcos antagonist and real-life drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, then it's safe to say that Season 1 was all about the life of Pablo Escobar and the many attempts by others to end that life. Now, most members at play in the show existed in real life, but for the sake of this recap, the following is based only on what happens in the show, not all of which necessarily happened that way in real life.

Search Bloc

The story of Narcos is told, in part, through the eyes of Steve Murphy. Murphy is one of many DEA agents on the hunt for Escobar during his ascension to the top of the drug trade equivalent of the corporate ladder. Murphy and his partner, Javier Peña, are members of the Search Bloc team that sought to capture Escobar and are introduced as two noble officers but, over time, learn that trying to capture Pablo Escobar doesn't work if you stay within the laws. The DEA may strive to be a noble organization, but Season 1 promises a collaboration between the DEA and the dangerous Cali Cartel who find a common enemy in Escobar. Murphy has been willing to bend the rules in his search, but if he follows through on collaborating with the Cartel he won't just be bending those rules — he's shattering them to a point beyond repair. In the Season 1 finale, Murphy promises "No surrender, no negotiation, no deals," when it comes to capturing Escobar, hinting at a bloodlust that wasn't present in the early episodes of Narcos.



The real Pablo Escobar is a larger-than-life individual, which means his fictional version as portrayed in Narcos is not far off no matter how grandiose some of his actions are. Over the course of the first season, Escobar goes from a low-level black market dealer to the most powerful drug kingpin in the world. However, his ambitions do not stop at being a kingpin. Over the course of the first season, Escobar fuels his political aspirations by presenting himself as a sort of folk hero, giving money to the impoverished citizens of Columbia.

Despite being elected to congress, he is quickly shunned for his criminal affiliations and instead turns his focus solely on the drug trade, leaving a sea of bodies in his wake. After blowing up a plane with a presidential candidate on it — killing 107 people — Escobar passes a point of no return and begins being shunned by those he used to work with, which in turn makes his actions more violent and desperate. Eventually, Escobar turns himself in under the condition that he gets to live in his own prison. However, prison does not suit Escobar well and he escapes — on the run and with none of the power he had spent years accumulating.

The first season of Narcos covers over a decade of the hunt for Pablo Escobar and ends about a year before his death. Either Narcos will have to slow down its rapid-fire pace or the death of Escobar is going to be covered fairly early in Season 2. Narcos spent much of Season 1 painting the broad strokes of the career of Escobar which puts Season 2 in an amazing position to use all of that information to result in a thrilling climax of the kingpin's story.

Image: Juan Pablo Gutierrez (2)/Netflix