Finale review: 'Narcos: Mexico' ends on a bitter note with no winner

The hybrid of real and fictional events creates a mismatch as the series is seemingly rushed for the cartels.

Omar Qureshi November 22, 2021


Blasts, gunfights, chaos and falling bodies, that is what Narcos has always been about since the series began in 2015. Six years later, the latest season takes one step forward by pinning the criminals against one another.

In the opening scenes of Narcos Mexico Season 1, the narrator (Micheal Pena as Kiki Camerena) tells the audience that the story doesn’t have an ending and the final season (Narcos Mexico Season 3) reinforces the idea further as it leaves viewers wondering about what would happen next while Mexico approaches the brink of a drug war.

A hybrid of real and fictional events, the series picks up a few months after the arrest of Felix Gallardo at the end of the previous season and shows multiple cartels co-existing with minimal problems.


The crime drama series continues the story of drug cartels after the dissolution of the Federation created by Felix Gallardo. It tells how the separate plazas are faring. Slowly and gradually, the epilogue of Narcos Mexico Season 2, where Felix predicts a looming drug war, materializes as Mexico undergoes massive geo political changes in the lieu of NAFTA.

Following its predecessors, this season too, is riddled with twists and turns which keep the viewer glued to the screen. However, the action picks up quite late.

On a high note

The season sees the producer make a handful of changes, including the narrator, who is a female and for the first time, not related to the law enforcement. Soon after the season kicks off, a war breaks out between the Tijuana and Sinaloa cartels. This war was correctly predicted by Felix Gallardo at the close of previous season.

A huge chunk of the 10-episode season focuses on the rise of Amado Carrillo Fuentes to power, as NAFTA trade deal begins to take effect in Mexico. With the implementation of the accord, Amado’s power multiplies by a manifold as his border is the central point of the deal.

On the other hand, the Arellano Félix family is shown to be struggling to remain afloat amid the ongoing war as a new enemy – Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada –acts to defeat them. Members of Sinaloa cartel are either eliminated or imprisoned.

At the same time, DEA agents Walt Breslin and James Kuykendall embark on an unsuccessful quest to pin down Amado. The 10-episode season takes a while to build on the premise but once the action kicks off, it turns into a nonstop thrilling rise.

In addition, a handful of important characters are also introduced such as Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada who continues to evade Mexican authorities at present. The series also features General Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, a military general who was working for the opposite side while leading Mexican anti-narcotics force.

On the flip side, Narcos is renowned to focus on law enforcement as well and accordingly, DEA agents Walt Breslin and James Kuykendall return in the season and once again, the law fails in front of the criminals.

A host of side characters are brought into the limelight with the real ones including Carlos Hank González, who played huge role in destabilising Mexico and Amado’s bother Vicente Carrillo Fuentes who teams up with the drug lord to enhance his empire and Marta, Amado’s new found love.

The spotlight also covers a handful of fictional characters like policeman Victor Tapia who is on a mission to catch a serial rapist, Andrea Nunez, the journalist and narrator who leaves no stone unturned to report the truth.


While the series allots huge focus to select cartels and characters, a few major cartels and characters seem to be downplayed. The state of Gulf Cartel is mentioned only once while the members of the Sinaloa Cartel remained neglected for most part of the season. The returning character of Don Neto lacks the true essence and the series just portrays him as a know-it-all.

On the drama front, the series consumes far more time than its predecessors for action to pick up. While the first episode of all three seasons of Narcos Mexico sets up a premise, the actual events in season 3 kick off from the beginning of episode 4.

The hybrid of real and fictional events creates a mismatch as the series is seemingly rushed for the cartels. Finally, the series ends with Mexico falling into an abyss of drug war with power remaining in the hands of a few. It ends on a bitter note with no one being the winner of the chaos. Narcos Mexico season 3 is a roller coaster ride that closes the series on a chaotic note and leaves the viewer demanding for more.

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AAM | 1 week ago | Reply

You forgot to mention El Chapo

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