Narcos: Mexico season 1 premiere recap: Camelot


New cartel, new drug lords, new dangers–Welcome to Narcos: Mexico.

Narcos is back! And while it’s technically the fourth season of the series, it’s the first season of Narcos: Mexico. The first episode begins with a bang and even though the story, place, and characters have changed, the series itself is back to its roots and as riveting as ever.

In typical Narcos fashion, the first episode begins with agent Steve Murphy breaking it down for us and explaining just where we’re headed this season and the new players in the game.

As Steve so eloquently puts it, the war in Mexico has been going for years, and you may be just hearing about it.

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According to Steve, 500,000 people died as a result of the drug war in Mexico over the last three decades and it’s still ongoing.

Narcos: Mexico is going to help explain how it all began, and it starts with Kiki Camarena. Along with Camarena, there’s another important piece of the Narcos puzzle this season–Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo.

A region in Mexico known as Sinaloa was one part of three regions that made up the Golden Triangle in the 70’s. Drugs were planted and grown in this area and then sent off to the states to be sold for a profit. But the Mexican government caught on and stepped in to put an end to it during Operation Condor.

Fields of marijuana and heroin were burnt down and arrests were made to capture anyone involved. Enter Miguel, who we first meet as he impersonates an official in order to rescue his brother.

Upon returning home, he sees his home has been completely destroyed by officials, but his family is safe and sound in an underground bunker. And guess what? His wife managed to save some of the weed–nice teamwork!

We really get to understand Felix within the first episode and his ambitions for the cartel are almost impossible to achieve, but he’s determined. He wants to move the Sinaloa cartel to Guadalajara, but there’s just one slight problem–they already have a cartel of their own.

And though it seems impossible to accomplish, Miguel is sent to Guadalajara to strike up a deal alongside his brother Rafa and one of the farmers, Don. Thanks to Don, a meeting is set up with one of the Naranjo brothers (the people who the deal would need to go through), Hernan Naranjo. That haircut though, right?

Hernan does not warm up to Felix at all and it results in Felix killing him on the spot. And when the group known as the Lions shows up, Miguel manages to get them to take them to their Commander–aka El Azul.

And mind you, Miguel did not go into this meeting without a plan of his own. Rafa has created a unique type of weed, sinsemilla that has no seeds or stems because it’s missing a Y chromosome.

Who knew genetics would play a role in this season of Narcos? Why is this type of marijuana such a big deal? Because it doesn’t have the heavier parts, it’s much easier to pack and ship off.

Obviously, this would work to their advantage and the Commander is totally on board to bring on this new type of weed, no matter what it takes. So he kills the other Naranjo brother, Hermin and lets the Sinaloa cartel take over, as long as he gets 50% of the profits.

Miguel’s pride and excitement for building a new empire is palpable as he looks out to the open fields of Guadalajara. He is ready and nothing, absolutely nothing, is getting in his way.

Meanwhile, Kiki and his family decide to move out to Guadalajara and he takes on a new DEA position since Fresno is just not cutting it for him and his family anymore. We quickly learn that in the 80’s the DEA was a new agency and not as respected as they are today, as a result, Kiki learns that those higher up in the hierarchy of Mexico only deal with the CIA, not the DEA.

But Kiki isn’t about following these rules and has no fear in approaching Commanders and other officials that normally others would not. Unfortunately, the DEA can’t even arrest people unlike past seasons of Narcos where they had much more power.

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So, basically, Kiki moved him and his family to Guadalajara where he can essentially do nothing and then we have Miguel who used to be a cop and has some similarities to Kiki in the sense that people don’t allow him to operate at his most optimal level.

And just like that, we have entered the new season of Narcos and based on what we’ve already seen, it’s only going to get better.