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Crime Television Series: “Al Fin Cayó!” Essay


Introduction

“Al Fin Cayó!” is the tenth episode and the finale of the second season of Narcos, a crime television series that started in 2015. The second season had been focused on the hunt for Pablo Escobar, a real-life drug trafficker from Colombia sometimes referred to as the “king of cocaine.” Since the story is based on historical events, it was somewhat challenging for writers to make the finale unexpected or intriguing because everyone knew what was going to happen in the end. However, “Al Fin Cayó” is worth watching because of its emotional appeal, dynamics, and the impressive work of actors. The major weakness of the finale is that Escobar as a character is not integral enough for the episode to make a strong statement.

Second Season

One of the concerns of viewers for the second season was its limited timeframe. The ten episodes of the first season covered a time period of fifteen years, while the same number of episodes of the second season had to cover only one year. Some might have assumed that the show would lose its dynamics, but the writers proved that they could preserve the pace and the energy in the second season despite the time limitations. The finale featured a summary of the main elements that the season had been built upon: police chases, disputes among characters on how to deal with Escobar, and the presentation of the perspective of Escobar himself. The season’s finale, just as it was supposed to be, was the season’s climax.

Escobar’s Representation

The episode begins with Escobar’s daydream where he pictures himself as the President of Colombia smoking weed (“Narcos S02E10 – Al Fin Cayó!”). This episode reveals a complicated internal conflict of this character in terms of his patriotic feelings and attitudes toward his country. The portrayal of Escobar as a highly controversial character continues throughout the episode. For example, he is presented as a loving husband and father as viewers can see him talk to his wife Tata over a radio communication device. In a different part, he is presented as a loyal master to his sicarios (hitmen) as Escobar refuses to leave his wounded sicario and escape.

Then, Escobar is shown as a reckless criminal who, while being looked for by all the forces, fearlessly gives dropped coins back to a policeman in a shop. Finally, Escobar is shown in an emotional and touching manner as he sits down on a bench in a public place to have an imaginary talk with his late cousin (“Narcos S02E10 – Al Fin Cayó!”). All these different portrayals follow each other quite abruptly creating an impression that the writers had not managed to incorporate all those different versions and representations of Escobar into a coherent ongoing storyline for the entire season, so they forced all those versions into the 45 minutes of the finale.

Escobar’s Complexity

It is important to identify what the series’ statement about Escobar was because it seems to be the declared central theme of Narcos. The series was trying to show Escobar’s complexity and to present him as something more than a criminal and a drug lord. From the very beginning, the character expressed ambitions, desire for respect, and the feeling of social justice. He genuinely loved his wife and children. He used to criticize those in power and the existing order in his country and used to say that Colombia deserved more. He was perceived as a threat by the corrupt government of his country. The complexity and controversy of the character were outstandingly portrayed by Wagner Moura. However, the performance could have been much stronger if the show featured a position on Escobar’s figure and role. In the finale, just like in the entire second season, Escobar appears to be a complex but vague character. There is no statement about Escobar as a historical figure.

Emotional Appeal

The episode is very emotional. The combination of dramatic camerawork, close-ups, and music created several appealing moments throughout the finale. One of the most emotional scenes of the episode is the one where Tata portrayed by Paulina Gaitan receives bad news in the end (“Narcos S02E10 – Al Fin Cayó!”). She manages to stand against the blow of grief and to stay strong to tell the news to their children, although it is evident to a viewer how devastated she is. Overall, the role of Tata in the second season was much more prominent than in the first season, which is rather one of the second season’s strengths.

Conclusion

The ending of the episode is aimed at leaving viewers perplexed. Although the way the story would end could have been known to many of the viewers, the emotional appeal of the final scenes was very strong. The end of the season gives a feeling that, no matter what, the cycle continues and the war is not over. However, the feeling could have been much stronger if there had been a clear statement about Pablo Escobar who appears to be the central figure of the show after all. Even with the impressing portrayal by Wagner Moura, the finale would have been more appealing if Escobar had an integral image instead of a combination of different angles and representations.

Works Cited

“Narcos S02E10 – Al Fin Cayó!” YouTube, uploaded by Narcos Season 2, Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 1). Crime Television Series: "Al Fin Cayó!". Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/crime-television-series-al-fin-cay/

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"Crime Television Series: "Al Fin Cayó!"." IvyPanda, 1 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/crime-television-series-al-fin-cay/.

1. IvyPanda. "Crime Television Series: "Al Fin Cayó!"." September 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/crime-television-series-al-fin-cay/.


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IvyPanda. "Crime Television Series: "Al Fin Cayó!"." September 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/crime-television-series-al-fin-cay/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Crime Television Series: "Al Fin Cayó!"." September 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/crime-television-series-al-fin-cay/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Crime Television Series: "Al Fin Cayó!"'. 1 September.

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