Review: Narcos Season 3 Episode 4 “Checkmate”

The amounting hurdles that Pena faces in his fight to bring down the Cali Cartel is beginning to add up. Although he finds a small win here, and finally gets out into the field, providing Pedro Pascal with some tense, fitting material, it certainly disguises multiple losses. These personal ramifications are important to sustaining interest in what is a rather formulaic, and therefore constantly shifting game. The director excellently uses the city, which is consistently shot and scouted in an authentic manner, as a character in itself, a loophole that some fall through and others get swallowed up. Although outside of the main attempt at getting Rodriguez, the episode does sometimes fall a little flat, especially with continued focus on Maria and Miguel, Varela provides such excellent work, that he, and his character, make the drifting spots still feel necessary to the show’s overall presentation of character and thematic arcs. 8.4/10

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