[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Narcos ahead.]
The teaser trailer for Narcos season 3 teases the rise of the Cali Cartel, spearheaded by brothers Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela (Francisco Denis) and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela (Damian Alcazar). Coming off two critically-acclaimed seasons that focused on Pablo Escobar’s (Wagner Moura) infamous Medellin Cartel, the Netflix series will be moving onto a new cocaine empire, when it kicks off its third installment later this year.
Following the conclusion to El Padrino’s story – ending with his death on a rooftop in the middle-class barrio of Los Olivos in the Narcos season 2 finale – many fans were wondering what the show will be up to next. It seems that the Netflix series planted plot seeds for what comes next, via the subtle introduction of the Orejuela clan into the mix. The Cali, Colmbia-natives were at some point, also among the many groups who were hunting down Escobar – but unlike the DEA, their motivations are purely from a competitive standpoint, given that they both round the same illegal drug-peddling industry.
In the newly-released Narcos season 3 teaser (see above), the Orejuelas become the focus of the government and its operatives, with Agent Javier Pena (Pedro Pascal) once again at the forefront of the hunt. Interestingly, despite the fact that the Cali Cartel is not be as well-known as the Medellin Cartel, it was actually far bigger than that Escobar’s business in real-life. This teaser calls attention to this point by issuing a warning: “To pretend that these guys weren’t just as evil as the guy that came before them, that’s a mistake.”
While we know that Pascal is back to reprise his role in Narcos season 3, there’s no sign yet of Pena’s partner in tracking down Escobar from the last two seasons, Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook). Based on historical facts, Murphy left for the United States right after El Padrino’s execution and only Pena stayed to actively pursue the Cali Cartel. That means that Holbrook might not even be involved in the new installment of the series. Meanwhile, to help Pena in his new endeavor, Chris Feistl and Daniel Van Ness are set to be introduced (as played by Michael Stahl-David and Matt Whelan, respectively).
Netflix has already ordered Narcos season 4, as part of a multi-year renewal deal struck last year. Assuming Narcos continues to explore a different cartel every two seasons, we can expect that the Orejuela brothers and their associates will be hanging around until the end of season 4 (if not beyond). The Orejuelas will be joined by their Cali Cartel cohorts – Pacho Herrera (Alberto Ammann), and Chepe Santacruz Londono (Pepe Rapazote) – and given the fact that they eventually become the biggest cocaine dealer in history, that’s reason enough alone for viewers to tune in and continue watching Narcos for now.
Narcos season 3 premieres September 1st on Netflix.