However people react to Netflix’s new Pablo Escobar drama, Narcos, you can’t say they didn’t pick a rich subject. When you’re the seventh-richest man in the world and the master of a ruthless criminal empire, you do a lot of crazy shit. Narcos picks up in 1989, relatively late in Escobar’s career. Here are a few moments from the cocaine overlord’s life that would play well on screen.
A Giant Stack of Money
Remember that scene in Breaking Bad where Skyler shows Walter just how much money he’s made cooking meth? The cash, nearly filling a storage room, was supposed to represent the $80 million in business Heisenberg did in the course of about six months. Cute, Walter, but not good enough for the major leagues. At Escobar’s height, he made more than $60 million in a single day.
I’m not saying a full episode devoted to the rat’s point of view or anything artsy like that. But Escobar’s wealth was so staggering that he didn’t let it get to him when rats started eating about a billion dollars of his stored cash every year. Just give me a few shots of rodents gobbling up hundreds like lettuce leafs.
His Death in a Hail of Gunfire
No way Narcos skips this. Escobar’s death was a Michael Bay movie. You knew the authorities were done fucking around when they put together a special task force with U.S. Delta Force operators, members of SEAL Team 6, Colombian cops, and even local vigilantes. You can read about the final shootout, plus the insane hunt that went into cornering Escobar, in Mark Bowden’s excellent book, Killing Pablo.
Escobar’s Awesome Zoo
Escobar kept the support of the people by doing a lot of legitimately good shit for them. Sure he murdered politicians, cops, judges … pretty much anyone who looked at him sideways. He also backed much-needed city projects, like the zoo he built featuring 100,000 fruit trees, 14 artificial lakes, and 2,000 species including giraffes, ostriches, kangaroos, lions, and zebras. Oh, and a butterfly sanctuary. Pablo loved his butterflies.
The Wild Hippos Roaming the Ruins of His Estate
Escobar left huge, sprawling grounds behind after he died in 1992. The locals did the only thing you can do with such a place, and turned it into basically Jurassic Park, a family friendly tourist destination with dinosaur figurines and various animals. What better commentary on Escobar’s life for the final scene than a shot of his countrymen roaming his ruins along with several untamed hippos?