Narcos: Mexico has captured a charismatic guest star, popular Puerto Rican musician Bad Bunny, for the third season, which will be the third run for the Mexican spin-off after the original Narcos ran for three seasons on Netflix.
Season three promises more extreme action and intense drama driven by the Narco Juniors when Ramon Arellano Felix’s gang starts to fall apart.
The most recent season arrived on Netflix in February 2020 and ended with an explosive exchange between Walt Breslin and Ángel Félix Gallardo after the latter has been imprisoned, but the tale of the Mexican drug war has far from been told in its entirety.
Netflix has now confirmed a third season that will examine “the war that breaks out after Felix’s empire splinters” – with a few changes announced both in front of and behind the camera.
Here’s everything you need to know about Narcos: Mexico season three.
Narcos: Mexico season 3 release date: When is it out on Netflix?
Netflix confirmed on 28th October 2020 – a little over eight months on from season two’s release – that Narcos: Mexico would be returning for a third season.
Showrunner Eric Newman had previously gone on record to say that he hoped the show will return, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “As I always say, we’ll go on as long as they let us and as long as the drug war rages — which, as you know, there is no end in sight.
“But I would be lying if I said I hadn’t put quite a bit of thought into where we would go. I’ve always had a pretty fair idea at where we end up. That’s about all I can say about season three.
“But it’s definitely something that we’re actively discussing internally.”
However, Newman will be stepping aside from day-to-day production with longtime co-writer Carlo Bernard taking up showrunner duties.
It’s yet to be confirmed when the third season will air, though in a May 2020 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Puerto Rican musician Bad Bunny indicated that he was due to shoot scenes for the series before the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays.
There was a 14 month gap between seasons one and two of Narcos: Mexico, but given the current global situation we’d expect there to be a longer gap this time round.
How did Narcos: Mexico season 2 end?
Narcos: Mexico season two saw Félix Gallardo’s (Diego Luna) reign as the supreme drug lord of Mexico come to an end, with the federation of cartels he’d worked so hard to unite (as seen in the first season) deciding to make their own way and turn their backs on him.
Cast out and with no more leverage to wield agains the government, Gallardo was finally taken into custody for his crimes – including the murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena (again, an event that took place in the first season).
Read our Narcos: Mexico season 2 review.
Narcos: Mexico season 3 episodes: What will happen next?
Season two ends with a wrathful Felix telling his adversary Walt (Scoot McNairy) that, by capturing him, he’s only caused a bigger problem.
“Now you’ll see what happens when the cage breaks open and all the animals run free,” he warns, in what feels like set up for more stories in the worlds of Narcos.
Elaborating on the meaning behind this scene to TV Guide, Narcos: Mexico executive producer Eric Newman said: “You can take out Pablo Escobar, or the Cali cartel, or Felix Gallardo and feel some sense of victory, but in reality, all you’ve done is swallow the spider to catch the fly.
“We all know how that ends; it just continues to accelerate into the chaos, which is very much the theme of this season. And so, to end with a moment where you realise we’ve accomplished nothing except for unleashing these animals, for the most part, [allows us to] begin the next chapter in the drug war, over which we’ll have less control than we had previously.”
With Gallardo behind bars, Newman suggested that the next drug lord to take centre stage could be Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who seized control of the Juárez Cartel after assassinating his boss Rafael Aguilar Guajardo.
“He was the Lord of the Skies,” said Newman, referring to Guajardo’s nickname that he earned because of the large fleet of jets he used to transport drugs.
It was confirmed in October 2020 that season three would jump forward in time to the 1990s. “Set in the 90s, when the globalization of the drug business ignites, Season 3 examines the war that breaks out after Felix’s empire splinters,” Netflix’s official synopsis reads. “As newly independent cartels struggle to survive political upheaval and escalating violence, a new generation of Mexican kingpins emerge. But in this war, truth is the first casualty – and every arrest, murder and take-down only pushes real victory further away.”
Find out more with our guide to the Narcos Mexico true story.
Narcos: Mexico season 3 cast: Who’s returning?
Puerto Rican hitmaker and Latin trap music star Bad Bunny revealed to Rolling Stone that he would guest star in season three, playing Arturo “Kitty” Paez, a member of the so-called Narco Juniors gang run by Felix.
Other additions for the third season include Luis Gerardo Méndez, who plays Victor Tapia, a Juarez cop with a moral dilemma, Alberto Guerra, who stars as Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, an independent drug trafficker who is quietly one step ahead of everyone else, and Luisa Rubino as journalist Andrea Nuñez.
The idealistic journalist stumbles across an even bigger story than she expected. But will she live long enough to tell it?
Original star Diego Luna is not expected to return as Felix Gallardo – in real life, Gallardo is still alive, but has remained incarcerated since his arrest for Camarena’s murder, while Luna is committed to shooting on the Star Wars: Rogue One spin-off series featuring his character Cassian Andor, which could clash with filming on Narcos: Mexico.
Luna had previously made comments which seem to suggest his time on the show could be at an end. When asked about returning, he told IndieWire, “Not for now, not for now, no, no, no. At the beginning it was fun, but then it became really heavy for me.
“It’s strong material and I love the way the series shoots for quite a long time because you manage to do great stuff and you’re not in a hurry.
“At the same time I’m glad I have my life back and I need a rest.”
Likewise, Rafa Caro Quintero (Tenoch Huerta), Don Neto (Joaquin Cosio) and Isabella (Teresa Ruiz) are all incarcerated by the close of season two, making their return to the show unlikely – at least in major roles.
Confirmed to return for a third season are Scoot McNairy as DEA agent Walt Breslin, José María Yazpik as Felix’s partner Amado Carrillo Fuentes, Alberto Ammann as Hélmer ‘Pacho’ Herrera, Alfonso Dosal as Benjamín Arellano Félix, Mayra Hermosillo as Enedina Arellano Félix, Matt Letscher as Jaime Kuykendall, Manuel Masalva as Ramón Arellano Félix, Alejandro Edda as El Chapo, and Gorka Lasaosa as Héctor Luis Palma Salazar.
Flavio Medina returning as Juan Abrego of the Gulf Cartel is also a safe bet, with exec producer Newman noting that Abrego was “a pretty enormous player in the ’90s and into the early 2000s.”
We can also expect some new stars to join the cast – and indeed casting calls have been put out for a whole host of new characters, including figures named Maria, Dani, The General, Vicente, Arturo, Miguel, Steve, Alfonso, Hortensia, Santos and Katz, so there should be no shortage of fresh faces.
Narcos Mexico season 3 trailer: Is there a first look?
Not yet – stay tuned for your first-look at what the series sans Félix Gallardo looks like.
Narcos: Mexico seasons 1-2 are streaming now on Netflix. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.