Two days ago marked the 10-year anniversary of the death of Pablo Escobar. In a sudden but inevitable finale, I have finally finished Patron del Mal. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT’S ALL OVER. This show (in combination with our class project) has truly opened my eyes to Colombia and it’s viewers. The ending of the show was exactly what the viewers needed – they needed to see him at his wit’s end. And they needed for his last phone call to be with his children (ironically, it was this phone call that let the Search Block track him). The audience also needed to see his mother crying in the midst of the soldiers celebrating. On the other hand, the audience needed to justify his atrocities with his assassination. In a way, the finale was a beautiful tragedy – the death of an intelligent and manipulative businessman with so much potential.
Pablo’s demise was a slow process that began from the inside. As Peluche pointed out in episode 68, Pablo has no power without his men. After Pablo ordered the assassination of his most important partners Ramada and Arellano (along with their entire families), he lost the trust of many of his colleagues and inside men. From that moment on, his men were picked off or left voluntarily. Eventually his tight inner circle became frayed and paranoid. As time passed, Pablo was left to fend for himself. He went into hiding with his sister, speaking to no one except for his family. Meanwhile, Pati and the children struggled to find a place to flee to, attempting to go to Miami and Germany. While Pablo told them he was making progress with the embassies, it was obvious there was no hope for their removal. Once they left successfully left the country, he vowed to turn himself in.
Throughout the show, Pablo made it evident that his family’s protection was his first priority. However, I thought it was very interesting the way this ‘protection’ was portrayed. ‘Protection’ to Pablo was consistent with male identity – the men were to protect the women by remaining strong. In one of the last episodes, Pablo orders Emilio to remain strong in the face of uncertainty. He tells him that he is the one who must protect his abuela, mother, and Daniela. After Emilio agrees, Pablo gives him a gift –the gift of Mireya. This entire sequence was very interesting to me. Pablo’s ‘strength’ was actually stubbornness and ruined his family (His mother’s apartment was attacked by the Pepes and his brother’s jail cell was bombed with a package. He later became deaf and blind). Then in order to initiate his son as being the head male figure, he takes his virginity with a prostitute. What a display of male strength!
The last six episodes centered around Pablo’s closest friends, family members, and even Mireya, the prostitute, trying to convince Pablo to turn himself in. They kept asking him “Was it all worth it?”. I believe this question was asked so explicitly multiple times to make the audience reflect on their desires and the consequences of those desires. For example, when Pablo was at the top of his game, as the richest drug dealer in the world, the audience wanted to be him. But after watching his self-destruction, they felt guilty for even considering coveting his lifestyle. The finale was a lesson-learned type of ending. With his family in ruins, Pablo was brutally killed and his death celebrated across the world. Then the entrada song played with more verses about resilience, demonstrating Colombia’s ability to reconcile and learn from the past. In other words, just as the entrada states, “Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it”.