Why Is 'Narcos: Mexico' Ending After Three Seasons?

Fans have been on the edge of their seats since Narcos: Mexico was first released on Netflix in 2018.

The crime drama is a sequel to Narcos, and it follows the history of the Mexican drug trade as it was developed by Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) to the war between the Juárez, Tijuana and Sinaloa cartels.

But, despite there being more to the stories of many of the real-life drug lords that are featured on the show, the third season will be the show's last.

Here, Newsweek explores why.

Why is Narcos: Mexico Ending After Three Seasons?

The show's predecessor, Narcos, came to an end after three seasons, with the first two focusing on Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar's rise and fall from power and the third retelling the history of the Cali cartel.

It had a definitive end for its characters that matched historical fact: Escobar died at the hands of the police, while Cali cartel bosses Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, José "Chepe" Santacruz-Londoño, and Hélmer "Pacho" Herrera were all arrested.

In Narcos: Mexico, Seasons 1 and 2 focus on Félix Gallardo and the second season ends with his arrest in 1989, but Season 3 is less clear cut as it has an open ending, and many characters are still very much in action.

When Netflix renewed the series for a third season in October 2020 it confirmed that it would be the last, though a reason for this was not given.

Given its predecessor ended after three seasons, it stands to reason that the decision was made for Narcos: Mexico to end with the same number of seasons so that the two would match.

The fact that Narcos: Mexico has an open ending, though, means that a spin-off could be made in future if the creators felt so inclined.

Eric Newman, who was the showrunner for Narcos and Narcos: Mexico Seasons 1 and 2, has an overall deal with Netflix to make both films and TV shows.

He has many projects in the works, including opioid TV drama Painkiller, and films Escape From Spiderhead and The Upper World.

Netflix also announced on November 3 that Newman and Season 3 showrunner Carlo Bernard were working on a new limited series titled Griselda, which will star Sofia Vergara as Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco.

Explaining why Narcos: Mexico was ending, Bernard told The Hollywood Reporter: "I saw this season as an origin story of the modern world that we live in.

"For me, it felt like bringing the show up to that spot where we now recognize, for better or for worse, made sense as a place to stop it.

"The show has been able to lift the curtains and show you how this thing began, how it evolved. Not to say that other stories wouldn't be compelling going forward."

Narcos and Narcos: Mexico Season 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix.

Narcos: Mexico season 3
José María Yazpik as Amado Carrillo Fuentes in "Narcos: Mexico" Season 3, which is the show's final season. Juan Rosas/Netflix