Pablo Escobar Returns to 'Narcos: Mexico' Season 3, but Not in the Way You Think

Narcos became a worldwide phenomenon in large part thanks to its focus on the notorious Pablo Escobar.

Wagner Moura portrayed the infamous drug lord for the first two seasons of the Netflix crime drama which charted Escobar's rise and fall in the Colombian drug trade, while Season 3 focusing on his successors in the Cali cartel.

Given Season 2 ended with Escobar's death that seemed to be it for Moura's future in the franchise, but he has returned for spin-off Narcos: Mexico twice, first in Season 1 and now once again in Season 3.

Season 1 of Narcos: Mexico saw Moura engage in a very intense conversation with Diego Luna's Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo when he first started to build his drug empire in Mexico.

Fans will be delighted to know that the actor returns for Season 3, just not in the way they think.

How does Wagner Moura return in Narcos: Mexico Season 3?

Escobar was shot down by police in 1993, and his death takes place at the same time as the events set out in Season 3 of Narcos: Mexico.

The scene in which Moura's Escobar is hunted down even features in the season, but that isn't how the actor returns to the franchise.

Moura directs two episodes of Narcos: Mexico Season 3: Episode 3, titled "Los Juniors", and Episode 4, titled "GDL".

Showrunner Carlo Bernard spoke to Newsweek about Moura's return, and that of several other fan favorites like Hélmer "Pacho" Herrera (Alberto Ammann) and Ernesto "Don Neto" Fonseca Carrillo (Joaquín Cosío).

He said: "Knowing it was our final season and knowing that certain characters, whether that's Pacho Herrera who's been in every season of the show or José [María Yazpik, who plays Amado Carrillo Fuentes] who started off in Colombia and has emerged in a bigger role in Mexico, I think it was definitely something we wanted to acknowledge and include the family of the show."

"We also had Wagner Moura, who played Escobar of course, and he directed two episodes for us, and I think it added to the specialness and the bittersweetness of the season, that it had this homecoming vibe to it, you know?"

"It was nice to be able to include those characters and obviously to write for those brilliant actors."

Who else comes back?

As well as Moura, Ammann reprises his role as Pacho and Cosío's Don Neto also plays a key role when El Chapo (played by Alejandro Edda) is sent to prison.

But that's not all, Damián Alcázar, Francisco Denis, and Pêpê Rapazote also make a cameo as Cali cartel leaders Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela and José "Chepe" Santacruz-Londoño respectively.

One actor who doesn't return, however, is former lead star Luna, though a brief glimpse of his character is shown using footage from previous seasons.

María Yazpik also spoke to Newsweek about reuniting with his co-stars, saying: "It was great, I missed Diego because in real life we're real-life compadres."

"But, you know, seeing Alberto and all the guys was really nice, especially after the COVID-19 pause, which was really hard for all of us. It was really nice to get back together and I'm sure going to miss everyone."

As a whole, having these fan favorites come back one last time certainly felt like a fitting farewell to the Narcos: Mexico franchise.

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

Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar in "Narcos" Season 1. The actor returned to Season 3 of sequel "Narcos: Mexico" in order to direct two episodes. Daniel Daza/Netflix