Narcos: Mexico, the riveting spin-off of Narcos that landed on Netflix on November 16, begins with some ominous words. "I'm going to tell you a story. But I'll be honest. It doesn't have a happy ending," the show's narrator warns. "In fact, it doesn't have an ending at all."
This sets the tone for the fast-paced, high-stakes story to come. Over the course of Narcos: Mexico’ ten episodes, we will witness the rise of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo's (Diego Luna) Guadalajara Cartel, which changed Mexico's drug trafficking landscape forever. At the same time, we will track the lengths the Guadalajara branch of the DEA goes to surveil Gallardo's cartel, an initiative spearheaded by agent Kiki Camarena (Michael Peña). Through it all, our unnamed narrator will prove a trusty guide, providing the historical and geopolitical context necessary to understand each of the show’s dramatic progressions.
The past three seasons of Narcos were narrated by characters who were actually in the show. DEA Agent Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) narrated the first two seasons, which were set in Medellin, Colombia. When the show's focus moved from Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel to the Cali Cartel in season 3, Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal) took the reigns as narrator. In voiceover, Murphy and Pascal explained the forces their characters were up against.
Narcos: Mexico breaks precedent with past seasons of the series. Though Kiki Camarena is the main character on the DEA side of the show, he doesn’t tell his own story. That’s because he isn’t around anymore. As the narrator forewarns in the first episode, this story certainly doesn't have a happy ending. In the final episode of Narcos: Mexico, Kiki is murdered by the cartel, spurring the DEA to launch a homicide investigation task force called Operation Leyenda, whose mission was to track down the individuals responsible for Kiki's death.
That brings us to our narrator, who we finally meet in the last few minutes of the season finale. This is a wholly new breed of DEA agent. He’s driving over the U.S. Mexican border in an RV, smoking a cigarette and blasting rock ‘n roll. He’s wearing a hoodie and sunglasses, not a button-up shirt.
Essentially, he’s an instant sex symbol — and should there be a second season of Narcos: Mexico, he’ll be leading the way. Though the agent tells border patrol he’s headed to Mexico to fish tilapia, he’s actually transporting firearms to give to the undercover agents enlisted in Operation Leyenda, who are all gathered in a beachside surf joint. Our narrator, who appears to be leading the task force, distributes a list of targets to the rest of the agents.
But who is this deep-voiced, long-haired gent? One of the other agents greets him as “Walt.” He, along with the other agents, remains uncredited — but we know he’s played by Scoot McNairy. McNairy recently appeared as the Sheriff Bill McNue in another Netflix show, Godless. Notably, he was also Gordon Clark in Halt and Catch Fire.
The narrator is a crucial component of what makes Narcos work. The show’s action is interspersed with actual historical footage, blending documentary with fiction. As showrunner Eric Newman explained to The Hollywood Reporter, the narrator is meant to jolt viewers out of their comfort zone. "What both the archival footage and narrator voiceover does is that it reminds people that it’s real. You realize, 'Oh, that happened,'" Newman said.
For all of us eagerly hoping for another season of Narcos: Mexico, this final twist in revealing the narrator's identity should inspire optimism. As the narrator said, the story isn't over yet. All of Narcos: Mexico has been a prologue to the current drug wars in Mexico — and to "Walt's" career, as well.