Narcos: Mexico Season 2, Episode 10, “Free Trade” shows the beginning of the end as the Federation put their plans in motion.
This recap of Netflix Series Narcos: Mexico season 2, episode 10, “Free Trade” contains significant spoilers.
- Read the Season 2 review.
- Read the recap of the previous episode (9).
- Access the archive of all the episode recaps.
Narcos: Mexico Season 2, Episode 10, “Free Trade” was an inevitable chapter but it also confirms that Félix’s ambitions were bigger than his partners as we suspected when Season 1 was released. For his partners, it has always been purely about money. Félix wanted a secure economy; central control where they essentially become a powerful organization between the USA and Mexico that cannot be touched. His ambitions turned to violence internally — it was always going to bite him.
But at the start of Episode 10, “Free Trade”, he declares everything is back to normal to his wife María. It’s strange as he has everything; wealth, a loyal wife, wonderful children, and a house most families would dream of — but you can tell that the game is more important to him; it’s not enough. Meanwhile, a warehouse in LA is raided by the DEA that had 20 tonnes of coke inside.
And Félix’s downfall begins — Chapo asks about Héctor Palma and Félix hints that he may give him a chance. Azul tells Félix that Palma is popular and clemency will be a good move.
In Sacramento, California, Breslin is made aware of the warehouse raid in LA and states it does not make sense — there were 7 billion dollars of coke inside and it was secured by a 6 dollar padlock. It turns out it was Pacho’s product — Pacho is fuming.
Pacho meets Félix at a restaurant. Félix wonders how all his partners have forgiven him after losing 7 billion dollars on his watch. Pacho makes a proposal — $4,000 per kilo, half up front. Félix highlights that Pacho tried to f*** him over and that he’s a very resentful person. Félix wants to pay differently or Pacho will have to go through Canada instead. Azul tells Félix that he has made a risky move by going back to retail and plaza bosses are not happy with the money lost.
And Félix makes another misstep; he sends out Clavel to find Héctor Palma’s wife in hiding. He tells the wife that they can come home and that Héctor Palma has been given a pass. The wife tells Clavel that she loves her husband and family and she cannot continue the affair. Clavel shoots Héctor Palma’s wife in the head and then deals with the children before ringing Félix to explains that “it’s done”. Word spreads quickly about Héctor Palma’s wife and children and María is distraught.
María angrily confronts Félix asking him if he killed Héctor Palma’s wife and children. They have a passionate argument and María slashes Félix with a knife telling him to leave. Félix has lost his family very quickly.
Enedina says Félix is trying to scare everyone and Benjamin agrees but says it is working. Enedina expresses that they cannot continue working for Félix and discusses her connection in Colombia.
And then the turning point; Félix calls a meeting with the Federation. He declares that cocaine sales will now be introduced in America — there will be real power on both sides of the border. Félix is simply asked who has made this decision and he states “me”. Félix is then asked if the rumors on the raid are true in California — that he gave the tip on Pacho’s product; Félix admits it was him and he said this was all part of the vision to own the Colombians.
Benjamin, Chapo, Azul (who is bringing Héctor Palma with him) all leave the Federation at that moment. And then, the biggest shock; Amado says Acosta was right about Félix and that he going to take Juárez for himself. For a moment, Félix cries, realizing that there is no Federation anymore and everyone wishes to run separately.
Félix asks Amado how long have they planned to f*** him over — Amada says for some time and that Félix was making everyone nervous.
This moment was uniquely damning because it highlighted how quickly loyalty can be removed from a position of power. Félix pushed the boundaries too far, and the murder of Palma’s wife was seemingly the last straw. Félix failed to realize that his close ones were his power, leverage, and future; María was 100% right.
Now that the Federation is over, Benjamin turns up at Isabella’s warehouse alongside his sister. Enedina tries to buy Isabella out with a generous offer. Isabella is furious, stating it was never about the money and walks off, throwing the cheque in the air. The independence territories begin.
Félix’s time is over and he knows it; Episode 10, “Free Trade” sees him sitting in the house, sipping whiskey, waiting for the inevitable. Calderoni walks in with his men and arrests him. Félix tries one last feeble roll of the dice by trying to offer him five million dollars but its too late, he is defeated. Breslin narrates and claims the most powerful drug trafficker the world had seen at the time was arrested but it was politically linked as well; Mexico needed a win to appease certification with America — apparently, Félix’s arrest had no link to the certification, but soon after a trade deal was agreed between both countries.
And that my friends, is politics.
Breslin meets Calderoni while Félix is arrested and asks him why he was brought here. Calderoni insists it was for Breslin — “Everyone likes good headlines, Walt”. Breslin walks off, stating they are not friends.
And then it is declared by the Department of Justice that Operation Leyenda has been a successful operation. Breslin stands there taking the handshake from the senator but looking grim at the situation. His colleague says, “A win’s a win”.
The independence of each territory continues in Episode 10 — Isabella is raided by the police. Her deal is over in her territory; the raid was ordered by Enedina. Clavel is then brutally killed by Héctor Palma for murdering his wife and children. Azul then holds a plaza meeting and talks about independence — he splits the territories and they all discuss respect and prosperity for the future.
I raised my eyebrows slightly at this, knowing full well these men could not work together and independently at the same time.
As we near the end, Breslin pulls some strings to see Félix in prison. The two men meet at last face to face, both imprisoned by their own ideas; Breslin shows Félix the photo of the dead DEA agent and Félix describes how he was tortured. Breslin reiterates that Félix got sold out for a trade deal so he may as well talk names and also reveal what happens to the plazas now the Federation is gone.
Félix explains that all the plazas will work independently at present until they want the best routes and links to the best government officials, and then money will become a factor and war will break loose. Félix mocks his old friends, claiming they cannot wrap their heads around the ideas he was bringing forward — they are too consumed by money, but it was never just about money. Félix drops the name Amado to Breslin as the next most powerful trafficker in Mexico.
Narcos: Mexico Season 2, Episode 10, “Free Trade” closes with Breslin asking Félix how he ended up in prison if he had the game figured out. Félix reveals he wanted more and asks why Breslin is sat in prison with him. He accuses Breslin of wanting to break things and hurt people like most people from his country does. Félix then states that the madness has begun and no-one can stop it and arrogantly claims the DEA should have given him a badge instead.
“The animals now run free // you are going to miss me”.
What an incredible end to Season 2.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.