Narcos: Mexico season 3, episode 5 recap – “Boots on the Ground”

By Marc Miller
Published: November 5, 2021 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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Netflix Narcos: Mexico season 3, episode 5 - Boots on the Ground


“Boots on the Ground” expertly handles themes of political pressure, the importance of freedom of the press, and dramatizations of real-life events.

This recap of Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico season 3, episode 5, “Boots on the Ground,” contains spoilers.

Read the review of season 3.

Narcos: Mexico season 3, episode 5 recap


You just knew Walt couldn’t do it. Even with Dani offering him life in Chicago. The death of the Arch Bishop in Mexico by the hands of the Arellano cartel has stirred things up in Tijuana. The AFO has gone story crazy staying in their homes to avoid the protests and hostile media. Coverage after their beloved Cardinal’s death. So, with a joint task force between the DEA and the newly in charge Mexican Military, Walt answers the call — he wants in. He tells Dani that he will be back in three months, but she won’t hear of it.

Walt arrives in Tijuana to meet General Rebollo (Jose Zuniga), newly in charge of the operation. He is standoffish to the newcomer, whose job it is to report back to San Diego. But he is given some good information from the military man — two AFO members have confessed to killing the Cardinal (and in a scene near the beginning of the episode, Benjamin is buying them off by giving their families $300,000 each).


Murrow does something that she was told directly not to do by the owner of the La Voz: Do not do anything until she talks to him first. Well, she shakes the weeds by confronting Carlos Hank (Gentrified‘s Manual Uriza) about holding a plane for Ramon and other AFO members after shooting up their airport. Carlos laughs that one off. When he tries to walk away, she has this one on him, “So no comment on the financial ties between you and the casino your family owns in Tijuana?”

Roman receives a call from Carlos Hank’s lawyers a few minutes later. Andrea attempts to defend herself weakly, but Roman reads her the message from the man in question’s legal team. “If La Voz prints any allegation of ties to money laundering with the Arellano Felix family, Mr. Hank will take immediate legal action against the newspaper and its reporters.” Roman, who spots a glimmer on the young woman’s face, asks why she is amused? She responds, “I never said anything about money laundering,” as she pulls hair behind her left ear and gives Roman her best smile.

God, I love this woman.

El Chapo: Part I

El Chapo has cut off his mustache and says goodbye to his queen. He is moving south with a bag full of money for a bribe and is now under the Guatemalan military protection.

If You Can’t Trust a Priest, Who Can You Trust?

Benjamin gets a call from his parish priest. The latter wants to help the Arellano family smooth things over with the people of Mexico (when a priest wants to help you with political problems for killing a Cardinal, he may have ulterior motives). Enedina, seeing past the Priest’s gesture of kindness, tells her older brother not to go. He won’t hear of it.

As he leaves, she tells Ramon she is worried about her brother. He grabs some Juniors, including Kitty (Bad Bunny), and they head out a few minutes behind. That’s a good thing because all hell just broke loose. Before Benjamin reaches the restaurant, he sees the Father start to perform a Hail Mary. As he turns around to get back on the SUV with Barron in the passenger seat, everyone sitting at the restaurant stands up with a gun raised.

Bullets are sprayed all over the street as Benjamin and Ramon attempt to pull a Jack Ryan in Clear and Present Danger by backing the SUV under heavy fire down the secured road. The exits are all blocked by military vehicles. Luckily, Ramon comes up from behind an army truck and guns them down in a hail of cartel bullets. Benjamin, Barron, Ramon, and Kitty run for the car running and waiting for them. They escape as Walt runs up, gun in hand.

Later, as the General and Walt have words, questioning why he let the Arellano family get away, he informs Walt, a self-proclaimed man of action, that his job is to gain the trust of the Mexican people. This is the only way to stop the Cartel, and causing an endless amount of civilian bodies all over the streets won’t change that.

El Chapo: Part II

Remember those officers from the Guatemalan military who took Chapo’s money to hide him? Well, everything is a business. Especially South of Mexico. They turned right around and sold him back to the Mexican military.

Now, arrested and sentenced to 20 years for drug trafficking and the murder of the Cardinal, the relatively unknown drug kingpin would become a household name.

With Sinola falling apart and the AFO on the run from the special task force empowered to hunt them down, Benjamin takes his family and leaves Tijuana. He has gone into hiding. Enedina is now the head of the AFO.

Greed works both ways, the General said.

What did you think of Narcos: Mexico season 3, episode 5? Let us know in the comments below!

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