Spoiler alert: We’re about to discuss the ending of Netflix’s Griselda. Haven’t watched? You’ve been warned.
The rise and fall of “cocaine godmother” Griselda Blanco reaches a historically accurate (and appropriately tragic) conclusion in the sixth and final episode of Netflix’s Griselda.
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“We’ve always approached these stories, as I did for six seasons on Narcos, in pursuit of a truth that you’ll never really get,” series creator Eric Newman tells TVLine. “You can’t get it. Either the subjects or participants are dead or in jail or are fundamentally dishonest about why they did what they did. What we always try to do is take events that we know happened and explain them from the characters’ standpoint as someone for whom what they’ve done is defensible.”
The limited series ends with Blanco’s 2004 release from prison, shortly after she learns that three of her sons — Dixon, Ozzy and Uber — have been murdered. This is eight years before Blanco herself would be gunned down by an unknown assailant in Colombia, but unlike so many of the show’s other deaths, we don’t see Blanco in her final moments. Instead, we’re simply left with this haunting image of a mother sitting in her grief:
“Griselda is the only woman who ever achieved this level of respect, power, fear and success, and her explanation would be that she was doing it for her children,” Newman says. “She loses those children in the end. For that tragedy to land, the audience has to be invested in her success. They have to look at her and think, ‘OK, I don’t approve, but understand why she’s doing this.'”
That’s also one of the main reasons Newman chose to end the series where he did, to focus less on Blanco’s death and more on her loss — to highlight the sacrifices she didn’t even realize she was making in pursuit of power.
As was the case with Pablo Escobar in Narcos and Felix Gallardo in Narcos: Mexico, Newman knows that “there is always a point where [these drug lords] lose the audience’s sympathy.” But that sympathy isn’t so easily extinguished for Blanco “because of Sofia’s performance, and because of the uniqueness of a female and a mother who’s also a trafficker.”
What are your final thoughts on Griselda after watching all six episodes? Grade the limited series in our poll below, then drop a comment with your full review.
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