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It is generally accepted that stories about notorious and violent drug lords don’t get a good ending. From Scarface’s Tony Montana to Breaking Bad’s Walter White, viewers have come to expect an untimely and usually violent end to these characters, which is why the ending to Griselda on Netflix might come as something of a shock. However, according to the series' creator, it was all to show the character at her most tragic point.
We’ll be discussing spoilers for Griselda ahead, so be warned.
In its first week on the streaming service, Griselda has already been watched for more than 100 million hours, making it the most-watched show on Netflix. The series follows the dramatized story of Griselda Blanco, who was one of the most feared drug lords in Miami in the 1980s, earning her the nickname, the Godmother of Cocaine.
In the series’ final episode, Blanco is finally arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison. There is a touching scene where she promises her four sons that they will be a family again when she gets out of prison. Then, seven years later, she is informed that three of her sons have been killed and her fourth has fled to her native Medellin.
And then the series ends. Rather than expand on her life after prison back in Medellin or her eventual assassination in 2012 at the age of 69, Griselda leaves its main character alive to the end. This was intentional by Eric Newman, the show’s co-creator and executive producer. “We had to show this is someone who cared about her children,” he told Variety last week. “So for us, I think the real loss is not her death many years later. It is the loss of the very thing she was trying to protect.”
Many of Blanco’s actions throughout the series were done with the intention of protecting her four sons, so it makes sense that the show would want to end with her at her lowest point. Plus, as star Sofia Vergara pointed out a moment later, they only had six episodes to tell the story so picking the right ending point was crucial.
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