Amazon Prime Video’s El Candidato is a Spanish TV series created by Peter Blake and starring James Purefoy, Eréndira Ibarra, José María de Tavira.
El Candidato follows CIA officer Wayne Addison and newbie Isabel as they try to catch the most powerful drug-lord of Mexico, Rafael Bautista.
The story sounds similar to Narcos, right? I thought so too. Although both of them are about intelligence agencies catching drug lords, El Candidato has many twists and turns that will leave you shocked.
So, there are other players in the story, one of the main one being Lalo Yzaguirre, the Mayor, who was Isabel’s friend at one point. Wayne suspects Lalo of being involved with Bautista, but Isabel has her doubts. And you wouldn’t blame her. Lalo is the perfect Mayor. He’s good-natured and kind, and loves his people – which is honestly a breath of fresh air.
However, Bautista has him in his fist. There’s something weird going on, and you’d suspect so, but wouldn’t be able to pinpoint what. Until, of course, shit hits the fan and there’s a lot of information on the table. By the time you’re able to process all of it, there’s more information, more and more people get involved, and then El Candidato climaxes with the brilliant last two episodes.
Episodes 9 and 10 were my favourite, not just because you get answers to your questions since the season ending leaves you hanging, but because there are a lot of character developments in them. You get to know a lot more about Lalo, there’s an awesome scene with Bautista, and along with individual growth, Isabel and Wayne’s relationship also becomes better. Which is honestly heartwarming to see.
You root for a lot of people from the start, but as the episodes progress, more and more people go off that list. You’re left with only some people, and it’s heartbreaking when one final person goes off the list. I, honestly, couldn’t believe it when that happened, because I was rooting for them for so long. It was so sad. But, I guess, such is politics.
So, as I was saying, El Candidato has some great characters, and you see them evolving, for better or worse, throughout the show. Along with character growth, there are some great acting chops from everyone. Even characters who are lesser-seen, such as Agustín Romero, are great and it leaves you with a smile on your face.
Isabel is probably my most favourite character. She’s genuinely a nice person who came to Mexico to make a difference. However, that all goes out the window with Wayne, and she realises that the CIA doesn’t work for the right or wrong – it’s somewhere in between. She tries to leave it all, get a fresh start, but one last deception quickly dashes that plan. It’s actually unbelievable when it happens.
Lalo, the good-looking and sweet-natured Mayor, is a fabulous and complex character. He starts off great – he becomes the hope for the people and us. But something happens in the middle, and somewhere he loses himself along the way.
Wayne, on the other hand, was, is, and will be a total douche. And that’s okay because he’s lovable like that. He’s sweet once you break through the tough exterior. Although he’s into a lot of illegal activities and his relationship with Isabel isn’t that great, when we learn why he does what he does, I think somewhere we forgive him. He’s making the best of the horrible situation.
Joaquín Cosio as Rafael Bautista never fails to amaze. We last saw him in Narcos: Mexico as Ernesto ‘Don Neto’ Fonseca Carrillo. He’s great as the fierce, but kinda kind-natured (not really) Bautista. Life hasn’t been fair to him as well, and a tragedy sets into motion the person that we see today.
Summing up: El Candidato
El Candidato is a must-watch if you’re craving some fast-paced CIA action. The characters are great and you’d actually root for a few of them. It has a fair amount of twists and turns which keep you on your toes and make you question what’s going to happen next. It also talks about the privilege that some people are born into and how they receive a different lifestyle than the less fortunate.
El Candidato is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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