Netflix's true crime series Griselda, starring Sofía Vergara as the notorious drug queenpin, is the streaming giant's first big hit of 2024. The six-episode series, executive-produced by Vergara and several Narcos alums, follows Griselda Blanco as she builds an operation that dominates the Miami drug scene and earns her the moniker of "Cocaine Godmother." Griselda premiered on January 25, and has already racked up over 113,000,000 hours watched globally at the time of writing. With those numbers out, it's time to go over the ending of the series, and answer the question if the crime drama could return for a second season.
What happens in the 'Griselda' finale?
Griselda's downfall at the end of the Netflix series begins with the death of Jesús “Chucho” Castro; the two-year-old was accidentally killed in a hit-and-run aimed at the child's father, a former employee who she believed betrayed her. Griselda seeks solace in her friend Marta Ochoa, and the two women spend the afternoon doing drugs, which ends in Marta having a fatal overdose. Griselda calls Rivi for help, who helps stage the death as an accident, but he warns that Marta's family, who run a rival cartel, won’t believe the ruse.
To evade both the Ochoas and the police—who have recently flipped Griselda's longtime friend Carmen over to their side—Griselda plans to move with her sons to California. However, at the same time, her husband Dário flees the country with their young son Michael Corleone in tow. He believes that taking Michael away from Griselda means the child will have a better life, even if the father is likely signing his own death warrant. With Michael gone, Griselda takes her three older sons to Long Beach, but the Ochoas are on her tail. When Rivi lets her know that her location has been compromised, Griselda calls the cops on herself so she'll be arrested rather than killed.
Griselda initially thinks she can negotiate a plea deal, but she soon learns Rivi will testify against her in exchange for immunity for a slew of murders and a bank robbery. Still, Rivi has a trick up his sleeve. He's assigned a handler, the District Attorney's naive assistant, who ends up falling for him. One day they're caught having phone sex, and in the aftermath, he can no longer take the stand. Without his testimony, Griselda can't be charged for her murders, and she only receives a seven-year sentence.
During her time in jail, Griselda orders a hit on Dário and has Michael brought back to the U.S., to seemingly live with his brothers. Fast forward to the end of her sentence, and detective June Hawkins visits her with tragic news. Each of her older sons, Dixon, Uber, and Ozzy, have been killed, presumably in retaliation for her own acts against other cartels. Only her youngest Michael Corleone survives, and is living in Colombia with his grandmother.
The series ends with Griselda still in jail, taking in the news and seemingly reckoning with the fact that her desire to provide for her family, which eventually turned into a personal desire for wealth and power, led to the demise of most of her children. She escapes reality by imagining herself on a beach that she once visited with her children. After a brief vision shows the boys with her, they disappear, and she's left alone.
What happened to Griselda Blanco after the end of 'Griselda'?
The real-life arrest of Griselda Blanco differs a bit from the show's plot. Instead moving to California fearing retaliation from a specific cartel, it's reported that she just decided to move coasts after making too many enemies in Miami. Also, the hit on Dário and kidnapping of Michael back to the U.S. happens before her arrest, so Michael briefly lived with his mother in California. The real Blanco was arrested in 1985, and she was charged with 15 years in prison for conspiring to manufacture, import, and distribute cocaine.
In 1994, midway through her initial sentence, Blanco was charged with three counts of murder (with prosecutors seeking the death penalty), enlisting Jorge "Rivi" Ayala as their star witness. The case fell apart when Ayala was caught having an inappropriate relationship with some Miami-Dade County state attorney’s office employees (that phone sex scene? It actually happened with multiple women.) Blanco pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced with three concurrent 20-year sentences. Before she could serve them all, she was deported to Colombia in 2004.
Much less is known about Blanco's final days in Colombia. Per Vice, she lived a quiet life in a Medellín neighborhood known as "the ‘Bel Air of Colombia,’ an exclusive gated community complete with armed guards." In September 2012, she was fatally shot at a neighborhood butcher shop, with the assassin using the same motorcycle technique that Blanco reportedly popularized, per the Miami Herald. She was 69 at the time.
Will 'Griselda' return for a second season?
Short answer: probably not. The six-episode show was always billed as a limited series, and it tells a complete story of Blanco's rise and fall in Miami, with a postscript explaining her eventual death in Medellín. The production team has not given any hints that the series could continue into a new installment or with a possible prologue series. Instead, it's likely that Griselda will get the Queen's Gambit treatment, where a highly-successful series was left with with only one season.
But for Griselda fans who want to stay in the thrilling world of cartels, there are other shows to check out, including Netflix's crime hit Narcos (which shares producers with the new series) and Narcos: Mexico.