Money Heist became a global phenomenon when it first landed. The series has finally concluded on a very satisfying note
It is rare to find a cinematic experience that can really take the world by storm, not because the characters are relatable, but because the story brings out something primal in everyone. Money Heist or La casa de papel is one such experience that has now concluded its journey.
Watching the finale is an adrenaline fuelled, but bittersweet moment, as we wait to see how the Professor and his team will fare with odds stacked against them knowing that this is the last time we will see these characters.
In the first volume of Part 5, we are left on a tragic cliffhanger as one of the most beloved characters dies. The beginning of Volume 2 brings us back to the moment when Tokyo dies. This opens up old wounds for the surviving characters, and the viewer. And while viewers should by now be used to losing their favourite characters, having said goodbye to Berlin and Nairobi in prior seasons, no one saw Tokyo’s death coming, considering she had been the narrator of the story.
Here we are, processing Tokyo’s death and grieving alongside the characters as they break down and show immense vulnerability. Tokyo narrates the events of her death, but it is no longer the same. The episode swings between the past and the present as we go five years into the past with Berlin and Palermo as they lay the groundwork for one of the biggest heists ever.
Every season of Money Heist has been an emotional rollercoaster and Volume 2 is no different. The series does a great job of creating multi-dimensional characters that are hard to fit into a box, as we see the Professor, the mastermind behind everything, help Alicia Sierra out while she is giving birth. Marseilles, who is a hit-man and a ‘fixer’ brings Alicia an adorable pink baby basket, which makes for a tender, wholesome moment. Furthermore, Alicia, who has been shown to be apathetic and unyielding in previous seasons, is now in a very vulnerable position where all she can do is trust the man she was tasked to capture.
Trust and faith are major themes in the show, and while Alicia does not seem trustworthy, she has to surrender and learn to trust others.
As the Professor once said, “It didn’t all work out the way we wanted, but we did achieve something.” What Money Heist achieved was far more complex to describe as ‘something’, given the beloved characters, countless memes and great re-watch value.
It is imperative to watch Volume 1 to remember the sequence of events as Volume 2 continues to weave itself with previous seasons. Tatiana, Berlin’s ex-wife, and Rafael, his son made a brief appearance in Volume 1 which seemed random and inconsequential at the time, only to come back in Volume 2 to pull the rug out from under us in a ridiculous twist. Their purpose, which was previously unclear, is revealed in Episode 3 of Volume 2.
As is characteristic of Money Heist, the female characters of the series continue to shoulder the responsibility, the heartache and the pain of the heist alongside their male counterparts. In Volume 1, Raquel Murillo steps up and takes charge in the Professor’s absence, while in Volume 2, Alicia Sierra is right beside the Professor with her unflinching drive to survive. She starts off by hunting the Professor, only to side with him after being betrayed by her employers, and becoming the hunted amid an army of soldiers on all sides.
As always, the Professor has Plans A, B, C, D and the rest of the letters of the alphabet, in place to serve as contingencies in any and all situations, as not only does he need to put out fires from the outside, but he also needs to keep his team together and prevent them from fighting one another. It is strange that the viewers find themselves cheering for a bunch of bank robbers dressed in red as they serenade us with Bella Ciao. It is the fierce loyalty, mutual respect, unconditional love and telepathic understanding amongst the group that makes us root for them and leaves us wanting more.
While every other character has experienced growth, not much has changed with Colonel Tamayo. He provides some much needed comic relief with his overly macho facade and expletive laden meltdowns as he continues to play checkers while the Professor is playing chess; outsmarting Tamayo at every turn.
Despite the unfolding of events leading up to the finale, it was hard to guess where the story would go, and when the conclusion unfolded it left eyes and jaws wide open with its sheer brilliance. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the series could have been wrapped up after the successful Royal Mint of Spain heist, making the Bank of Spain heist look like a bit of a drag. However, Volume 2 ties up all loose ends and makes the final season a very worthy offering full of twists and turns that are nigh impossible to predict. It can be hard for a series with a global following to keep the audience engaged beyond the first season, let alone five, but Money Heist keeps viewers on the edge of their seat at every turn and ends on a very satisfying but melancholic note. As the Professor once said, “It didn’t all work out the way we wanted, but we did achieve something.” Given its beloved characters, countless memes and great re-watch value, what Money Heist achieved was far too complex to describe as ‘something.’
The author is a staff member.