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La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) put the Spanish culture on an international pedestal, leaving the audience around the world hung on The Professor’s spectacular plans. The first two seasons were set in the Royal Mint of Spain, while the third and fourth took place at the Bank of Spain. The plot follows a heist organised by the mastermind, The Professor, and his league of friendly criminals, but this time, they are stealing gold instead of money.
The Professor’s old friend, Palermo, is taking the lead on the heist, accompanied by Tokyo, Nairobi, Helsinki, Denver, and Stockholm. New faces join, and Spain watches the game of chess between the government and the gang. A new inspector replaces Raquel, AKA Lisbon, called Alicia, who is heavily pregnant and extremely devious. She had tortured Rio upon his capture, and his destiny lies in the hands of his companions.
The pace of this season moves much quicker than the rest, but the events are more or less the same. Heist occurs, government officials retaliate, and The Professor remains the puppeteer that stirs the media towards his favour. The only changes are how elevated the grotesque scenes are, featuring more blood and gore, along with a much more intense turn of events. We were on the edge of our seats as episode after episode played, keeping our intrigue to a maximum, but we were still not sure who to root for.
At the end of the day, criminals are criminals, and their ‘Robin Hood’ persona does not change the fact that holding hostages and stealing should never be acceptable. On the other hand, is it okay to fight fire with fire? We beg to differ.
While most of the plot has the anti-heroes barely escaping capture, it often feels too manufactured by the makers. We wonder if that was the original intention, or if it was a lack of imagination by the writers, especially when almost everything works in favour of the criminals.
As for the love stories that unfittingly take place, they all seem like they were woven to please the viewers, and not based on plausibly obvious chemistry between the couples. Although the twist of events can sometimes be surprising, the overall pace of the season was predictable.
One thing that must be praised is the featuring of Italian anti-fascist song Bella Ciao, which plays in the background of key scenes. The song fuels the idea of resistance that the series plays so hard to put through. The resistance, however, comes from all sides; from the thieves’ who yearn to prove a point and the system’s refusal to accept different views, to the public’s support of the underdog.
There is no doubt that we will be tuning in for the fifth season, but we will be taking what we see with a pinch of salt.
Stream La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) on Netflix here.