After escaping the Royal Mint of Spain in Money Heist Season 1 and 2 with less characters that went in, the Professor gang make their way to different parts of the world to spend their millions. However, some unexpected drama between Tokyo and Rio leads to his capture and now the gang must come back together to stage the ultimate heist in the hopes of earning leverage to recover their lost comrade.
I must say that while the third season of Money Heist had a bigger stake and more chances of failure, I still preferred the original heist on the Royal Mint. The third season, while it had the same objective as the original two seasons, seemed like a mere attempt to extend the show because of its success.
Don’t get me wrong. The suspense is just as intense as the first two installments of the series, if not more. Unlike the well prepared heist on the Royal Mint, the gang is now putting to action the grand plan of the fallen comrade Berlin and without the plan’s architect present to oversee the operation. Because of this, the probability for failure was higher than the first heist. Not to mention that the plan was riddled with loose ends from the beginning.
Money Heist Season 3 had a different feel to it. With the addition of Berlin’s long time cohort Palermo to the gang to replace him as team captain, there was something missing in the formula that made the gang work from the original heist. Sure, it was a great fan service to see Berlin on screen in flashbacks to explore his relationship with his little brother, but without him present in the actual heist, his presence seemed hollow because he wasn’t interacting with his gang.
Unlike Berlin, Palermo also lacked the connection that Berlin established with his comrades that led to his decision to lay his life on the line for his gang in Season 2. This posed as a big problem straight off the bat because none of the gang actually saw Palermo as their actual leader.
It was interesting to see the gang’s new adversaries in the form of Colonel Tamayo and Inspector Sierra. No kidding, Inspector Sierra gave me the heebie jeebies but her character cemented the difference in the situation from the Royal Mint Heist. She was ruthless, unemotional and single minded, something that Inspector Murillo was not in the first two seasons. She had no qualms about using the innocent as leverage. Colonel Tamayo was also way more intense and decisive than Colonel Prieto. While Prieto was more concerned with diplomatic affairs, Tamayo was dead set on eliminating the threat from the beginning, preferably by having the robbers come out in body bags.
In the first two seasons, the priority was to save the hostages, but this time around, authorities could care less about civilians as they keep the gang from their objective of taking the gold reserves and blackmailing the state with their secrets. That was a big difference.
While the authorities had Tamayo and Sierra on their corner, the gang seemed weaker in comparison even though they made sure to prepare for every advantage. Since the plan was not his own, the Professor himself showed signs of uncertainty and rattled easily when something didn’t proceed according to his projections. The addition of Raquel on his corner also seemed to make him even more vulnerable since he was more often distracted by her presence. I think this dynamic would further complicate the situation in Season 4.
There was also a different mindset among the gang when they entered Bank of Spain. Denver, as per usual, was the most compassionate of the lot, especially now that he was a father. Because of his earlier trauma from losing his father, he is much more paranoid to have Monica (now Stockholm) in the heist with him. Nairobi’s relationship with Helsinki has also shifted somewhat in the two years since the original heist, although the revelation of her feelings for the gentle giant seemed a bit forced.
There are more characters too now, with welding expert Bogota, and communications guy Marseilles and of course we have the ever annoying Arturo/Arturito who is basking in undeserved fame after the Royal Mint heist.
The series retained the brilliance in the set up of the plot to make for an engaging viewership, and added some more music to its soundtrack to hype up the heist and the subsequent encounters between the robbers and the police. As the authorities close in on the Professor and Raquel, viewers also feel the tension rise with every narrow escape.
Money Heist Season 3 serves up a familiar yet unfamiliar flavor from the original installment and leaves viewers thirsty for more, given that cliffhanger ending. While most of the Royal Mint heist was calm and methodical, there was a certain frenzy from the onset of Season 3 that threatens to shatter all of viewers’ expectations. While I feel confident that the Professor gang can pull off this heist successfully, I’m not sure how many people will come out alive.