Money Heist has always been intense and suspenseful but all four previous seasons had nothing on the first part of the final salvo. While in the previous heist, the objective was simply to get the money and go, this time, the main goal was simply to survive. It was just wave after wave of shock. Season 5 was the culmination of all the foreshadowing the show built up throughout the series and it was a masterful set up for the back five episodes that will come out in December.
Synopsis: While the gang celebrate their reunion with Lisbon in the Bank of Spain, Inspector Sierra manages to locate the Professor and hamper his operation, all while Tamayo plots to storm the bank with a group of ruthless mercenaries with no regard to the lives of the hostages. As the gang try to get their bearings, a coup ensues which further complicate the situation.
The writing of Money Heist has always been brilliant but the final season proved even more that the creators intelligently paced the story to last this long. There is a certain amount of pride in maintaining the consistency of a good show and challenging it to become even better by introducing more complexities in an intelligent way.
As with previous seasons, each roadblock shifted to a flashback that explained the character’s story further, especially Tokyo. While her back story was the most explored in the first season as the gang’s first recruit, she got even more story this time to set up an explosive development in her character.
I liked how the father and son and family dynamics were explored in this season. The relationship of Benjamin and Manila — we were even treated to multiple flashbacks with Moscow and Denver, which was really one of my favorite dynamics in Season 1. We were also introduced to Raphael, Berlin’s son. The flashback to his first foray into a life of crime was a great teaser on how he will eventually play into the Bank of Spain heist.
And it was not just about blood relations. After all they’ve been through, the gang established that they were now fighting for each other as a family, not just as nameless colleagues like when they started out. They were going to fight to the death to save each other. They will risk everything for the gang. And that really pierces through the heart of the viewers.
I loved how the characters shifted from episode to episode. At the beginning, Sierra seemed like a formidable big baddie but later, the focus shifted to Tamayo, who was ill equipped to deal with the Professor’s masterful planning. As he grew more desperate to save his operation and his reputation, he became more unhinged as he got in way over his head.
Apart from Arturito, every character showed marvelous character development to illustrate how far they’ve come since they first came together. The formerly stoic Professor visibly shook with every hit that his gang took. It rattled him and physically immobilized him. Palermo, who started out as a jerk, also stepped up to lead the team with an unexpected levelheadedness when push came to a shove. He never gave up on anyone. Still, this did not lessen the impact of each loss.
It bears noting that Money Heist Season 5 was able to firmly illustrate who the bad guys of the piece actually were. Even though they were pushed to the wall, the Professor gang always tried to protect and save the hostages, unlike some (ehem, Arturito and Tamayo) who were willing to do away with the lives of civilians just to become the hero in the eyes of the public.
The only good news amid the neverending barrage of bad news was that some of the villains actually got what they deserve. And its a small comfort for the emotional upheaval that this season brought to the table.
It was tiring to watch this season because there was almost no break to the gunfighting before another attack was launched. The heist to save Rio escalated to such a degree that caused massive damage and casualties. The Bank of Spain was almost blown into rubbles with the amount of artillery that was used by both sides.
There was so much at stake, and this story got viewers so invested in the heist and the gang that another cliffhanger ending seemed quite cruel, especially since it was already filmed and edited, and ready for distribution.
At the end of the midseason finale, fans would definitely need a moment to debrief and process everything that has happened. In as much as fans mourned the loss of Nairobi last season, this season proved that its going out with a bang and it doesn’t care about your feelings — or your biases, and its all for the stake of this story. This early, we already know that there will be no winners in this heist, even if they get the gold out. one thing’s for sure. What a glorious ending it will be.