With the Professor pulling off the perfect heist the first time around, things were bound to go wrong
The fourth season of the incredibly popular Netflix show “Money Heist” has taken the world by storm with its intense storyline and explosive characters.
Released on April 3, the new season to the Spanish series that is also known as “La Casa De Papel,” sees the Professor, played by Alvarez Morte, attempt to pull off a second intricately-planned heist that is even more complex than the first. But in his attempt to orchestrate the heist from the Bank of Spain, the genius and all-knowing Professor forgets to consider one thing that he previously did not have to worry about: the emotions that his group of hot-headed criminals now feel for one another.
The Professor’s plan is often ruined by one of the crew members as they always put their personal interests over the long-term plan. This compromises the heist as a whole, making a mess out of the situation.
Sure enough, lead character Tokyo becomes bored of her stable, happy life. She decides to leave her hiding place simply to party, which blows her ‘in hiding’ status and leads to her boyfriend Rio being captured. To get him back, Tokyo and the Professor summon the gang back together for another heist.
From the beginning of the season till the very end, the heist in the Bank of Spain is insane. Nairobi is possibly fatally wounded, Palermo is ready to cause a mutiny, and nobody is in charge of anything. Luckily, Tokyo steps up.
Typically, the erratic Tokyo is the one to mess up the plans, and is the loose grenade that may explode any second. Not this time, though. She helped Nairobi throughout a complex surgery and accurately predicted that Lisbon’s death was faked.
Tokyo taking charge led to a large boost in morale, which I really appreciated. Tokyo was never my favorite character. She still isn’t. She’s always been hot-headed, irrational, and has nearly ruined the heist every time she tries to take charge. However, this season the gang actually got things done under her command, as she was able to whip everyone into shape right away. I definitely am starting to appreciate her character more.
Other notable characters include Denver and Nairobi, who unravel in completely different ways. Denver came into this heist as a reckless young adult, stressed about the fate of his life. In the first heist, he lost his father, Moscow.
Now with a son, Denver doesn’t want to share the same fate as his father. The paranoia gets the better of him, as the soft-hearted tough guy becomes an aggressive bully. His fear causes him to lose everything, including his wife.
Then there’s Nairobi, the heart and soul of the crew. She started and ended this season by getting shot, and while she survived the first bullet, she wasn’t able to dodge the second. Her death absolutely broke my heart, since she was the only sane character left on the show. The tragic part of this is that she had so much going for her. She was going to marry Bogota, and she finally saw her son again after almost 10 years.
The season also saw the police fake Raquel Murillo’s (a.k.a. Lisbon’s) death, turning the Professor from being a tactical mastermind to an emotional mess. This was one of the more interesting character development arcs, since he is not always known for his compassion. He always thinks of the plan first, or so he told himself before Lisbon became his romantic love interest.
Seeing him freak out over the love of his life’s “death” opened up an entirely new side to his character. We saw everything he was willing to do for Raquel and how he handles grief.
Luckily, Marsella, another crew member, tried to comfort the Professor. Their interactions make for humorous and touching moments in a rather grim season. Whether it was talking about pee, or punching each other in the face, this duo is something I hope to see more of in the future.
However, the season ends on a cliffhanger that might tarnish this relationship. The Professor ends up at the end of Inspector Alicia Sierra’s gun. Sierra was one of the highlights of the season, as we see just how dirty she’s willing to play to stop this heist. She was the one who ordered Lisbon’s death to be faked to mess with the Professor, perhaps because her mind is as sick and twisted as the rest of the criminals on the show.
Towards the end of the season, the Professor seems to have gotten the upper hand. He exposes Sierra publicly for torturing Rio (one of his crew members) and the Spanish government’s sign off for her to do so. Sierra is fired and becomes a fugitive, which only makes her more determined to stop the Professor.
One of the most notable things about Sierra is her pregnancy. She seems ready to go into labor at any second. How that will factor into season five, however, remains unknown. Even though it may throw a curveball at her plans, she still needs to go to jail.
Sierra is an enigmatic villain that you absolutely love to hate. She is the equivalent to Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—both charming and evil.
While Sierra is the clear standout villain, other villains are also written extremely well. This includes security officer Gandia, hostage Arturo, and maniacal strategist Palermo. Their job is to be hated, and it’s easy to do so.
This season also took on a lot of political topics, such as sexual assault, transgender rights, post-traumatic stress disorder and had plenty of LGBTQ+ representation. While a chunk of this actually worked, other topics seemed forced into the script.
An example of this is Manila, Denver’s cousin who is transgender and has a role in the heist. Her flashback scene to why she decided to become a biological female included sweet moments but was achieved through cheesy dialogue. Representation is always good, but I wish this scene was more connected to the storyline and felt less like a PSA.
Overall, this season was a mixed bag of drama, heartache and politics. It is my least favorite season yet because of how frustrating it was to see the crew take one step forward and three steps back. However, I know that was the point and the show successfully made me feel what I was intended to.
I was mad at the villains. I was happy when the heroes caught a break. I was on the verge of tears when Nairobi died. Everything the writers wanted to accomplish, they accomplished, and while it took me on an emotional rollercoaster, I respect their talent.