The first volume of the final season of Money Heist began streaming on Netflix recently. It leads up to the last stand of the gang as their Bank of Spain heist comes to a thrilling conclusion. Volume 2 is set to come out on 3 December.
In the conclusion to part 4, Lisbon (Itziar Ituño) made it into the Bank through an elaborate plan involving her escape from the authorities while Detective Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) had just discovered the Professor’s (Álvaro Morte) hideout and had him dead to rights.
The story continues here with Lisbon getting the lay of the land inside the bank and Alicia interrogating the professor to figure out his entire plan. On the outside, Colonel Tamayo (Fernando Cayo) reaches the peak of his desperation and calls in Major Sagasta of the army to lay siege on the bank.
Concurrently, a flashback shows Berlin (Pedro Alonso) connecting with his estranged son, Rafael (Patrick Criado) with plans on bringing him in for a heist of his own. The ladies of the gang head out of the bank to negotiate the release of head of security Gandía (José Manuel Poga) in exchange for more time. Once back inside, they find a brawl has broken out between Gandía and Bogotá (Hovik Keuchkerian) and in the ensuing fracas, Arturo (Enrique Arce) and a few other hostages get a hold of some weapons and retreat back out to the loading docks.
A standoff plays out between the hostages and the gang members until Stockholm (Esther Acebo) gets around the back and shoots Arturo in the heart. They manage to restart his pulse and immediately release him along with a few hostages. Tamayo plans to use to situation to paint the gang as mercenaries who injure and kill hostages but unbeknownst to him, there’s a listening in device in one of the handcuffs sent out with the hostages.
Alicia successfully subdues Marseille (Luka Peros) and Benjamin (Ramón Agirre) at the hideout but with all the stress of situation, she goes into labour right there. She has no choice but to set them free in order to assist in the birth of her child. Back inside, Palermo (Rodrigo de la Serna) rallies the troops for one final stand as the army is getting ready to storm the bank. They decide to blow in the roof as that’s the only viable route into the structure.
In the past, Berlin plans to rob some gold Viking ornaments from Frederiksborg Castle with the help of Rafael, Bogota, Marseille and his girlfriend Tatiana (Diana Gómez). The plan goes on without a hitch and Rafael now feels the adrenaline rush from a successful heist and also develops a stronger connection with his father.
Major Sagasta and his team along with Gandía enter the bank from above with the preceding explosion trapping Helsinki under a fallen statue. An intense firefight between the soldiers and the gang follows with Palermo trying to get Helsinki out of the firing line. Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó), Denver (Jaime Lorente), and Manilla (Belén Cuesta) attack from behind and succeed in surrounding the soldiers.
The soldiers, however, push back hard and trap Tokyo, Denver and Manilla with them while shutting out the rest behind a security door. The soldiers close in on the three holed up in the kitchen while they look for a way out, but Tokyo gets hit by snipers and is gravely injured. They eventually discover a Dumbwaiter lift allowing Denver and Manilla to escape but Tokyo stays behind for one final stand.
The acting is extremely functional with no one truly standing out too much. But the gang members each play their part well in the narrative.
José Manuel Poga does a good job of portraying the villainous ‘Gandía’, getting under the skin of everyone, friends and foe alike.
Fernando Cayo as the colonel showcases the desperation of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders quite well.
The season builds up really well and gets the audience really hooked on for the final volume. While not inspiring, the actors do their jobs admirably and cannot be faulted for their efforts.
The story moves at a brisk pace, keeping the audience on their toes constantly. The cast showcases the fear and anxiety from constantly being in dire situations perfectly.
The action sequences are exhilarating and the cinematography is brilliant as always, capturing the essence of a high-stakes standoff.
The addition of the effective Major Sagasta And the doubtful Rafael definitely elevates the quality of the story.
Killing off an integral character like Tokyo is a bold decision by the creators, which provides added motivation for the rest to survive and fight back.
The problem-solving skills of the gang by this point have peaked ridiculously, making almost any setback only a minor one without far-reaching consequences.
Splitting the season into 2 volumes doesn’t work quite well due to the structuring of the series. This causes a certain disconnect making it a slightly weaker offering when compared to earlier seasons.
In terms of story progression, this volume is definitely a must-watch as the build-up to the end works well. However, as a standalone offering, it is definitely one of the less impressive outputs of the series.