Sometime tomorrow evening, Netlix will release Part of 4 of Money Heist. I’ve spent the past few days re-watching Part 3 to give my viewing experience the necessary continuity. After all, it’s been a year. It would suck to start watching Part 4 and keep hitting the pause button and search through episodes of Part 3 each time a reference is made to something that happened back then.
Berlin died in Part 2. He sacrified himself so the rest of the team could escape. And escape they did. Part 3 begins with the Professor and his team on a boat and they just made it to international waters. From there, they split up — all armed with back-up plans in case one of them got caught.
Two years after robbing Royal Mint of Spain of steal 2.4 billion euros, Rio and Tokyo have settled in Guna Yala, Panama and live a tropical fairy tale. But, Tokyo being Tokyo, she gets restless and leaves Rio for Panama City for some excitement. Before she goes, Rio hands her a satellite phone, bought in the black market at Casablanca and purportedly unregistered, so they could continue to comminucate.
Three days later, Rio rings up Tokyo, the Interpol intercepts the signal and Rio is arrested. Following the protocol laid out two years earlier, Tokyo gets in touch with a “carrier” and, several days later, arrives in Thailand where the Professor had moved with Raquel and her family.
The team is brought back together. With three new recruits — Bógota, Palermo and Marseille — another heist is planned. This time, they’re not printing paper money — they’re stealing gold from the Bank of Spain. The plan was laid out long ago by Berlin. All they had to do now was take care of the logistics and use the gold as a bargaining chip to get Rio back.
Yes, Money Heist is still binge-worthy even the second time around. And, as I watched each episode of Part 3, more carefully and slowly this time, I wondered what the show’s attraction really was. Was it the Professor’s top-caliber brain? The good looking actors in the series? The awesome production design? The wry humor? The oh, so common penchant to root for the underdog?
I’ve been a fan of heist stories for so long, and I’ve read and watched so many. But, with most, the heist is just a daring and, often, well thought out and and well planned criminal act. But just a crime nonetheless. And that’s where Money Heist differs.
While the robbery of the Royal Mint of Spain was the Professor’s tribute to the genius of his late father who dreamed up the heist, robbing the Bank of Spain was a rebellion against The Establishment that had kept Rio in an undisclosed location where he was being tortured to cough out information that would lead to the arrest of the rest of this team.
It’s fiction? Something from the Dark Ages? Well, someone who has been living under a rock would make such a dismissive claim. But think of Guantanamo. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as Money Heist launches into an even more scathing social critique.
Launching the “Flipper” plan to hold the military and police at bay, the team of anti-heroes blows up a massive wall to take possession of 24 boxes of sensitive government documents which get sent to a team of hackers in Pakistan and ready to be leaked to the public.
Colonel Luis Tamayo (Fernando Cayo) explains to his fellow bureaucrats:
The extent of the leak… Europe provoking a war in Libya for private interests. Payments to Morocco to abandon immigrants in the desert. A secret agreement to look the other way in the Mediterranean. Seventy-four shipwrecks that could have been avoided, hundreds of drownings. Even if it’s old news, all the details on the creation of a terrorist group in the South of France. Want more? The contents of those boxes implicate this administration and those before it. Spain, the European Union, and NATO are all going to be in deep shit.
It was almost two years ago when I first came across Money Heist on Netflix. I had become a fan of Spanish films a year earlier but Money Heist was my first Spanish-language series. What an introduction it was! Had my first Spanish series been anything else, I might thave turned my attention elsewhere fast and never dug deeper into the world of Spanish television. So, I’m hooked. And I eagerly await what happens in Part 4 of Money Heist.
Update: My post-mortem of Money Heist, Part 4.