Money Heist Returns To Its Prime: Part 5 Review (Spoilers)
How did La Casa de Papel deliver on expectations?
We all remember the first time we chanced the Breaking Bad box set, or when we breezed through Season One of Prison Break in a week, the captivation of watching Tommy Shelby’s evade his ultimate reckoning time after time, and we all remember the chills we felt in Game of Thrones when we realised even the biggest A-lister could perish without plot armour.
Listed are the very few occasions, amongst hours of television, that you become breathless as a viewer. Completely led by the narrative and feeling the exact emotions the creators intended. That was how I felt at the end of Episode 9. Tokio’s speech, the blaring music, the finality of watching The Professor walk into the lion’s mouth. We as an audience seemed to mirror the emotions of the supporters outside the Bank of Spain, despairing but in awe. This scene was fantastic television. Absolutely gripping.
Part 5 followed on from the standoff with Sierra and The Professor. Meanwhile, Sagasta and his team were preparing to infiltrate. The vibe switched with the introduction of these characters, the diplomacy between police and thieves seemed to evaporate and the show became more action-packed. It was cool, but the Money Heist people fell in love with was the twists and turns, and the genius of the writing. The September release of Part 5 was entertaining, but perhaps some were worried it was shedding its unique skin and becoming ‘a Netflix show’.
Tokio’s death was so fantastically done and the best part of the season thus far. It made sense, the build-up in flashbacks absolutely did justice, and you were left with a hole in your heart. The episodes released in December were much better in my opinion, and yet you still felt the missing piece that was Tokio.
I’m sure it might unlock the memory for some, but the discussion between Palermo, The Professor, and Berlin in episode 8, where they stripped the plan with the pump down to its scientific barebones was like a big rinse of the Royal Mint days. The first heist was when the writing was at its best, especially with the plan. The second heist was more twists and turns, still great but the aforementioned discussion between those three characters was like an encore.
This scene was followed by one of the most unexpected twists of all television history, where Berlin’s son and ex-wife unmasked themselves as the “police”. Never in a million years did anyone in the audience believe there was a third chess player. It wasn’t foreshadowed, it was simply a plot twist unravelled in minutes.
I really liked the ending, but it was a confusing downslope from what was perfect television in episodes 8 & 9. It was like enjoying the finest food you’d ever experienced and then coming home to your favourite dinner. It’s always confusing when you’re watching something that peaks one hurdle before the finale, but the ending was very good and fitting.
I just wished I’d gone for subtitles instead of dubbed from the outset…