The fourth season of Money Heist (La Casa De Papel) is as thrilling and intense as you would have wanted it to be, but what’s even more surprising is how the show addresses sexual harassment, gender identity, and trauma within the confines of its genre. Created by Alex Pina, the latest season, which landed on Netflix on April 3, focuses on how the Professor and his team of robbers not only manage to thwart every plan conceived by the police to stop them from robbing gold from Bank of Spain but also stop a ruthless assassin from going on a killing spree inside the bank.
What Is the Story About?
The season begins with Professor (Álvaro Morte), who’s in shock that his partner Lisbon is no more, trying to escape from the police while his team of robbers have a set of problems of their own at the Bank of Spain. Nairobi, who’s gravely injured, inches closer to death; however, Tokyo (Ursula Corbero) doesn’t want to give up on her. A power struggle ensues in the gang, and with Professor still on the run, Tokyo takes control of the operation, much to the dismay of Palermo, an egomaniac who wants to be the one calling the shots. With things going from bad to worse in the bank, the police officials, led by Colonel Tamayo and Alicia Sierra, try to break Lisbon and get her to reveal the whereabouts of the Professor, who’s the mastermind behind the heist. However, when the Professor connects the dots, about how he was tricked into believing that Lisbon is dead, he alters the entire plan drastically.
Alvaro Morte, who plays Professor, is in top form in the season and as his emotional state swings between being in complete despair to a state where he wants to outsmart the entire police department, the series to follows a similar trajectory. While Alvaro Morte anchors the season with his intelligence, the real star is Ursula Corbero, who, like Tokyo, brings plenty of spunk and badass attitude, and her verve rubs on to the whole show. Be it the scenes where she’s asserting her control over the heist or she doesn’t break down despite an increasing threat from Gandia, a cold-blooded assassin on the loose, Ursula is the heartbeat of this season of Money Heist. Then, there’s Alba Flores, who as Nairobi, gives the season its emotional heft; Jaime Lorente as Denver and Miguel Herrán as Rio, whose heated arguments amplify the tension in the show; and José Manuel Poga, who fills the show with plenty of dread and anxious moments with his performance as Gandia, an assassin who turns into the gang’s worst nightmare.
The fourth season of Money Heist delivers everything that you expect from the heist thriller. It’s thrilling, fast-paced, and full of twists and turns that you’ll keep you guessing about how Professor and his cohorts will pull off the impossible. But beyond all this, the series also addresses several relevant topics like dealing with trauma, torture, sexual harassment, and gender identity through its characters, who are trapped in a difficult situation. For instance, the introduction of Manila (played by Belen Cuesta) springs a big surprise, not just for the audience, but also the characters in the story themselves. And full credit to the writers of the series for keeping up the tempo and pace of storytelling. Right from the moment, the story focuses on how Tokyo, Denver, Rio and others at the bank race against time to execute their plans, to how Professor is pushed to a corner, Money Heist hits all the right notes. It’s relentless and the action sequences, especially those involving Gandia and the robbers, are masterfully shot. If there’s one minor quibble about the show, it’s that it constantly keeps going back and forth to how Professor tries to warn his brother Berlin about the pitfalls to pull off the robbery, and Berlin’s own relationship with Palermo. And this switch comes across more like a speed breaker to the narrative, which is so taut and engaging that it makes you invest a lot in the characters and their fate.
Music & Other Departments
Apart from the performances, it’s the writing and the motives of each character that gives the series its edge. Whether it’s Professor’s desperation to execute the plans correctly, or Tokyo’s dazzling energy when she takes charge, or even Gandia’s focus to save the bank, each character in the series is well-defined and the friction between these characters is brilliantly portrayed. The background score, composed by Manel Santisteban and Iván Martínez Lacámara, is captivating, and the editing is seamless.
The best part of this season of Money Heist is its action and its writing. The way Professor pulls off a near-impossible task of saving Lisbon while also executing his plans to continue with the robbery, even when his options seem limited are well-captured.
At times, the series breaks the rhythm and tempo of its narrative to focus on the backstories of Berlin and Professor. Even though it has relevant information to understand the motives of some of the characters in the present, this narrative style tends to take the focus away from the more engaging moments of the show.
Do I recommend it?
The previous seasons of Money Heist have been hugely popular, and the fourth season to lives up to the hype. And one can only hope that the next season is going to be even more explosive than this one, even if it feels like the Resistance has reached its goal.