The following contains spoilers for Money Heist season 4.
If there’s one thing that can be said about Money Heist, it’s that it’s been a wild ride. Even the way the show got popular was crazy. The original Spanish series, La Casa de Papel (literally translated as “the house of paper”), was cancelled after one season. But when Netflix picked it up, the show blew up. It blew up like an exploding bank vault with a resounding boom that was heard all around the world. The show became the most watched non-English series on Netflix, not to mention a global symbol of resistance.
Calling the upcoming bulk of episodes the fifth season can be a bit confusing, as the show’s story structure is different from the traditional TV model. Money Heist masters the cliffhanger, and all the season divisions just intensify that. There have only been two heists and we’re still in the middle of the second one. The first heist was the original series: the Royal Mint of Spain caper, told in two parts. That comprised seasons 1 and 2. The second heist is the robbery of the Bank of Spain. It had Netflix Bank, so its production budget is much fatter. The Bank of Spain heist is being told in four parts. Seasons 3 and 4 comprise the first half of that heist. The upcoming Season 5, Part 1 will be followed by a Season 5, Part 2 slated for this December. Only then will we find out if the gang gets away with it.
Before things get rolling again, let’s look back at where season 4 left us…
Lisbon rejoined the gang
After being captured at the beginning of season 3, Lisbon (Itziar Ituño) spent most of season 4 illegally detained and under brutal interrogation by the ruthless Inspector Sierra (Najwa Nimri). In the season 4 finale, the Professor (Álvaro Morte) stages a daring escape to free Lisbon. And with even more elaborate play, he orchestrates getting her inside the Bank of Spain to reunite with the gang.
Given that the gang seems hopelessly surrounded in the bank, it seems ridiculous that Lisbon would want to go there. However, it’s important to remember that Lisbon began on the opposite side. In season 1, she was Inspector Murillo in charge of investigating the heist. She flipped to the gang’s side out of her love for the Professor.
Lisbon had a lot to prove to the gang. Despite spending most of her time apart from them, she was accepted because the Professor accepted her. Her confrontations with Sierra will surely escalate as the former Inspector-turned-bank-robber goes head-to-head with the new inspector. And now that she’s in full cahoots with the gang, the cleverness she’s demonstrated throughout the entire series will certainly level up the intrigue.
The gang still needs to get the gold
The plan is to melt the gold down to transport out of the bank. According to Lisbon’s stalling-tactic testimony, 50 tons of gold are melted down already. That leaves 40 more to go, little past the halfway point, which coincides with where the series is. Seasons 3 and 4 were 8 episodes each. Seasons 5 and 6 are shorter with only 5 episodes per season.
While the gang succeeded with the first heist despite impossible odds, nothing is ever certain when it comes to Money Heist. Jesús Colmenar, the producer of Money Heist, promises that this is the final battle where they pull out all the stops. “I can tell you for sure that this is the biggest and the most thrilling one,” teases Colmenar.
Is Gandia still alive?
Season 3 introduced Gandia (José Manuel Poga), the head of security for the Bank of Spain and the most despised villain of the series. A former black ops agent, he’s highly skilled in stealth combat. He strangled Helsinki (Darko Perić), and held Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó) captive, but his greatest offense is what he did to Nairobi (Alba Flores). The gang used him as a ruse to get Lisbon in the bank, but during the chaos, he tried to break free. Helsinki (Darko Perić) stopped him by smashing his head into the staircase rail, but it’s unclear whether he killed him or just knocked him out. If he did die, it was an understated death scene for Money Heist.
Although some fans theorize that Gandia is dead, it’s more likely he survived. The season 5 trailer teases a scene of Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó) kicking a bloodied Gandia, but trailers can be deceiving. Knowing how Money Heist constantly ups the ante, Gandia will surely take advantage again somehow. He’s too wicked of a villain to ignore.
New gang members
The second heist introduced several new gang members and conspirators. There was the squad of Asturian miners tunneled to the garage to break out Lisbon, led by Moscow’s (Paco Tous) friend, Benjamín (Ramón Agirre). However, the most interesting new gang member Benjamín’s daughter. She is on the inside and she just came into play in a big way.
Manila (Belén Cuesta) was introduced in season 3 as a childhood friend of Denver’s (Jaime Lorente) that was recruited to be an undercover hostage. But when Denver knew her, she was Juan. She’s transgender. Sor far, she’s been in the background, snitching on the hostages to the gang. But that changed in the season 4 finale when she blew her cover to shoot hostage and former director of the Royal Mint, Arturo (Enrique Arce). Now that she’s outed, Manila can add to the gang’s complexity.
Arturo had it coming. Arturo has emerged as even more despicable than when he was having an affair with his secretary and got her pregnant in season 1. She flipped to join the gang after she fell for Denver, adopting the most appropriate alias of the gang, Stockholm (Mónica Gaztambide). In season 3, Arturo drugs and rapes Amanda (Olalla Hernández) one of the other hostages. He tries the same with Manila, but she was on to him.
Sierra got the drop on the Professor
After Colonel Tamayo (Fernando Cayo) threw Sierra under the bus saying she had to take the blame for the bank heist fiasco, she went rogue and managed to track down the Professor on her own. She declared ‘checkmate’ when she found his hideout and had him at gunpoint.
For Sierra, it’s been a personal battle. She’s obsessed with winning the psychological chess game with the Professor and been the only investigator that has had a clue about his deceptiveness. Is it mood swings from her pregnancy? Or is she just psycho that way?
One thing is very probable. Sierra is very pregnant. And knowing Money Heist, she’ll go into labor at a critical point. That’s been an imminent gamechanger from the beginning of season 3. It’s just a matter of when. Will it be season 5 or season 6?
Nairobi had a tough season 4. She began on a makeshift operating table after Sierra had lured her to the window using her son as bait, and then ordered a sniper shoot her in the chest. Incredibly (well, not so incredible for the absurd plot twists of Money Heist) Nairobi recovered, thanks to Tokyo’s nascent surgery skills.
But then Gandia caught Nairobi and tortured her, tying her to a door and mercilessly shooting her in the hand. Then, just as the gang had negotiated her release, Gandia shot Nairobi in the head. There’s no coming back from that, no matter how lucky Tokyo is as a surgeon. Her coffin bearing the words ‘La Puta Ama’ (the fucking boss) was carried out of the bank with more respect than any of the deaths preceding her.
Gandia’s kill shot went right into the gut of every fan. Nairobi was a beloved character. Coming from poor roots, she was a single mom and the most kindhearted member of the gang. When Lisbon finally reunites with the gang at the season 4 finale, they chant “For Nairobi!” in a scene that sends chills down the spine of every Money Heist fan.
Will this be the end of Nairobi? Berlin (Pedro Alonso) sacrificed his life so the gang could escape at the end of the first heist but returned in flashbacks in seasons 3 and 4. Although Nairobi is clearly dead, her memory lives on, and hopefully we’ll see more of her. For Nairobi!
Money Heist Season 5, Volume 1 comes to Netflix on September 3. Volume 2 is slated for December 3.