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As Money Heist wraps up, My Kolkata looks at the best moments from the Spanish thriller

Over the course of 41 episodes, La Casa de Papel became an international phenomenon

Vedant Karia | Published 06.12.21, 05:31 PM

When La Casa de Papel first aired on Spanish television as yet another drama-thriller, no one could have imagined that five years later, Money Heist would become one of the largest global televised phenomenons, a prominent commentator against fascist-capitalism, and the crown jewel in Netflix’s non-English broadcasting catalogue.

With a multitude of unpredictable twists, brilliant chemistry between the ensemble cast, and genuine heart-stopping action, the show gave us some of the finest moments in the heist genre. As the story concludes with Part 5’s final set of episodes dropping on Netflix, My Kolkata lists down its favourite moments from Money Heist:


The first Bella Ciao

Money Heist’s most significant impact on popular culture is through something borrowed from pop culture. The show made the Italian anti-fascist song, Bella Ciao, a symbol of resistance and freedom against capitalism across the world. Although the song appeared multiple times throughout the show’s run, the most memorable one remains the first, when Moscow finally discovers soil after intense digging. As the gang sings and dances together in the vault in celebration with notes raining upon them, we truly see them as not thieves, but romantics.

Tokyo’s return

Every character has a trait that is both their strength and weakness. For Tokyo, it is her impulsiveness that leads to Berlin throwing her out of the Royal Mint, and into the hands of the police. While her fate seems doomed at that point, the show pulls one of its first shock twists, as the van escorting her to prison gets hijacked, prompting her to return to the heist. What follows is an adrenaline pumping — for the character and viewers — sequence of Tokyo zig-zagging past the cops on a bike, stunning her way back into the mint.

Berlin’s death

A character that most viewers love to hate, Berlin goes down all guns blazing. With cash successfully in the bag, gunmen hot on their heels and a ticking clock to blow up the tunnel, Berlin approaches death with honour, holding off the cops so that the gang can escape. He smiles as he falls, knowing that his last heist was a success, even if he won’t be there to bag the loot.

Rio’s release

When the gang came together to risk it all again for Rio’s freedom, the task seemed impossible. However, after a lot of maneuvering and releasing 40 hostages, the Professor was able to secure his return. The scene where a dishevelled Rio gets out of the car in a suit, and sees the sun after months of intense torture, as an elated Tokyo looks on, makes the nerve-racking plan behind a new heist seem worth it because the family is back together.

Nairobi’s death

For a character who lived with a lot of power and conviction, Nairobi has a truly tragic end. After suffering a near-fatal bullet wound and being kidnapped by Gandía to be used as a shield, it seems the worst over when he lets her go, only to shoot her to the gang’s (and our) disbelief. Her funeral though was cathartic and emotional with her body being carried out of the Bank of Spain, as Helsinki played the harmonica, and a peaceful Nairobi finally rested in the sun.

Lisbon enters the bank

Style is an integral part of the show. All the plans and elaborate set-pieces have swagger, and Lisbon’s return to the bank from police custody is no different. The Professor uses his crew on the outside to kidnap a lookalike from a salon and switches her with Lisbon while she is being transported. She lands on the roof unchecked in a military helicopter and dressed as a cop, tricking the police to think she’s one of them. As Lisbon is finally smuggled into the bank amidst firing, the cry, “For Nairobi!” rings out, and the gang is back on top.

Arturo unleashed

Arturo manages to incite an air of hatred in Money Heist fans that could make Potterheads’s feelings for Umbridge seem tame. After consistently stooping lower through the show’s run, he became a major threat when he uncovered the Dali’s weapons and used it to rage an all-out war on the gang. He almost overpowers them before Monica fittingly comes to the rescue, shooting him despite his attempts at manipulation, and closing the Arturo chapter for good.

Tokyo’s death

The writers deserve credit for creating complex characters and giving them the room to cultivate emotional bonds with each other. Given that Tokyo was with us from the very start, and continued to narrate the show till the end, her loss was perhaps more emotional than any other. On the back of an extremely tense confrontation between Gandía’s troupes and the gang, we see Tokyo gunned down. Her death is reminiscent of Berlin’s as she sacrifices herself, embracing the chance to be the Professor’s guardian angel and encouraging Rio to start his new life, while taking out an entire battalion with unlocked grenades.

The Professor and Alicia bond

The final season is full of will-they-won’t-they moments between the disgraced detective and her prize to redemption. Out of places to run, the Professor and Alicia hide from the cops inside a couch at the nick of time, agreeing to trust each other for survival. The following scene, where she breaks down and shows her vulnerable side, while he vows to help her and her daughter, Victoria get through the heist, becomes the point that turned the tide in favour of the Dali.

A final negotiation

The Professor might have been the world’s greatest poker player, but managing to convince Tamayo to let him hold Spain’s gold as leverage, while the Bank kept brass mocks in its reserves seemed too big a bluff even for him. We are convinced for a second that Tamayo had shot the gang in cold blood, as their bodies were taken out of the Bank to the soulful lyrics of Fix You. Just when the song reaches its high notes, the body bags unzip themselves, and the triumphant thieves jubilantly arise, gazing at the world outside, finally free.

Last updated on 06.12.21, 05:42 PM

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