Money Heist - La Casa de Papel

Why I Cringe when I Think of Watching Money Heist Season 5 on Netflix

Don’t get me wrong. I love Money Heist – original name: La Casa de Papel in Spanish. Its original name intrigued me and as soon as I started watching episode 1 of season 1, I was hooked, seriously hooked! The story sucked me in and the characters are real, showing a very humane side. You can’t help caring about them. I binge watched season 1, took a small break, and then binge watched season 2, loved the ending! Then why do I cringe when I think of watching Money Heist Season 5 on Netflix?

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen this series yet, please be advised that this article has several spoilers.

Why I Cringe when I Think of Watching Money Heist Season 5 on Netflix
Wiki Commons: By Atresmedia – https://www.brandsoftheworld.com/logo/la-casa-de-papel,

Season 1 and 2 – Perfect Ending

Alex Piña, the creator of this amazing series, is a genius. Money Heist is a story about criminals who plan and execute the heist of the century, on the Royal Mint of Spain. The brain behind this – the Professor who organizes and finds recruits for this endeavor – has planned this meticulously, not one detail is left out.

To avoid recognition from police and to elude capture, the members of the heist cannot know each other’s names and they adopt names of cities, Tokyo, Rio, Helsinki, Oslo, Nairobi, Denver, Berlin, and Moscow,

It soon turns out that this is not just a story about a bunch of criminals, but that it’s more of a social justice heist, because they are not going to steal any money. They’ll enter the Royal Mint, take 67 hostages, and print the money themselves, 2,400 million euros.

The main characters all show a very human side in this series. SPOILER ALERT: When Denver is ordered to execute a hostage, he is torn up about it and he pretends to have killed her. He then hides her in a vault of the Mint and takes care of her.

Moscow, Denver’s father, believing that Denver has committed murder, is devastated by the news. He can’t get over it, so when Denver finally shows him where he hides the hostage and that she’s very much alive, Moscow’s relief washes over him, overjoyed that his son has not gone down the path of murder.

Although the main characters are criminals, this show makes a point of showing their background stories and introducing them to us as people with families, values, beliefs, and that they aren’t that different from us, except that they made different choices.

the-secret-to-seduce-a-man

Characters are shown from multiple sides to challenge the viewers’ perceptions of villainy. In my opinion, this is a crucial part of this drama that many other movies and television dramas fail to include. We’re all human. Nothing is ever black and white.

Raquel Murillo, the inspector who is tasked to bring the gang down, is also portrayed more realistically than most other police movies do. Most films show cops as “tough guys” and although I’m sure that there are some tough guys and gals in many areas, the humane side is always an important part to include.

Raquel_Murillo Money Heist
Wiki Commons: by https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAF1zGvXoAcFSKa?format=jpg&name=900×900, Fair use

Raquel Murillo recently divorced her abusive husband who happens to be a police officer on her force.
She is strong, firm, powerful, and highly intelligent, but being a domestic violence survivor, she also has her insecurities and fears, she’s sensitive in her private life.

She falls in love with a man she meets in a café, not knowing that he is the Professor, the one she has to capture.

The story is incredible, and the ending superb. I swear that it’s the best ending of any TV or Netflix show I have ever seen!

Spoiler alert

The series should have stopped after Season 2. Raquel, a year after the heist, finds the coordinates of the Professor’s whereabouts, and she travels to the Philippines to find him. She uses her cell phone to reach his coordinates, but her phone battery is dying.

In an outside bar she asks for someone to lend her a charger, and then the Professor turns around on his bar stool and offers her his, just like the moment they first met in that café in Spain.

Just beautiful!

Charming

It was perfect.

It should have ended there.

Professor_(Money_Heist)
By https://figurinepop.com/public/2019/05/theprofessor1_2.jpg, Fair use

Netflix Gets Involved

In 2017, Netflix acquired global streaming rights for this Spanish series, and Season 3 and 4 soon followed. After such an amazing first two seasons, I was eager to see how it would continue.

Spoiler alert

This time, the band gets together again to enter the Banco de España – the bank of Spain – but things soon get out of control and the government uses extreme violence to defeat the gang. The injury, torture, and murder of Nairobi, my favorite character, was gut wrenching. When at the end of season 4 Tokyo also dies, I was absolutely gutted.

Tokyo
Wiki Commons: By https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net

Nairobi and Tokyo

Not only that, the violence, the injuries, the suffering of each member of the gang, it was too much for me. Watching my beloved characters go through that hell was tough…

I understand about killing off characters in a story. I’m a writer, I do it too, and I always find it hard to do, but the writers of Season 4 and 5 in Money Heist decided to kill not only one but two of the series’ most beloved characters. After that was done, I thought, “what’s the point of continuing to watch this now? Both Tokyo and Nairobi are gone” and those two were such a huge part of this series.

After watching season 3 and 4 I felt as if I had been through a train wreck …

Nairobi - Alba Flores
Nairobi: By © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0,

Excellent Writing

If you think about it, for a writer to get a reader – or in this case a viewer – so involved with his/her characters to the point of devastation at their fictional deaths, it shows incredible story telling and great writing skills. Any writer dreams of achieving that.

In Money Heist, though, I think that after losing Nairobi, the writers went too far when they had Tokyo’s character killed too. It was overkill … over gutting … making the viewer suffer a little too much.

That’s why I’m Hesitant to Watch Season 5

I’ll watch it, definitely. I’m just apprehensive about it, I don’t want to get pulled through the wringer again with more deaths or horrific ordeals of the characters. Season 3 and 4 had quite enough of that. I know that season 5 will be spectacular, there’s no doubt about it. I just need to be emotionally ready to watch it.

I’ve heard other people also say that although they loved the series, Money Heist should have ended with Season 2. The ending of Season 2 was just amazing, and it probably would have stayed there if Netflix hadn’t acquired the global streaming rights.

According to Netflix, Money Heist has raked in the highest number of views for a non-English show. It is a smashing success, an international phenomenon.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. Be prepared to get pulled into it. I’m sorry for the spoilers, but I did my best to include just a few of them, not too many.

Have you seen Money Heist? Do you agree that the ending of Season 2 was great? What are your thoughts about Season 3 and 4?


Update – 28 December 2021: this week I finally watched the rest of Season 5 and I loved it! I bingewatched it all in one evening. The ending was superb, with unexpected twists and turns, although I saw through the very last one 😉
It’s an excellent series!

18 thoughts on “Why I Cringe when I Think of Watching Money Heist Season 5 on Netflix

  1. Hi Christine,
    Thank you for sharing.
    Interesting article.
    It seems like from your post that you may have saved me some time if I just watch season 1 and 2 only. I haven’t seen any of the episodes yet.
    Have a great week.
    Best wishes,

    Delroy M.

    1. Hi Delroy,

      When you watch Season 1 and 2 you’ll want to see the other seasons too, you’ll get pulled in like I did and most viewers do 😉 . It’s an incredible series.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. I saw seasons 1-4 and found it to be a wonderful series. I was unaware that they were doing a season 5 so thanks for the heads up I’m definitely watching it. This was one of the better shows that Netflix has streamed. I do have to agree that the author did a wonderful job of showing all of the characters humane sides and like you, I felt it added a lot of flavor to the show.  Raquel Murillo, the inspector was my favorite of all the characters. I’m not cringing at all about season 5, I say bring it on I’m ready for it! 

    1. Yes, Raquel was a strong character, I like her too! I guess I’ll get over my cringing and I’ll end up watching season 5. It is an excellent series, very true!

  3. I watched a bit of season 1 of Money Heist, and then gave up on it when a friend raved about another series to me. I got sucked into that so much so that I totally forgot about Money Heist, until Nairobi’s death.

    Even if you hadn’t seen the series, Nairobi’s death was the talk everywhere on social media, and it was quite beautiful to read people’s reactions, pains and opinion on the matter. It shows how much of a powerful series it is.

    After seeing your review, I’ll binge watch the seasons to catch up, because I am very much interested to know what will happen in season 5. Oh, the power of storytelling.

  4. Thanks for this review. I’ve scrolled past this series several times as it didn’t look interesting. But now, reading your post, you’ve peaked my interest and I’ll be watching it. However, there are some spoiler alerts, so I stopped reading the post. I want to be totally surprised. BTW, your website is very well-rounded. I like your article, “Why Happiness is a Choice”.

    1. Hi Shalisha,

      Yes, if you want to watch the series, it’s best to skip the spoilers. I hope you enjoy Money Heist. I couldn’t stop watching when I first started watching it 🙂
      Thanks for your comment and for the compliment on my website!

  5. Hi Christine,
    I had not watched the Money Heist series, but you have sparked my curiosity! When you say how you felt gutted from having a beloved character “killed Off”, I can relate to that. Several other Netflix series that I have watched did the same thing. And it is always a brutal killing of the favorite actor, by the bad guy we all want to see get it in the end. Most times he does end up getting killed.
    All these series on Netflix do draw you in and keep you coming back for more.

    1. Hi Chas,

      I know, right? Netflix does seem to do that in many of its series. I remember when a beloved character was killed in Orange is the New Black. I never saw it coming. They do know how to draw us in. 😉

  6. Hi Christine, what an intriguing story! I have not watched it and as a matter of fact I don’t even have a TV, out of my own choice. This review makes me feel that I have missed out on something great. Loved the way you described your emotional involvement in the story line.
    Thank you for introducing me to one of the better series, will do my best to watch from the start.

    1. Hi Estelle,

      I don’t have a TV either, also by my own choice, but I do like to watch Netflix on my laptop 😉 Usually in the evening when all the work is done.
      Thanks for your comment!

  7. I love your passion! Very well written, I feel like I’m watching it with you! I got through seasons 1 and 2 and never had a chance to pick it back up. And THANK YOU for all the warnings you give prior to a spoiler. I avert my eyes when I need to! Thank you! Love this!

  8. Although I haven’t watched Money Heist, the series sounds very intriguing. I don’t have Netflix and it’s not available on any other streaming platform. However your overview of the story makes me almost tempted to join Netflix! The characters seem to be well rounded nd not just two dimensional. It’s always great when writers give them depth.This makes the characters more human and likeable. How sad they killed off two important ones. Seems that the writers have been quite brutal

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Yes, the writers were merciless with their viewers but the story is excellent and – as you said – the characters are well rounded. It’s worth watching.

  9. Christine,
    I haven’t seen Money Heist yet, but from how you passionately described the characters and the plot steps it’s really worth it!
    Even here in Italy it’s a very famous series and has had great success, we know it as La Casa di Carta because the original Spanish title has been translated literally.
    Now doubt has occurred to me: what will it be called in other countries of the world?

    1. Hi Miriam,

      I live in Mexico and here it has the same name, La Casa de Papel. In English the name was changed to Money Heist, in German it is “Haus del Geldes” (House of Money), in French “La Maison du Papier” which means literally La Casa de Papel, just like in Italian.
      Thanks for your comment!

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