The pulse-pounding Spanish crime drama “Money Heist” (“La Casa de Papel”) kicks off the first part of its final season this Friday, Sept 3.
The action thriller is poised to shift from heists to all-out war in the wake of team member Nairobi’s (Alba Flores) death in part 4, raising the stakes and setting up an epic finish.
According to showrunner Álex Pina, the impact of Nairobi’s (Alba Flores) death will definitely be felt in the concluding chapter of the Spanish crime drama.
“We’re already seeing one of the consequences of Nairobi’s death,” Pina said — namely that the rest of the team views her death as a call to action as they wage war against the authorities and the system. Their lost comrade is “still very present, sometimes they still talk about her. She is illuminating their struggle in this last season.”
Executive producer Jesús Colmenar added, “Nairobi represented the heart of the gang in a way, and in this last season [she] would have had a hard time fitting in because this is a season of direct confrontation. But her legacy is going to inspire the other characters.”
Álvaro Morte, who plays the Professor, tells the media, “This situation generates chaos all around, and that develops into this huge battle because the first five episodes are completely warlike.”
Thanks to Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) catching the Professor, the entire gang is in immense trouble heading into part 5 of Money Heist. While the Professor has studied police procedures and human behavior, Alicia’s unpredictable nature makes her a dangerous adversary and contributes to her ability to find him. “Alicia shows up, and it’s something the Professor never expected to happen,” Morte says. “Everything around [them] falls apart because he was a man who has a plan for everything… He needs to be more aggressive in his way of thinking.”
Being confronted by Alicia forces the Professor to improvise, which is a total 180 from the way he typically operates. “He’s not used to having to make decisions at the last minute,” Morte says. “He always knows what is going to happen not only on his side, but what other parties are going to do. He learns how to do that finally in a practical way, but it’s part of the evolution of the character.”
But not before Alicia’s victory threatens the whole team at the worst time, since they lose the leader guiding them from the outside. “The communication between the bank and the Professor is broken, so now [the gang] is alone, and they have to manage by themselves,” Morte says.
How successful will they be?
“The way they deal with that obstacle is truly poorly,” says Úrsula Corberó, who plays Tokyo. “Whenever the communication with the Professor is cut, chaos starts to rain because [he’s] capable of controlling the situation. The rest of [the team] are hot-blooded characters.”
Another new factor this season is Lisbon (Itziar Ituño) joining the Professor’s team in the bank. While the Professor couldn’t have predicted the danger he was sending her into, Lisbon was the right choice to take charge after Nairobi’s death spun things out of control. Compared to Tokyo, Denver (Jaime Lorente), and the others, Lisbon isn’t as much of a hothead. While Tokyo and Lisbon have a strange relationship, they will have to work together to make it out of the bank. And though she teases that there will be sparks, Corberó says the actors have always portrayed their characters with mutual admiration for one another. “Tokyo obviously wants to grab control of the situation, as does Raquel, but they’re going to have to find a way to understand each other,” she says.
Corberó also teases that viewers will see Tokyo’s growth in the final season. “[She] is granted the opportunity to understand [herself] in the present,” the actress says of how Tokyo will start seeing the consequences of impulsive decisions. Money Heist will show how much she’s matured through this experience and developed a greater awareness of her actions, even in the midst of the increasing danger.
And to think, she almost didn’t have the opportunity to experience such a long arc with her character. The hit series was set to end after the team’s first heist, but with international success came more renewals. Even Morte felt there was more to discover and explore, though now he has “this sensation of closure because the whole story is told.”
It’s not lost on Morte or Corberó just how huge the show and its impact have been. Seeing people wearing the show’s iconic masks and jumpsuits during demonstrations as a symbol of resistance, Corberó has been struck by people’s affinity for the show beyond the small screen. “This is something that was unprecedented, or perhaps only happened a few times in Spain,” she says, “and to be honest I am still processing it.”
To that end, Morte says while the first half of the final season is an incredibly intense war, it will pay off in part 6, which he describes as much more emotional and says provides an understanding of the characters’ actions. “In the very last episode,” he says, “the characters have a sense of accepting themselves, who they are, how they are, and it closes the circle of this story.”