In the time of coronavirus there are a multitude of concerning questions, but the average person can only really answer one. What am I bingeing next? Considering we've all locked ourselves into our homes, it's only reasonable to mainline a series that makes being trapped in close quarters look fun. Well, maybe not fun, but at the very least, exciting. And excitement is exactly what Money Heist, Netflix's Spanish language thriller about a group of thieves trapped inside the Royal Mint of Spain for the heist of the century, serves up.
Make no mistake, Money Heist isn't your average heist thriller. The series kicks off with the mysterious Professor (Álvaro Morte) saving the life of a bank robber whose last job ended in a hail of bullets and a dead lover. She's not the only person the Professor's kept out of the unyielding reach of the law though; soon he's introducing her to the team he's built to carry off the greatest heist in history. Only problem? It'll take about half a year for the team to be trained and ready.
Here's where Money Heist really kicks into high gear. After choosing codenames — the whole crew is referred to by international cities — the series twists immediately to the future and just like that, Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó), Rio (Miguel Herrán), Nairobi (Alba Flores), Helsinki (Darko Perić), Oslo (Roberto Garcia), Denver (Jaime Lorente), Moscow (Paco Tous), and Berlin (Pedro Alonso) are infiltrating the Royal Mint with the help of the Professor on the outside.
The action-packed future timeline, in which the thieves reveal that their plan was never to rob the Royal Mint, but lay siege and print billions of unmarked, untraceable bills, is intercut with scenes from the past six months. The team training, coming together, and becoming a family unit at a beautiful Spanish villa under the tutelage of the Professor offer up moments much sweeter and heartfelt than any other entry into this hardboiled genre. Yes, this is a team of vicious criminals, but it's also a team of people who are fighting for a life better than the one they were given. Moscow, a miner turned demolitions expert, simply wants to give his son Denver a future where he's not constantly looking over his shoulder for the mob. Rio, a tech expert, falls hard for Tokyo and finds himself fantasizing about a house filled with a bunch of kids on a tropical island. Berlin, a closet sociopath, finds himself leading this motley crew on the most dangerous job he's ever been on out of loyalty for the Professor. As every single member of this heist reveals a fully realized, multi-dimensional person underneath the catchy codename, Money Heist makes it clear that there's no room for generic tropes or characters on this show.
That extends to the people taken hostage inside the Royal Mint as well. From government workers to a senior class on a field trip, the tension and anxiety of being used as a labor force to mint money strips them down to people just trying to survive. Survival, ironically, connects the hostages and the robbers, leading to unexpected friendships, impossible love stories, and a burning desire to get out of there alive. Despite all the bombastic gunplay and ferocious threats, the crew's goal is to escape without spilling a single drop of blood. They want to be modern day Robin Hoods, redistributing wealth not just amongst themselves, but amongst the hostages and the rest of the country as well.
But like any other iconic heist tale, everyone's good intentions are sorely challenged — even broken — when thrown up against the harsh reality that people make mistakes. From the crew ignoring the Professor's most basic rules (don't tell each other your real names, don't get involved with each other) to hostages attempting escape to the Professor getting too close to law enforcement's investigation on the outside, blood is eventually spilled and consequence after consequence arises. Money Heist is a delicate house of cards, and shifting allegiances are set to topple the whole operation.
As Money Heist proved over three seasons, this is more than just a game of cops and robbers. This is a story about how even in the most dire of circumstances, nothing can stop people from dreaming, and dreaming big at that. And with Season 4 now on Netflix, it is the perfect time for you to catch up on all the unexpected twists and turns, all the action-packed highs, and all the emotionally grounded lows of Money Heist. After all, there's a reason it's one of Netflix's most popular international offerings to date.
Money Heist Season 4 is now on Netflix.