We’re back baby! The war that the Professor began in Part 3 is now in full swing. If you’ve not caught up with the events of “Money Heist”, then what the hell are you doing here idiota?! Go binge-watch it now. Next to perhaps “Peaky Blinders” or “Narcos”, “Money Heist” has asserted itself to be one of the great crime epics of this generation. From its humble beginning with our ragtag team of lovable rogues robbing banks to becoming literal terrorists/revolutionaries. Through the blood, tears and bullets, they’re in the endgame now. The first half of the final season. The question is: Does Part 5 Vol. 1 live up to the jawdropping cliffhanger Part 4 left us with? Well load up your guns and get your scariest Mr Pringles mask on because we’re about to find out.
Picking up where Part 4 left off, Lisbon is now safely back in the hands of the crew after a long and arduous battle with the authorities. Reeling from the death of Nairobi, the team and the Professor are getting ready to finish this war. Things aren’t going quite as planned though when Alicia Sierra uncovers the location of Professor. By far, Sierra is the best thing to have happened to the series. A ruthless police inspector who will stop at nothing to bring the team to justice. If you thought she was dangerous before, she is even more unhinged and deadly now. She isn’t just some strict no-nonsense femme fatale, there’s a sadistic sort of drive to the character that we love to hate.
Part of the fun of any good heist is the mental game of chess that comes with the territory. Following the scheme, watching the unexpected moves pulled along the way and the escalation that comes with it. At the end of Part 4, we saw the board completely repositioned with the team broadcasting Sierra’s crimes to the world. The game has now moved into an epic three-way battle between the slimy Colonel Luis Tamayo, Sierra and the Professor with his crew.
Ever since the series took on a more socio-political dimension at the end of Part 3, we’ve welcomed the added depth. One thing we would have perhaps like to have seen more of is how their revolution affects the game. Sierra’s very public takedown was cool but beyond that, there’s little ramifications this time around. Surprisingly though, Part 5 Vol. 1 of the series takes a rather slow and personal approach to the penultimate half to the series finale.
There’s often pressure on shows to rush through character development for the sake of cramming more gaudy actions sequences near the end. Looking at you “Game of Thrones”. We are relieved to find that Vol. 1 avoids that pitfall with plenty of satisfying character moments and pay-offs set up in earlier parts of the series. Seeing Bogota beat the ever loving crap out of Gandia was such a rush. Especially after the emotional roller coaster of watching Nairobi survive a sniper bullet only to die.
So will you get a few less shoot-outs and clashes this time around? Yes, but the political and personal drama of watching the Spanish government and the thieves caught in an explosive game of a cat-and-mouse is still very satisfying. There’s also an interesting scene involving the Professor and Alicia in the third episode of this half. Let’s just say, their relationship going forward is going to be a lot more complicated.
While the more character-centred approach of Part 5 Vol. 1 is welcomed, there is a minor gripe we have. It mostly revolves around a series of flashback involving a deceased character that doesn’t really have any bearings on the plot. Don’t get us wrong, we love seeing more of that particular character’s past. We just wished there was a more organic way to include this flashback subplot into the story without it feeling so disjointed or random.
For all the elaborate schemes and insane drama surrounding the show, the characters have always managed to remain the anchor of the series. Honestly, the performances in Vol. 1 is some of the best we’ve seen out the cast. Despite the immense size of the team, everyone here is firing on all cylinders. Giving their absolute all. Big props to actor Rodrigo de la Serna who delivers a commanding and stirring performance as Palermo. Serving as the emotional core of Part 5 Vol. 1. Actress Najwa Nimri continues to steal every scene she’s in as Alicia Sierra. We especially enjoyed her in the third episode “The Spectacle of Life”.
Does “Money Heist” still deliver in the action department? Oh yes, the last two episodes of this half is nothing short of being absolutely spectacular. The military we’ve been hearing about since the end of Part 4 is finally here and they are not messing around. The way the episodes slowly but surely moves the conflict between the crew and the soldiers throughout the complex is an inspired choice. With each scene utilising the environment to creative effect. Yet in the midst of the blood and carnage, the series still manages to sneak in a bit of gallows humour. From forming human pillars to throwing grenades hidden inside of chickens.
As usual, “Money Heist” layers its incredible action with intelligence and psychological warfare. Thus making every battle more than the sum of its parts. Like an illusionist, “Money Heist” uses the flash and dazzle of its setpieces as smokescreen before revealing its truth. Whether it be in the form of a daring outmanoeuvre or a desperate, heartbreaking sacrifice. Needless to say, Part 5 Vol. 1 ends on one hell of a high note that will leave you shaking the screen and screaming in Spanish till the credits roll.
Netflix’s “Money Heist” Part 5 Vol. 1 is back and better than ever! Building on the events of previous parts to deliver high-octane action, gripping drama and setting us up for an epic showdown in Vol. 2. Its relentless dedication to innovate, escalate and evolve past its humble inception is a testament to the showrunner’s vision, the team’s excellence and to the high standards of Spanish television. Again, if you haven’t got around to watching “Money Heist”, we cannot recommend enough that you start now.
So how big a fan of the Spanish crime thriller are you? Do you own one too many red jumpsuits? Here’s a surefire to find out some of the signs that you’re a diehard megafan. And also, be sure to leave your thoughts on Vol. 1 in the comments!
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Netflix's "Money Heist" Part 5 Vol. 1 Review
Netflix's "Money Heist" Part 5 Vol. 1 is back and better than ever! Building on the events of previous parts to deliver high-octane action, gripping drama and setting us up for an epic showdown in Vol. 2. Its relentless dedication to innovate, escalate and evolve past its humble inception is a testament to the showrunner's vision, the team's excellence and to the high standards of Spanish television.
- Netflix's "Money Heist" Part 5 Vol. 1 Review