Streaming review: Money Heist and the story of incompetent criminality

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We feel like the team, led by The Professor, will soon reach its expiry date. Photo: Supplied
We feel like the team, led by The Professor, will soon reach its expiry date. Photo: Supplied


Money Heist season 5


Available on Netflix SA

There comes a time in the life of a show where the story must end. The formula becomes predictable and the characters wear thin. Money Heist, or La Casa de Papel, has reached this unfortunate point. It’s been a great journey with the loveable gang of thieves storming fortified buildings and making off with large amounts of money or gold.

The Professor always has a plan – and six back-up plans – in case the heist (inevitably) begins to cave in on itself. In season 4, a memory or flashback scene gave South Africa one of the hottest amapiano remixes of last year, with Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa producing Bella Ciao with Tyler ICU and Nicole Elocin. We will always be grateful for that, but the story needs to stop now.

The show did get us through the worst days of lockdown and, naturally, the latest instalment trended for a few days after it was released last week.

Season 5 picks up from where 4 ended – in the middle of a heist that should have been abandoned ages ago. For those who may not know, this gang of criminals was drafted by The Professor, instructed not to exchange any information and only to refer to themselves by the code names they picked – famous cities such as Rio, Denver, Helsinki, Tokyo and Berlin. It’s all rather Reservoir Dogs-like, but with a thick helping of telenovela melodrama. You should know you aren’t dealing with fictitious criminal masterminds when that simple rule is broken very early on.

The captivating Nairobi is no more, and The Professor’s love interest, Lisbon, was able to rejoin the gang after being detained in dramatic fashion and not snitching – despite her formerly being a member of the police and pursuing The Professor and his troop. The whole thing is just five very aggressive and action-packed episodes, right up until you realise the producers intend to Harry Potter the situation and split the last portion into two.

So, you’ll have to wait until December to see everybody die and, no, that isn’t a spoiler. It’s just that if you live by the sword, then surely you must perish by it. Especially if your gang is actually not all that well equipped or adjusted and the plan is bound to fall apart.

It is more frustrating than watching Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Jesse Pinkman dither about – although that had significantly more staying power. The creators have achieved a lot with this series – when last did you see a Spanish show do quite this well globally?

This gang needs to hang it up, or ensure they all
This gang needs to hang it up, or ensure they all fall on their swords and put us out of our misery. Photo: Supplied
   Money Heist season 5 is now streaming on Netfli
Money Heist season 5 is now streaming on Netflix. Photo: Supplied

It’s an infectious innings that is still beautifully shot, especially in the little deviations from the main storyline that still make little to no sense. Perhaps the moral of the story is that crime isn’t for everyone and, if that is the case, this is a splendid season and a stylishly compiled deterrent.


Phumlani S Langa 


+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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