Netflix’s ‘Money Heist’ or ‘La Casa de Papelis’ is one of the most popular shows for the streaming service in the non-English category. It focuses on a group of criminals who come together to pull off the biggest heist in history by targeting the Royal Mint of Spain and printing the money while stalling the cops. Originally planned for two seasons, the series received an exponential boost in its viewership which made Netflix reconsider its plans with the story.
The first season builds a foundation for the characters, giving us insights into their motivations, and telling us whom to trust and whom to despise. Playing the game of cat and mouse with the cops, the orchestrator always stays one step ahead of his adversaries. But then an unexpected thing happens, a discrepancy he had not expected, an event that leads him to break the first rule in his book. The finale leaves the audience with a massive cliff hanger, and if you haven’t yet seen the second season, you should head over to Netflix before continuing with this explainer.
Summary of the Plot
The second season of ‘Money Heist’ begins with the Professor waiting in the car while Raquel ransacks the place where the heist had taken shape. She finds the board where the plan had been written down to the minute; she finds their dishes, their photos and other stuff. While we wait for her to find out something related to the Professor, we discover that it was just another part of his plan. When he had stolen meds from the pharmacy, he drove back to the Toledo and planted the evidence, giving the cops just enough to keep them busy for a couple of days more. However, Raquel figures it out in the matter of an hour and asks for her ex-husband to be called on the scene, no matter how much she hates it. Turns out, he must be an asshole, but he is good at his job. He finds a piece of evidence, which adds another detour on the Professor’s list.
Meanwhile, it has been more than eighteen hours that he has been in touch with the team and some members are growing restless. Tokyo begins to worry about their safety and wonders if something has happened to the Professor. Despite Berlin’s assurances to wait for the last call, she gets Rio and Denver to turn against him. The hostages, too, begin to lose their cool, and under Arturito’s leadership, come up with a new plan to escape the bank. With the plan hanging by a thread, losses are encountered on both sides.
Even with a reduced episode count in the second season, ‘Money Heist’ manages to up the ante with a plot that doesn’t stop surprising you. From the team members turning against each other to the Professor trying to keep his identity a secret from Raquel, the tension bubbles from the very first episode and ends with an explosion in the finale.
After Raquel discovers that Salva is the Professor, she feels angry and betrayed which further fuels her desire to catch him. But to her dismay, the others have also figured out Salva’s secret, and that too due to the genius of her ex-husband. She is accused of siding with the enemy and is suspended. On top of that, an investigation is opened against her. But that doesn’t stop her from pursuing Salva. She single-handedly figures out the location of the hangar. At this point, the decision of letting her go by the police force proves to be a ludicrous action on their part.
Meanwhile, the situation has worsened at the bank. After Tokyo’s Russian Roulette, Berlin throws her to cops. In a fit of anger (which is one of the most frustrating things about her), she reveals the true name of the Professor, but before she can reveal any other information, she discovers that she had been wrong about him. With the help of the Serbs, he succeeds in freeing her, but due to the rendezvous with Raquel, fails to contact Tokyo, which leads her right back to the bank leading to a shootout and the death of Moscow.
By the end, Raquel decides to not give away the location of the Professor but is caught while visiting Angel, who is out from coma. The cops have had enough by now and go in guns blazing while the team prepares to get themselves out along with the money that has now reached the one billion mark. The Professor gets the help of the Serbs to hasten the process. Everyone gets out safely, but Berlin stays behind to stall the cops and is gunned down in the process.
In his last call to the Professor, he calls him “little brother” which proves that they are related. We received a hint of their relationship in the finale of the last season in one of their intimate conversations, where we also got to know the Professor’s real name- Sergio.
Even though the golden rule for the heist was not to have personal relationships, to not know each other as much as possible, it was expected that he would have a trusted person within the team. Their backstory wasn’t explored at all, which is why all the discussion about their relationship is just a speculation. It seems like they had the same father because most of their conversations seem directed towards him. There is not once the mention of their mother. Perhaps they were half-siblings. Or it could also be that they were not related at all. Maybe they got acquainted a long time ago when Sergio was still learning about the heist business. He made many contacts along the way, and perhaps Berlin was one of them. Sergio connected with him better than anyone else and Berlin, despite his psychopathy, grew fond of him. He helped Sergio in coming up with a plan and might have guided him through the world of crime, which he knew nothing about.
With the cops hot on their tails, it seemed like the Professor and his team would get caught. Forced to choose between her daughter and Salva, Raquel gives the location of the hangar. To her relief, before the cops get there, the Professor has already escaped. Raquel loses her job, faces an enquiry and loses the custody of her daughter. A year later, we see her sitting in front of the television as the newscaster refreshes the memory of the heist. She is reminded of the good times with Salva and takes a look at the postcards he had given to her. She discovers that he has left a location for her on the back of the postcards. It is the same place they had previously agreed on. She takes a flight to the Philippines and searches for him. When she arrives at the beach, her phone’s battery dies and she asks for a charger from a bartender. In a call back to their first meeting, Sergio offers his phone.
What does this mean for them? Well, after successfully pulling the biggest heist in history, Sergio has enough money to spend for the rest of his life. He hadn’t anticipated falling in love with Raquel, but once that happened, he left the message for her in the postcards. If she felt the same, she would come. If not, life would go on. Tokyo and Rio had planned to stay together after the heist, and so did Monica and Denver. Nairobi had planned to get her son, but after Tokyo shoved the truth in her face, that her son wouldn’t even remember her, she decides to put that plan on hold. She tells Helsinki that now she has no idea what to do with all the money, but we can expect her doing something adventurous somewhere. Speaking of Helsinki, who lost Oslo during the heist, we have little to no idea about his future. The blame of that lies on the storytellers who didn’t bother to count the twins’ character development and backstory as a part of the plot.
Did They Honour the Deal?
Another question that lingers around is whether they kept their promise to the hostages. After half of the hostages successfully escape, the kidnappers offer a deal to the remaining. They ask them to either aid their cause and get a million dollars in return or choose freedom and leave. They don’t actually plan to free the ones who don’t want to help them, but that helps them to comb through the crowd and prevent another escape attempt from happening. Or that’s what they had hoped it would do.
On a signal from Ariadna, some of the hostages, who wanted to choose freedom, are forced to stay behind and help their captors. One of them is Arturito, who can’t help but stir trouble the first chance he gets. They try another escape but are stopped by Rio, who disables the front door from being opened, and Monica, who hits Arturito after he threatens Denver. The part of the deal was to stay put and help with the plan, but the hostages didn’t stick to it. Does that mean that the deal is off? Considering the idealist that the Professor is, we think not. Despite their escape attempt, they did help a lot, which means they deserve their fair share. Whether or not they accept that money is an entirely different matter.
Despite his hatred for the kidnappers, we expect Arturito to take the money. Even though his feelings and his actions during the heist are justifiable, he is simply not a likeable character. His treatment of Monica and the selfishness he displays, time and again, are a couple of factors that make us hate him. This is why we have no doubt that he will take those million dollars as a consolation for what they did to him. While other hostages were not as hateable as him, they might also accept the money in return for the troubled time.
Then there is Torres, who actually grew to like Nairobi as the boss and expressed his sentiments early on about why he wanted the money. If Nairobi sent him some bonus on the top of the promised sum, we wouldn’t be surprised. He deserves it, and more. Ariadna, too, could have accepted the money. She had already given a lot of thought to spending the rest of the year with Berlin and then inheriting all of his money. To her horror at the moment, and relief later, that doesn’t happen. She might not get all of his money, which is worth it because she doesn’t have to spend time with him anymore, but she still has the million dollars. But this doesn’t mean that everyone else will also accept the money in return for the emotional trauma they received while in captivity. Mercedes is too righteous to accept blood money, and a lot of other people might think along the same lines.
Money Heist Season 3: What to Expect?
The second season gives a happy ending to most of its characters. The series was supposed to end with this but its popularity made Netflix bring it back for another run. In the new season of ‘Money Heist’, a whole new heist will be in works. It is expected to begin with the Professor assembling the team again, seeking them out from different corners of the world.
In the last heist, they lost Oslo and Moscow. It is expected that their places will be filled by Monica, who already has Stockholm as her codename, and maybe even Raquel, which means more girl power in the team. No one can really fill Berlin’s place, but we can also expect a new character in his position. Where the heist takes place and how big it gets depends on the creativity of the Professor. What’s more important is why it will take place? For the last heist, he was motivated by his father’s dream. It was also supposed to be a retirement plan for all of them. What prods them to come out of hiding and do it again?