We’re Back – | Review Score – 4/5
Aikido – | Review Score – 4/5
48 Meters Underground – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Boom, Boom, Ciao – | Review Score – 4/5
The Red Boxes – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Everything Seemed Insignificant – | Review Score – 4/5
A Quick Vacation – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Astray – | Review Score – 4.5/5
La Casa De Papel is a series that will always hold a special place in my heart. When I got into the reviewing game, before 2017 I hadn’t even considered watching foreign dramas, let alone an entire TV series in another language. Having heard some good buzz around this show in Spain, I took a chance with this Spanish drama and what transpired was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a good while. A surprisingly tense and enjoyable prison heist story followed that ended up striking a real chord across the world as International audiences caught on to the phenomena. After the second season we return with Part 3 of this Spanish thriller. La Casa De Papel’s third season is an unnecessary but highly enjoyable series that does well to try and hit the same highs the first season achieved despite a cliffhanger ending and a more rigid structure than before.
Set 2 years after the events of the second season, La Casa De Papel returns to see the gang enjoying paradise after successfully escaping from the authorities. Scattered across the world, Tokyo’s longing to return to the mainland ultimately spells the beginning of the end for our convicts. As the government catch wind of where they are, Rio is captured on a remote island, forcing Tokyo out of hiding and calling on the Professor’s help once more to get her lover back. What follows is an elaborate plan to siphon gold out of the Bank Of Spain whilst demanding Rio be returned to them.
From here, the story branches out into two distinct narratives, as we see The Professor and Raquel pulling the strings outside the bank whilst the group try to maintain order and hold off any counterattacks inside. With fresh blood on both sides of the conflict, spunky police detective Sierra does well to match the Professor blow for blow. On top of the normal narrative beats you’d expect from this show, handy flashbacks showing different parts of the plan and how they all tie in together does well to not only alleviate the tension but also give us some insight into the operation itself.
A lot of criticism that came from the last season (because let’s face it, the second season was essentially a conclusive act to the first season) stemmed from the illogical decisions made by characters in what was supposed to be a perfect plan. This year La Casa De Papel cleverly addresses this through the ideas of love and chaos. It’s a clever ploy and one that ties the entire series together and shows just how messy emotions can be in a situation like this. Even The Professor, who was always the calm and collected puppet master, admits that the mistakes made were party his fault due to falling in love. It helps to paper over any issues with the previous season whilst cleverly foreshadowing events to happen here.
If you’ve seen the first two seasons, La Casa De Papel does its best to try and surpass the original. In a way it does achieve this, with more explosive action, tense chases and a whole myriad of different characters engaging in the heist. The return of the red coveralls and Dali masks are always a nice inclusion and early on, La Case De Papel does a surprisingly good job of tying the seasons together after a perfect ending last time out. Expect zeppelins, RPG hits, helicopter chases and tense gunfights across all 8 of the episodes. Netflix have really gone all out here to make the third part as exciting and action-packed as possible.
Having said that, the season isn’t perfect. With some new faces this time around and much more screen time given to The Professor, at times Tokyo feels like a supporting character despite the narrative predominantly revolving around her and Rio.Having said that, Palermo is a nice inclusion to the season and seeing Berlin back in the flashbacks shows just how crucial he was to the antagonistic threat last time out. The returning group have instant chemistry together though after their initial emotional reunion and this really helps to keep things moving at a consistent pace.
If you enjoyed the first two seasons of La Casa De Papel (Money Heist), you can’t really go wrong here. The series may not have the same allure and surprising tension the first had in abundance, but it does do well to recreate the same level of exciting, fast-paced action we’ve seen before. There’s some good themes this time around about love and the nods toward the perfect plan being a myth, does well to give this a self-realized, human feel. The cliffhanger ending is a little disappointing but there’s enough thrills and excitement here to look past that, even if the show doesn’t quite hit the same level the first achieved. With the promise of war to come, who knows how far La Casa De Papel will go to conclusively wrap up this tale but given what we’ve seen before, I doubt we’re going to get a fairytale ending to this one.