5 Minutes Earlier
Episode 5 of Season 4 for La Casa De Papel begins properly inside the prison as Tokyo finds herself at Gandia’s mercy. She’s tied up and forced to listen to his calculated plan for capturing her whole group. As he gets on the tannoy and warns them he’s coming for them, Tokyo calls out and tells the group to stick together as one. Gandia however sells out Palermo and thanks him for his help so everyone can hear.
In the past, we learn more about another implanted hostage called Julia, who has ties with Denver and Moscow, and may just be the wild card in this whole situation. Before this is elaborated on any further, Palermo speaks to the Professor and tells him he released Gandia to try and restore order and put himself back in the seat of being the leader. As he talks about the plan, the Professor tells him he’s betrayed the group but gives him a chance to redeem himself.
Bogota reluctantly frees him and with all eyes turning to the Gandia situation, the Professor tells them to collect up all their guns and prepare for the fight ahead, including Nairobi who’s now joined them in a motorized wheelchair.
Palermo assumes control again and gathers all the hostages together, telling them they need to listen and follow him. We then cut back to 5 minutes earlier as Nairobi rallies the troops downstairs with the gold and plays some music for them, telling the guys to crank up the furnaces on a high temperature and speed up the production of gold bars. In the elevator as she heads back upstairs, an explosion rocks her and Bogota.
We then jump back 5 minutes again as we see Denver and Rio closing in on Gandia’s location. This catches us up to the present timeline as Gandia rains down a whole flurry of bullets with a minigun out in the open corridor. Although the troops manage to fire back, none of them can land a single bullet close to him.
Stockholm waits behind and shoots Gandia in the back. It’s not enough though and Gandia scrambles up from the floor amidst a flurry of bullets and manages to keep fighting. Despite being surrounded on both sides and facing a four-on-one disadvantage, Gandia manages to hold his own, running with dual pistols and missing every bullet from the machine guns.
As the episode closes out, Gandia manages to sneak through the vents and holds Nairobi up at gunpoint.
Aside from the humorous point that the hostages seem to be told to stand up and sit back down again repeatedly through the show, the idea that this lone-wolf Gandia can completely manhandle every member of the heist is really the breaking point of the show. How can he manhandle and outsmart all of them, including the Professor, but wait until now to exact his revenge strategy? It just seems so ill conceived and makes Palermo’s ploy to free him to try and regain control all the more ludicrous.
Even worse, this move actually undermines the entire premise that this was originally a show about a group of plucky nobodies outsmarting the police to steal gold/money from the vaults. It no longer feels like a gritty Oceans 11 now and if this recent episode is anything to go by, it’s more akin to John Wick or The Avengers – and not in a good way.
The final shoot-out is quite simply awful and if it wasn’t for these final 10 minutes, the rest of the episode would actually be pretty decent, albeit bending that level of believability a little too much. Hopefully there won’t be too much more of this and although the show has handled these big set pieces in much the same way in previous seasons, this one has been particularly jarring.