A Family Tradition
Episode 10 of La Casa De Papel Season 5 begins with the Professor walking purposefully into the bank. Tamayo immediately demands to know where the gold is but the irony here is that the Professor genuinely doesn’t know. Tamayo decides to bargain with everyone’s lives, giving one of the gang a clean beak instead of life in prison. The Professor is forced to his knees and to engage in this high-stakes game of poker.
During our flashbacks, we cut back two months after the first heist in the Philippines. Like a man possessed, the Professor remains fixated on working out all the ins and outs of the big heist inside the bank.
Back n the present, Palermo broadcasts a video with the gang, explaining just how to get the gold out. This is streamed out for the whole world to see, as different news stations across the world learn what’s happened.
This is the Professor’s big plan, speaking the truth and allowing it to crumble the fragile Spanish economy. In showing how they all bypassed every security protocol to provoke a financial crisis, the Professor and the gang have one heck of a bargaining chip.
In fact, thee Professor intends to allow the stock market to plummet completely and for the Spanish economy to collapse. And when the gold is found to be outside the bank, the only bargaining chip here will be the Professor giving the gold back to prevent Tamayo and the other Spanish officials from facing the music.
This is why Alicia getting the gold back is so important. The whole plan rests on this big gamble to allow them to bargain for something much bigger than themselves. But only if everyone can hold their nerves.
The thing is, Tamayo intends to interview everyone one by one; Denver is livid. He looks close to cracking and the Colonel knows this. Denver promises Stockholm that he’ll get her out and is first up for the interviews. Will he be able to hold his nerve? Or is Denver about to compromise the whole operation?
Tamayo offers him 3 million euros, a new ID and a lifetime assurance of 25,000 euros a month. In exchange for allowing him and Stockholm to go free, the Colonel needs him to serve as his personal informant. A simple answer for a life of freedom. Denver looks to sign… but instead stays true to the plan and doesn’t give anyone up. Angry and frustrated, Tamayo takes him out in handcuffs to face the music – and a life sentence in prison.
Tamayo closes in on the gold… or so he thinks. In reality, it’s all a big decoy to drive the police crazy and keep them busy. With the officers preoccupied, it allows Alicia and the others to work on finding where Tatiana and Rafael have actually hidden the gold.
Even worse though, Tamayo is under massive scrutiny from those in charge. The stock market has already dropped by 14% and more is to come if they don’t find thee gold. So naturally, Tamayo resorts to physical violence to get some answers.
Knowing this is the opportune time to bargain, the Professor presents the plan that allows them to both win…or both lose. The Professor confirms the gold is already out and on the move, using this as his makeshift “firewall”, given no one actually knows where it is – including himself. Tamayo is not of sane mind though and decides he’d rather let them both lose than surrender to this.
When Tamayo leaves, in the height of all this drama, there’s a really nice moment between Lisbon and the Professor. They discuss the heist at hand, and specifically how the Professor actually decided to rob the bank 24 hours after the initial heist. In the wake of this, he proposes to Lisbon – not the desired effect the Colonel had in mind! Of course, Lisbon says yes.
While this is going on, Angel takes the bait and begins chasing after the decoyed gold. Knowing this will keep them busy for a while, Alicia, Benjamin and Marseille work to try and find the real gold. Part of this comes from finding out who has bought private property and paying in cash narrows down the search considerably.
As they close in on the real gold, Angel and the others stray further away. Specifically they find out about a random kidnapping out at sea and the decoy vessel used to ship the fake gold around. The thing is, given how obscure and unlikely this is, Tamayo believes it’s the real deal. Especially when the end-goal is a breadcrumb trial ending with them believing the gold has been dropped to the bottom of the ocean.
And with the bait taken, Plan Tom Thumb comes into fruition. Another live-stream broadcast from inside the bank (prerecorded of course) confirms how the gold was taken out through the extraction pump. This, of course, sees the stocks plummet even further. Just in time for Alicia to find the gold.
Unfortunately a big stand-off ensues as Alicia and Tatiana stand face to face; the battle of the bangs? Sorry, I’ll see myself out. With both sets of characters at a stand-off, Alicia holds a card of her own, including a note to Rafael from his uncle.
At the same time, the Professor finally convinces Tamayo to play ball. He begrudgingly holds a press conference, confirming that they’ve found the gold and that the professor head inside the bank to secure negotiations. And just as he says the words, the gold shows up outside the bank as scheduled. But how?
Now all the flashbacks start to make sense and come together in a satisfying manner. It turns out the Professor actually disguised brass as gold, given the ingots aren’t actually used for any transactions by the bank. So in essence, they’ll be none the wiser.
This is essentially the natural extension to Berlin’s big Viking treasure exchange…but Tamayo figures it out in record time. The thing is, those bars have also stopped the stock crisis, meaning they technically both win… IF Tamayo can let this go. In embracing the lie, Tamayo would become a national hero, the man who single-handedly saved the Spanish economy.
The Colonel counts down from 10… and eventually heads out to confront the public. Confirming that the gang members have been taken out, one by one on stretchers. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Coldplay plays out as Denver screams to the heavens. I know Denver, that’s a natural reaction to this Coldplay song. But wait! None of them are really dead.
It’s all part of the Professor’s plan, to allow the public to believe they’re all dead. With the real gold used as the hostage here, the Colonel takes the bait and allows them all to go free.
So what happened to the real gold? Well, it turns out Rafael and Alicia both came to an agreement. As we cut forward 24 hours, Rio touches down along with the rest of the gang who are now in their normal clothes and ready to live a new life.
Stockholm and Denver embrace, while Rio thanks the Professor for pulling off this heist in the end. A beautiful and touching tribute is paid, as Sierra and Lisbon patch up their differences, as it turns out the house itself – the little house atop the gold – is actually en-route to Portugal. And nestled within its walls happens to be the 90 tons of gold.
A triumphant ending all round; the gang get away with the gold, Tamayo is a national hero and the Professor’s final plan comes to fruition.
The Episode Review
Las Casa De Papel saves the best for last; this final episode is arguably one of the best of the entire season. But then again, this season – and season 4 too lets be fair – have been a real mixed bag of quality. The first season (which was basically split into two parts for international audiences) was nigh-on perfect. It hit the same highs Prison Break did in its first season and managed to deliver some heart-stopping, pulsating segments.
The rest of the show has sort of leaned further into the character dynamics and soapy shenanigans, mixed with ridiculous action that would make Michael Bay blush. There’s been some truly physic-defying segments BUT it’s been very watchable at the same time.
This fifth season essentially combines everything together for one final heist and concludes everything with a triumphant albeit similar ending to that seen at the end of season 2. The plot twist involving Tatiana and Rafael is a good one but it’s given absolutely no time to breathe and ultimately fails to really live up to expectations. We get a run-in and a bit of a stand-off…and then nothing.
Why did Rafael steal the gold if he’s just going to give it back again? I guess this is here to show us all that thieves will always be thieves but it does feel like a bit of a disappointing turn of events.
However, there’s a nice little double twist at the end and seeing everyone come out of this unscathed — at least those left standing in part 2 – is a nice way to round things out. Should this have stopped after the first two seasons? Yes. Has this season been completely unwatchable? No. There’s certainly enough here to like and fans of the show should find enough to like with this 75 minute conclusion.