The Big One
A Plan Gone Wrong
Episode 1 of The Great Heist begins with a group of men drilling deep underground and sneaking into a museum. The year is 1992 and we’re in Bogota. There’s 11 minutes until the next round for the guards to arrive and this heist has clearly been meticulously thought through.
The four assailants break in and look at their prize – a golden statue. In the dim light, Chayo tries to remain calm as Lawyer urges him to stop. He doesn’t listen though and Chayo pushes his luck. They grab the gear just in time and try to leave.
Only, they’re caught by one of the guards and things go terribly wrong. Lawyer is shot and bleeds out against the wall, pleading with Chayo to leave.
Two Years Later
Two years pass and Chayo (whose real name is Roberto Lozano) works in a jewelers. Mr Beli arrives with a lavish collection of jewels. To buy them all off him will cost 19 million. That’s 19 million that Chayo does not have. Only, when he heads out the front, two robbers break in and start smashing the place up.
Mr Beli however has other plans. He clutches the briefcase and stares down the robbers until they leave. As it turns out, Chayo actually happens to be working with them and this was a failed attempt at snatching up the diamonds. As the plot thickens, it turns out one of them is actually his son, Sardino. As the pair sit in Chayo’s car, Sardino offers his Father money to help tide him over.
Back home, Chayo sits and eats dinner with his daughter Luisa and wife Carmen. Her upcoming 15th birthday party is the subject of concern, especially for Luisa given their financial situation. However, Chayo brushes it off and looks at this as a final send-off before she leaves them.
Chayo heads into work and finds the place swarming with police officers. The one in charge, Nunez, promises to repossess everything Chayo has. Chayo tries desperately to stop him but only manages to cough up a small bribe, giving himself 24 hours.
With things looking bleak, Chayo meets Boris who has a job he may be interested in. The Bank of the Republic in Valledupar is their target but Boris has a bad feeling about it.
They’ll have to be careful of course but the lucrative prize of 8 billion is too much of a temptation for Chayo to pass up. Boris is only the middle man though and promises to give him contact details in the future. Given the nature of the job, Chayo’s going to need to put together a professional team.
Chayo visits Lawyer at the hospital and tells him about the job. Only, he’s clearly not happy after the 2 years of no contact. That’s given him plenty of time to stew over Chayo’s decision to include an extra minute at the previous heist. Instead, Lawyer tells him to leave.
Back home, Chayo’s bad news continues as Luisa busts in and confronts her Father over the tuition fees he hasn’t paid. Although he feigns ignorance, Chayo heads out with Luisa and takes her to a junkyard where he makes a quick house call to Dona K.
It seems Chayo owes money everywhere and Dona asks him to pay up. With Boris giving him the contacts, he lies and tells her Lawyer is part of the operation. Only, she wants him there the following day to confirm this.
When Chayo pushes his luck and tries to sell her gold, she plunges a knife deep into his nose. Reminding him how much money he owes, she sends him on his way. That way is straight to Lawyer’s house where he finds out his friend is dying and refusing surgery. Only, this surgery costs 80 million. This is why Lawyer is so annoyed with Chayo; if he hadn’t been shot, then he wouldn’t be in this position to begin with.
Convincing Lawyer comes from the most unlikely of sources. That night his wife Romy sits with Lawyer and talks about the diagnosis. Eventually she helps convince him to join the heist.
As night turns to day, Lawyer arrives at the junkyard and clearly has all the details planned out. There’s 12 billion pesos at stake and with this, Chayo races off back home again. Just in time too, as Nunez happens to be there waiting for him. Thankfully he hands over the money just in time to prevent the repossession from taking place.
Road to Valledupar
Lawyer and Chayo drive together up to the Sanita Hotel. As the camera pans round, we see some of the group gathered together. Mrs K, Lawyer, Chayo and Sardino await the arrival of the one in charge, Ulises Diaz.
With a pen and paper in hand, Ulises spills all the details about the upcoming heist including the 24/7 police presence and how the entire building is monitored. The vault they want to reach has 3 monitored gates beforehand. It’s an incredibly risky and difficult job. Only…that’s all the information he has.
There’s no intricate details or any hints on how to do this. The group look at him dumbfounded as they realize they’ve coughed up 120 million pesos for this.
The Episode Review
The first episode of The Great Heist sets things up nicely for the thriller ahead. With Chayo down on his luck and nowhere else to turn, you really do get a feel of this being an all-or-nothing situation for him.
The characters are intriguing enough too and there’s a simple but effective hook to keep you watching. There’s also some nice ideas around capitalism and financial ruin at play here and that feeds into Chayo’s story. Seeing him down on his luck and turning to crime to make a quick buck is a great example of this rich-get-richer and poor-get-poorer mentality.
So far so good though, The Great Heist bows out with a solid opening episode, let’s hope that continues going forward.