The gang are back and this time the stakes are higher than ever. La Casa de Papel (otherwise known by the rather underwhelming English name of Money Heist) is back in full force with its fourth season, allowing us to replace our current apocalyptic stress with the tensions that arise whilst our lovable team of robbers attempt to pull off the greatest heist of all time. This season picks up right where the last left off, returning to the Bank of Spain where our heroes remain trapped inside desperately trying to extract its supply of gold before the police find a way inside. It seems like the whole world is raving about this series right now and for good reason.
Back when I watched the show’s debut season, I fell in love with the characters almost instantly and it’s nice to see that each season since, including the most recent, has given a good amount of attention and development to what might be one of the most charismatic casts in TV right now. Characters who have been with us since the start get pushed to their limits this season, including our beloved Professor, who interestingly finds himself forced to breach some of the strict moral codes he has had in place since the first heist.
I never cease to be impressed with how the writing and the phenomenal performances attract us to each and every character
We also get further insight into some of the newer characters who joined us last season. We get to see much more of Palermo’s emotional arc both past and present as well as potential directions he may be heading in the future, and even Sierra, who thus far has seemed like nothing but ruthless, has her fair share of sympathetic moments. I never cease to be impressed with how the writing and the phenomenal performances attract us to each and every character – with the exception Arturo, who quite honestly is the most punchable fictional character I think I’ve ever encountered. You feel everything with these characters, all the highs, the lows and everything in between. Seriously, if you’re planning on binging this series, grab your tissues.
Despite all the madness of these impossible heists, at the core of the show are the relationships between the characters. Whilst many viewers may find themselves sick of the melodrama (of which they can be forgiven for there is admittedly quite a lot), I am surprised that I am yet to tire of it. So many shows take seasons upon seasons up with a repetitive back and forth waiting for characters to initially get together with their love interests, but La Casa de Papel takes the time to explore real issues in relationships and how couples can continue to grow together whilst in pursuit of a career, albeit a very unrealistic and highly illegal one in this case. Each character is given space to reflect and develop on their own so that they don’t end up getting consumed by their significant other, a problem that disappoints me in other shows and often has me rooting for the characters to remain single. In particular, I found myself developing a soft spot for Monica/Stockholm this season after previously feeling fairly impartial to her inclusion in the gang after season two.
So many shows take seasons upon seasons up with a repetitive back and forth waiting for characters to initially get together with their love interests, but La Casa de Papel takes the time to explore real issues in relationships
But of course, La Casa de Papel isn’t all just hugs and kisses – there’s a heist to pull off. This series has always known how to keep audiences on the edge of their seats with the action and this season is no exception. With the cat and mouse game of the first two seasons at an end, I was curious as to how the writers would continue the conflict into another heist. However, to my somewhat masochistic delight, I don’t think either I or the Professor and his crew have ever been more stressed during a season.
I won’t dare give anything away, but let’s just say the gang feel well and truly in danger this season and their few victories against what seem to feel like increasingly impossible odds have never felt quite so uplifting. Once again, the Professor comes equipped with a host of intricate plans to get his team out of trouble and they are always a joy to watch unfold, even if I find that I am increasingly having to suspend my disbelief at the seemingly endless amount of resources and allies he has at hand now. If I had to nit-pick, I would say the set pieces don’t feel quite as impressive this season as they did last time around, but really that’s to be expected given the continuation of the narrative.
This series has always known how to keep audiences on the edge of their seats with the action and this season is no exception
If you’re looking for something exciting to watch during lockdown, very few shows will get a higher recommendation from me than La Casa de Papel. Though if you are ready to embark on one of the least relaxing television experiences of your life, please please please watch the show in its original Spanish. Those performances are just way too good to miss and who knows, you might pick up some new phrases along the way.