If you were enchanted by the character of Berlin in the hit series “Money Heist” that streamed on Netflix, we’ve got good news for you. The bon vivant with a slightly psychopathic streak is coming back from the dead to star in a prequel. Its title? Fittingly: “Berlin.”
Out Dec. 29, the prequel premieres two years after “Money Heist,” or as its known in its original Spanish name “La Casa de Papel,” concluded in 2021. The new series will give us more backstory behind the morally lacking, yet entertaining character of Berlin, and features the return of original cast member Pedro Alonso.
But if you need some refreshers on Berlin and the Money Heist crew before bingeing the new series on Netflix, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Berlin?
Berlin’s real name in the series is Andrés de Fonollosa. He is the half-brother to Sergio Marquina, the mastermind better known to “Money Heist” viewers as The Professor (Álvaro Morte). Together, the brothers were part of a major money heist from the Bank of Spain, a storyline that unfolded across five seasons of the hit series. And like The Professor, Berlin is a professional criminal. His specialty? Stealing jewelry.
He goes by Berlin because in the series, everyone in the Professor’s heisting crew got city-themed aliases. “Money Heist” aka “La Casa de Papel” also featured Lisbon, Rio, Tokyo and more.
Throughout the original series and the group’s various antics to achieve a major payday from the Bank of Spain, we learned of Berlin’s complicated romantic history. That included a toxic sexual relationship with Adriana, one of the hostages at Royal Mint of Spain, in Seasons One and Two. We also learn that he had been married five times.
What is the show ‘Berlin’ about?
“Berlin” is a prequel to “Money Heist,” taking place before the series’ timeline began, giving backstory to the character’s time as a jewelry thief who was staging heists of his own long before he teamed up with his brother.
The official description from Netflix reads: “There are only two things that are sure to turn a bad day into a great one: love, and a payday worth millions. They’re what keep Berlin going through his golden years, a time when he still has no inkling of his illness and hasn’t gotten trapped like a rat in the Spanish Mint. This is where he starts preparing one of his most extraordinary heists: making jewels worth 44 million disappear like some sort of magic trick. To do it, he’ll enlist the help of one of the three gangs he’s ever stolen with.
What happened to ‘Berlin’ in ‘Money Heist’?
Berlin is terminally ill by the time “Money Heist” / “La Casa de Papel” rolled around, a diagnosis he masked behind a suave persona and perpetual poker face, and a fact viewers didn’t learn until several seasons into the show.
In the final moments of Season Two, Berlin opted to sacrifice himself for the good of the larger crew, dying in a round of police fire and allowing the rest of the group to escape in the process.
Berlin returns in flashback form in the next three seasons, allowing viewers to learn more of his story. The sequences introduce us to some of his five wives. That includes Tatiana (Diana Gomez), who eventually fell for Berlin’s son, Rafael (Patrick Criado). Devastated, Berlin botches a jewelry theft and ends up getting arrested for the first time. His final scene in the show — which was, again a flashback — features the character cutting off his wife and son.
But we have a feeling there’s much more to this story this mischievous character, as we’ll soon learn in “Berlin,” streaming now.