While I have generally enjoyed Money Heist all along, I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt, toward the end of Part Four, like producers were taking their sweet time with the Bank of Spain job. In the Part-Five premiere, those who had been content with the pacing might have joined me in being slightly impatient with it when Lisbon had time to hit pause on heisting to TAKE A NICE BATH. The main op in “The End of the Road” involves closing the loop on Lisbon’s prison break — the reason she’s so stank when she returns to the gang.
What are they going to do with that military helicopter? Well, Marseille is going to land it in a field, where Benjamín and El Polaco will be posing as farmers. They’ll claim to the cops — who arrive on the scene right away, having been tracking the helicopter via satellite — that the pilot took off in a red Volvo; since cops already saw a car matching that description near the courthouse and locate it near the farm, they’re happy to set up a roadblock. Except, whoops! The driver is the husband of the woman who, earlier that day, was kidnapped outside her hair salon to get driven to the prison as a decoy Lisbon; also, he has a bomb strapped to his chest. While the cops are swarming him, Benjamín, El Polaco, and Marseille drive off in an anonymous yellow truck — since, after all, they didn’t know what Marseille looked like, so if he was just another guy in Wellies when they searched, he looked like he belonged there.
Back at the bank, the joy of having recovered Lisbon is replaced by suspicion on Tokyo’s part. Since Lisbon was once a cop herself, Tokyo isn’t convinced that Lisbon didn’t break under pressure from her former colleagues and spill more than was required for the plan. Another issue is that Lisbon’s jailbreak has forced everyone to pivot: They have three to four hours to melt down what gold they currently have and prepare to move out. Palermo and Bogotá aren’t wild about this since improvising in a heist is what gets people killed.
In the tent, Tamayo is doing some improvising of his own, trying to regain control of the situation. First, he calls in Sagasta, a military officer and veteran of, it seems, doing all kinds of shady shit overseas, but, as Sagasta points out, he’s not eager to bring those practices home for a national audience, including the attorney general, to judge them. Sagasta relents (while … sitting on the john taking a shit — a charming detail that does, I suppose, reveal something about his character), provided he can bring all his favored guys with him.
Tamayo’s next notion is to give the cops cover for their failures by scapegoating Sierra. Someone in the tent was a mole, and it might as well be her; they can manufacture evidence showing she was colluding with the Professor. (The actual mole, Antoñanzas, manages not to blurt out his guilt.) This is too much for Ángel, who refuses to participate in anything so corrupt and prepares to storm out. Tamayo then blackmails him with the embarrassing voicemails he left Lisbon during a drunken drive looooooong ago; Ángel agrees to stay, as the team’s official negotiator, but repeats that he’s not going to do anything illegal. Watch this space to see how long that lasts!
Speaking of Sierra: We closed Part Four on her holding the Professor at gunpoint in his hideout. She makes it clear that, though she would love to, she’s not actually going to kill him — she has her unborn baby to think about. She’s also not going to take him to the cops or prison, since he would surely have a plan to break out. Instead, she’s going to do what she does best: torture him for information. First, she shoots him in the foot, whereupon he’s more amenable to telling her how they intend to get the gold out of the bank: turn the ingots into grit and flush it out through the sewers; if it’s covered in mud, the cops who are posted there won’t notice it. Sierra also wraps a metal chain around his arms and torso and hangs him from it, dangling inches above the sewer water adjacent to his command center. (It’s not clear how she determines the exact right length of chain is required for this to work — she just casually hooks one link as the Professor is in the process of falling — so even though I abhor her and her methods, she is good at this terrible job!)
The next time we see the Professor after his endanglement, he’s back at his post with Sierra, giving the gang the bad news: Sierra knows about the stormwater tank, so the plan is off. (For what it’s worth, we also get a flashback scene of Lisbon and the Professor in bed pre-heist, as he tells her the same thing about the tank and its crucial importance in the heist, so I guess it’s true … or is it?) The Professor apologizes individually to each gang member in the room — who, by the way, don’t get that Sierra has gone rogue and that her being with the Professor doesn’t mean he is in custody. Once they’ve hung up, Tokyo refuses to believe this is really it, hectoring Lisbon, “He’s so arrogant he doesn’t have a Plan B? He has one for everything, but not in case he fails?” Lisbon insists that Plan A is the only plan.
But is it, though? Because throughout the episode, we’ve also been flashing back and checking in with Berlin, out for lunch with his 20-something son Rafael in Copenhagen, four years before D-Day. At first, this is just standard Berlin bastard business: All he ever wanted from Rafael’s mother was to take her out for dinner and bone her all over the world — I’m paraphrasing — but then Rafael had to go and get himself conceived: “You showed up and ruined it all. You were like a nuclear warhead. You completely destroyed our dreams.” He’s just gotten back on Rafael’s good side when Berlin’s wife Tatiana shows up and, away from the table, asks Berlin if Rafael knows he’s there to do a heist? He doesn’t, and when he finds out, he’s furious. He’s a respectable citizen! Berlin knows: Rafael’s an electronic engineer with a post-grad in cybersecurity, thanks to an MIT education Berlin paid for: “Why do you think I did it?” Berlin tells Rafael that he’s offering him a path to liberty, though it won’t come without a cost. Rafael counters that when it’s time to pay that cost, Berlin won’t be there. But as far as we know, Rafael is still kicking around …
… so even as the army vehicles roll up to the bank and Tokyo narrates everyone’s horror at the death of the plan — Denver and Stockholm’s worries about baby Cincinnati’s future now that Manila has unmasked herself; the possibility that Nairobi will not be properly avenged; Tokyo’s own memories of the love of her life getting killed in front of her while they were pulling off a holdup together — we have to wonder if the stormwater tank is really the linchpin of the heist, or if there’s a game within a game for which Berlin enlisted his son.
• Palermo educating Denver about the provenance of all the colonial treasure on display in the bank’s Museum of Gold is very responsible of him, but I’m not sure I trust Denver not to melt it down rather than, as Palermo suggests, repatriate it.
• And the anger that flares up in Denver when he thinks Stockholm is defending Arturo for threatening the hostages points to these two having unresolved issues in their relationship! If Lisbon has time for a bath, these two should have time for a quick therapy sesh. Surely someone in the gang listens to a lot of advice podcasts?
• Shouts to Tatiana’s great big doggie! We all deserve a gigantic Great Dane who will sit at attention next to the table at even the finest of fine-dining restaurants and not, let’s say, perch over the plate like a vulture while we’re just trying to eat a bagel in front of the TV like SOME people’s dogs (mine).