Three full seasons inside the Bank of Spain all! Come! Down! TO! THIS!
As The Professor joins his gang in the bank, they variously look hopeful and furious — but, of course, the nature of this show is to keep us guessing as to who knows what and when. Losing the gold to other thieves can’t have been part of the plan … could it? The Professor’s vibrating rage couldn’t be an act … could it?! Short answer to both of those: no. “The Professor was playing the biggest poker game in history,” Tokyo tells us. “But the craziest part wasn’t that he was bluffing. It was that he didn’t have any cards and the person who had to find the deck didn’t know where to start.”
There is, however, a plan, and The Professor sets it in motion on his way in. Shakir starts broadcasting a video the crew took inside the bank, showing the world that they really were melting down the gold from the vault, and how. And it turns out that Marseille wasn’t only dismantling The Professor’s command post in the tank: He was also planting evidence that, along with CCTV camera footage and GPS, convinces the cops that Marseille and his associates drove their trucks to a port, hijacked a fishing boat, dumped its cargo (eyes emoji) into the ocean, and planted buoys so they could find their way back to it.
At the same time, Sierra is proving that The Professor’s faith in her investigative talents was not misplaced. She deduces that the gold is probably buried on private property, which was probably purchased within the past few days, and coerces an employee of the land register to get her information about recent all-cash sales. They’re about to leave the little red house when Sierra notices that it’s a lot newer than the other properties they’re checking into; when she enters the locked yard — tripping a security sensor at the gate — the slightest scrutiny reveals how recently the flagstones and grass were laid … but then Tatiana and her crew are speeding up to the location. As each gang holds the other at gunpoint, Sierra does The Professor’s favor, handing Rafael the note The Professor had slipped her before they parted.
At the bank, Tamayo’s glee at having The Professor in his clutches quickly dissipates. Not even hotheaded Denver will give evidence about the plan in exchange for Tamayo’s sweetheart deal: 3 million Euros, plus another 25,000 per month for life and Stockholm and Cincinnati joining him in witness protection. This is striking because Denver was the most dubious about the post-gold extraction part of The Professor’s plan, which hinges on making the reserve’s theft public, tanking the economy, then extorting the government into granting their freedom in exchange for their returning the gold and righting the markets. But The Professor is (as usual) right. The markets drop 14 percent in a matter of hours. Pressed to fix everything and fast, Tamayo resorts to brute force, the only method he knows. As he punches The Professor — now hung up in a stress position next to Lisbon — he declares, “Either I win, or no one does.” But what if Tamayo is wrong about what “winning” even means? The Professor paints a picture of the Tamayo a few months hence, watching ever-bleaker economic reports and remembering how he could have fixed it. Would THAT Tamayo be a bigger winner than the one who worked with The Professor, got the gold back, and stopped history’s biggest economic collapse? “Either we both win, or we both lose.” Tamayo still isn’t convinced, and leaving to eavesdrop as Lisbon and The Professor talk, flirt, and get engaged doesn’t get him any closer to solving his problems. Antoñanzo: “Despite the setbacks, they really do love each other!”
Don’t hate, Tamayo. Tent life means finding entertainment where you can.
Tamayo tries to increase the pressure by staging his fake gun battle, but by the time TV news starts reporting that Navy ships are searching the ocean for the gold, the governor tells Tamayo the Spanish economy is truly fucked if they can’t fix this. So Tamayo is forced to negotiate with The Professor, who explains that Tamayo’s going to give a press conference stating that the police investigation successfully recovered the gold; doing so will be The Professor’s outside gang’s cue to drive up with it: “It’s all part of the plan.” The whole world will see that Tamayo has won!
So … he does!
The markets start recovering almost immediately even as Lisbon asks what’s happening; not every secret is told in bed, The Professor tells her. As we jump around timelines, we see Palermo, after class, threatening to quit the heist unless The Professor tells him how he’s going to get his people out. “What’s a country’s gold?” The Professor asks. “Its wealth?” Palermo replies. “No,” says The Professor. “It’s an illusion.” Spain doesn’t actually make any transactions with that gold. “It’s a psychological backup.”
We jump further back to The Professor in the Philippines two months after the Mint heist, trying to plot out the Bank of Spain job to honor his recently deceased brother’s memory, all the sardine cans stacked on his shelf presumably giving him an idea. Palermo realizes that he’s going to do to the Bank of Spain what Berlin did with the Norwegian Viking treasure: brass for gold. And … Tamayo figures it out pretty much immediately and doesn’t care that, as The Professor notes, the brass ingots were real enough to stop the debt crisis. He’s giving Tamayo an honorable way out of this crisis because — the markets being what they are — only the illusion matters. The small difference of metals in the reserve will be a secret passed down from president to president, but nothing will change, and ULTIMATELY WHO EVEN CARES, MONEY IS FAKE AS HELL. As Tamayo gets on the radio and starts counting down to a kill order for all the gang hostages, The Professor talks faster and faster: If he shoots, it’ll prove to everyone outside that the vault is full of brass. The world and the markets accepted the ruse; all that’s left is for Tamayo to join them. The Professor’s documentation will go live after he’s killed and reveal the fraud: “Either we both win, or we both lose!” Tamayo seethes, but what will he do?
Well, the gunshots we hear seem to indicate his decision, as does his next press conference, where he says the heist is over and the hostages are free. He adds that the robbers were killed and starts listing their real names and aliases (and … I feel like mentioning “Pamplona” gives away the game since Matías just gave that handle to himself a few hours ago?) while body bags start rolling out the front door. Denver screams in the tent at the news of his wife’s death, BUT then Tamayo tells the press that Denver gave material information; we see the military general who’s been yelling at Tamayo through this whole episode sliding a folder to Denver, who opens it to find one of The Professor’s origami horses, in red paper, and he gets it …
… and then it’s a montage of all the gang members unzipping their body bags and sitting up in their various ambulances — apparently unconcerned that their very well-known faces are right next to the windows as they drive along city streets? Anyway, we flash back to The Professor telling Tamayo that no one chases a dead man, and unless he wants Spain’s biggest state secret hitting the press, the chase will stop today.
Looking like he’s about to barf, Tamayo watches the vault door close on a whooooooole bunch of brass.
Then we’re with Tatiana and Rafael, standing next to their now-empty gold hole. “He would have wanted this,” he tells her. (I don’t know why he suddenly cares so much about what Berlin wanted; he also wanted to be married to Tatiana, as I recall!) Tatiana asks if Rafael’s sure The Professor will give him his share? He is: “It’s a family matter.”
Twenty-four hours later, everyone reconvenes at an airplane hangar, protected by a military escort so that The Professor can deliver all the new passports and identities to these officially dead thieves. The Professor emotionally says that it didn’t all work out the way they wanted, and some of them aren’t there: “But we got something out of it all.” Sierra is the last to arrive; he has a passport for her and one for Victoria, which is thoughtful; I hope he got her a birth certificate too? I’d also like to see Sierra quit putting Victoria in the passenger seat, but I realize that’s probably not a substantial enough subject for a sequel series. After he’s sent Sierra off with one more hug, The Professor asks where the money is. It turns out, Portugal, in the prefab house, on the back of a truck with Benjamín.
Nothing left but for everyone to pile into the military helicopter and head off for their very comfortable new lives!
And for The Professor and Palermo to share one last Significant Look about the man they both loved so much. And that’s it until that very man returns in that spinoff and producers (I assume) hope you forget he’s a rapist!
• Denver is one of the last to arrive at the hangar; Stockholm giddily races into his arms. I guess sex with him really did fix her! (Ugh.) Docking the episode a star for this, again.
• After all that talk about causing investors to short Spain, basically, was I the only one expecting to learn that The Professor had made himself even MORE money through this perfectly legal gambit?
• We never did get clarity on who’s looking after Elvis the dog now, which, after the mishandling of Stockholm’s mental illness and supposed recovery, is the season’s biggest disappointment.