We pick up where we left off: The Professor and the rest of the foundry crew absorbing the reality of being robbed. Once everyone’s had their zip ties clipped off, The Professor takes action, distributing Kevlar vests and guns and rolling out with the rest of the crew in pursuit of the trucks. Once they determine via GPS trackers that they’re parked at a nearby quarry, The Professor radios to Lisbon and Palermo to break the bad news. The trucks are, in fact, at the quarry … but they’re completely empty, which means the robbers unloaded 90 tons of gold in half an hour. Palermo realizes whom all the evidence points to. Still, The Professor won’t believe it. Sure, Tatiana was around during their plotting at the monastery, but she only knew the target, and Palermo locked up the plans every night. Palermo and Lisbon both have to remind The Professor that PEOPLE TALK IN BED. And when Berlin (apparently) talked, Tatiana was listening very carefully. In a shack at the quarry, The Professor finds a video feed of the tank entrances; as soon as Tatiana’s crew saw the trucks going in, they’d know it was only eight to ten hours before they’d be moving back out, loaded. The Professor visualizes what they did by inspecting the tire tracks and can tell that they dropped the ingots into a couple of dump trucks and covered them in the sand to hide them in plain sight.
Tatiana and Rafael’s plan is, of course, despicable for being so parasitic, but the compulsive tidier in me might be most offended by the sight of all the carefully stacked gold bars left in such a haphazard mess.
The Professor finally decides everyone needs to know the state of play and explains the situation to the rest of the gang. Lisbon adds that the hostages and cops can’t find out they lost the gold or they’re toast. The Professor then asks everyone not to panic; they will get the gold back and extract the gang from the bank. Tokyo’s narration editorializes, “That was the first time The Professor said something nobody believed.” That can’t possibly be true of someone whose schemes are so grandiose, but emotions are high, and Tokyo is dead, so I guess I won’t try too hard to fact-check that one.
The next phase of the plan is for Marseille to bring a small team to strike The Professor’s command post, burning papers and loading out hardware, and for Rio to hack traffic cameras looking for the dump trucks. They soon figure out that they’re actually watching a loop of old footage (the roads are wet, but it rained the day before — so that was a significant weather event, just not for the reason I expected); the tech know-how required for this also tips The Professor that Rafael is probably involved. The assumption is that if the robbers messed with the feed on this particular road, they used it, and since it’s a beltway, they’re not trying to get the gold anywhere; they must have buried it.
This guess is right. After the dump trucks have been emptied and the hole filled in, Rafael and Tatiana supervise not only parking a prefab house on top of it but staging it to look like it’s been there forever …
… adding a flagstone walkway, grass, fence, flower beds, doghouse, DOG*, and even a built-in sprinkler system. Tatiana and Rafael drive off, cackling.
Meanwhile, at the bank, Arteche disables the last of the gang’s charges while we get a mini-flashback to Sagasta’s plan; the surgeons admitted to treat Vázquez are also soldiers so that they can participate in his covert mission. Tamayo sends his personnel to hide in blind spots and wait for Arteche’s signal. There’s a slight delay when Palermo enters the library to manage Helsinki’s expectations for extraction. Palermo may doubt his ability to keep his promise to get Helsinki out, but Helsinki doesn’t … which, unfortunately, is when Operation Trojan Horse kicks off. Vázquez fakes a seizure. The surgeons ask Palermo to free them from their zip ties to treat what they say is a probable subdural hematoma. Then Arteche comes out of the ducts and drops onto Palermo’s back. Palermo screams at Helsinki to shoot Arteche and the surgeons, but Helsinki — apparently too upset by the thought of Arteche killing Palermo before Helsinki can kill her — surrenders. Arteche radios Tamayo that Sagasta is free and in charge, and Tamayo’s guys blow the loading bay and lobby doors, along with the large windows above the main entrance. Gang members get captured one and two at a time (Rio gets shot in the shoulder during his apprehension); everyone ends up in a circle in the lobby; and Sagasta reports that the gang has fallen with no casualties either side. There’s an earlier flashback to a night during the planning phase when everyone but The Professor and Nairobi was outside drinking, and The Professor came out to yell at them for not having the temperament to stay focused during high stress; Tokyo’s voice-over tells us the gang lost focus on this day because they were in despair over losing the gold and their faith in their leader. That’s a reason Palermo turned his back on Sagasta and the hostages, but it sure isn’t an excuse!
Anyway, Tamayo puffs himself up to enter the bank, take Lisbon’s radio, and gloat to The Professor, who doesn’t believe it until Lisbon confirms that they’re all alive, but on their knees. The Professor tells Tamayo he promised himself that he’d go down with them if the gang went down. As a gentleman, will Tamayo accept his surrender so that The Professor can walk out in cuffs with his comrades? I’m not sure whether it’s Tamayo’s nobility so much as the number of witnesses that causes Tamayo to agree, but he does, ordering the hostages kept in the library for now. On the road, Sierra demands to know whether The Professor is trying to be a hero or a martyr. Neither. They still have a chance if he joins the gang, but he needs Sierra to take the rest of his foundry crew and find the gold. As she laughs bitterly at the notion, he reminds her that he was the most wanted man on earth, but only she found him, in a matter of hours, while nine months pregnant. I think they have to write her extremely recent labor into the dialogue because you would NEVER KNOW it had happened mere hours earlier if you looked at her COMPLETELY FLAT STOMACH.**
Convinced, Sierra puts out her hand to shake …
… but The Professor pulls her into a hug instead — her first since her husband died, she says, and her first real smile, besides. He also has one more favor to ask her, but just make a mental note; we don’t know yet what it is. Given his obligations, she better hope he’s not going to try to borrow some money.
Then The Professor has to commandeer a vehicle to return to Madrid. Fortunately, the driver is a fan; even more fortunately, the car — a beautifully preserved red Beetle — really pops when The Professor drives it through a throng of red-clad supporters.
Tamayo, the governor, and a few other top cops enter the vault and reel at the confirmation that Spain’s whole gold reserve is gone. Since the economy will collapse once it’s public that Spain no longer has any collateral, Tamayo orders one of his men to fire intermittent bursts of gunfire upstairs to make it look like the gang is still holding the bank.
I’m not sure how long they’ll be able to maintain this illusion now that The Professor has arrived? As he slowly approaches the bank, we hear what Tokyo told him at the end of that night he yelled at them all: that the gang trusts him implicitly. “You’ll have an ace up your sleeve. You’ll do a magic trick. That’s why we go back into the lion’s den. Even if they point tons of guns at us. Because we believe in you. Like a mantra. You’re our faith. We have faith that, if all else fails, we’ll still have you. No matter how bad things get, even if they’ve beaten us, even if it looks like there’s no hope, like we’re almost dead, we’ll still believe. We know we’ll always have The Professor.”
We won’t, because the next episode is THE SERIES FINALE. Come back to find out how many aces The Professor still has up his sleeve.
• We rejoin Denver and Stockholm post-coitally as he confirms that he wants to stay with her. I’m straining to care about their relationship after that striptease baloney last time, but that’s where they end up … before they get captured with everyone else, that is.
• *We better see evidence that one member of this crew has been assigned to move into the house, or I am going to be way too worried about Elvis, the dog.
• **Sierra’s isn’t the episode’s only miraculous physical recovery. As The Professor processes into the bank, we get a shot of his left shoe to remind us that it’s still split, but apparently the way it split is no longer an issue because he’s not limping even one tiny bit.