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‘Money Heist’ Season 5 Vol. 1: And if I die as a partisan

"Money Heist" Season 5 Vol. 1: (L-R) Itziar Ituño as Lisbon, Rodrigo de la Serna as Palermo, Jaime Lorente as Denver, and Belén Cuesta as Manila. Image credit: Tamara Arranz / Netflix
L-R: Itziar Ituño as Lisbon, Rodrigo de la Serna as Palermo, Jaime Lorente as Denver, and Belén Cuesta as Manila. Image credit: Tamara Arranz / Netflix

“People think true love only happens once in a lifetime,” Tokyo says in one of her voiceovers in the fifth and final season of “La casa de papel” (“Money Heist”). “What people don’t know is that you can live several lives.”

“Money Heist” Season 5 Vol. 1, which is now streaming on Netflix, spends almost as much time in the past as it does in the present. But I don’t blame our favorite gang of bank robbers. They must fight a desperate war against the army, and the grim reality is that none of them might survive. We see how the past haunts some of them, and how they are trying to make peace with everything that has happened. To forgive others. To forgive themselves. And to say their goodbyes. Who lives, who dies, who tells their story? Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched Season 5 Vol. 1.

The love of her life

Miguel Ángel Silvestre as René and Úrsula Corberó as Tokyo. Image credit: Tamara Arranz / Netflix

It was Tokyo who welcomed us to “Money Heist”: “My name is Tokyo. But when this story began, it wasn’t. This was me… and this, the love of my life. The last time I saw him I left him in a pool of blood with his eyes open.”

Episode 1 of Season 5 Vol. 1 introduces us to the love of her life, René (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), as Tokyo relives the story of their romance, and what led to that tragic bank heist. As well as the reason she chose the name Tokyo.

It was the loss of René that led to her meeting the Professor (Álvaro Morte). Her guardian angel. The one who changed her life, and, at the end of Season 2, gave her the freedom that she and René had been dreaming of when they planned that bank robbery.

Giving Tokyo and Rio (Miguel Herrán) a happy ending. The one that she and René weren’t fated to enjoy.

The guardian angel

Álvaro Morte as the Professor and Najwa Nimri as Alicia Sierra. Image credit: Manolo Pavón / Netflix

In the grim present, however, Tokyo’s guardian angel is being held captive by the disgraced police inspector, the very much pregnant Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri). Rendering the Professor unable to help his beloved band of thieves in their desperate fight for survival. Though fate will intervene, and allow him to become their guardian angel again.

It is our fault as viewers that more of our favorite characters have ended up dead, because they already had a happy ending in Season 2. “Money Heist” was actually a flop when it came out in Spain, and its creators had wrapped up the series in two seasons.

And thought that was that.

But then Netflix bought the global streaming rights to the Spanish TV series without any expectations. And was shocked when it became the most popular show on the platform when it started started streaming “Money Heist” on Dec. 20, 2017, giving birth to a global phenomenon. So Netflix asked the creators to come up with two more seasons, and the gang got back together. And then Netflix renewed it for a fifth and final season.

Of course, within the context of the show, it’s the fault of Tokyo and Rio that the Professor had to ask everyone to reunite and participate in an even more suicidal heist — this time at the Bank of Spain. A plan that the Professor wasn’t even the one who originally came up with, but one that they all agree to carry out, even though they know the risks. Because they want to help Tokyo save Rio.

Goodbye beautiful

L-R: Úrsula Corberó as Tokyo, Itziar Ituño as Lisbon, and Esther Acebo as Stockholm. Image credit: Tamara Arranz / Netflix
L-R: Úrsula Corberó as Tokyo, Itziar Ituño as Lisbon, and Esther Acebo as Stockholm. Image credit: Tamara Arranz / Netflix

Like me, I’m sure many of you might also have a love-hate relationship with Tokyo. After all, her temper makes her so unpredictable, and almost always leads to her abandoning the Professor’s plan and putting them all at risk. Or even leading to their deaths.

I still blame her for the death of Moscow, and she’s the reason Rio got caught and put them all in this situation. Not to mention Rio was indirectly responsible for Nairobi’s death. As you might guess, I’m not a fan at all of their love story.

Still, I can’t help but like Tokyo.

I should have seen coming, given all the time Season 5 Vol. 1 devotes to taking a look at Tokyo’s past and making us understand her.

It was clear this was a redemption arc for her character.

But I told myself that she couldn’t possibly die. How could she die? She is the one narrating this whole show.

And then she dies.

And Tokyo being Tokyo, of course she dies in a badass way, sacrificing herself for the sake of her fellow thieves who have become her family, and for the sake of the Professor’s plan that she has disobeyed so many times in the past.

In a way, it seems the deaths of three major character are a form of penance and redemption. Nairobi felt guilty over causing the need for Berlin to sacrifice himself, while it was Tokyo who caused the death of Moscow and put the gang in this situation that led to Nairobi’s death.

“You’ve always been my guardian angel. Now it’s my turn to be yours,” Tokyo tells the Professor.

Goodbye beautiful.