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Review: Netflix’s “Money Heist” Season 2

Money Heist Season 2, otherwise known as La Casa de Papel, has just as many “WTF?” moments as it has “yes! whoohoo!” and “Okay, I need wine” moments. It left me in a trainwreck of emotion that still has me confused about how I feel.

It’s clear season 2 of Money Heist may have been a bit more rushed than the previous one, because there are countless times Tokyo’s behavior seems contrived just to push the plot forward.

Her actions throughout the entire second season gave me a hair-pulling level of stress and anger. She threatens Berlín’s life by playing Russian Roulette, she breaks the medicine he needs for his muscle degenerative disease (which is extremely painful without), and she uses the secret Nairobi tells her in a vulnerable moment and perverts it in front of everyone just because she couldn’t wait 4 more hours for the professor to call back.

Not just that, but when she gets captured she gives away the professor’s name and actually contemplates giving everyone up because she made a mistake. I feel like Berlín was merciful just giving her to the police. Throughout the entire series, she actively tries to sabotage the only recourse everyone has to get a second chance at life.

And if that isn’t enough, her continued reckless behavior ends up getting Moscow killed. The level of vitriol I had toward her as I saw my favorite father-figure character losing his mind from blood loss is the most I’ve hated a character in a long time.

She has the temperament of a 3-year-old and it constantly made me livid to see her traipsing around like she had any leg at all to stand on. The only explanation I can think of as to why she continued to do ridiculous things, with no retribution, was to push the plot and/or the writer’s didn’t realize what kind of impression her character actually had on the audience.

Sometimes there is a disconnect between the way characters/plots are intended to be received vs. how they actually are received. And I can say with complete confidence that I don’t believe she is meant to be as annoying as her character actually is.

Tokyo wasn’t the only disconnect the narrative has with the audience. Her voiceovers become filled with meaningless sayings instead of concrete information and her relationship with Rio isn’t in any way as moving as with Professor and Raquel or Denver and Mónica.

The latter two relationships melted my heart and really serve as wonderful subplots to the Money Heist‘s core narrative. I loved every minute we got to see the couples fall in love because everything seemed so organic and genuine.

Denver starts tripping over his words around Mónica and Mónica shows her quirky sense of humor with Denver in a way we never get to see in her relationship with Arturo. Additionally, Raquel only really smiles when she is speaking with the professor and we got to see the over-meticulous Professor slip-up and relax countless times in Raquel’s company — a good and bad thing for the series.

It is a good thing because it shows a different and lovable facet to the professor’s personality. However, it is a bad thing because the one thing that ends up crashing the whole heist seems forced.

I could see him letting his guard down because he loves Raquel, definitely. However, I don’t see how that sole clown hair would’ve been left on his lapel, especially when you take into consideration the fact that he takes the wig off before he even pulls out his actual clothes.

Not to mention, the flashback where Raquel says they’re looking for a man with a beard and glasses never happens in the show. It is supposed to be a flashback to before the hospital scenes, but if you go back to the actual scene — she never says this.

Realistically, the police would have no idea what the professor looks like because he is always sure to keep his face hidden, even the flashback to the junkyard shows this. The only person who does see his face quickly erases everything he shows the police before Raquel even gets the chance to see the sketch.

My guess is the professor became too smart for Raquel to believably take down, so they had to depower him and force a last-minute slip-up.

This is commonly seen in anime, a medium that Money Heist takes a lot of qualities from, which makes sense when you consider the fact that Netflix predominantly produces anime.

On the anime, Bleach, the writers have to supremely depower the character Aizen after making him ridiculously powerful, literally a god, to create intrigue for the plot arc. On the anime, Akame Ga Kill, we see this occur with the character Esdeath, who is able to make an ice ball the size of a planet “for fun” but gets defeated by Akame after she nearly dies trying to defeat her sister.

And this same depowering occurs when we see the clown’s hair on the professor’s lapel. It makes no sense, but for the sake of the narrative, you just have to go with it anyway.

Lasting Thoughts:

Although this review has a lot of complaints, I actually did enjoy this series a lot.

It reminds me a lot of Death Note, an anime with the similar theme of two geniuses going head to head. Furthermore, other than their last slip-up with the clown hair, the plot itself unfolds amazingly well and every moment keeps you guessing to see who will out-manuever who and who will make the fatal flaw.

Other than them killing my absolute favorite, Berlín, all of the characters I said I needed to see survive in my review of Money Heist Season 1 made it out alive! Whoohoo!

Berlín’s death hit me to the core though, especially when we find out he and the professor are brothers. Lord, that knocked me back a lot. But Denver, Mónica, Professor, and Raquel’s happy ending was the perfect salve for the hole his death left in my heart.

All twenty-two episodes of this Spanish language series, with English subtitles, are available on Netflix. What did you guys think of Money Heist Season 2?! Which parts were your favorite? Which parts made you pull your hair out? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

2 Comments

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  1. Great reviews! It’s so nice to read someone else’s perspective on this underappreciated show — especially since I personally had much more sympathy for Tokyo than for Berlin! My guess is their rivalry left a lot of other fans divided, as well. Nice point about the similarities to anime shows; it also reminded me of a Tarantino/Guy Ritchie-inflected telenovela in the way we see human foibles threaten to send a carefully laid plan crashing down..

  2. I wonder, why the police did not follow her to that island with the coordinates at the end. As they probably suspect her being involved, they soul hope she and the professor get into touch sooner or later. And even a year after, theyhave their eyes on her every move..

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