Money Heist is back. The Spanish Netflix show that depicts a crew of crimson-clad robbers occupying government buildings – while highlighting state corruption – drops the first part of its fifth and final season tomorrow (September 3).
Season four was the streamer’s second most watched series ever, and these new episodes promise to go even further as the crew gear up for the endgame. NME sat down with Álvaro Morte (who plays mysterious gang leader The Professor), Úrsula Corberó (hotheaded robber Tokyo), Najwa Nimri (police inspector gone rogue Alicia Sierra) and José Manuel Poga (ruthless security guard Cesar Gandía) to get a sneak peek.
The gang make some new enemies
After season three’s plan to rob the impenetrable Bank of Spain quickly went sideways, season four escalated into a darker, much more violent war. These new episodes introduce several new enemies for the gang, including brutal special forces commando Sagasta (played by José Manuel Seda) – alongside Bank of Spain security chief César Gandía (José Manuel Poga). Gandía became fans’ number one enemy after he executed heist member Nairobi (Alba Flores) last time around. Although he ended the fourth series in chains, he tells NME not to count him out just yet.
“Gandía ends that fourth season in the hands of the gang. He is trapped there,” explains Poga. “In the start of the next season he’s angry, even angrier than before, so that’s going to entail some real problems for the gang.”
The Professor is in uncharted territory
Meanwhile, heist mastermind The Professor (who pulls the strings from a secret hideaway nearby) finds himself held hostage for the first time. “Sierra catches the Professor and its like a cup of frozen water over your head,” says Morte. “He has no plan, he loses the connection and communication with the bank, he is absolutely destroyed and he is under her control.”
We delve deeper into Tokyo’s traumatic past
Original crew member Tokyo has proved herself a volatile comrade in the past, often taking matters into her own hands regardless of the Professor’s plans. In the new series of Money Heist, we learn about her former lover René, whom she left for dead after a botched job some years earlier.
“I think it’s really beautiful as it helps the audience understand why Tokyo is the way she is – and why she does things the way she does,” Corberó says of the new plotline. “It was a fantastic experience for me. I got to delve deeper into the naive and joyful Tokyo of the past… and it does provide some necessary freshness given this season is filled with war, explosion and action.”
Inspector Sierra searches for redemption
Inspector Alicia Sierra’s gung-ho tactics got her fired from the police force in the last series – and she’s been hunting down The Professor ever since. “The thing for [Alicia] is to have a worthy opponent to face so she can continue to ignore her own life. She just wants to play [the game] because if she stops and gets in touch with her own emotions it’s going to be the end of her,” Nimri tells NME. “At the beginning [of the series] she is a soldier and at the end she is a human being… kind of.”
It was a bittersweet ending for the cast
After five years of filming, Money Heist‘s final two-part season feels like the end of an era. The cast were, naturally, quite sad about it all. “In the last few weeks of shooting, I couldn’t stop crying and we had to stop some scenes because of it,” explains Corberó. “[But] I feel it had to end. It’s been an intense and beautiful stage of my life, but after so many years of shooting I think everyone needed to move on as well.”
Morte says – because the show was originally mean to end after its second season – that he saw the final three seasons as “a second opportunity” to play The Professor. “[Though] I still cried a lot because of the emotion of it,” he adds.
The show’s legacy will live on
Money Heist might have started life as a local success, but millions of fans outside of Spain have since become obsessed with it. So much so that the Salvador Dali mask worn by the gang to hide their identities has become a symbol of resistance, cropping up at civil rights protests in Iraq, Lebanon, France, and Chile.
“The message that is underneath the show is about the world – and how wrong it is… and how the capitalist system works,” says Morte. “The money is an excuse, we should say: ‘Hey what is going wrong here? Things should change.” We’ll have to wait and see if they do.