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The season 4 finale of La Casa De Papel offers up another high-stakes finish but also leaves the door wide open for a possible fifth season to follow. With lots of unfinished business and a big cliffhanger to chew over, La Casa De Papel hasn’t had the smoothest of rides this year but it certainly makes up for some of this with an exciting climax to this season.
In the past we receive another Berlin flashback, this time of Palermo and Berlin hooking up until the latter pulls away; he wants no part of this and tells him he can’t continue. Promising to see him in another life, Berlin walks away.
In the present, Sierra takes to the podium and blames Gandia and Tamayo for what happened to Nairobi, throwing them both under the bus. She’s not finished though and goes on to admit everything the government have done to Rio is true. Stewing over this development, Tamayo promises to bury her.
The Professor teams up with Benjamin’s group and tasks them with saving Lisbon. In order to do so, they take advantage of an opportune time where the police will be moving Lisbon through the Chinese restaurant out the back of the parking lot to avoid the press – that’ll be their moment to snatch her up.
Meanwhile, Palermo and the others are tasked with keeping Gandia alive. Only, there’s a lot of bad blood between the group and sooner or later, someone is going to pull the trigger and kill him. The woman who was put forward as the leader for her level head, Tokyo, steps up and launches an emotional tirade about Nairobi until Denver of all people calms her down.
Now wanted by police, Sierra decides to go after Benito, now understanding it was him that stopped Lisbon from caving and giving up the Professor during her interrogation. Thanks to her cunning investigative work, she obtains the CCTV files for the hotel and eventually comes across the Professor’s licence plate on his car.
In the aftermath of Helsinki’s grief-stricken rage, Palermo talks to him outside and offers up some emotional support. We then cut forward to 9.34am at the court as the Professor tasks Lisbon with giving up every single detail in the case until it tires the courtroom out and they call a recess.
Back in the bank, Arturo and the Governor start to fight but Arturo manages to snatch up a gun from the guard. Only, Julia is wise to what he’s doing and shoots him in the leg before arresting him unofficially for rape while he whines about dying.
Meanwhile, Tokyo and the Professor work with Gandia to set up Tamayo; the threat of his Mother and child being hurt too much to fight through this time. With guns pointed at him, this brings us back to the opening parts of the previous episode where Gandia mentioned killing Nairobi and Tokyo.
Benjamin’s crew move into position and manage to snatch up Lisbon and free her, taking her to safety. They replace Lisbon with a decoy and make the convoy wear explosive vests to give themselves precious time and give the illusion that everything is fine. While the police race away, Lisbon boards a military helicopter and replaces her clothes with police gear instead.
Gandia is marched up to the rooftop but the group use him as a decoy to draw out the police. With Marseille as a pilot and Denver disguised as Gandia, back inside the real Gandia is knocked out by Bogota and Helsinki. Lisbon touches down on the roof and manages to make her way inside the bank, keeping up the facade that she’s attacking the group.
As Tamayo suddenly realizes he’s been duped, the group inside the bank revel in their small victory of bringing Lisbon into the operation. Despite the battle being won – this war is far from over.
As the episode closes out, Sierra manages to infiltrate the Professor’s hideout and holds him up at gunpoint; the one thing he was never prepared for. “Checkmate,” she sneers at him and as they stare one another down, the episode ends.
Aside from Arturo getting what he deserves and a couple of well timed subversion of expectations (I have to admit, I was convinced that was Gandia on the rooftop originally), season 4 has felt like an awful lot of filler mixed in with a minuscule amount of screen-time given to the heist itself. Ironically, the most exciting part of the season doesn’t even come from the bank heist but instead with a side-mission in the form of saving Lisbon.
With the middle portion of episodes taken up by the superhuman fight with Gandia and the whole Nairobi situation feeling like a bitter pill to swallow, given the lack of closure and justice given after her shocking death, Le Casa De Papel unfortunately delivers its most disappointing season to date. It’s such a shame too because I, like many other people, have been in love with this crime thriller since it originally dropped on Netflix all those years ago but here, it feels like a 2 hour story dragged out to 8 with far too many scenes stretched and way too much plot armour and unbelievability.
If the show returns for a fifth season (which is almost inevitable at this point), hopefully La Casa De Papel returns to the same pacing and style we’ve seen from these recent two episodes rather than the contrived material we’ve been dealt with for large portions of this year. It’s not terrible, and there’s certainly enough positives to make this worth persevering with until the end, but there’s no denying that this year has felt like a real step down in terms in quality.
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