Money Heist showrunner previews the 'total destruction' of the final season
Nairobi is gone but never forgotten.
Money Heist will return for its two-part final season later this year, and showrunner Álex Pina said in a virtual set visit attended by EW that the impact of Nairobi's (Alba Flores) death will definitely be felt in the concluding chapter of the Spanish crime drama.
"We're already seeing one of the consequences of Nairobi's death," Pina said — namely that the rest of the team views her death as a call to action as they wage war against the authorities and the system. Their lost comrade is "still very present, sometimes they still talk about her. She is illuminating their struggle in this last season."
Executive producer Jesús Colmenar added, "Nairobi represented the heart of the gang in a way, and in this last season [she] would have had a hard time fitting in because this is a season of direct confrontation. But her legacy is going to inspire the other characters."
The international hit is looking to go out on a high note. "[This season] is very different from all the previous seasons, and we have put all our eggs in one basket to go out with a bang," Colmenar teased. After the escalation of the battle between the gang and the authorities — plus Nairobi's death — the final season finds the Professor's (Álvaro Morte) team going to war.
"The romantic and feel-good idea of a robbery without victims, of a struggle for freedom and resistance but without hurting anyone, smashes into the wall of reality in this last season," Colmenar said. "From now on, the characters will have to fight for their lives."
Pina and his team have always wanted to play with the war genre, and the final season will do just that. "This season is one of total destruction," he said.
The new episodes will also see the Professor and Lisbon (Itziar Ituño) switch roles. For the first time ever, Lisbon will be in on the action in the bank, jumpsuit and all. "Seeing Lisbon with the red jumpsuit in charge of the heist and in constant communication with the Professor is totally new," Colmenar said.
Out in the world, the Professor will be having a tough time. "The whole approach of this season was to smash the Professor with a technical KO," Pina said. "And the more blows he received, the better."
Between Lisbon, Nairobi, Toyko (Úrsula Corberó), Stockholm (Esther Acebo), and others, there have been strong arcs for the women on the show. "We have always worked equally well with women and men," said Pina. "In that sense, we remain committed to giving women a leading role." He also teases a "new twist involving women in this season."
Acebo is grateful for her character's growth. "[Stockholm] has gone from that secretary we barely remember to being part of the gang and having a little more strength, power, and courage to do some crazy things, by the way," she said. "I don't want to say too much, but I'm really enjoying it."
Although Money Heist has proved popular the world over, Pina knew it was time for the gang's story to end. "We've exhausted some of the characters' emotional arcs and their arcs of transformation," he said. "It's always better to leave sooner rather than later."
As for a potential return to this world via spin-off, Pina and Colmenar agreed that any such project would have to do something truly new. "You could make a spin-off about any of [the characters] because I think what's great about Money Heist is that it has characters who have many layers and many stories," Pina said. "But we would have to create a new universe. So the answer is yes, but it depends."
For Pedro Alonso, who plays Berlin, he and his cast and crewmates are feeling the show's impact as they all prepare for the end. "It is true that some big things have happened," he said. "[Money Heist] has given visibility to a type of work that was being done here for the world. And if we make a small contribution in that sense, I think it is spectacular."
The first installment of the final season of Money Heist premieres Sept. 3 on Netflix.
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