There’s no shortage of intriguing and enigmatic characters on Netflix’s Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), but season 3 of the crime drama introduced fans to Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri), lead police investigator in the Bank of Spain heist, and quite frankly, the most puzzling character to date.
Sierra is an exciting and worthy replacement for former police inspector Raquel Murillo aka Lisbon, who left her policing days behind to join the Professor’s merry band of robbers following their first heist at the Royal Mint.
With a lollipop in hand, Sierra is ready to stop the robbery of the bank in its tracks and finally bring the criminals to justice. Her actions and decisions bring a new level of unpredictability to the series, which makes her a worthy opponent for the Professor. Raquel played by his rules, but Sierra has figured out his rules and kept up with them… almost too well.
She’s in it to win it, and prior to her introduction, we hadn’t seen anyone who was equally as cunning as the Professor.
She’s defined by her brutality; while others would shudder at the thought of using family members as leverage, she’s overjoyed to cross the line on multiple occasions including when she uses Nairobi’s son and Raquel’s ailing mother to manipulate them.
Sierra isn’t just crazy good at her job, she’s simply crazy… and that allows her to go head-to-head with the Professor, with or without the support of law enforcement. She’s a sociopath, in her own way, that’s equally as complex, ruthless, intelligent, and confident as both the Professor and Berlin.
There are also many parallels between her and Raquel as they’ve both been outsmarted by the Professor on a few occasions, they both lost the support of their team while working the heist investigations, they were both turned into scapegoats for agency, and they both used their instinct to successfully hunt the Professor down.
But there’s a key difference that sets Sierra apart from Raquel — she’s not in love with the Professor.
Raquel pursued the Professor, but she was also blinded by love. The trust they developed when she didn’t know who he truly was made it easier for her to understand that, though flawed, his intentions behind the heist were noble.
Sierra, on the other hand, was motivated to find the Professor to finish a job. She never once lost sight of the prize, and one could say her dedication to the job and capturing the bad guys has been fueling and motivating her.
The dramatic season 4 cliffhanger, which ended with Sierra finding the Professor’s hideout and ambushing him by pointing a gun at his head, proves we’ll dig deeper into her character come season 5.
She may have the upper-hand as things stand now, but there’s a huge chance the Professor will manipulate and outsmart her while giving us some much-needed background about her.
The vagueness about Sierra’s villainous character has drawn much attention from fans who are theorizing how she’ll play into the storyline moving forward.
All we know for certain is that she and Raquel attended police training together, her husband died a few months ago due to cancer (we don’t even know who German is or if he’s important to the story), and that she’s pregnant (and even that’s questionable).
The thought that Sierra may be faking her pregnancy crossed my mind while binge-watching the series.
Even before Sierra was roped into leading the investigation at the Bank of Spain, she was responsible for inhumanely torturing Rio through illegal tactics such as waterboarding and burying him alive.
Much of her actions indicate that she doesn’t have much of a maternal bone in her body, and it’s possible that she’s faking her pregnancy to gain sympathy from the public in the instance that her sadistic actions come to light.
The sympathy card has worked on many occasions for the Professor and his robbers, and realistically, we’re all less likely to judge a pregnant woman’s action. It could be the reason why the agency attempted to place the blame solely on her when the Professor exposed their torture tactics on a civilian.
There have also been other moments where Sierra is seen smoking, gorging on junk food, and drinking caffeine. All of that compounded with the stress of the job cannot be good for a woman in such an advanced pregnancy.
One could chalk this up to personal quirks and Sierra’s unhealthy coping mechanisms, or, it could be a huge red flag that the pregnancy isn’t real. Don’t even get me started about the stamina needed to spend hours interrogating someone or hunting down the Professor without any assistance.
There’s an added level of suspense to having a pregnant maniac in charge — especially so far along in the pregnancy — because the audience is always wondering when she’ll go into labor.
The most likely (and predictable) scenario lends itself to Sierra going into labor while pointing the gun at the Professor. It would catch her off guard, put her at a disadvantage, and force her to rely on the Professor to help her give birth. It would also allow the Professor to regain control of the situation.
Even though he has some of the most meticulously thought-out plans that anticipate every possible outcome, luck has a tendency of working in his favor.
But that’s the key to all of this — anticipation. The Professor has played out every possible scenario in his head. Even the ones that have taken him by surprise have, at some point, crossed his mind, so it’s unlikely that he’d be careless enough to leave behind a trail leading directly back to him.
If Raquel was able to find his first hideout, the chances are high that he would consider that another agent, one that isn’t blinded by love and is more cutthroat than Raquel, would be able to track him down, too.
Not to mention the Professor also has an advantage this time around because Raquel knows Sierra personally and can predict how she’d act in certain situations.
By making Rio’s torture private, he could’ve anticipated that the agency would try to save face by placing the blame on Sierra, like they did with Raquel, and thus, figured she would seek him out. It’s entirely possible that the license plate and the footage of him threatening a cop that led Sierra to him was all part of the plan.
He laid the breadcrumbs and she fell into his trap thinking it was a victory. Maybe she’s a necessary part of the plan to help the gang escape from the Bank of Spain alive and with the gold?
‘Berlin’ Is the ‘Money Heist’ Spinoff We Never Knew We Needed
Berlin is the Money Heist spinoff we never knew we needed… but we’re so glad it’s almost here.
Since Berlin (Pedro González Alonso) was hands-down the most captivating (and problematic) character in the Spanish heist drama, fans always wanted to get to know more of him, especially after he sacrificed himself in the season 1 finale for his team, largely due to his terminal illness, redeeming himself in the process.
Quickly rising the ranks as a fan-favorite, the writers kept Berlin’s spirit alive in the following seasons via flashbacks, noting that he always had a hand in the planning of the heists, even if he wasn’t around to see them through. And it became more and more clear that there was an unsatiable thirst from audiences to explore additional parts of the character’s origin story; thus, a prequel to Money Heist focusing solely on Berlin’s prior escapades only made sense.
As seen in the later season of Money Heist, or La Casa de Papel, Berlin garnered even more intrigue when his son, Rafael (Patrick Criado) joined the heist. The former Electronics Engineer from MIT is Berlin’s prodigal son, whose only request was not to end up a thief like his father, also drew attention after entering a relationship with his father’s wife, Tatiana. It’s a lot to unpack, clearly, but it’s also proof that there was nothing boring or mediocre about Berlin’s life in the slightest, at any point.
So, again, it warrants a spinoff that digs even deeper into this complex, charismatic, and morally questionable character we’ve all come to love.
When he joined the Professor’s group in the series, he was already one of the most seasoned robbers of the bunch, having a plethora of experience mapping out and executing heists of ranging scales.
With Berlin: Money Heist, we’re not only going to get to see one of those previous heists in action, but we’re also going to get a sense of the man he was before attempting the biggest heist in history, which made him the beloved criminal we’ve come to know.
Capitalizing on the love already established for the series—one of Netflix’s most popular shows of all time—the prequel finds Berlin, in all his glory as Andrés de Fonollosa, the mastermind behind a heist targeting the biggest auction house in Paris to steal €44 million.
The series trails the planning of a new heist as he recruits his crew: “Michelle Jenner (Isabel) plays Keila, an eminence in electronic engineering; Tristán Ulloa (Fariña) goes into the skin of Damián, a philanthropic professor and Berlin’s confidant; Begoña Vargas (Welcome to Eden) plays Cameron, a kamikaze who always lives on the edge; Julio Peña Fernández (Through My Window) brings to life Roi, Berlin’s faithful squire; and Joel Sánchez plays Bruce, the relentless man of action in the gang.”
While it’s mostly an all-new cast, we’ll see a few familiar faces with Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) and Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituno) appearing at some point, though it’s unclear what their connection is to the storyline. Is it possible that their paths have always crossed and Berlin was always on their radar way prior to the action at the Royal Mint?
We may not be getting the version of Berlin from the original series, but don’t fret, as the teaser trailer evidenced, he’s still as ruthless, dapper, and flirtatious as ever, meaning that they really did this character–and prequel—justice. The fact that it hails from the original showrunner, Alex Pina, is also a sign that it won’t let the fandom down.
“It’s a trip through the golden age of the character, when he robbed around Europe crazy in love,” Pina previously told TUDUM, adding, “That’s the most surprising, the comedy. You’re going to make people laugh a lot.”
Berlin in his prime, in love, and flexing his comedic bone? As the beloved criminal says in the trailer, “it’s all the things worth living for.”
The full synopsis for the series reads:
“There are only two things that are sure to turn a bad day into a great one: love, and a payday worth millions. They’re what keep Berlin going through his golden years, a time when he still has no inkling of his illness and hasn’t gotten trapped like a rat in the Spanish Mint. This is where he starts preparing one of his most extraordinary heists: making jewels worth 44 million disappear like some sort of magic trick. To do it, he’ll enlist the help of one of the three gangs he’s ever stolen with.”
Watch the Berlin trailer below:
Berlin arrives a few days prior to New Year’s Eve on Dec. 29, 2023, which means you’ll have plenty of time to binge watch while counting down to 2024.
To prepare, you can stream Money Heist on Netflix and read our coverage here.
Who Is Mel’s Father in ‘Virgin River’?
Virgin River Season 5 concluded with a tiny time jump four months into the future, bringing the timeline into the Christmas holiday season.
Disclaimer — this post includes spoilers from the episode — proceed with caution.
On Virgin River Season 5 Episode 10, as Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Jack (Martin Henderson) decorated their cabin in anticipation of Joey’s arrival with the kids for their first-ever Virgin River Christmas, Mel received quite a shocking piece of information.
Her sister informed her that she found a stack of love letters between Mel’s mother and a mystery man in Virgin River that she believed could be Mel’s real father.
And this obviously lends itself to the question—who is the secret admirer?
There aren’t that many elderly men in Virgin River aside from Doc (Tim Matheson), and it would be next-level if he had another secret child in addition to Ryan, Denny’s late father. Though wouldn’t it be funny if Mel thought she just escaped to this random small town only to learn that it wasn’t random at all and she’d been working with her dad this whole time?
Aside from Doc, there’s really only Nick (Keith MacKechnie), Bert (Trevor Lerner), and Charlie (Patrick Keating), that we are familiar with, anyway.
Naturally, there are probably plenty of residents that audiences have never met (and they have to keep us on our toes and think of new directions for the storyline), and it’s possible her dad isn’t even alive anymore.
It would be extremely fitting if it was Lilly’s late husband, Buck, making Mel sisters with Ava, and Tara. Considering her strong bond with that family, her sisterly relationship with Ava, her love baby Chloe, and how drawn she is to that farm, this would be such a sweet twist. Mel always had a soft spot for Lilly as well, so this would be a unique way to keep her memory alive.
Mel’s father will be the major storyline addressed in the two bonus holiday episodes dropping in November, as the trailer revealed Mel starting the search for her biological dad before informing Jack shortly after that they found him, with Preacher noting that he’s “still in Virgin River.”
The way he says it makes it seem like he’s still alive, which limits the possibilities even more. Who do you think it is?
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Either way, Mel actually has roots in this small town that’s always felt like home.
‘Riverdale’ Season 7 Hits Netflix—Stream It Now
Riverdale’s seventh and final season is now available to stream on Netflix in the U.S.!
Merely a week after the long-running CW series aired its final episode ever, the streaming giant has added the series in its entirety.
All the episodes are available for fans all over the world to binge-watch on September 1, and going into a long weekend, that gives you plenty of time to catch up on all the shenanigans happening in the Town with Pep.
Many fans weren’t interested in the weekly release model as it wasn’t ideal having to wait for new episodes to drop every week, but having them available all at once on Netflix allows you to catch up with ease.
And if you’ve never seen Riverdale and are curious about all the nutty twists and turns that eventually get all of our characters to—spoiler—the 1950s, well, all seven seasons are on the streamer for your viewing pleasure.
You can rewatch those previous seasons and relive the series in all its glory (including anything you may have missed/forgotten about), or you can just tune in for the final season—it’s up to you!
As mentioned before, the final season hit the reset button of sorts as Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), and Veronica (Camilla Mendes), along with many of their loved ones and friends, went back in time to 1955 and found themselves reliving their high school days all over again.
Of course, as you rewatch any and all episodes, you can read all our reviews of the series that we’ve covered since its inception in 2017!
Enjoy your Labor Day travels to Riverdale—just remember that before it was redubbed the “Town With Pep” it was known as “Murder Town of the World.” You’ve been warned.
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