The Blimps Over Madrid or Los Putos Dirigibles
(I understand I'm talking about the story told 4 years back, in 2017, if I'm not mistaken. But I've only just finished watching it - slow on the uptake, aren't I?)
Last night, I had a really ghastly nightmare that bawled me out of my much-needed sleep. I did try to go back to sleep but, on realising that not even a hefty shot of grappa was going to cut the mustard, I poured myself another one and picked up the tablet to continue watching La Casa de Papel (idiotically dubbed 'Money Heist').
Well... I had thought I'd done with horrors for the night but it turned out another nightmare was stashed in hold for me. No lucid dreaming, though. It was called the 'We're Back' episode of Part 3.
I suppose many would agree that, however imaginative or even fantastic, any good plot a viewer (or a reader, for that matter) can relate to should at least purport to be based on a rock-solid foundation of reality. By 'reality' I mean 'what is plausible, at least, in the imaginary settings of the given piece'. Authors' imagination tends to break its chains but a good author should be able to put a lead on his/her fantasy and do it invariably firmly, as it were. Otherwise, we, the viewers, get a load of horseshit on a plate - or we get the opening of the 'We're Back' episode, in my humblest opinion.
Cutting to the chase, what took me aback were the odd behaviour of Tokyo and those blimps gliding over Madrid... The seasons 1 and 2 told a plausible, possible story of a group of people daring enough to challenge the System (and remedy their finances while they were at it). That can happen. Anything of the nature, I seem to think, can happen in this world where the Great Train Robbery happened.
Vale, vale, the first 'Mint' story was a bit off the wall, too. However, one thing is plotting a mega-heist at a hunting estate and another - flying those blimps over Madrid.
The blimps over Madrid? As far as I am concerned, a capital of any state is heavily guarded; so, those blimps would have been shot down before they could have reached the outskirts of the city. Besides, what is this? A rather sad albeit captivating story about a group of the Spanish Kaczynskis continued or a weirdo Hollywood-style la-la-land tale unfolding before my eyes, I wondered. A 'Mission Impossible' meets the hateful 'Ocean's Umpteen' gig?
I should have foreseen this coming. In fact, I had a sting of suspicion on seeing those 'deus ex machina' Serbs suddenly jump into the story, lurking behind the Professor's back to save the show from the budding plot hanger. Oh, the trusting me!
The intelligent, interesting, psychological and, again, plausible narrative of the first two seasons lashes out into a gallop... The blimps. What is the Professor going to come up with next? A nuclear warhead? Anything could happen now, I thought as I turned the tablet off and went back to slip - well, tried to, actually.
One more thing is Tokyo. Already presented as a bit of a loose cannon, she begins to act as a lunatic towards the end of Part 2 (Episode 9) and goes completely bonkers in the 'We're Back'. Having spent two years in that Panamanian el paraíso, she suddenly ups and goes leaving the lovelorn kid alone. Not exactly alone, though - but with a sat phone which, under the circumstances, is a ticking time-bomb. A trouble waiting to happen. Anton Chekhov's fabled rifle hanging on the wall. And it does fire, does it not? Except not somewhere further down the story.
Why does she does that? We're not given any clue: no back-story, even the briefest one, no psychologically justifiable dots that a viewer could connect independently. Nada. Just a change of mood the abruptness of which could make the gravest barking-mad schizo case go green and a couple of words mumbled into the incredulous Rio's face. Has it been brewing? We should have been shown it. One maldito flashback would do. Well... Beggars can't be choosers, anyway.
Tokyo's behaviour is taken to the extent that defies belief. If she is an idiot with violent mood swings, and has been one throughout, shouldn't this have been shown from the start? An unreliable narrator is not the same as an unreliable character - because the latter is complete dog's dinner.
One more thing that got my goat was the perceived (by me alone?) unveiling of the roots of the Professor, ahem. Turns out he is not a lone warrior or a maverick - but a member of some convoluted secret organisation, eh? He has a boss of his own? What is it - La Cosa Nostra a la manera castellana? Or, shock, horror, is it some underground guild?
Well, again, I did not go longer than 30 minutes into the episode, I must confess, but it all did look like some secret organisation of villains being exposed. Why hadn't the Professor told his disciples about it? And, a propos, it is much harder to relate to a scheming member of a secret international gang than a lone rider... How could you, el Profesor?
Cutting further to the chase, then. A bullet-point list, the Professor-style, I hope, regarding the start of the 'We're Back' thing:
No realism. No plausibility.
Loss of the story's tone. Spurring itself into the Hollywood-style gallop.
Because of the point 2 above, also the loss of La Casa's uniqueness (and I'd been enjoying it so much - the Dali mask to defy the Guy Fawkes mask alone is admirable)
A suspected attempt (?) to dazzle the audiences - perchance, those larger than the series' initial viewer pool. 'Crash, boom, bang, here we go again, this time with blimps and, if you behave yourselves, also a warhead'.
Why SUDDENLY make Berlin, the super-manly mega-macho hostage-shagging Berlin, into a poof? What did he do to deserve this? He saved your lives, after all! ))) Call me whatever-you-like-phob and a retrograde but, whilst I couldn't care less what people do in their bedrooms or even on their kitchen tables, for that matter, I rather cringed to listen to Palermo whine about Berlin.
Going international, aren't we, companeros? Trying to suit every taste, eh? What utter poppycock that would be.
So, by the end of the day, I seem to think my next Netflix watch will be the Turkish feature about the siege of Constantinople. Leastways, I do so hope Mehmet the Conqueror (Fatih) is not going to use Zeppelins, retain Star Wars' Patrol Troopers or turn out to be the founding father of the Illuminati.
So long. Sorry about the long read piece.
P.S. When all is said and done, I might resume watching the Casa, after all. Maybe, I've just overreacted. It's possible. In a world where robbers fly blimps over Madrid, I mean - everything is possible.
*a city name, yes, btw