December 3, 2021

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[Review] La Casa de Papel season 4: Prison Break syndrome?

Between Nairobi in critical condition, a Lisbon prisoner, a confused professor and a war started by our robbers, season 3 of La Casa de Papel ends in utter chaos. Now season 4 has to keep its promise carefully so it doesn’t fall into your own caricature.

Time to leave the Netflix recap to remind us who, what, where, how and why and La Casa de Papel season 4 continues on from the abandoned season 3. And we can’t say that the situation is like a dream with a team that has just lost a member and is at risk of losing a second. Obviously, in this context many say that each character turns into a ticking time bomb and the situation will not improve.

If there’s one quality to acknowledge in the Alex Pina series, it’s the rhythm. Something is constantly happening on the screen that keeps us glued to the couch (or armchair depending on preference). In much the same way as Prison Break or the previous 24 Heures chrono, this show is very careful to always have ammunition on hand if the pressure threatens to drop, particularly by employing a technique as old as the small screen world: the famous cliffhanger.

the end of the episode. Result: we tied them up like bulimics and we arrived at the end of this batch of 8 episodes without watching the time go by. To say that La Casa de Papel was suggested during his confinement is an understatement.

What’s more as this sequel multiplies moments of emotion and action to bring us closer to the protagonists, some of whom end up being thicker like Marseille, still too little present, but with great potential to exploit. And in terms of making us love or hate the characters, season 4 didn’t go smoothly.

La Casa de Papel is starting to crumble
On paper, this fourth batch of La Casa de Papel has it all to keep fans happy and when you see them all at once, it works. But it’s enough to take a step back to see major weaknesses like Bank of Spain and comparisons with Prison Break then take on its full meaning.

Before proceeding, there are two things to keep in mind. First, the series wasn’t originally designed to have multiple seasons. Its creators envisioned it as a two-part story (renamed seasons 1 and 2 when it arrived on Netflix). The following are simply supply created in the face of demand. Then, Prison Break in its time has let itself get carried away at its own game by repeating the pattern that had made its original success to become a bland caricature of its own.

Two points raised, the relationship between the two series takes on full meaning: season 4 Casa de Papel falls into the same trap of forcing its quality to the point of turning it into a flaw. It’s amazing how these eight new episodes will deconstruct what the show has been fighting for, starting with the suspense all over the place.

While it flows naturally from the previous plot, here it is forced, refilled with more and more contrived and incoherent reversal of the situation. Deus ex machina, already very present, is now the norm and where we previously worried about our little band, now we’re having fun figuring out which character crisis will out of nowhere reload the engine with random intrigue. Not to mention the flashbacks that have become so unnecessary,

Because don’t hide it, season four’s biggest problem stems from character writing. The latter always benefit from simple characterization for an understandable need for identification. Except there, these traits are either taken to the extreme or, conversely, completely taken on the wrong foot by forgetting all logic. Who would have thought the eternal rebel and the impulsive Tokyo would make such a good leader? Anyone.

Never. But when the script needs it, it is needed. Especially that instead of highlighting the qualities of some people, the series prefers to support the faults of others, to the extreme. Already hateful, Arturo took another step forward. Palermo? Swiss army knife that can be used for the slightest turn. Not to mention all the love conflicts that turn millimeter robbery into a schoolyard.

The advantage of using twists in abundance while very often ignoring consistency, is that we won’t be able to anticipate the events of season 5 (which will happen, little doubt about that). However, it must be remembered that no one watched the fifth Prison Break.