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The ending of Money Heist Part 4 explained

Contains spoilers for Money Heist through Part 4

If you're a Netflix viewer who's not cowed by what Parasite director Bong Joon-ho called "the one-inch-tall barrier" of subtitles, then you're likely clued in to one of the most thrilling crime dramas currently available on television: La Casa de Papel, or Money Heist, as it's known in the English-speaking world. The Spanish series has gripped a global audience with its complex, nuanced characters, its twisting plots, and its sense of structural style over three seasons, spending six weeks as Netflix's most-followed series.

Part 4, which arrived on April 3, 2020, has proven no exception. Picking up right where Part 3's cliffhangers left off, it launches the robbers headlong into an effort to save Nairobi's (Alba Flores) life, while the Professor (Álvaro Morte) and Marseille (Luka Peroš) come to the conclusion that Lisbon (Itziar Ituño) is alive and being interrogated by Sierra (Najwa Nimri). Where it begins, however, is no match for where it ends — with events that rock not only the lives of the characters, but also the larger world they inhabit. In fact, one of the biggest twists might have been missed by even the most eagle-eyed viewer if they navigated away from the credits too quickly.

What does it all mean? Grab your Dalí mask and red jumpsuit and join us for a look at Money Heist's latest — and greatest — surprises.

Bye-bye, Nairobi

One of the most important threads of the fourth season of Money Heist had to do with attempting to save the life of Nairobi — who, it turn out, is only mostly dead, despite being shot in the chest at the end of Part 3. The team manages to save her life thanks to herculean efforts of Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó)... but that glimmer of hope is pretty quickly snuffed out due to the loose cannon that is Gandía (José Manuel Poga), the head of the Bank of Spain's security. Gandía toys with the robbers' emotions, releasing Nairobi back to her friends only to promptly shoot her in the head. As tricky as this show can be, there's no coming back from that one.

The tragedy ante is upped when it's revealed via flashback that Nairobi had convinced the Professor to be the donor for her in vitro fertilization. The convoluted nature of Nairobi's fate — from seemingly dead, to saved, to dead, again — was cruel, but this last twist of the knife made her demise one of the harshest that fans of this show have ever faced. It seems as if Gandía will get his comeuppance, as the season wraps up with him unconscious and captured by the robbers, but with Money Heist, you never know how these things are going to go.

The Professor's bombs hit home

Meanwhile, having discovered that his love, Lisbon, is still alive, the Professor sets into motion his Paris Plan, designed to create a distraction and exact revenge for the government's treatment of Rio (Miguel Herrán). Boy howdy, did he ever succeed. First, the Professor broadcasts Rio's description of his torture, seen on Money Heist Part 3, to the entire country. When the Spanish government attempts to mitigate the PR damage at a press conference, the Professor strikes again, streaming footage of Rio's torture to every reporter in attendance. In a final blow, he steps up to the plate, describing Lisbon's illegal imprisonment in a broadcast sent out to all of Spain.

Needless to say, the fallout from this is immense. It ends the careers of several involved officials, including hardline police inspector Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri). On a larger scale, however, it basically causes an international incident, spurring world governments to question Spain and wholly discredit the country's government. All this turmoil plays directly into the Professor's hands, leading to Lisbon's release and retrial, which enables the execution of a plan to free her. It's nearly foiled because Gandía is such a lunatic, but, thankfully, Money Heist Part 4 ends with Lisbon again breathing free air.

Sierra strikes back on Money Heist Part 4

While she may have seen her career end, Sierra's certainly not going to let a little thing like a lost job keep her from her obsession with hunting down the Professor. In fact, her administrative execution was her own doing, as she goes back on her agreement to take the fall for all the governmental shenanigans and lays out the official origins of the whole sordid affair.

She then goes rogue, uncovering one of the Professor's moles and finally tracking down the target of her search, as Money HeistPart 4 ends with Sierra holding the Professor at gunpoint. Given her vendetta and her new status as a lone wolf, this would seem to set up Sierra as a potential Big Bad for Part 5. It'd make sense: she's shown herself to be remorseless, ruthless, and cruel in her torture of Rio and her plan to use Nairobi's son to enable her execution, and her ability to scheme seems to rival that of the Professor. 

Or does she?

That conclusion is cast into doubt by an Easter egg you might have missed if you skipped out on the final episode's credits. After a few seconds, we hear actress Najwa Nimri, who plays Sierra, singing "Bella Ciao," which has served as the anthem for Berlin and the Professor's resistance. Up to now, we've only ever heard that particular song sung by followers of the cause. Could the fact that Nimri's voice is the one we hear singing over the credits indicate that Sierra intends to throw in her cause with the Professor? It'd certainly be a big twist, given that we've only ever seen the character portrayed as ruthless and sociopathic. This being Money Heist, however, we've come to expect the unexpected.

Will Sierra surprise us all? Have we seen the last of Gandía? What will be the effect of the Paris Plan? We'll have to wait for Money Heist Part 5 to know for sure, but the path to seeing these questions answered is sure to involve any number of twists and turns. Who'd want it any other way?