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The Worst Thing Money Heist Characters Have Ever Done

Part of the beauty of "Money Heist" is that it turns all our expectations on their heads. The bank robbers are the good guys; the police and the government are the bad guys. As such, it becomes a difficult task to say what's right or wrong. Is it wrong for Tokyo to kill the police, and later the soldiers trying to stop her thefts — especially when we're cheering for her victory? Or is it worse for her to betray her band of merry thieves? 

In a world of moral absolutes, these questions would be easy. But the truth is, we don't exist in a world of moral absolutes, nor does "Money Heist." The thefts are seen as strikes against the global banking order, which has increasingly disenfranchised the average worker. So with that moral ambiguity in mind, with the robbers on the good side of workers, women, and minorities fighting a divisive international order, here is the list of the worst things the main characters of "Money Heist" have done (that we know about).

Tokyo: Causing Rio's capture

Tokyo is the femme fatale everybody can't help but love. A great part of that love comes from her impulsive joie de vivre. It's just this wild streak that leads to the capture of her lover Rio from their tropical hiding place. She can't just live in paradise with the man she loves; Tokyo needs to go party on the mainland.

When she forgets to check in with him, though, he has to call her to make sure she's okay, and that leads to his capture and eventual torture. This is the most egregious crime she commits against the gang — and that includes her showy return to the mint in the first heist that results in Moscow's death.

She also killed several cops in a heist that also resulted in the death of her first great lover (seen in flashbacks) and kills several government soldiers in a suicide bombing — but since they're the "bad guys," it doesn't top the list.

The Professor: Used Rio's kidnapping as an excuse

The Professor is the voice of temperance and discipline, the man who by himself can outsmart teams of the best investigative and intelligence minds in Spain. He doesn't commit any rash murders or betrayals, doesn't commit any sexual improprieties, and rarely even gets angry at his crew when they mess up because of their own petty human failings. It could be argued, though, that his plan to pull off the first heist, resulting in deaths and sentencing all its participants to a life of hiding, was kind of bad.

What is truly deplorable, though, is the fact that he likely knew one of their people would probably slip up and be captured; and when that happened, he used Rio's capture as the excuse for the heist of the Bank of Spain. As Sierra points out, he could have acted much sooner to free Rio somehow, but instead he knew it would reunify the gang for another, even more impossible robbery. In that moment, it's revealed that the "humble" Professor was willing to use the people he seemed to care about as little more than pawns to live out his desire to pull off the greatest heist anybody has ever executed. 

Eventually the Professor admits to Lisbon that he was already planning the Bank of Spain heist 48, or maybe even 24, hours after they successfully robbed the mint. This is calculatingly devious in the extreme.

Berlin: Sexually assaulting a hostage

In the second heist, it seems like the producers really try to humanize Berlin, painting a picture of him as a brilliant thief and a romantic. In the first heist, you can't help but hate his constant mind games, his sadistic streak, his megalomania. Of course the worst thing he does, though, is rape a hostage.

As the dictatorial head of the captors, he takes pleasure in inspiring fear in the hostages (and the heist gang). When he notices Ariadna, he uses his power to make her into his concubine and personal handmaid. He is holding her against her will, giving her a secure position in exchange for her servicing him. Forcing a captive into sexual subjugation is the worst thing Berlin has done — at least that we know about.

While he does sacrifice himself at the end (he was going to die of a disease in a few months anyway, so not such a big sacrifice), one has to wonder how he became such a fan favorite to the point that he's getting his own spinoff

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Lisbon: Making her daughter a fugitive

Lisbon is first introduced to us as Raquel Murillo, the investigator trying to take down the Professor's robbery of the Spanish Mint. She is an officer of the law navigating a messy divorce from an abusive, cheating husband, all while taking care of her mother as the old woman enters dementia. She finds salvation in the companionship of the very man she's squaring off against, and eventually she falls in love with him.

Then she makes a decision: She, her daughter, and her mother run off to live in hiding with the Professor, and Raquel becomes Lisbon. Love is great and all, but there's one person who doesn't get a say in this drastic life change: Her daughter, Paula. She will now live with her mom and her mom's new boyfriend in the Philippines, where she has to stay in hiding. Not to mention the girl will now never see her father who, scumbag or not, she might want to at least be able to talk to.

Kids never get a choice when they're Shanghaied into life with a criminal mastermind.

Denver: His betrayal of Stockholm

This isn't a betrayal like many of the others, who've jeopardized the safety of their colleagues through their actions. This is a betrayal of romantic trust. Denver basically all but convinces Stockholm to leave with him, taking her unborn child with them to raise the child as if he were the father. Then he admits in the end of Season 5 that he's been running away from his hiding place with Monica/Stockholm to party. He even has a brief but poignant dalliance with Manila during the heist, and then tells Stockhom, despite the fact that Stockholm was already on the verge of mental collapse.

Eventually, he reconciles with her and they hope for the best. So maybe due to this happy-ish ending, his worst action was accusing Tokyo of being responsible for his father's death with the stunt. Or perhaps his outspoken loss of faith in the Professor that almost ruins everything is the worst.

His laugh can be kind of annoying, too.

Tamayo: Betraying Sierra

Colonel Tamayo is the epitome of "evil government brass." He displays his lack of honor throughout, often acting in his own interest while justifying it as a noble act of duty or patriotism. Given the moral code that runs through "Money Heist" — that the purposeful betrayal of your colleagues is the worst offense — Tamayo throwing Alicia Sierra under the bus is definitely his worst act.

Under his orders, she tortured Rio and she played mind games with the gang. When these problems come to light, Tamayo has her take the fall. When she speaks out, he turns her into a criminal — despite her years of service to him and their government. 

Another candidate for his worst action: Sending in a military special forces team into the Bank of Spain with carte blanche, knowing there will be hostage casualties — especially when he decides those casualties would be worth it to help his credibility. Given all the horrible things he's done in this one heist, though, he's likely done a lot worse over his career.

Nairobi: Being a drug-dealing mom

It's tough to find fault in Nairobi. Throughout the series, she's the emotional rock and inspiration for the gang, to the point that many argue she's the best character in "Money Heist." Sure, she's made some mistakes and said some bad things throughout the series, but never were they unjustified. So if we were going to dig deep to find her most egregious error, it would have to be a crime of necessity.

Nairobi's backstory is tragic; on her own as a young teenager, she got together with a man who left her. She had to raise her children as a single mother. With basically no education and absolutely no support, she had to sell drugs to support her family. When she got busted, she went to jail and lost her children. Nairobi is extremely intelligent and motivated, a fact that shows that she turned to crime only because she fell between the cracks in the system. In the end, though, she was a drug-dealing mom. By most people's definition, this is bad.

Palermo: Helping Gandia

Palermo begins the second heist as a mutant version of Berlin, every bit as power-hungry and misogynist but without Berlin's self-control and suaveness. Just like Berlin, Palermo gets overthrown and is forced to sit out for a few plays. Unlike Berlin, however, he turns into a traitor during his exile.

Handcuffed next to Gandia, he inspires the aggro security guard to run amok. He even reminds him of the trick to escape handcuffs, just a little dislocation and — bop — the hand will slide out clean. Gandia's liberation ends up being the worst thing to happen to the gang in the first part of the Bank of Spain heist. While Palermo eventually rejoins the group, a bit humbled and more dedicated to them, it's still true that he helped inspire and even advised the monster that ended up killing Nairobi. This may be erased by his eventual efforts in pulling off the heist and the simple fact that it was actually in large part his heist. His redemption also comes in the form of his eventual actions to protect his lover Helsinki, a sign of his returning humanity. 

Arturo: Raping Amanda

Arturo is arguably the slimiest, most rotten character in "Money Heist." In the first heist, he spends his time trying to convince the other hostages to take on risky operations to escape, all the while planning on taking the credit. He eventually does, too — it's revealed in the beginning of Season 3 that he is now a motivational speaker, touting how he took on the robbers. Yet despite his many attempts to sacrifice other hostages to make himself a hero, the worst thing we see him do is rape another hostage.

He's committed a laundry list of repugnant deeds throughout the series. He treats Monica as disposable before the first heist, throwing her aside when he finds out she's pregnant — all while he's been cheating on his wife. He puts everybody else into harm's way to satisfy his own egotistical drive to be painted a hero without risking anything. When he runs into the Bank of Spain to join the hostages in Season 3 (obviously for more publicity), he acts exactly the same, trying to get other people to take the big risks. Then he goes from borderline scumbag to absolute human garbage when he drugs and rapes fellow hostage Amanda. He tries to do the same with Manila. Drugging and raping a woman lands you in the lowest ring of hell.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Rio: Not shooting Gandia

Rio is definitely not a protagonist; the action seems to happen all around him, but he is never really a doer. In fact, he's somewhat bland and uninspiring compared to all the other major cast-members of "Money Heist." He leaves the action to his paramour. Tokyo. Twice he holds a rocket launcher to his shoulder and both times he doesn't shoot. In fact, the worst thing he does is not shoot.

When Gandia escapes, Rio is the only person on guard in the library. Gandia starts up the stairs and Rio trains his gun on him but he doesn't shoot. Gandia can tell he won't shoot, which is part of his plan. Rio is shell-shocked still from his torture at the hands of Alicia Sierra, sure, but whether he would've shot at all is questionable. Gandia gets out and eventually executes Nairobi, after causing havoc throughout the gang.

Rio, just shoot the evil skinhead.

Alicia Sierra: Betraying the Professor

This isn't calling Alicia Sierra out for trying to take down the Professor. She's plenty annoying as his enemy, a self-righteous, self-satisfied hired government goon but that was her job. This isn't even saying she was wrong in tracking him down and holding him and the people in his hideout captive though it was annoying. This is calling her out for how she acts later.

The Professor delivers her child and is kind to her, despite the fact that he has a serious advantage over the woman who had just held him hostage. Then she takes advantage of his grief-stricken loss of control when Tokyo dies, by escaping. During the escape, she forces Marseille into a game of chicken — threatening his life, her life, and the life of her newborn. Then eventually she kidnaps the Professor and takes him to Tamayo, despite the Professor explaining that he was on her side and Tamayo wasn't.

That ends up being her come-to-Jesus moment when Tamayo calls the police on her, almost capturing her and the Professor. Of course, the Professor still saves her. She ends up paying back the Professor, though, by finding the gold Berlin's son and ex-wife had stolen from them. Still.

It should be added that a close second is the series of twisted mind games she plays with Rio while interrogating him. The torture and dehumanization of Rio is pretty awful, though at that point she was just a cog of the government.

Gandia: His racist, sexist murder of Nairobi

Gandia is toxic masculinity personified. The guard from the Bank of Spain has egotistical sense of self-importance, combined with bigoted worldviews. When he gets free and runs throughout the heist, his vision of himself as a lone avenger jeopardizes both the gang and hostages. His dislike of the group seems to stem from more than the fact that they're robbers, though; he especially bristles at the idea of Nairobi — not only a woman, but a woman of Romani descent (a long-maligned ethnicity in Spain) — telling him what to do.

Gandia takes every opportunity to focus his rage on Nairobi, inflicting the most pain on her he can. Eventually, when he has the group finally giving in to him because he has Nairobi at gunpoint, he executes her — a killing fueled by his hatred of her gender and identity. Few deaths on "Money Heist" are as satisfying as Gandia's death at the hands of Tokyo.

Helsinki: Fighting in the Yugoslav wars

Helsinki is a big loveable bear, an animated heavy who shows Palermo he can care about somebody who isn't Berlin. His biggest misdeed in the series occurs during the first heist, when he was supposed to destroy a car for the Professor. He eventually reveals he sent the money to his family instead of using it to destroy the car. The Professor has to run off to the vehicle, jeopardizing the whole heist. Yet likely the worst thing Helsinki has done occurred years before the first season of "Money Heist."

Helsinki's backstory has him and Oslo fighting in the Yugoslav wars, for Serbia. The Yugoslav wars are considered the bloodiest European wars since WWII. There were plenty of war crimes — including ethnic cleansing. The Bosnian genocide, committed by Serbia, is possibly the most blatant example of how atrocious these wars were. Helsinki fought in these wars where few people emerged with their hands clean; it's likely he did some horrible things back then, acts of war more atrocious than anything we saw on "Money Heist." This makes his sunny disposition all the more remarkable, and Helsinki's role as optimist all the more surprising.