Money Heist , a Spanish crime series on Netflix, is about a group of 8 thieves attempting to mint 4.8 billion Euros from the Royal Mint of Spain. The police won’t let the thieves get away and a game of cat and mouse ensues between the chief detective and the criminal master mind known as the Professor.
I enjoyed the series, and I enjoyed the deductive game that took place between prisoners, those pulling off the heist, and law enforcement. But I was challenged by the show in a way I wasn’t expecting.
At the end of the second season the criminals have gotten away and meet on an island in the Philippines. Two of them meet, glance at each other, and I can only imagine, will continue their romantic relationship.
This was after a season of much murder, theft, violence, and destruction of property. Crimes worth, in one of the character’s words, more than 700 years in prison.
So then could there ever be a happy ending for our characters? Is the show inauthentic in its depiction of the outcome of a serious crime? I can imagine what a reader might think. Give it a break! It’s just a show. There is nothing real about 8 robbers stealing and printing money from a Spanish bank!
I remember watching a similar film about a husband who managed to spring his wife from prison. After much planning, deliberating, and executing, he managed to break his wife free and escape with his son to a South American country. What was interesting for me is that right at the end of the film the husband looks over his shoulder. He knows that from now on he will be hunted and he will never be safe.
In this little scene, I believe we see an artist’s respect for the deeper underlying rules that govern reality. Actions have consequences! To steal, to murder, and to rape in themselves have serious consequences on the person’s psyche whether or not they are punished by the legal system.
It is perhaps why great writers like Dostoevsky can examine what the toll a grisly murder can have on a person’s soul without ever resorting to the external consequences that authorities or the law may place on the individual.
Personally speaking, I believe that art must respect these rules. Otherwise art may devolve into something completely untrue and perhaps even in rebellion- to reality.