Ask fans of Money Heist, and they will tell you no one is safe on Netflix’s wildly popular Spanish crime drama, known as La Casa de Papel in its native country.
Despite this, many of the series’ global devotees continue to mourn the death of fan favorite Nairobi (Alba Flores). The loving mother somehow managed to thwart death when a sniper’s bullet wounded her at the end of Season 3, only to brutally and swiftly die at the merciless hands of Gandia (Jose Manuel Poga) in Season 4. Even her costar Ursula Corbero said she can’t accept the loss.
“I don’t get it either,” Corbero, who stars as Tokyo, told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “There were few friends I had there, and they killed the best one.”
But executive producer and director Jesus Colmenar insisted that Nairobi’s death had to occur to pave the way for the all-out war that awaits the Dali mask-wearing thieves and their deeply invested viewers when Season 5 premieres Friday, Sept. 3 on the streamer. (The second half of the fifth and final season will kick off in December.)
“Nairobi’s personality was not cut out for the war we find in this final season,” Colmenar said via an interpreter. “She wasn’t supposed to be here. I think this adds momentum to our characters that would be too complex to add otherwise.”
Just like the deaths of Berlin (Pedro Alonso), Moscow (Paco Tous) and Oslo (Roberto Garcia) before her, Nairobi’s life ended to fuel the characters and the story, Colmenar concluded.
“We kill our characters, and it adds tension,” he said. “It’s a good thing not to be able to know who will be killed and what will happen.”
Alvaro Morte, who stars as the Professor, agreed, and even found a way to add a little levity to the otherwise grim circumstances surrounding the loss of Nairobi.
“It contributes a dose of reality that anything may happen, and it contributes to the surprise element,” Morte said, before jokingly adding his own plot twist: “The Professor was about to have a child with Nairobi… but that’s another story.”