The stakes get considerably higher in “Funny Money”, as the heist turns out to be less lucrative than imagined, and those involved in it begin to die both on and off-camera.
This recap of The Great Heist season 1, episode 5, “Funny Money”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The Great Heist episode 5, the penultimate episode, finds Chayo and Molina in jail, listening to news of their exploits on the police station radio. The situation is heating up now, but Mrs. K arrives with a suitcase full of cash to secure their release. Sprung from captivity, Chayo takes the opportunity to apologize to Mrs. K for the shove, among other things, but she’s just concerned about protecting her investment. There’s still the matter of moving the money to contend with.
“Funny Money” finds DA Paredes properly looking into the heist, interviewing those present, including Yidi and Monroy, but he isn’t able to come up with anything conclusive. Chayo, meanwhile, returns home, claiming to his wife to have made the best deal of their lives. It’s a con that surely can’t hold up, but she’s happy for now. Sardino sets out on his own endeavor in “Funny Money”, which leads Mrs. K to believe that he has stolen several wads for himself — an offense that she assures Chayo he’ll pay for. Nevertheless, there’s enough leftover dough to share out, which Chayo does, explaining why certain mutinous members aren’t getting bonuses, and how it’s imperative that nobody starts spending like a rock star and tipping people off to their newfound wealth. In a montage, we see everyone being thrilled with their fortune, in large part ignoring this advice, but none more so than Estiven.
Estiven’s boyfriend Miguel, it turns out, is a policeman, and in a misguided bid to impress him Estiven confesses to having knocked off the bank, showing him piles of paper currency as proof. But as we quickly learn in the aptly-titled “Funny Money”, the paper’s worthless since it hadn’t been officially circulated. As Chayo helplessly watches on with his wife and Luisa after assuring them of how much skill and courage it must have taken to pull the job off, the bank says they’ll reveal the serial numbers of the cash and that anyone caught spending it will be treated as an accessory to the crime.
This creates a major knock-on effect in the community and means that nobody — not casinos or even cartels — will touch the money, which Boris informs Chayo of, along with the news that Ulises has been killed off-screen. That means things are getting mightily serious now, despite the fact that it means nothing to the audience given we never saw it happen and he was a deeply unlikeable fellow anyway.
But the stakes are certainly raised, as we see when Mrs. K has a very unfortunate run-in with Kike, the People, and a baseball bat. It’s a striking image to see her reduced to terrified tears. Striking, too, to see the corpse of Maguiver, what looks like a puzzle piece carved out of his forehead. Mrs. K takes the People’s insistence that it’s either her or Chayo and Molina seriously, luring them to the junkyard and holding them at gunpoint. She can’t kill them, however, saying that’s not who she is; she’s not capable of doing the same things “they” are. She just wanted them to see, to understand why she’ll be gone for good.
Chayo certainly understands when he returns home to a gift and a note from the People, with instructions to call Kike. He does. Kike tells him that they want him to exchange the Monopoly notes for real ones, and he has until 7 am the next morning to do so. He also puts Mrs. K on the phone — she was caught trying to flee and is presumably shot to death. That’s the second off-camera death of The Great Heist season 1, episode 5, but the more impactful of the two thanks to the snippet of audio. It’s also where the episode ends.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.