Money Heist season 5, episode 10 recap – the finale and ending explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: December 3, 2021 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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Netflix Money Heist season 5, episode 10 - A Family Tradition - the finale and ending explained


Will we ever see a story like this again? I doubt it.

This recap of Netflix’s Money Heist season 5, episode 10, “A Family Tradition,” — the finale and ending explained — contains spoilers. 

Read the recap of the previous episode.

It’s no surprise that the last ever episode of Money Heist would focus on The Professor’s last play. The whole time this has been a massive game of chess. From the start of this heist, The Professor was skeptical of Berlin and Palermo’s plans. That WAS the hint. That was the twist. The Professor would have never gone into a plan without having his own aces. And boy, he had an ace up his sleeve. A queen ready to thrust into the heart of Spain. Let’s recap Money Heist season 5, episode 10!

Money Heist season 5, episode 10 recap – the finale and ending explained

The final EVER episode starts with chants of “Professor” outside the bank as our beloved heist team leader walks into enemy territory. He’s in the bank, fully surrendered by the authorities. His heist team looks defeated, and how could we blame them? He’s their main guy. Tamayo immediately asks The Professor where the gold is before arresting him. He then tells The Professor the charges they are all facing, one heist team member at a time. It’s mental torture, especially as he faces the one he loves — Lisbon. He believes one of them will tell him where the gold is because whoever tells him will be given an entirely new life.

The Professor plays the biggest poker play in history, while Sierra tries to find the gold.

Episode 10 heads to the Philippines, two months after the famous first heist (this feels like so long ago). The Professor was haunted by his brother’s death. He became obsessed with the Bank of Spain heist with many sleepless nights. In the present day, a video is broadcast by The Professor via his friends in Pakistan with Palermo showing the world how they stole the national reserve. The country now knows they are in economic trouble. It’s a financial crisis. Tamayo tells The Professor and the heist team that the video didn’t work because they have had cash injections from the European bank.

But then, investors bet against the fall of Spain to make the stock markets crash, and the premium risks rise, essentially bringing the country into bankruptcy. The heist team members are the only ones who can stop it. In the flashbacks, The Professor tells his team that they will hand the gold back. Denver was appalled by these plans. In the present day, The Professor offers the gold, and Denver gets increasingly angry, thinking the ultimate plan is crazy. Tamayo knows Denver is vulnerable and interrogates him first. Meanwhile, Sierra discusses a plan and brainstorms — they believe the gold will be buried near a plot purchased before the heist. The next step is to look at the land registry.

Tamayo offers Denver a new life; a lifetime allowance, and a retirement plan for him and his family. It’s a fresh start. Denver tells Tamayo tells him he doesn’t know where the gold is. Tamayo asks Denver to write down what Lisbon doesn’t want him to say to them. Denver mocks Tamayo instead. He is then taken away, and he smiles at the heist team on the way out and tells Stockholm that he loves her. He leaves the bank to crowds of support. They clap for him. Meanwhile, The Professor and Lisbon are imprisoned in their own cell.

The final ever episode then moves to 5 years earlier in Madrid. Rafael asks The Professor why he’s planning a heist. Berlin tells his son that robbery is their life, and his grandfather started this. The Professor and Berlin reminisce over their father and the last moments with him; the day their father was shot, The Professor followed his father — he saw him try and do a heist at a bank, and he was killed. The Professor saw this unfold as a child. He explains to Rafael and Berlin that it felt like a movie as his eyes well up. He then tells Rafael he plans heists to talk to his father.

Angel has a theory — he believes the gold has been transported into trucks, and the trucks can be traced. However, as part of the plans, they used decoy trucks to drive the authorities crazy. And it gets worse for Tamayo; the Central European Bank is skeptical, and they are letting Spain collapse. The stock markets have already dived by 14%. The pressure is now increasingly on him to sort out this mess. Tamayo immediately takes his anger out on The Professor and begins to punch him as he’s tied up.

The Professor tells Tamayo that he may be wrong about “what winning is”; he tells him to think about saving the banks and that he has one choice — either they both win or lose. The Professor then reveals he doesn’t know where the gold is, and neither do his people. He tells him the gold is out and on the move. The Professor tells them that they are both insignificant in this economic tsunami.

Leaving Lisbon and The Professor alone in their cell, they have an intimate conversation in a rare settled moment. Libson tells The Professor he doesn’t do heists for his brother or father, he does it for himself — she knows the man under the mask who suffers from an inferiority complex, but he is his “own magic trick” in a “Clark Kent costume.” She tells him to take off the mask and be who he is. The pair strain to kiss each other passionately, and Lisbon says, “let’s get them.”

Sierra and her team head to the land registry office and place the workers under hostage; she gets the most experienced worker to find the most recent plot buys. Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal the “Tom Thumb” plan, which leaves breadcrumbs for authorities — Angel follows the breadcrumbs left by Marseille, organized by The Professor. They make the trail so complex and intricate to follow that Angel and Tamayo wouldn’t have time to think — it leads them to the bottom of the sea.

Tamayo orders the Navy to get to the sea while pretending to the media that they are still at war with the bank for the gold. Palermo is excitable at the fake warning shots, knowing that there’s still hope that they will pull off the heist. They are also still alive. Every minute they are alive and in the bank, there’s more hope, there’s more positive thinking.

And another blow to Tamayo; another video is shown to the world, showing how the heist team melted down the gold. The world knows — the gold has left the Bank of Spain — the stock market continues to crash, just like The Professor predicted. And then images are shown on the news of the Navy out at sea. The Professor can now negotiate. Meanwhile, Sierra finds the plot of land with the gold on, but they are soon surrounded by Tatiana and her men for a face-off.

So, Tamayo finally sits down with The Professor for a negotiation. However, Tamayo doesn’t want to play any games; he threatens to execute his heist team members. The Professor tells him again that they either both win or both lose. Tamayo faces the press and claims they have intercepted the gold from the trucks, offering trust and transparency — The Professor told him to make this statement.  Meanwhile, it’s Sierra versus Tatiana, but Sierra calls for Rafael; she has a note for him sent by his uncle, The Professor.

Trucks appear with loads of gold, and the news reports that the debt crisis is under control. The Professor tells Lisbon this is part of the plan, and not all secrets are shared in bed. He believes keeping this secret was necessary.  In a flashback, Palermo asks The Professor for his secret in the plan as he doesn’t think he would surrender and give up the gold. The Professor tells him he can’t reveal the last part of the plan and calls gold an illusion. He states it means nothing, and it’s merely a physiological backup. He reveals the gold in the back of the truck is brass — a swap—gold for fake gold.

In the present day, Tamayo is fuming to learn that the gold is brass. Tamayo orders to kill execute the heist team, but The Professor tells Tamayo that the economic crisis is over. Tamayo asks The Professor why he’s doing this if he’s Robin Hood. The Professor looks at Lisbon and admits his true nature — he’s a thief. Lisbon tells Tamayo that it’s funny that one of the world’s strongest economies will be supported by brass, a different metallic element. Then The Professor tells him he will be a hero who carries another state secret — and deep down, it will not matter.

This is the part where it dawns on the audience — the last piece of the puzzle is Tamayo; The Professor knows that this man is desperate to be a hero. Desperate for all this to be over. He hasn’t been able to deal with the stress since the start.

Tamayo isn’t buying The Professor’s final plan and counts down from 10 for an answer, or everyone will be executed. The Professor and Lisbon tell him that this is his only chance and remind him of the consequences. Tamayo reaches number one in his countdown in a tense moment, but The Professor tells him it is “checkmate.” The screen goes black, and gunshots are heard.

Tamayo gives a press statement to the public that the heist is over. He announces that Bogota, Rio, Manila, Pamplona, Helsinki, Stockholm, Palermo, Lisbon, and The Professor were all shot dead in a “final resistance.” Body bags are seen leaving the bank, and the crowds grieve. He also announces that they will be putting Denver under witness protection until the investigation is over.

However, it seems that The Professor managed to get inside Tamayo’s heart in the riskiest poker move of the series; the heist team unzips their body bags. They are alive. They made it. It seems that Tamayo didn’t want to be at risk of the massive state secret being revealed, and with the heist, the team declared “dead” by the state, it dies with them. He got what he wanted. He became a hero. The door shuts in the vault, full of brass bricks showing the irony of the illusionary economy. The message sent by Sierra moved Rafael; he believes he’s serving his father’s honor as he takes a share of his legacy.

The ending

The episode moves to 24 hours later. The heist team is given new passports. Denver shows up, and he’s reunited with Stockholm. And then Denver admits to The Professor that he nearly blew it before hugging him.

The Professor admits that it didn’t turn out how they wanted because not everyone is here, but they all got something out of it. The remaining heist team gets into a circle. Sierra shows up and hugs The Professor before shaking Lisbon’s hand. Sierra asks The Professor for her new passport.

As Sierra drives away, The Professor asks where the gold is — she tells him it’s already in Portugal in a small treasure house. The scene flits to a truck carrying the house that Tatiana and Rafael built. The series ends with all heist members with a new life, and they no longer have to rob a bank ever again. They all jump onto a helicopter and fly to freedom. The Professor shakes his hands in the air emotionally, and they all celebrate.

We will never see a story like this ever again. It’s been a pleasure.

What did you think of Netflix’s Money Heist season 5, episode 10 (the finale), and the ending? Comment below. 

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