1. Sergio AKA “Professor”
Last, but not least, let’s end it with the mastermind himself: The Professor (Álvaro Morte). Throughout the series, he definitely gives of strong fatherly figure vibes for the whole gang. His high intelligence level could sometimes blind his emotions, but the more the TV show progressed, we could see more of Sergio’s ‘human’ side. Yes, he has always cared for the other characters, but his first and only priority was to make everything work according to his plan, because he hated admitting he could also be wrong. Despite the tiny flaws in his character, his smartness, organizational skills and attention to detail are the reasons they pulled off the heists.
2. Raquel Murillo
You can’t deny the fact that Sergio and Raquel (Itziar Ituño) are the smartest pair in the whole of Money Heist. After joining the team, Raquel was able to bring valuable insight from her police force years, but she is also knowledgeable in numerous regular life skills. Yes, she initially fell for Professor’s little games, but she also managed to discover the truth on her own. Her interrogation skills perfectly showcase her capability to understand people on a deeper level and use it to her advantage. She and Professor perfectly complete each other’s intellect.
Talking about characters that are complex in their own way, Berlin (Pedro Alonso) is definitely on top of the list. Many forget that he is a misogynistic sexual assaulter when talking about their adoration for him. But he’s also a narcissistic psychopath who can’t distinguish between morally good and bad. That is not to excuse his behavior, but an insight that is necessary to mention. Despite all of his bad traits, when it comes to intelligence, he is on top of his game in Money Heist. He knew both of the plans better than anyone. He was able to tell that Gandía was going to be a huge obstacle after one encounter with him. He was in love with the plan and was willing to die for it.
4. Alicia Sierra
Love her or hate her, I think we can collectively agree that Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) carried some episodes in Money Heist with her intelligence and wit. She is on top of her game as a detective. Yes, she did torture Rio and gave him PTSD for life, but if we’re talking about her agility, she is outstanding. Not only did she carry on the investigation even after she got betrayed by her colleagues, she did all this while in her last term of pregnancy. Not to mention she managed to track down Professor all by herself and gave birth in the middle of the heist with no medical help whatsoever.
Similar to other characters in Money Heist, Palermo (Rodrigo de la Serna) is a train-wreck of a person, and you either love him or hate him. He has hurt many people while fighting to come to terms with his true self and while grieving after Berlin’s death. Despite all of that, it’s safe to say that if they brought Palermo to the first heist, Berlin would still be alive and everything would have gone as planned. Yes, he was doing the heist out of love, but he was dedicated to the plan. Professor put his whole trust in him by making him the leader because they both created the plan from scratch.
Two years later and we’re still bitter about the injustices that Nairobi (Alba Flores) was put through. Despite what producers may be trying to explain, she got shot in the chest and operated on — and thankfully survived — then got tortured, and just when you think she was about to get rescued, she got shot in the head and died. It is quite concerning that Money Heist killed off two of their most powerful women characters. Nairobi was able to lead the gold operation with clear head, never acted on her own behalf and always thought about the team. She knew how to balance her own emotions while also listening to Professor’s orders. Nairobi deserved to have a whole additional arc just as Berlin did.
Although Manila (Belén Cuesta) didn’t appear in Money Heist until the third volume, she’s an interesting character to study in close detail. In the same manner as Denver, she was raised in a tough environment and, on top of that, had to go through challenging tasks due to her gender identity. She was originally supposed to pretend to be one of the hostages and keep an eye on them, but with Arturo acting up, she finally cracked and pulled a gun on him. We notice right from the get-go that she’s a badass who can think for herself. She was a powerful addition to the team, and she proves it by doing something no one else was able to do: shooting Arturo in the leg. Well deserved.
Now, Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó) is a tough nut to crack; you either love her to pieces or hate her with passion. Nevertheless, her recklessness and complete irresponsibility are exactly what make up her good and simultaneously bad traits. She has hijacked the whole mission countless times, from her jealousy against Alison in the first season and being responsible for Moscow’s death to being the reason why they had to organize the second heist in the first place. There’s an abundance of reasons throughout Money Heist to dislike her. It’s only because she’s always acted with her passionate heart rather than her head.
Yes, Aníbal Cortés (Miguel Herrán) was initially recruited for the team because of his excellent IT skills, but other than that, he’s essentially still a kid in Money Heist. If it wasn’t for his immaturity and undying loyalty for Tokyo, he would arguably be a strong asset for the team. He has never held a gun before in his life, so when things went down, he wasn’t the one you could rely on to act. And when he finally stopped following Tokyo around, he was already suffering from a strong PTSD and wasn’t able to make logical decisions whatsoever.
Let’s face it: Denver (Jaime Lorente) is certainly not one of the quickest-witted people in the Money Heist gang. Considering the type of environment he grew up in — criminality; no mother figure and father in prison — it’s no surprise that he prefers to resolve conflict with his hands rather than using his head like Professor does. On many occasions, he acted impulsively, such as siding with Tokyo solely based on his undiscussed admiration for her. But isn’t that what makes these characters so relatable? They’re human and emotional. Despite his short-comings, Denver is a good guy at heart, who knows how to follow orders.