Photo: Jung Jaegu/Netflix
“How can I kill a person?!” Denver asks Mi-seon, as she tries to find a way to avoid following Berlin’s order to kill her. It’s the kind of basic yet insightful question that Denver excels at delivering. I may be silly, but he, you know, values human life, which I think is infinitely more important than brainpower, not only to the success of a society, but also to the success of an individual.
There aren’t enough mainstream stories exploring the high cost of inflicting violence on others. I’m not talking about some emo Batman staring into the rainy mist of Gotham City; I’m talking about the physical and mental consequences of causing pain to others. Unless you are a psychopath, hurting others will also hurt you. Moscow knows it. That’s why he is so distraught when he thinks that Denver has killed Mi-seon. It’s what brings him up the steps of the Mint and into the crosshairs of the task force he awaits.
The Professor loses control of the situation in Episode 3, or at least he is aware of this loss of control. It was probably unavoidable, given that there are so many factors and he is physically distant from the action. Humanity is messy, and this heist is riddled with humanity. While many examples of the heist genre like to pretend that the competition can predict human complexity, Money robbery: Korea he understands the absurdity of that deception. A lesser show would likely see the thieves turn decisively on one another, perhaps leading to a firefight that would sacrifice the group. Not this show though. When Tokyo stages a coup to defeat Berlin as the leader, he goes from being supported by the majority to not when new information is presented (that Woo-jin knows Rio’s and Nairobi’s identities) before the group has to leave. put aside their differences to respond. to Moscow’s attempt to surrender.
Berlin uses the group’s eventual confirmation of his leadership as proof that his strategy is working and that fear is the best motivator. But fear can take many forms, and Berlin only understands the desperate, selfish kind. Moscow’s fear, for example, is not based on self-preservation; it is based on love. Money robbery: Korea intersperses the chaos inside the Mint with a much softer, sunset-tinged reunion of Moscow and Denver months earlier. When Moscow is released from prison, the Professor awaits him with a job offer, but Moscow won’t do it without his son. He encourages him to accept the job: a chance at a better life for his son. Moscow is probably afraid of many things, but what he fears most is that his son is condemned to a life like his. He would give his own life rather than let that happen. It’s a lesson Berlin forgot, the one his mother demonstrated when she tried to lead her son to a better life and died trying.
Even when self-preservation is the emotion fueling actions, how the clutter of humans around them responds can be unpredictable. As Young-min picks up one of the royal guns and points it at the mixed group of hostages and thieves assembled to bring Moscow and Denver back to the Mint, Woo-jin and Captain Cha try to figure out the complexity of the situation. in the reality. weather. They assume that Young-min must be one of the robbers because why else would he point a gun at his fellow hostages? They are missing the full and complex human context of the situation and how Berlin has intentionally aggravated existing tensions between North Koreans and South Koreans, between boss and employee. Young-min has also learned to be a bully and, when he gets scared, he believes that he can use the threat of violence to save himself. In the past, he abused the relative power that society arbitrarily gave him and got away with it. When he tries it here, he gets shot in a situation that has been intentionally stripped of much of his social context and hierarchy.
It’s an amazing suspense, especially if you haven’t seen The Money Heist, and one that could ruin everything for the Professor and his team. What will it mean for Woo-jin, who gave the order to shoot a hostage? What will it mean for Young-min, who is a selfish idiot but doesn’t deserve to die? Will Berlin see the flaws in “ruling with fear”? So far, Episode 3 is Money robbery: KoreaThe most successful episode of because he bases his violence on the disordered emotions that drive him and come from him. In the recognition that when we inflict violence, no one is saved. “Who are you to kill someone?” Moscow furiously asks his son. Moscow is so afraid that his son will look like him (“Don’t live like me,” she tearfully instructs her son in flashbacks) not seeing how maybe Denver should be like him. Denver values human life enough to question Berlin’s orders, enough to risk his own life to try to keep Mi-seon alive: it’s a lesson he learned from his parents in a way that Berlin never could.
• While much of this episode’s flashbacks to Moscow life before the heist involve hearts by the rooftop fireplace, the opening is a slickly shot action sequence that sees Denver running across rooftops and shuffling through the cracks between the buildings to avoid some thugs. Later in the episode, we see more of Denver’s street fighter moves as he tries to take down Oslo, who isn’t easy to take down.
• I could have done it without the casual fatphobic “Teletubbies” references.
• The professor risks his relationship with Woo-jin to find out what the task force has on the thieves. He succeeds because he knows they have the identities of Rio and Nairobi, but it could also cost him future access to Woo-jin, who basically says goodbye to him forever. A voiceover from Tokyo highlights this possible consequence. She also reminds us that she is telling this story in the past tense, implying that there will be a future for at least part of the team.
• The teacher uses a desperate request from Woo-jin’s mother as an excuse to break into the task force headquarters. We learn more about Woo-jin’s domestic situation here: that Woo-jin has a restraining order against her husband and that she’s not supposed to see her daughter Mina from her, let alone kidnap her for food. Pizza.
• “Would you let [Mi-seon] Would I die if I were South Korean? I wish we knew a little more about the social tensions between North and South Koreans in this near-future reality. Obviously, we can extrapolate from the complicated relationship that exists in our real world, but this is not established in our real world. Not really. This show follows the model left by The Money Heistbut that show was set in our world and therefore had a different and easier relationship to setting the stage.
• “Good job. You’ll get used to it.” Yes, Berlin has probably killed a lot of people. “Why can no one die? Is it a question of ethics? The Really he is trying to understand why the professor might want to avoid killing people.
• Um, shooting someone in the thigh can be pretty fatal. I know Denver and Tokyo have a lot going on, but they really need to keep an eye on Mi-seon.
• “The belly never lies.” Moscow is honestly so nice.
• Real name verification: Nairobi’s real name is Sim Young-mun and he is 38 years old. Denver is called Taek-su. The teacher’s name is Sun-ho, or at least that’s the name he has given Woo-jin.
• There is effective editing in this episode, seen in subtle moments such as a cut of the Professor opening the door of his cafe to Nairobi opening the office door to the thieves’ group meeting. Not only is it visually interesting, but it links the teacher to the space in a more meaningful way. He may not be physically present at the heist, but his fate is tied to this group. In most cases, he is “with” them.
• “I’m always on your side.” Rio may not be in love with Tokyo in this version of the story, but he still looks up to her.
• “Thanks, but it’s not about choosing sides.” Tokyo is not here to win a popularity contest. She’s here to win a heist.