A young woman dressed as an old one for a heist





Lauren Cook

TV Series Review

The thrill of a car chase, the suspense of a police search…complicated crime capers and elaborate heists, both in real life and in fiction, have captivated our imaginations for decades.

But what happens after the heist? What happens to the people who commit the crime? What happens if they get away with it?

Heist is a documentary series that follows some of the biggest crimes in American history and the culprits who get away with them…almost. Through dramatizations, archival footage and interviews with the people involved—including the fugitives themselves—the series tracks various thefts from the criminal’s perspective.

Over six episodes, we see three different heists take place, and three different sets of criminals experience the euphoric feeling of getting away with a crime—until, inevitably, their actions come back to bite them.

Once Upon a Crime

At first, Heist feels like just one of the many, many crime-focused stories we’ve seen in the past. Breaking the law is shown as dramatic, flashy, even appealing at some points. “Chaos is exciting, chaos is sexy,” claims Heather Tallchief, a young woman who very nearly got away with stealing $3 million from a Las Vegas casino.

But as each story continues, we’re shown that that really isn’t the case.

Sure, Heather might have successfully stolen a ridiculous amount of money, but she was also spending every moment of her life looking over her shoulder. The money soon ran out, but the paranoia remained, and she started to realize that maybe this wasn’t so worth it after all. “You might get away with lots of money, but are you ever really free?” FBI agent Joe Dushek asks. The same question could be posed to each and every one of the criminals covered by Heist.

The series may possess some valuable themes about the pointlessness of crime and material wealth, but it still invariably glamorizes the crime itself, and it doesn’t shy away from recreating the eyewitness accounts in gratuitous detail. Nudity is present, as well as profanity, drug use and sexual content. The story of Heather’s Las Vegas heist, covered in the first two episodes, even features pagan worship and attempts at using magic.

Heist stands out in that it showcases the real-life consequences of crime. That doesn’t exactly excuse, however, the methods it uses to get its message across.

Episode Reviews

Jul. 14, 2021: “Sex Magick Money Murder Part 2”

As Heather and Roberto run from the authorities following their successful heist, Heather begins to have second thoughts, and she is forced to make an enormous decision regarding her future.

Heather wears revealing clothes such as crop tops and underwear, and we see her topless in multiple polaroid photos. We also briefly see Roberto naked from behind. Heather tells a cashier who asks why she’s paying in cash that she got the money from an old man she’s sleeping with. She finds out she’s pregnant with Roberto’s child. Shirtless men and women in bikinis are shown on a beach in Miami. We learn that Heather and Roberto’s relationship is not monogamous; Roberto is sleeping with other women, making Heather jealous.  One of Roberto’s poems, which features sexually explicit language, is shown onscreen briefly. Heather tells the audience in an interview that she worked as an escort following her split with Roberto.

Heather drinks champagne from a bottle in her Miami motel. She and Roberto are both shown smoking cigars. Ethan, Heather’s grown son, says in an interview that when his mother confessed her true identity to him, he thought that she was drunk.

Heather and Roberto buy multiple guns, and he teaches her how to use an AK-47. In an interview, Heather’s father recounts how the FBI told him that if his daughter resisted arrest, they would be prepared to shoot and kill her.

The f-word is said nine times, while “d–n” is used twice. The s-word and a misuse of God’s name each appear once.

Jul. 14, 2021: “Sex Magick Money Murder Part 1”

Heather Tallchief, 21, is seduced by the mysterious Roberto Solis, a convicted murderer out on parole who recruits her to help him rob a Las Vegas casino. Heather agrees to assist in the heist, caught up in his charisma and the adrenaline that comes from committing crimes.

When it comes to content issues, it’s really all in the episode title. Sexuality and pagan idolatry are strongly present here. Roberto is deep into what he calls “sex magick,” the practice of using sex to bring good luck and fortune. We see him and Heather engaging in sexual activity in a dramatization, with nudity briefly shown. Pictures of tarot cards display drawings of naked women and various sexual positions. Heather wears revealing clothes, from bras to crop tops to very short shorts. Dancers in a Las Vegas casino are shown performing in bikinis. We learn that Heather’s parents had her when they were in high school. They got married after the pregnancy, but quickly divorced after Heather was born.

In an interview, Heather tells the audience about her tumultuous childhood. She was verbally abused by her stepmother and grew up with her house constantly filled with partiers, as well as drugs and alcohol. Her father is very open about his use of marijuana, and we learn that Heather struggled with an addiction to cocaine before meeting Roberto. We see the couple sharing a marijuana joint in their car and taking tabs of LSD. Heather tells the viewer that she met Roberto in a bar, where he offered to buy her a drink and invited her to do a line of cocaine with him.

Roberto’s obsession with what he refers to as “eclectic mysticism” goes farther than just “sex magick”. He possesses an altar that he uses to worship an unnamed goddess, and he uses hypnotism on Heather to get her to feel more comfortable with carrying out the heist.

The f-word is used 15 times over the course of the episode, while the s-word is heard twice. “D–n” is used once, and one of Heather’s coworkers calls her a “b–ch”. God’s name is taken in vain four times.

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Lauren Cook Bio Pic
Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is serving as a 2021 summer intern for the Parenting and Youth department at Focus on the Family. She is studying film and screenwriting at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. You can get her talking for hours about anything from Star Wars to her family to how Inception was the best movie of the 2010s. But more than anything, she’s passionate about showing how every form of art in some way reflects the Gospel. Coffee is a close second.

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