We’ve reached the final installment of Inside Men as I find myself on one hand having loved every episode, but on the other struggling to see past the gaping holes in some of the plot.
Apologies for the psychoanalysis in advance, but after reading an interview with writer Tony Basgallop, namely these two lines of explanation: “Inside Men’s warehouse manager John Coniston (played brilliantly by Steven Mackintosh) is a beta, but in order to orchestrate a heist he has to become an alpha” and “Inside Men isn’t just a story about a robbery, it’s about what it means to be a modern man,” I have trouble believing somebody can completely change their personality in a short space of time with no trauma or catalyst to set it off! I’m not saying somebody can’t display both characteristics, but it’s not sustainable in reality; you are either one or the other with occasional increases/decreases in confidence that may tilt the balance the other way. Not one minute mild-mannered John to ruthless robber and killer, with not an ounce of the old John in sight.
The action, suspense and emotion were all present and acted brilliantly, seeing the heist from each of the characters’ perspectives was an impressive way of giving the heist a fresh view, without it appearing needless. Out of all the characters Chris and Gina stand out as the reality of what they intend to do hits them the hardest. If anything Chris displayed more of a realistic impression of what the writer describes, in that he goes from a follower, to someone who takes control of the situation by informing the police of the robbery, but still having that cut-off switch where he managed to stop himself going too far when attacking John and being aware of the cost of their actions.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every minute of it and have enjoyed the wonderful acting and the suspense of the story. The going back and forwards in time could have easily become tedious, or confusing, but it seamlessly flowed drip-feeding us enough information to make us want to join the dots of the plot, but not too much to stop us from coming back for more. All the leads Steven Mackintosh, Ashley Walters, Warren Brown, Kierston Wareing Leila Mimmack and Nicola Walker all deserve to be applauded for their acting, I just would like more of an explanation as to the why?
We ended with Marcus and Gina getting away with that one box of money, he may not have wanted more, but if you’re on the run for a heist that big he could have a least took a couple more boxes! Chris returns to Dita and the baby, in the eyes of the police a hero for tipping them off about the heist (although that’s probably not enough to repay the cost of losing a leg). And then we’re left with John, who explained to his daughter (through the medium of The Gruffalo no less) that being good and truthful means you get overlooked and doesn’t get you where you want to go in life! His explanation to Chris of his reasoning; “I have wasted so many years being scared you have no idea. Nothing in this world is gonna frighten me again! This is what I wanted…this is what I stole…This man!” “THIS MAN” has lost him his job, his freedom and his family, all to prove he’s Mr alpha male?! John’s idea of a macho man is a deluded vision! Will he still be an alpha winner when he’s banged up for years (which I was thoroughly disappointed we saw no arrest, or an indication of his sentence).
All in all an enjoyable ride, that I would watch again, with Chris being the only true winner of the heist as he quite literally got away with it, even if he didn’t get the money. Just remember kids, you don’t need to steal and terrorise to be noticed, I’m sure a cool haircut will do!