Inside Men (Episodes 2 & 3)

The robbery of the cash-counting facility is done in September and now we’re dealing with the aftermath (and build up)…

I wrote about the first episode of the Thursday night BBC1 drama Inside Men here and was quite impressed. The middle two episodes have now been aired, with the final episode next week. It’s a strange programme. I don’t really think it is must-see tv, or particularly memorable after I’ve watched it, but every episode that I watch I enjoy and am hooked for that one hour. The flashback device could have been cliche, but is used rather well.

As my prose below will imply there are lots of stories going on, lots of interesting characters, and various complications. The easy-to-explain plot is that it is the story of how three ‘inside men’ come together to plan a robbery and how it unfolds after the fact. But it’s not a linear storyline and each character doesn’t have just one personal storyline either.

So Chris the security guard (Ashley Walters), Marcus (Warren Brown) and their boss John (Steven Mackintosh) had decided at the end of the first episode to rob their place of work – a place where all the cash in the region comes to be counted and packaged. But how to go about it? Marcus asks his girlfriend’s – Gina (Kierston Wareing) – brother for a contact and he introduces them to an Asian dude. He’s the boss of a call centre in the UK that is staffed by a load of Indians – but I thought the whole point of Indian call centres was that they were outsourced to India the country, not to Indians in Britain? And he’s a criminal. He agrees to source the ‘outside men’ for the heist. And the guns.

With the flashbacks and flashforwards, we see that it is a rather well thought out plan, with lots of new twists revealed in each episode. The plan is to do a heist in September because that is when the building will have the most money in it – so they have 9 months from January to plan this. And John, the mild-mannered boss, has all the ideas. His wife and (foster/adopted) child will be kept hostage in his house while robbers come in to the factory and do a hold up. Chris and John will, under faked duress, give the security codes to the robbers and let them escape. Later, the Asian boss-dude gives the key to John to a warehouse where the money (50%) has been placed for them to split between them.

But things go wrong. Chris is shot in the leg and has to have it amputated at the knee. His girlfriend is 8 months pregnant in September – and gives birth in October. In the flashbacks, we see that his alcoholic mother is a racist, and so he lets her choke on her own vomit and die while he watches over her. But at least he gets her house. This is March. He then decides he doesn’t want to be involved in the heist – he’s got a house and a baby on the way; but the others won’t let him leave. And then he goes to the police and tells them about the plans for the robbery…

And Gina has worked out what Marcus is up to, and wants to be informed about all the plans. She helps him buy the rubber masks for the robbers, as he initially wanted to order 14 of them online without realising that the purchase would be traced back to him. Instead, they go on a jolly to the seaside and buy masks from loads of different shops. The initial plan had been for Marcus to be the one to keep John’s wife and daughter hostage. But it soons becomes clear that it is Gina who takes up this role. In October, they’re fearful that they will be caught and Marcus urges Gina to run away.

And John seems to be a piece of nasty work behind his soft exterior. He has a failed attempted affair with his secretary. He likes to play with guns. He’s willing to kill Chris. In October, his wife has realised he was behind the heist, and packs his bags for him. He then gives some weird mumbly excuse and says he will come back for her and the kid one day. And then he goes to lie on top of the boxes of hard cash and wait for Marcus and Chris to turn up. And presumably the cops won’t be too far behind – we’ll find out next week.

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