Inside Men Series Blog: Series Finale Review

*This blog is for people who have seen up to episode 3 of Inside Men and contains spoilers. Read the episode 2 blog here*

INSIDE MEN: Thursday 23rd February, 9pm, BBC One

This week saw the dramatic denouement of BBC One’s bank heist thriller which saw all our favourite law-breakers walking away with a big tasty slice of their heart’s desire.

John’s monotonous drone-over welcomed us into the fold once again, this time warning us that “some elements come down to chance, some decisions have to be made in the momentâ€?. Sentiments I would heartily agree with when faced with such vending machine quandaries as “Kit-Kat Chunky or Twix”. But, as we know, a wrong decision at a crucial moment for John could result in lifelong incarceration as opposed to an unsatisfactory afternoon snack.

Chris’ double-crossing came as no great surprise of course, but one had hoped for a rather more brutal doling out of justice by the meek but morally superior security guard. Despite a slightly shaky period of soul-searching faced with his prison-bound father, Chris’ intentions were crystal clear throughout.

“a garnish of vaginaâ€? – Gordon
New girl on the block, Rebecca, presented a new threat to John’s recuperating masculinity by moving in as head of security. Her neatly coiffed hair, prim pencil skirtage and interfering tendencies rubbed John right up the wrong way and put his carefully laid plans at risk. Code changes? Doing things by the book? The bitch!

Rebecca’s insertion into proceedings allowed those crafty writers to make the most of John’s conflicting personalities (Julia Donaldson’s Gruffalo provided a handy step-by-step explanation for any viewers who had not twigged the “mouseâ€? v. “ogreâ€? vibe). Finding it more and more difficult to maintain his squeaking exterior when antagonised by this meddler, John almost metaphorically burst out of his shirt and gave up his secret Hulk identity on more than one occasion.

See noticeboard in the staff room corridor for heist rehearsal times
In one of the more relaxing (amusing?) scenes amid an otherwise relentlessly gripping finale, the gang took over a floor of Kalpesh’s call centre to have a quick heist run-through. Marcus had his best angry man face on and Riaz did REALLY WELL as the nasty bully gangster. John was in his element as orchestrator of the dummy run but, importantly, his mastery over the bank job panto revealed that he was finally fully at home in his new skin. Our faith in his new-found confidence was key to the success of his transformation and, therefore, the point of the whole series.

As the final scene testified, for John “being rich didn’t matter, getting away with it didn’t matter – I just couldn’t go back to being himâ€?. This was all about making a lasting change, all about bringing to life an alternative reality where bank heists were no more a challenge to John’s newly inflated self-worth than making a round of tea for his staff.

“the biggest day of your lifeâ€? – John
Or is that YOUR life John, my boy? These poignant words were spoken to his young daughter as he packs her off for her first day of school – and he prepares to get sent to prison. The day of the heist had finally arrived; so did it live up to our expectations after four weeks of anticipation? At first no (false start). But once it all kicked off it was just as the flash forwards had suggested: Sweaty, violent, loud and merciless. Rather quirkily, the camera seemed to don it’s own rubber mask with action muffled and blurry. A nice touch. Switching between the clammy faces of the stressed gang and wide shots of numerous gun-wielding Phil Mitchells, action was as fast and furious – just as we had hoped it would be.

Back in John’s house, Gina perched nervously on the edge of the sofa; boobs trussed, fake fingernails clutching her replica gun and false eyelashes protruding suspiciously through the eyeholes in her new rubber face. Keeping the whole act together, Gina performed her final daring rescue act for hubby Marcus and, as predicted, the pair drove off cash in tow, into the Bristolian sunset – but in a souped-up Ford instead of a Cadillac.

Mission completed and with his balls proudly on display, John drove the entire caravan-load of cash straight back to the warehouse. Unlikley? Perhaps. But a more satisfying end than a last-minute escape which would have invalidated his entire personal journey. And Chris (in the abandoned warehouse with the lead piping), emerges as the moral victor; Choosing family life and a penniless existence over cash and charisma. Pah – surely snaffle a box or two?