Inside Man – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Episode 3

The moment Jefferson was waiting for has finally come. The Warden, who is a good friend, arrives at the start of Inside Man episode 3 to inform him that the date for his execution has been decided.

Three weeks from the day, Jefferson Grieff is to be hanged to death. And now, the Warden must explain about the Execution Protocols from the thick binder he has brought with him, but Jefferson asks him not to go through the trouble. The only detail we get is that he will be moved to a holding room, the “death house”, as they call it, one day before the execution. Harry contemplates the future on the last morning of him as a free man. Mary too hasn’t been able to sleep and comforts Harry.

They sit outside where Harry says he was up all-night printing images of the pornography on the drive to make it look more believable. Mary once again pleads with him to rethink his decision as doing so would destroy the family. But he is stout in his decision and thinks this is the best way to protect Ben.

A phone call arrives, and Harry finally learns of Ed’s suicide. The police are visiting at 2 on the day to discuss his name being mentioned in the letter. He goes straight to Janice, ignoring Mary’s vague and shock-induced suggestion that Harry had something to do with it.

Harry strikes a deal with Janice or at least intends to, that he will let her go if the letter that the police bring proves that Ben isn’t a paedophile. He is ready to go to jail for assaulting her but will not see his son hurt if that is true.

Janice is a smart cookie and sees Mary standing near the door, trying to listen in. She purposely mentions some kind of “agreement” between Harry and her, trying to sow seeds of doubt in the couple to take advantage. Mary, of course, can listen to the conversation.

She confronts Harry when he comes up, but the Vicar pleads his innocence, something that Mary only half believes. Ben says that he will stay over at her girlfriend’s after school to “study” and asks about Janice. Harry panics and doesn’t realize her handbag is kept on the kitchen countertop, although not readily visible to Ben.  But he did notice that, unbeknownst to Harry.

Morag, one of Jefferson’s accomplices, greets Beth as she comes back. The journalist initially believes Morag is a police officer because she showed a badge, but it turns out, she is herself a criminal. Dylan reveals to Jeff that he was not executed on his scheduled date as he demanded a Buddhist be present when he “passes on”. But, there was no legislation allowing one to be there and his execution date was deferred indefinitely.

Jeff asks Morag to explain to Beth how he mutilated his wife after strangling her. He wants an impression of himself as a monster in Beth’s eyes. And he was on the phone all along to listen in. Morag has been sent to keep Beth safe. She is fed up with Jeff’s games and intends to go to the police.

The professor puts up a great reason to convince her to stay on. He also says that Janice is an extremely smart person who understands people. She lets on more than what people can see and would be potent in a situation where her back is against the wall.

And we see an example in the next scene itself. Harry explains their idea to Janice of sending Mary down with a phone to listen to the police. She cleverly asks him not to gag her as it would be too traumatic for her, and the walls are soundproof anyway. But right in the next moment, she bangs her head against the pipes to make it look like one of them injured her. Both will now think the other injured her, thus, an advantage to Janice.

The police arrive and Mary takes her position downstairs. Janice asks Mary to gag her, saying that she might have an uncontrollable reaction to the police’s revelations. Oh, because she is such a delicate flower. Boom, conspiracy.

But Mary understands her. The conversation with the two detectives is quite awkward. They know the Vicar, obviously, but for some reason feel he has something to hide. They show him the note and he reads it out loud, leading to Janice signaling to Mary that she is about to shout – when she really isn’t – forcing Mary to gag her.

The two detectives are less than convinced of Harry’s story and now he is suspiciously looked at as someone protecting a pedophile. It is an exquisitely edited scene where both the simultaneous spaces are intercut to make the tension palpable. Professor confesses to Dylan that he is scared and uses his tactic to delay his execution. He then says to the Warden that he will be willing to tell the location of his wife’s severed head if his execution is delayed.

How does Janice trick Mary and Harry?

Ben turns down his girlfriend for the day and says he is going back home. But he doesn’t tell his parents. Mary is not willing to take chances and sends the email from her laptop. She also warns Harry to stay in his senses and not believe whatever Janice says.

Janice feigns a great act and gives the impression that Mary wants to kill her. Harry is convinced by her story and promises he won’t allow her to be killed. Mary goes into the garage where they have kept their old heater. But the problem is that it leaks.

In a closed room, that machine turned on would be fatal. “She will be warm, and the death will be painless”, quips Mary to Harry. A defeated feeling resonates in her voice. Ben takes the keys from the drawer and uses them to make his way into the cellar.

Harry agrees with Mary’s idea and locks the house from the inside, not knowing that Ben is in there. He asks Mary to take a drive somewhere and let him complete the deed. He puts the heater in the basement, but Ben doesn’t jump out. Janice gets worried when Ben says the door is locked from the outside, fearing that this might be it.

Harry seals off the cellar with tape and puts on Beethoven to keep the horror of the cellar at bay. Ben keeps knocking in vain and Mary incessantly calls Harry to let him know the email was a trap. There perhaps is no meeting scheduled.

The Episode Review

What a wonderful save by the writers! Although it was something that could have been predicted given the limited avenues the story could go in, the way it all happens breaks your heart.

The final montage is so treacherous given the personnel involved, you’d probably wince and gasp through it. The episode, barring Morag and Beth’s useless interaction, made strides in all the right places. On all fronts, we see the finale building up as an impressive conclusion. While the first two episodes did marginally test your patience, the third one is quite rewarding to watch.

The sudden mastermind syndrome that the writers arouse in Janice is jarring but indeed a nice surprise. Maybe they blew it a bit out of proportion but it was fun to watch.

Jefferson, when finally faced with something he was always “unfazed” by, crumbles under the pressure. The prospect frightens him and he isn’t the infallible criminology expert we all made him out to be. He is what Beth called him in the prison. Mary’s tantalizing realization was a bit naïve. When the woman has tricked you before, why would you believe her again?

They’re both smart people but some of the decision-making has been bad. Understandably, they’re not used to such situations and their condition gives some leeway. But it should have been a bit better maybe. Well, this episode is what would save Inside Man, which has turned out to be flat till now.

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