Inside Man: A Quick and Fun Binge Watch

Caitlyn Wilson, Op/Ed Editor

“A prisoner on death row and a woman trapped in a cellar under an English vicarage, cross paths in the most unexpected way” –IMBd

Inside Man is a show set both in an ideal rural village in England and a prison in America, starring David Tennant, Stanley Tucci, Lydia West, and Dolly Wells. It was written by Steven Moffat, known for reinventing stories such as Doctor Who during the Matt Smith era, Sherlock, and the 2020 Dracula. 

The series is four episodes, with each about one hour long, alternating between following an anti-hero, Jefferson Greiff, whose awaiting execution for murdering his wife who solves crimes, otherwise known as the ‘Death Row Detective’ and a vicar (Tennant) trying to do what’s best for everyone. Tucci stars as this criminal mastermind whose past as a criminal professor and present as a criminal makes his knowledge of behaviorism unrivaled. In a high-security prison room, he’ll sit expressionless listening to an anxious senator, grieving family, or skeptical journalist (Lydia West) lay out the particulars of their perplexing case, making sense of them immediately. Sometimes he’ll help them, detached and cooly, basking in the power gifted to him despite being handcuffed to a desk with guards everywhere. 

David Tennant’s character, Harry Walting, lives a quiet life in an idyllic village as a vicar. At the start, they show him conversing with troubled members of his congregation, laughing and joking around with his wife (Lyndsey Marshall) and his son’s math tutor (Dolly Wells), and being an all-around happy and normal person. 

However, very quickly this show turns dark and separates itself from the countless new crime shows as it depicts a crime that was committed accidentally, where neither party wanted a part in it. It starts with a simple mistake and tumbles into a dark and horrifying reality that could very easily and feasibly happen to anyone.

Although the show can be seen as having an unsatisfying ending, as during the final act, Moffat leans into the comedy of it all, rather than sticking to the serious nature that the rest of the show reflects. Though this is a bit jarring, the show ends on a high note.

Warning: You will want more from Inside Man. Sure it solves the main case and then some, but you’re left dissatisfied, wanting more backstory from Grieff. So although your head is reeling from the thrilling and exciting mystery, trying to puzzle out how the two storylines connected, how someone could deal with love and murder, even though you watched it play out, you’re left wanting more.

I thought that this show was exceptional as it shows the scary reality as Tucci’s character says, “Everyone’s a murderer…All it takes is a good reason and a bad day”

 To me, this show was scarier than some of the scariest movies as it hits close to home. We all, me included, think that we can’t make mistakes that stupid and that we’d be smarter if we were in the situation, but this show reveals the appalling truth about how easily we could be caught up in a hard situation accidentally, seriously considering murder as the best solution for both parties.

I can see why people wouldn’t like it, as the show reveals how flawed we are, even when trying to do the best for everyone. Most people only want the best of themselves and humanity reflected when watching shows such as our comedy, integrity, and brilliance, but this show depicts humans as flawed and hypocritical creatures just trying to do the right thing, committing countless atrocities along the way.  

I believe that this show should be watched with discretion as its maturity rating is TV-MA for child abuse, language, and violence, along with some scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.