Welcome to the Ending Explained for Inside Man, a new mystery show on Netflix coming from the mind of Steven Moffat. The series stars David Tennant, Stanley Tucci, Dolly Wells, Lydia West, Kate Dickie, and Lyndsey Marshal. The series contains only four episodes and tells the story of two very different characters in very different situations. One is of a vicar who finds himself in a difficult situation as he must defend his son against the indefensible. And the other one is of a death row inmate who actually is an expert criminologist who still accepts cases to be solved.
These two storylines will clash during the final episode of the show when mysteries get revelations and some other mysteries develop into further questioning. Inside Man is classic Moffat’s style of writing, with characters that are more like witty machines than actually three-dimensional characters, and twists and turns that might be surprising but don’t really fit together all that well. The double storyline might have made for some interesting reading on paper, but it feels somewhat ridiculous in its execution on screen.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Inside Man. Read at your own risk.
Does The Pen drive Belongs To Ben?
The series divides itself into two different storylines. One of these storylines occurs in England, while the other one is in the United States of America. The storyline, occurring in England, involves a family composed of Vicar Harry, his wife Mary, and his son Ben. We are introduced to the fact that Ben is a very smart young man, but also a kind of lazy one. Ben’s parents and his teacher think that he needs a math tutor, so he can do well at school. Ben denies that this is the case, but they get one anyway.
The tutor in question is called Janice. She is a very talented if somehow rude person, but she establishes a relationship of respect with Ben. She convinces him that getting good at math is a shortcut and that if he gets good at them, he can have more time to do the things he wants to do. This entire relationship culminates when the pen drive comes on the scene. Janice wants to download some info to give to Ben, and Ben picks up the first pen drive he has at hand and gives it to Janice.
However, what Janice finds inside the pen drive creeps her out immensely. The contents of the pen drive are of a very disturbing nature and involve sexual acts with minors. Janice gets convinced that Ben is turning into a pedophile, and because of who she is as a person, she is ready to come forward with this to the police. Ben denies that the material belongs to him, and Harry also defends his son. At some point, Harry tries to pass the material belonging to him, but Janice sees that he is only doing it because he wants to defend his son.
Harry is a vicar, a man of God, and yet, like most parents, he will do anything to protect his son. He pushes Janice into the basement and plans to poison her using monoxide carbon. However, in his desperation, Harry doesn’t realize that Ben is also in the basement. The truth is that this is all a big misunderstanding, as the pen drive doesn’t belong to Ben or Harry, but to a man named Edgar, who sought counsel from Harry. Edgar sadly kills himself, and the pen drive remained on Harry’s desk after Edgar gave it to him before committing suicide.
This entire awful situation comes from a lack of communication. Harry is responsible for not remembering where the pen drive came from and not being able to articulate his thoughts in the proper way. Janice is also responsible because she jumped to conclusions and didn’t allow others to speak to change her mind. Janice already thought that the truth was with her.
Does Jefferson Manage To Postpone His Execution?
The other big storyline involves a man named Jefferson, an expert criminologist who killed his wife, and is now waiting for the date of his execution. However, Jefferson has a weird deal with the prison, and he is allowed to receive cases and help them resolve them. He only takes cases that have a powerful moral component, and he is right now helping Beth find Janice before it is too late. Jefferson is also dealing with his father-in-law, an influential criminal named, Gordon.
You see, when Jefferson killed his wife, he cut her head off, and Gordon wants to know where the head is, so he can bury her daughter completely. Jefferson teases Gordon and makes him go violent. Before being strangled by Gordon, he gives him an address and tells her that this is the location where the head is. Unfortunately, the address doesn’t take Gordon’s men to the head but to Harry’s house. Jefferson figured out that Janice was missing because people were thinking about where she went, when in fact she never left the last place she visited.
Harry realizes her son is in the basement, and Ben has already attacked Janice with a hammer under the effects of the monoxide. Harry is about to kill Janice, but he is interrupted by Gordon’s men arriving at the scene. Beth also arrives, and Harry is arrested. On a video call, the two men finally meet, and Jefferson implies that Harry is just like him. As the show ends, we never get an answer as to why Jefferson killed his wife. But taking his conversation with Harry into account, it seems that it was the result of a choice where killing his wife was the lesser evil.
The season ends with Janice meeting face-to-face with Jefferson. She has traveled all the way to America, and she wants Jefferson to help her kill her husband because he deserves to die. Being that this case has a very strong moral component, Jefferson decides to help Janice.