Inside Men Review: "Episode 1.02"
In the second episode of Inside Men, the question arises many times, although not forcibly so, about how much you can trust someone. Even though the three titular “inside men”—John, Marcus and Chris—have worked together for quite some time, now their relationship dynamic has changed considerably. To a certain extent, they can trust each other, for if one peg falls, the rest goes with it, but now they have to decide who will be their “outside men."
The episode is dominated mostly by Chris, who did get the short end of the stick in the pilot. Chris is determined in the heist, ready to rob the counting house as soon as possible and trying to get outside help. This leads him to meet up with Kalpesh, a gangster type who can help them with materials they need. When Kalpesh says he will need the 40,000 pounds Chris brought to show he means business, Chris stupidly obliges. John finds out about this critical error, which could get them all caught, and rights Chris’ wrongs. He walks into the office with purpose and a cold determination and walks out with his money back and a new partner they will split the money with. John rightly states that Chris is doing too much. Right now, he’s acting like the kid who wants to participate in a game, but whenever he tries to force himself in, he ruins the game for everyone else. Chris’ girlfriend Gina, meanwhile, has found the counting house map that Chris stole. She knows what Chris can be like and vows that he won’t screw this up, since she’ll be helping him out as well.
While John calls out Chris for doing too much, he also points out that Marcus is doing too little. Right now Marcus is too preoccupied with the fact that his girlfriend Dita is now pregnant with his child. Marcus brings Dita to his mother’s house to introduce the two and announce their good news. Marcus’ mother is less than enthused about it, instead criticizing the way that Dita talks. Marcus’ dad, on the other hand, is thrilled by the news. He’s going to be a grandfather, but unfortunately since he is in jail, it seems unlikely he’ll have much of an opportunity to spend time with the kid.
The biggest change is John, who has transformed into someone confident—and terrifyingly so. Many people have compared John’s transformation to Walter White in Breaking Bad, which is an apt comparison. “Episode 2” takes us two months from when we last saw these characters in January, and John is quickly becoming someone entirely different. In the public eye, such as trivia night at the local pub, he becomes a nervous, nebbish little guy who has a stuttering problem. But when he’s with Marcus and Chris, or when he has to put his foot down, he becomes quite a different creature. We can see the fury inside of him when he literally runs into a guy who was hitting on his wife at the pool, or the how he can change his emotions on a dime in September, as he deceives his wife, meets with Kalpesh, then cries to his boss, all within a matter of a few minutes.
As these three trust more, they are becoming less of who they once were. Chris is getting careless, Marcus has priorities elsewhere (yet is willing to take a shot in the leg to provide for his future family), and John is becoming quite the monster. Saying that money is the root of all evil or that it will change you isn’t anything new—hell, the Coen brothers have essentially made a career out of that idea. The way Inside Men is handling this transformation is enthralling and makes you wonder how in just a few short months, these men could go from stand-up citizens to stone cold thieves.