Inside Men – what was that ending about?

STEVEN MACKINTOSH stars in Inside Men. Image: BBC/Nick Wall
I enjoyed BBC One’s Inside Men, right up to the confused and confusing final few minutes.

Did I fall asleep and miss something or did the whole thing just peter out to an inconclusive finale?

If Chris had dobbed in John and Co, why weren’t the police waiting for them at the warehouse?

What was the point of taking back the cash?

Last year’s Hidden also fell apart at the end – is this the new BBC way? Over-hyped drama that makes no sense?

Has someone convinced the powers that be that audiences want supposedly enigmatic dramas?

Personally I prefer not to have to guess or make up the ending after giving up four hours to watch a drama.

What next, a Licence Fee cut if we all agree to sit on our sofas and make the whole story up?

Comments

  1. Angel says

    I agree it’s a big disappointment, maybe they ran out of cash or it was trying to say the doing and the planning was more important than the cash, maybe all he wanted was to be taken seriously.

  2. Mart says

    Well I think that much is clear. I liked that twist that he wasn’t really after the money… what I’m confused about is what his story would be? How is he supposed to have gotten hold of the cash?

  3. brianpointy says

    We thought pretty much the same at Pointy Towers. Our best guess was that John achieved all he needed with his new personality…one review (Radio Times I think) said the important scene was where he was reading “The Gruffalo” to his daughter and he realises that he is the mouse…

  4. Maz says

    I too was left disappointed and perplexed with the ending. “What was all that about” I’ve been gripped for 3 weeks and for it to end like that was very disappointing. Is it my own fault for having such high expectations of the finale. A cracking three episodes but let down by episode 4 and as for the Gruffalo reference that completely went over my head. I thought the van scene was quite poignant about him wanting to become a man and the bed scene with him and his wife. When she tells him that she’d rather be with this man then the other. However, there were still a lot of questions unanswered. So really it was all about him manning up and growing a back bone……such a shame as it had so much potential.

  5. Kim says

    That was the worst ending ever!!!! I don’t understand, why was he going back with the money? And what was going on between him and the lady that let him in, as he smiled at her?

  6. fran says

    she let him bk in at the gates to his workplace at the end and she dialled 999, he smiled at her bcos he’d proved his ruthlessness.. so he was going to be arrested but i dont get how gina and her boyf would hand themselves in and what their story would be.. and yeah disspaointed that he would go through all that just to hand the money back and spend many years in prison! just to feel like a ”real man”.. loved the series as a whole but bewildered by ending..

  7. richard says

    I gradually got drawn in to this drama, over the first three episodes. Steven Mackintosh (up until then not one of my favourite actors – always seems to play really weak men) put in a wonderful performance. The final 5 minutes were so disappointing – I’m only guessing that the point was supposed to be that he had ‘found himself’, and was prepared to accept the consequences, even if that meant years behind bars and being away from his wife and child? No way was he going to wriggle out of it, especially as mad marcus appeared to have £1m in his car boot! Perhaps they are planning a follow up?!

  8. Graham Follett says

    I had a terrible premonition that the titles were going to roll just a few seconds before they actually did. But I still couldn’t believe it. I must admit that I through a couple of involuntary Fs at the TV. An enigmatic ending might be, barely, acceptable for a short film – and I have seen a few of those that have left me wishing I had not wasted the preceding 90 minutes – but for the conclusion of a four-hour drama???? Just too many loose ends. Not clever.

  9. malcolm says

    Now I wish i had never started to watch this drama. I personally hate flashback dramas. Mainly cos its easy to miss something important. Stories should be told from beginning to end, With a positively understood ending. We all know this was loosely based on the brinks Mat.
    It was told far to sophisticated. Could have been a wicked series. LET DOWN.

  10. Keith says

    what a dissapointing end, i thought it perhaps would cotinue after the 10 o clock news but i looked in the Radio Times no that was it, Shame.

  11. mark says

    what a complete and utter waste of a final episode had been looking forward to this finalle since last week only to be let down by the last 5 minutes, total shame and just lazy writing! may have to do a series link on another bbc drama and wait to see the end reviews before wasting my quality, relaxing time watching such a incomplete load of flaw filled drama! must try harder bbc

  12. Colin L says

    Excellent series promising so much… up until that final few minutes! It’s like playing out of your skin in a cup final then scoring an own goal winner and handing the cup to the other team. Part of the enjoyment of the previous episodes was that John seemed to have hidden strength and perhaps some secret past, and that the pushover persona was all an act. For the whole inside job just to be about him proving to himself that he wasn’t a weakling after all was absurdly far-fetched – especially as he decides to volunteer for a life sentence at the end by turning himself in. Good acting, shame the writers lost the plot with that feeble ending.

  13. Old biddies says

    Having watched the first three episodes and been glued to the screen – extremely disappointed and confused by the final episode and felt it had been a complete waste of viewing time!

  14. Tony Good says

    This had the potential to be a real memorable drama. In the robbery scene when John stood over Chris with the gun, apparently preparing to shoot him, there was a suggestion of a complex sub-plot that would be revealed in the last episode. It turns out that Chris had a conscience which John perceived as a weakness. John loathed this perceived weakness as it reminded him of his former self and he was prepared to kill and innocent man in order to complete his own transformation. So in the end, there was no “hairs on the back of your neck stand up” twist revealed and it all seemed a little flat. If it was supposed to be a “Falling down”- esque story about a man imploding in from society it missed the mark because we never got a picture of a man in turmoil. In the last scene when John fills his motorhome full of cash there was a hint that he was going to do something extraordinary before being arrested. All he did was take it back. If there was a message we should have taken away from John’s actions it was very well hidden. Such a poor poor ending.

  15. Pedro says

    Very poor ending with too many loose ends. Are the 5 O really that useless as they were never seen despite knowing what was going to happen and who was going to do it. I suppose John never intended to keep the money after all how do you launder that much cash unless you have some very dodgy Russian buddies. It was a surprise to see that Marcus wasn’t the complete pratt he had led us to believe he was. Even so if you are planning a high stakes job like that you would expect the key players to get to a meeting on time.

  16. emma clitherow says

    I thought that it was just me and that I had missed something….First 3 episodes were excellent and the fourth was great up until the last ten minutes or so……Really don’t get why it was ended the way it was!

  17. Gemma brooks says

    I utterly agree with all the comments such a gripping first 3 episodes then such a terrible ending, why do dramas like this on the telly always end like this leaving the viewer to interpret the ending how they wish to surely its the writers job to write the ending??????? My dad said it would have been a good ending if he had been in cahoots with the security manager she was sleeping with the owner to distract him then they would run off with the money only a thought…. What suggestion do you have as to how it should of ended????? I personally would of loved an end scene of them all in brazil as per buster after the great train robbery that happened years ago. Far fetched but that what tellys all about to escape.

  18. Fred says

    The only explanation is that the writer was compromised by the need to leave enough loose ends that a second series could be commissioned. This is the way of the US networks – why close a story off neatly if you can leave the possibility open for a lucrative follow up (whether it is taken or not).

    I don’t buy the explanation that the only point was the main characters transition from Jekyl to Hyde, and all else is irrelevant. No writer would leave such a shoddy conclusion unless there was an ulterior motive.

    Having said that, the ‘loose ends’ seem a poor foundation for a second series:

    - Marcus speeding over the severn Bridge with a box of money – who cares if his stated intent was to turn himself in? Was the twist that he was finally forced to plan ahead.
    - Chris the moral, honest new family man providing redemptive guidance to his father – bad soap opera.
    - John the new super ‘antihero’ now that he has thrown off his middle man shackles and ready to stick it to the man – or in his case – the women taking over his job

    Possible plot lines out of that lot:
    - John turns states evidence against Kalpesh and gang warfare ensures
    - John busts out of jail and plots the next Great Train Robbery
    - Chris’s dad leaves jail and seeks revenge on those who blew his leg off

    Hmm, I wouldn’t make a series out of that either

  19. jackie says

    Oh what a shame about the ending but so glad that others feel the same as me. I was glued to the TV for the 3 earlier episodes and couldn’t wait to see the ‘great’ finale. What a sham. All my building blocks came tumbling down. Should I rewind and watch the last episode again? No point. Thanks everybody for putting my mind at rest. I am obviously not out on my own for not understanding the ending.

  20. Guy says

    I was disappointed by the ending too.
    Like others have said the the cutting to different times did not really work.
    We also never find out what the connection is with the young girl who is supposed to be afraid of the manager at the beginning(or did I just get the time thing confused and it was after the robbery).
    As someone who is fond of reading classic literature and enjoys a good Brit gangster movie I felt as though I had been trolled and manipulated into thinking something good was on its way as in the end it seemed to all be a shaggy dog story…

  21. Yvonne says

    I’d recorded this last episode and had to replay the ending several times as I thought I’d missed something subtle going on! Didn’t get it at all and felt very let down with the ending. The first three episodes were brilliant. There had been such a build up of tension between the various characters throughout that you felt something explosive was going to happen. Not so – instead just a very weak ending that fizzled out like a damp squib! I hate these sort of endings where you feel completely let down. Not something you’d want to watch again, so don’t bother bringing a dvd version out.

  22. Vic says

    How much cash in the camper van 30 million?Where’s the best place to hide that-in a warehouse full
    of cash.Bring on series 2.

  23. John says

    Just watched last episode on sky+ – shouted WTF! at the TV, then googled Inside Men – what happened at the end? and found this thread.
    So it seems no one (even the writers) know what the heck was going on in the last 10 minutes. I am not thick, and I like a clever plot as much as the next person, but that was just lame.

  24. Graham says

    No. No follow-up please. I carefully select the small amount of time I give to watching television, and I chose this as it was clearly and unambiguously billed as a four part drama. I therefore expected, and deserved, it to conclude within the specified time. They had their chance to impress, and they blew it.

  25. Sheilah Brown says

    I thought it was very poor and would give it a score of 1 out of 10.
    I agree with the man who said he hated ‘flashback dramas; mainly cos its easy to miss something important. Stories should be told from beginning to end, with a positively understood ending.’
    I totally agree. I was very disappointed in the whole story as I just could not follow what happened or why it happened. It was far too complicated and broken up.
    What happened to the guys with guns who did the raid – did they get caught?
    Did Chris end up with nothing ?

  26. sk says

    Oh my God! What a let down!!!
    That is the worst ending I have ever ever seen in a drama. How do i complain to the BBC?

  27. steven smith says

    i watched the last episode and the guy told his girlfriend theres been a change of plan as the boss has a bounty on his head for his arest i hope there will be more episodes to come

  28. Chimbob says

    Ha! What a terrible ending. I thought they showed these things to focus groups to make sure they don’t mess up. Maybe there is a second series, but instead of continuing on chronologically, we get the story from another viewpoint, e.g.,Gordon and the security manager. Just a thought.

  29. Iain Cooper says

    I concur with all of the above and am glad to have this chance to voice my opinion (which is something I never normally would bother with) and hope that the writers/channel happen to see these comments and realise how badly they screwed us all over!

  30. Chimchiminey says

    Had I known ‘Inside Men’ takes place in a fictional reality where police don’t bother investigating the biggest robbery in history, I might have saved myself four hours. In the end the story would have made more sense if it had all just been a bad dream.

    Alarm bells started ringing after the scene where Chris tipped off the police. At this point we’d already seen them get away with the money – surely there was explanation for this. But no, no explanation at all. ‘Inside Men’ might just be the greatest shaggy dog story ever told. But the warning signs were there, from the manipulative opening sequence where we were led to believe that John was a victim rather than the perpetrator of the robbery, to the storyline bobbing backwards and forwards through time without rhyme or reason. I guess we’ll have to buy the DVD boxset to finally uncover the mystery as to why the police stopped investigating the trio despite being tipped off. Perhaps it was collective amnesia; maybe the plague struck New Scotland Yard, who knows. And as for John’s motivations in the end – GIVE ME A BREAK. The writers didn’t bother to create a single scene where John demonstrated how hated being weak or how he was going to prove everyone wrong by going to jail for the rest of his life. What a load of crap BBC.

  31. Russello says

    What a let down! Usual story with these 3 and 4 parters. They suck you in and then, after you have invested all that time, they invariably disappoint. Both the BBC and ITV are guilty in this respect This was a totally lame ending to what had been a gripping drama.
    I was certain that Steven Mackintosh had a secret past that was going to revealed…wrong! Why did his character’s personality suddenly change from law abiding family man to that of a hardened gangster?
    Also given that Chris had tipped off the police why weren’t they all put under surveillance? That’s page one isn’t it? Too many loose ends and very lazy writing. Viewers deserved a lot more

  32. Si says

    Hmm i have been seriously enjoying Inside Men, i have watched BBC HD every thursday without fail i very rarely watch bbc drama. i thought the series was 6 episodes in total so this week believing i had missed episode 5 i tried to catchup on iPlayer but hey its gone? checking bbc sites it seems its 4/4 long.

    So now iam thinkin what sort of an ending was this BBC? i was expecting far more from this show, such great cast who have done a great job but what happened to the plot? iam that disappointed i do not even want to figure out what the writers were thinking :(

    i will carry on watching Topgear religiously and ANYTHING from the planet earth team and nothing else from the beeb.

  33. hazel zoia says

    I am still pondering about Inside Men hence this email. At first I couldn’t understand the ending but after searching around and reading all the comments here I sort of get it. It was extremely disappointing though after a good start. I am still looking for comments from the writer but can’t find any so far. The ending was a huge let down.

  34. debby says

    I thought I had drunk too much and missed the ending but I guess not having read all these comments-very disappointing.

  35. Mike Paterson says

    The first time I have ever had to trawl the internet to work out what I had actually seen.
    The writer of the last 10 minutes must have been off his face – what a waste!

  36. glo says

    I agree with ALL the negative stuff said about Inside men.I like most invested my time into watching what was a fantastic drama.The ending was an INSULT to all our intelligence. Very Bad of the beeb.I wouldnt bother to watch a second series.

  37. Dlu says

    Agreed… I was all ready to highly recommend this series to friends and then I watched the final episode. I was then perplexed and actually trolled the internet a bit….are they serious that there is no season 2? What a shame…loved the first 3 episodes but without a little more I can no longer recommend it. What a shame, great characters and acting…interesting plot and twists. But the lack of police after Chris had clearly told them and then driving back the money and the laugh of the lady was not a good ending I am afraid. Please tell me I am wrong and there will be another season/episode….