The provocative remark made by Jefferson Greiff (Stanley Tucci) gets right to the meat of the intriguing premise of Steven Moffat's most recent four-part crime drama Inside Man (now streaming on Netflix).
Greiff, a professor of criminology currently serving a death sentence for the murder of his wife, is undoubtedly a guy in the know.
After entering a guilty plea and accepting his fate, Jefferson is eager to use the remaining time of his life to "do good," taking on and seeking to solve cases he believes to be of "moral importance."
He can't take notes, so he relies on fellow prisoner Dillon Kempton's (Atkins Estimond) photographic memory, despite the fact that he can't stand some of his comments or asides. But with little resources and little time, Jefferson sets his standards high, refusing to — at least to the possible client —explain why a senator who had been accused of rape in the past should now be receiving money each time he has sex with his wife (the solution he proffers to a puzzled Dillon is inspired – and somewhat hilarious).
Additionally, because of his dislike of publicity and his belief that it would be detrimental to his "project," Jefferson tries to hastily eject British journalist Beth Davenport (Lydia West) from the premises when she arrives for an interview.
Beth realises she missed a call from an intriguing woman she just met as she gathers her composure back at the motel. Janice Fife (Dolly Wells), who jumped to defend Beth when she was being harassed by a young man on the train back to the UK, defused the situation and embarrassed him by feigning to broadcast his despicable behaviour and subsequent diatribe via Facebook Live.
Police were there for him at the next station because she had inspired others to do the same. But now that Janice's picture is hazy and she isn't responding when Beth calls her number, she seems to be in some sort of danger. What she doesn't realise is that Janice is a victim of circumstance and that her father is frantically trying to protect what he sees as a threat to his son's image just as she starts to think this might be perfectly up Jefferson's alley.
"Yesterday, you were the town vicar, now no one will believe someone who attacks a lady and locks her in the cellar," Harry Watling's (David Tennant) stunned wife says so eloquently.
And it was all about a pornographic flash drive that belonged to his verger and that he agreed to help the disturbed young man conceal from his insane mother but that, due to a thoughtless moment, wound up in the hands of his adolescent son and then on the computer of his math tutor Janice.
Before Harry could stop her, she clicked the incorrect button, whereupon she learned the files were much more troublesome than any of the three of them had anticipated.
The scenario worsens as Janice tries to go, and Harry, worried about what she could do, keeps changing his narrative about who owns the flash drive. He unintentionally smashes her phone, sending her flying into the kitchen table, and then knocks her down the stairs to the basement. He is now unsure of what to do, especially because Janice is moving swiftly to guarantee that he is equally stuck as she is.
Inside Man offers a lot of enjoyment despite separating the popular acting duo of Tennant and Tucci.
A virtuoso at playing with our emotions, deftly diverting our focus, and immersing us in his moral quandaries, Moffat constructs thought-provoking and exciting stories in a remarkably short amount of time.
Naturally, it greatly helps that he has his semi-regular Sherlock collaborator Paul McGuigan pulling the strings, maintaining the narrative strands taut from the director's chair, and, in his two male leads, a pair of actors experienced in creating complex, nuanced characters who inhabit a very grey area on the traditionally monochrome spectrum of morality.
That's not to diminish the work of Wells (The Pursuit of Love), West (Years and Years), Estimond (High Town), who steals scenes, or Dylan Baker (The Good Wife), who portrays the warden who seems determined to keep Jefferson alive.
While many will just need to watch the main events in order to press play, others with a more casual interest should be aware that by the time they finish the inevitable all-in-one binge, it may be late at night.