*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Inside Man*
Series created by Steven Moffat are notorious for spinning threads and teasing their viewers with confusing mysteries and that continues to be the case in his latest effort, Inside Man.
The BBC and Netflix series largely focuses on the central riddle revolving around David Tennant’s Harry Watling who finds himself far away in a creek with no paddle and a maths tutor tied up in his basement.
Meanwhile, the series also spends much of its time with Stanley Tucci’s Jefferson Grieff, a former criminology professor who helps solve cases as he awaits his fate on death row.
One of the cases brought to Grieff in the first episode of Inside Man involves a US senator and a bizarre series of payments made to him, each for $253.55.
- READ MORE: MEET THE CAST OF INSIDE MAN
Inside Man’s Baffling $253.55 Mystery
There is a degree of Hannibal Lecter about Jefferson Grieff as he fully accepts the evil act that landed him in jail as he also agrees to hear and help solve mysterious cases that fit its criteria of “moral worth”.
In the first episode of Inside Man, Grieff is presented with the case of Senator Claude Kreiner who received a string over anonymous payments worth a total of $253.55 – never more and never less.
As Kreiner explains, the payments started three months earlier and come at irregular intervals, especially in the days after he and his wife had sex.
Known for resolving cases quickly, Grieff begins to laugh as he uncovers the reasoning behind the mysterious payments. But rather than explain his discovery to the senator, he instead dismisses the case as it does not meet his criteria.
Not only does this leave Kreiner unanswered, but it also puzzles Grieff’s assistant and fellow inmate Dillon, who ponders the strange chain of payments for the rest of the episode until it’s explained in the last minutes.
Why does Kreiner keep getting $253.55?
Senator Kreiner’s mysterious payments are the result of a mix-up between his wife and one of his aides, a woman named Selina Kedese.
The whole story begins 30 years earlier when Kreiner was accused of sexually assaulting two women while in college as well as a third potential victim who never came forward.
This third victim is Selina Kedese who, several years before the series, had obtained a job with Kreiner and his wife and notably helped manage Mrs. Kreiner’s accounts.
Using his Sherlock Holmes powers of deduction and the few bits of information at his disposal, Grieff comes up with a probable theory about what happened.
Grieff suspects that in a private conversation, Selina revealed to Ms Kreiner that her husband had sexually assaulted her 30 years earlier, a revelation that would have turned her life upside down.
Knowing what her husband has done, Ms Kreiner is traumatized with every sexual encounter and reportedly turned to a therapist to help her cope.
However, not wanting her husband to find out that she knew about his sickening actions, Mrs. Kreiner wanted the therapy payments to come from a secret account and entrusted the payment to Selina.
But, as Grieff speculates, Selina will be in her 50s by this point and her eyesight isn’t what it used to be and so she has to increase the text size on her phone.
Accordingly, Ms Kreiner’s instruction to “pay therapist 253.55 cents” would have resulted in “Pay the rapist $253.33. »
So every time Kreiner and his wife had sex, she visited the therapist, and as a result, Selina mistakenly sent $253.55 to the man who raped her 30 years earlier.
A Hole in Grieff’s Theory
While the revelation about the mysterious payments is clearly a witty and clever moment, there are certainly holes in Grieff’s theory. Notably, the leniency of Ms. Kreiner’s therapist.
For three months, Ms. Kreiner has been in therapy sessions, but thanks to the confusion with Selina, the therapist has not received a single payment.
While there may have been reminders to Ms Kreiner to pay for her sessions, the therapist would almost certainly have sought out the missing payments, especially since it has been three months since their sessions began.
Certainly, it would have gotten to the point where the therapist’s continual reminders and potential refusal to continue the sessions would have caused Ms. Kreiner to look into the situation a little deeper and realize the persistent error of sending $253.55 to her husband.
Inside Man is available to stream on BBC iPlayer in the UK and Netflix internationally.
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