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Recap / Inside No 9 S 4 E 6 Tempting Fate

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Council workers Maz, Keith and Nick are clearing out the flat of recently deceased Frank Meggins, an elderly loner. A video tape shows Frank hang himself as a result of a supposedly cursed artefact from India. Nick believes the curse to be true, in line with Frank's unexplained wishes for wealth, which came true. Maz's effort to capitalize on this does her no good, leading to a confrontation between her colleagues and a revelation.

This episode contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Nick is one.
  • Artifact of Doom: The hare.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Maz wishes for £93,000 upon which Nick removes the floor board and finds... play money. However, in the next room Keith finds the real money in the Monopoly box.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: It's even lampshaded by Frank.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Keith.
  • Children Are Innocent: Charlie.
  • Concealing Canvas: Frank's safe is hidden behind a mirror.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Nick turns out to have been right about every crazy thing he says.
  • Curse: The cleaning team inadvertently triggers an ancient curse when they are sent to clear out an apartment.
  • Death by Materialism: Maz and ultimately Keith both get this.
  • A Degree in Useless: Nick's knowledge of the occult comes from his having a PhD in the subject. And yet he works for the council as a "glorified bin man". His alcoholism is partly to blame, though.
  • Downer Ending: Everyone (including Keith's son) dies, and Frank is still a zombie.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Nick wonders how the video tape could find its way into the safe if Frank was dead, upon which Keith reveals himself to be Frank's murderer.
  • Genre Savvy: Nick, who apparently has a doctorate in mythology and is very aware of how curses are supposed to work.
  • Happily Married: Nick and his wife appeared to be this, given his second wish.
  • Hope Spot: Nick specifically says that a wish that's not self-serving could work without the Hare twisting it. By the end of the episode, even though Keith tried to kill him, he wished for Keith's son Charlie to be able to walk again. Charlie appears in the house without his wheelchair, and things seem happy (even though Maz is dead). However, Frank then turns on the stove top to make some tea after Keith knocked the gas line loose and the apartment blows up.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Maz tries to argue that she should be able to take Frank's money since he can't use it, equating the situation to the time she used someone else's McDonald's coupon she found. Nick tells her it's not the same thing. Later, Nick warns her about taking money that's not hers, reminding her of the McDonald's coupon - and Maz yells at him that it's not the same thing.
  • Ill Boy: Keith's son Charlie.
  • Jackass Genie: The hare is a form of this.
  • Just Between You and Me: Keith reveals his Evil Plan to the audience after giving Nick a Tap on the Head.
  • Kill 'em All: Implied by the ending; for everyone but Frank, at least.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: For anyone who tries to use the hare selfishly - including Maz and Keith.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: When Keith hits Nick over the head with the hare, thinking he's dead, he tries to make it look like Nick (who was an alcoholic) found some of Frank's alcohol and drank until he passed out, knocking out a gas line.
  • Malaproper: Maz does this often.
  • Miser Advisor: This was Keith's original plan to get Frank's money.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The combination to Frank's safe is his wife's birthday.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: To enhance the suspense, the fuse burns and the apartment goes dark when Maz bolts with the money.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: Maz doesn't get Nick's references to BBC shows Roland Rat and Jackanory because she's too young for that.
  • Properly Paranoid: Nick suggests that the deceased Frank used his lottery money to buy a bunch of innocuous things so that the money he won couldn't be used to hurt anyone on a grand scale. That's the reason for the hoard. It sounds ludicrous until zombie Frank walks through the door, proving the wishes are real and evil.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Small redemption, but still: just as Keith had learned his lesson and gave Frank back the money, Nick turns out to not be dead and to have wished for Keith's son to be able to walk. Too bad Frank was heating up tea with an exposed gas line...
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: Maz dies through inadvertently triggering one of these. Earlier scenes show the trio unwittingly building it.
  • Series Fauxnale: This episode ties up the one recurring strand in every episode (the Hare statue) by actually making it an element of the plot, as well as implying that every episode that takes place in the same continuity has this feel.
  • Trash of the Titans: The condition of Frank Meggins' apartment. In an interesting twist, it turns out his "trash" has a purpose: buying innocuous things so that his fortune can't be used for evil.
  • The 'Verse: It is established that the silver hare, which appears in the background of every episode, is a cursed artifact which is responsible for the bad things that happen in each story.
  • Video Wills: They watch Frank's will on a video tape found in his safe.
  • Wham Shot: Nick unwrapping the cursed hare. If you've been looking out for the hare hidden in the background of other episodes, it could come as even more of a shock.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Frank regrets his wish for immortality since it means he can never be free of the curse.
  • Wishing for More Wishes: Maz suggests this but Nick rejects the idea because wishes that would break the system won't be granted.