In the male dominated industry of Heist films, women are often portrayed as a nuisance or hindrance to the goal of the heist. Heist films create a binary between work and leisure which is demonstrated by the criminals' relationships with the women in their lives. In the film Heat, Neil McCauley is quoted saying "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."
[...] It is appropriate that Emmerich set her up in his vacation cabin as he uses her as an escape from his home life and keeps everything to do with her lighthearted and pleasant. Phinlay however has become quite a financial strain on Emmerich and he finds himself bankrupt, thus desperate enough to finance the heist. In Emmerich's case, the heist does not fall on the work side of the work/leisure binary. This is because Emmerich has the opportunity to make an honest living as a lawyer but he spends all his money on leisure endeavors and uses the heist to make easy money fast. [...]
[...] Emmerich could have used his wife as an alibi for his whereabouts but he instead chose to ask this task of his mistress. Emmerich's wife seemed desperate to please him and likely would have covered for him but he preferred to keep her entirely in the dark. This suggests that he was too ashamed to reveal to her the state of his finances and his desperate act. Just before ending his life, his thoughts turn to his wife and he writes to ask for her forgiveness, as he is not courageous enough to face his legal consequences or to face her in person. [...]
[...] At the same time he realizes that he is going to prison and that she can no longer be useful as arm-candy either. It is at this moment that Emmerich's situation changes and he is forced to re-evaluate. He recognizes that she doesn't fully understand what is going on with the police and it seems obvious that their relationship was not serious enough to continue her involvement in his cover up. Phinlay looks to him for cues and he instructs her to tell the truth, while he is absorbed with reading the confession that incriminated him. [...]
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