Can anyone explain the actions of Moss (Josh Brolin) when he's running from Chigurh (Javier Bardem)?

He rents a room, hides the money in an air duct, rents an adjoining room, and then goes out to buy tent equipment to create a long device to retrieve the bag.

He does all this before discovering the tracking device in the bag.

Now at this time, he knows Chigurh is following him, but he doesn't know about the tracking device, so he has no reason to expect he'll find him so soon. When he goes out to buy the tent pipes, what is his plan exactly? If he plans to hide the bag in the duct and run away and retrieve the bag later, why rent two rooms then? If he plans to retrieve the bag now, what's the point? Wouldn't his time be better spent getting away as far as possible from Chigurh?

It's as if he expected Chigurh to come to his room at the exact same time when he went out. Even if he could somehow predict that, shouldn't his plan focus on capturing/ killing Chigurh rather than hiding his money and retrieving it from another room, which was not even risk-free, I might add.

3 Answers 3


Unless I'm remembering this wrong, he didn't plan this ahead of time. He hid the bag in that vent with a string attached to it, planning to retrieve it later from the same room. But when he saw the truck outside his room, he got paranoid and decided to go to the adjacent room and pull the bag through there without the cartel guys (who, as he correctly guessed, were waiting for him in the first room) knowing about it. Now, if he'd known about the tracking device, he might not have gone through all that trouble, but he lucked out as Chigurh tracked the bag to the first room just as Moss was pulling it out of that vent and wasted the cartel guys for him.

[EDIT: A spoiler site describes this chain of events (7th paragraph here), and turns out it is pretty much as I remembered it.]

  • Thanks for answering. But if he planned to retrieve it from the same room, why buy the tent? 'The kind with pipes' or rods or whatever, as he tells the guy in the store. Clearly he planned to build a device to get the bag from the adjacent room. Which he also rented beforehand.
    – Tushar Raj
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 9:17
  • I figure he realised there was an alternative way to get at the bag - and was lucky
    – zaTricky
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 14:21
  • That's something I never understood about that movie..............if I was someone as careful as Moss was about renting TWO adjoining hotel rooms to have a good hiding spot to place a big suitcase full of cash.............wouldn't you want to drive miles away, then quickly check through the cash you just took, looking for traps/tracking devices/anything that could cause you a headache BEFORE stopping somewhere? That's something that always drives me crazy when I watch this film! I want to slap that guy! Although I'm guessing the portrayal of Moss is that he's cautious but not entirely bright?? Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 22:40

He's in a trans. He found a case with two million dollars and all he owned was a beat up truck and renting a trailer to reside in with Carla. He was just a hard working welder. He wasn't cut out for this like Carson told him at the hospital. You find something like that you have to find a way to stash it forever. Especially after seeing dead people in an obvious drug deal gone wrong. I wouldn't stay at a motel. I would pay a cab driver a thousand dollars to take me out of state, dump the case and bury the money in a plastic garbage bag by a mile marker. Keep ten thousand of it to establish a new residence, new identity and come back in a month to recover the rest.

  • That's all excellent advice, Ben, but hindsight is 20/20. Llewellyn just didn't figure out the transponder fast enough, and he had the complicating factor of his seemingly simple-minded wife and mother in law. Besides, if he had followed your advice, there would be no story. ; ) Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 16:50

Moss going through all that trouble is actually a small, very important detail the Director was smart enough to show. Regular People finding large sums of money generally get very paranoid, and will go through elaborate, offen irrational measures to hide it from others!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .