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In Plain Sight series finale – All doesn’t end well

'In Plain Sight' ends as it began, with a witness, Marshall and a focus on Mary as mother. While I wasn't happy with the episode, I will miss Marshall Mary Shannon.

- Season 5, Episode 8 - "All's Well that Ends"

For the past few weeks, I sang In Plain Sight‘s praises. Every single episode this season, the writing staff and acting talent brought it ten-fold. Imagine my disappointment after watching this week’s episode. In fact, when I first started writing my review I used phrases like “WTF” and “WTH.” I was pissed. The show ended like it began. Then, I started to realize that maybe that’s the point.

In Plain Sight‘s initial pilot case introduced us to a beautiful young woman running from Eastern European baddies. The finale’s final case ended with a beautiful young woman running from Eastern European baddies. The pilot was unevenly written, but its core surrounded Mary as a mother figure. The finale was definitely unevenly written, but its core surrounded Mary as a mother figure (both literal and metaphorical). In Plain Sight’s pilot didn’t focus on the writing and character development so much as the characters’ personalities. Likewise, the series finale focused more on the characters and their relationship with each other than the five year history.

And, that’s what pissed me off. The finale threw off the past five years of intense writing and character interaction to give us a syrupy sweet farewell. In five years, Mary never pulled her punches, so her show didn’t need to. We’ve witnessed so much growth and potential in Brandi. So, I’m pissed that she returned back to square one. After all of her character progression, she returns to Mary’s house as a recovering, knocked up alcoholic who wants to move back in, without any means to independently support herelf. Seriously?!

The pattern repeats with Mary’s social life. The pilot opened with Mary sliding into a relationship with a one night stand. She didn’t want the relationship just the one night stand, but Raphael wanted otherwise. The series finale closes with Mary sliding into a relationship with a one night stand where she initially states she doesn’t want a relationship, but the guy wants something more. Really?!

Photo Credit: NBC Universal

2 Responses to “In Plain Sight series finale – All doesn’t end well”

May 8, 2012 at 2:42 AM

Well said. I had imagined a scene where long suffering Marshall was near Mary and they talked like they talk. With Marshall near Mary’s hair, loving her but not willing or able to say he loved her, we see Mary (and I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity for an actress of Mary McCormack’s caliber . . . ) chuckle quietly at a Marshallism, maybe agree with seven reasons Marshall is saying they should be together, smell his cologne and then realize (a slow, intense creeping realization) that the answer to her dreams is Marshall and that not only does she love him, but that she’s loved him for a long time. From the moment of realization it might take a full minute (an exquisite minute, a minute I’ve waited 5 years for) for Mary’s eyes to widen as she begins to comprehend that the love of her life has been right there in front of her, loving her and nurturing her for a long time. It makes so much sense! Then, before the kiss, Mary and Marshall spend a moment looking into each other’s eyes with the joy that comes from knowing that the one you love loves you back. It’s one of the best moments you can have on this earth.

I know, I know. I’m no writer. It’s just that they teased us with the possibility of this for so long that I really wanted it to be something. I loved the show and the characters/actors. I just wanted the love I was shown.

May 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM

When Mary entered Babiesville, I thought it might jump the shark, but really enjoyed that she kept her sarcasm. Although a lot in the show was improbable, I thought Marshall and Mary falling into each other’s arms in the last episode would have been preposterous. I like how they hinted at it, and then made it go away.

This show had a lot going for it, especially smart funny writing and good acting. However, I also loved that, like Breaking Bad, it was in Albuquerque and surrounding areas. I didn’t know much about witness protection and found that element fascinating too. I liked the stories of the witnesses and seeing their new beginnings.

Mary was irreparably damaged from being abandoned by her father, but when faced with an accidental birth, came to realize that by loving and caring for this baby, she would eventually heal and accept life for what it was, just as her clients were forced to do. Not depending on any one man to care for her or love her forever, she herself could give the baby the life she didn’t have.

The other theme I liked was how Mary’s childhood suffering and pain made her so good at her job, helping people deal with separation yet understanding the criminal mind.

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