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September 16, 2014

In Plain Sight: Trojan Horst

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 23rd 2008 11:23AM
Mary McCormack(S01E04) Okay, this was the best episode of In Plain Sight to date. Action-packed and filled with character revelations, if this is where In Plain Sight is going, it's going to definitely make it beyond this premiere season.

The set up has Marshall and Mary taking custody of a seemingly innocuous, diabetic, asthmatic accountant/arranger for a hit man named Lola. He's been caught in an FBI sting and will go WITSEC in exchange for "delivering" Lola.

Expertly played by Dave Foley (News Radio), he's just enough of an unctuous ass to make him amusing. When Mary throws him to the ground and pounces on him, he says, "Could you get off of me, you're not exactly petite."

The role was very much like Charles Grodin, a mob accountant, in the movie Midnight Run, with Robert DeNiro as the bounty hunter forced to take him cross country. (If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it; it's great!)


The subtext of the episode was more fascinating than the case itself. Mary snoops into Marshall's mail and discovers he's been interviewing for a new job outside the Witness Protection Service. She acts out, getting moody, but not revealing why she's pissed with him. There's an interesting workplace dynamic between Marshall and Mary; they're really good at doing their business while doing this back-and-forth battle about their relationship. Do you wonder if they would they have walked into a trap if they were not bickering? I don't think so, because at the rest stop, Marshall is suspicious of the bottle drop.

So their Jeep breaks down, it's a trap. They're outside cell phone range -- good! I hate when you can just call out of a perilous situation, don't you? While checking out the engine, Marshall and Mary are ambushed by two shooters in a car -- the couple from the rest stop. There's a tremendous amount of shooting, but only Marshall is hit on first shot. Excuse me for complaining, but these people need to get to the shooting range! Mary shoots and shoots and doesn't hit either of the bad guys. There's lots of bullet holes, but only Marshall's blood.

Thanks to Marshall, they get away and find shelter in an abandoned building. Did anybody else notice how much it looked just like the NCIS finale where Jenny was killed? Anyway, Marshall he passes out and Mary gets desperate. She really needs him, despite what she says. He comes to and manages to temporarily mend his wound with a plastic tube and a bottle of water. You gotta love Marshall's ability to know what to do when - bravo.

Mary suspects the bad guys have a GPS device. They're trapped, outnumbered and vulnerable, and in this tense, dangerous situation, Marshall admits he wants to leave the marshal service because of their relationship -- but it's not a love thing (at least that's not what he's saying). He tells her, "I feel like I'm this keeper of an exotic animal." He's protecting Mary -- the exotic animal -- from the world and the world from her. The responsibility of caring for her is getting to him. Mary gets it.

She kisses him -- as a friend -- says he can't quit. He's her friend; she needs him. When he starts bleeding, Mary acts boldly because she must. She tries to get the drop on the baddies, and when she uses their Jeep to get position, she realizes Horst was never shot at. She confronts his and in a rapid connect-the-dots way, she sings words to the Kinks' song "Lola," and confirms that Horst is hitman Lola. He got himself arrested to do a job. Acting decisively, Marshal Mary exchanges Horst for a car and rushes Marshal Marshall to help. Horst is apprehended and Marshall's fate hangs in the balance.

Other points of interest

-- Mary brings "expensive coffee beverages" to the office. Marshall is stunned: "You're not a treater. ...It's just an observation, not a criticism." He's right, though. Mary wants to be reimbursed.

-- After discovering that Marshall's looking for another job, Mary cracks wise, "Why did I put up with your running commentary for three years?"

-- The weakest part of the In Plain Sight continues to be Mary's family. Brandi busts Jinx for not doing her cosmetics job. Jinx claims that "The dog ate my samples" which is dumb, but true. Brandi forces Jinx to turn to her "box." No, not that box. It's her jewelry. Guess what? All her gems are paste -- DOH!

-- Back at the bar, Jinx and Brandi drink to Mary, their meal ticket. By the way, who's paying for their drinks?

-- Great line when Mary confronts the woman from the shootout. "You shouldn't have shot my friend; I only have one friend." She then kicks her to the ground. Nice.

-- As "Lola" plays on the soundtrack -- "She walked like a woman and talked like a man" -- you realize the lyrics kind of describe Mary.

-- In voice over (the only time during the show), Mary quotes Nietzsche: "We go into the world alone and come out alone." At hospital, Mary really breaks downs and we see that she does need the emotional connection to her dysfunctional family. She is, as she says, "Infuriatingly dependent on others."

-- Lesley Ann Warren needs a new outfit. Her hot "Mary Kay" pink suit is tired.

-- This episode was really well-directed by Bryan Spicer (24, House). The pacing of the show was great; it seemed to fly by.
What will Marshall do next?
Get better and get back to work160 (92.0%)
Force Mary to commit or quit8 (4.6%)
Take the other job and stay friends with Mary6 (3.4%)

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AliB

It was boring beginning to end. Don't US marshals have to be able to
shoot straight? Neither one of them could hit the side of a barn. The
best part for me was the 'Psyche' commercial - Ebony and Ivory -
absolutely brilliant and hilarious.

June 24 2008 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
AliB

It was boring beginning to end. Don't US marshals have to be able to shoot straight? Neither one of them could hit the side of a barn. The best part for me was the 'Psyche' commercial - Ebony and Ivory - absolutely brilliant and hilarious.

June 24 2008 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anita

This was a great ep. But I agree with others regarding the family. I think they're best when they're supporting Mary - but it's too soon to flesh out the family members individually, especially when the Marshal-Mary connection is far more compelling.

June 23 2008 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joanna

I like it when Mary is vulnerable. I took the show off my dvr list and then decided to put it back on after this episode. The first one I really liked.

June 23 2008 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keithnl

The crying was the best, when she totally broke down when her mom showed up. You rarely see someone completely lose their sh*t like that, so that was tres tres super cool.

As was Marshall checking the car after the water bottle was dropped.

I didn't mind the wacky family tonight so much. I was a great distraction but at least we got to see that dopey sister is'nt exactly thrilled to have a whoreish mom. And we got to see whore mom find out her worth with all the fake jewelery. Finally they both acknowledged Marys importance, the worst part of the wacky families in other shows is how oblivious they are.

June 23 2008 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Piper

I really liked the episode, I am a big fan of Dave Foley. My question is, if you are Lola, why bother even pretending to be killed or kidnapped? Once they get to New Mexico, isn't he going to be in the WITSEC program? Couldn't he pretend to be killed then?

June 23 2008 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby O\'B

Once again, I watched the show via DVR delay and fast-forwarded through the subplot of Jinx and Brandi. They were totally removable, no need for them at all to interact with the other plot.

Which can only mean: Get rid of them! They're vestigial!

Oh well, combined with the commercials, I was able to speed through the episode in 35 minutes!

June 23 2008 at 6:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tagtime

I agree with Sassylilb. The show was good because Dave Foley was great. His character was funny and serious. I enjoyed seeing him act in this show. I think if they could bring his character back again that would be a good thing.

June 23 2008 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
christina

I dunno, I pegged that the dude was Lola from the first inhale of his inhaler. I thought that the episode was so-so...not sure if I'm digging it yet.

June 23 2008 at 4:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Max

I agree about the family stuff. It sucks. Here we had this great interaction in the abandoned gas station with Mary, Marshall, and Horst, and we have to cut to these 2 losers in a bar. At least Tivo has fast-forward!

One of the nice things about other procedurals like CSI:Vegas is that they keep the personal life stuff to a minimum (or at least they did at the beginning) and focused on the interaction of the main characters in the story. IPS should stick to that, too. The interaction between the marshals and Stan, the cop, and the FBI agents they begrudgingly work with is far more interesting than her family and sex life.

June 23 2008 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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