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September 4, 2015

In Plain Sight: Don of the Dead

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 21st 2008 11:41AM
Don of the dead(S01E08) In what might have been one of the stranger episodes, there was a point in the voiceover where Mary comments her clients, Ruth and Don. They're devout Catholics, but they hate each other and want to split. They don't because they cannot get an annulment. When Mary urges them to just get a divorce, saying that as a Catholic she understand them, they say they'll continue to suffer because it's God's will. That's when Mary's VO is, "Okay, too weird for me."

That's how I felt about this show. While it was an interesting examination of a couple facing a dilemma while at the same time being in Witness Protection, there were elements that made me cringe.

It wasn't the religion that bothered me, it was the details. For instance, in Boston where they witness a mob boss killing a priest, they're presented as regular church goers and do-gooders who run a soup kitchen. So why then in WITSEC are they living the same lifestyle, going to church daily and running a soup kitchen? Mary and Marshall seem perfectly okay with the couple living the same life.

Another problem was the wrap up. Mary listens to Don's explanation for faking his death and agrees to move him to a new location and let Ruth think he's dead. Not only is this unethical and in violation of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Witness Protection Program, but Mary's just spent time and money in WITSEC resources searching for this guy. He was in violation of the agreement and is never held responsible.

Instead, they become complicate in his lie. Why does Mary sanction this? Because Don says it's God's will. Holy moly! Are you kidding me? This was just a lame way to close this case, and if Stan were any kind of a real supervisor (is he still on the show?), Mary and Marshall would never be able to pull this kind of stuff.

The "A" story was just an excuse for the writers to expound on the idea of a couple who hate each other and can't separate. There was also the part where Don explains why he married Ruth, their love of God and how he sees in her a connection to God that he doesn't feel in the same way. I get it, identification of the same.

The "B" story, however, involving Raph and Brandi was far more interesting. Brandi has suffered no ill-effects from the coke in the suitcase -- yet. There was no mention of it and no more calls from the boyfriend. She is now obsessed with Raph and made a sort of move on him in the car. I liked that Raph stopped her and said he wouldn't cross the line. Finally, some backbone.

When the episode ended with the mystical moment by Don, the line from the Bible that tied in to the capture of the two mobsters fishing in San Diego, I think the writers hoped the audience would go "wooo." Instead it was more like "no!"

Other points of interest

-- Hooray! Jinx actually was shown working and acting like a parent. She warned Brandi to keep out of Mary's relationship and sounded like a mother. It's about time.

-- Raph is such a sad sack. How could he let Brandi and Mary use him like a pinata and he still winds up with nobody to help get him to physical therapy. Where are his friends? He needs some baseball buddies.

-- How dumb is Brandi? She doesn't know the differences between lemon and limes, cauliflower and broccoli. She also was shopping (like Pretty Woman)and she still has no means of income. Maybe she kept the cocaine and threw out the suitcase? She still seems high on something.

-- Wouldn't you know that Marshall quotes Ayn Rand. I love this guy, but in this show he was back to being Mary's errand boy. What happened to the balance from last week's show?

-- The owner of the bar, Joe, is becoming a character. He summed up Jinx pretty well when he said, "It's tough, watching the light go out on those childhood dreams." They should follow up on Jinx auditioning for Sweet Charity.

-- Thank you! We got the back story on the Mercury Caliente. It was won by the father on a bet and Jinx has taken care of it all these years. Although why doesn't Mary get to drive it?

-- Great use of the split screen on the phone calls between Jinx/Raph/Mary.
Who should Raph choose?
Mary43 (30.9%)
Brandi22 (15.8%)
Marshall21 (15.1%)
Anybody else53 (38.1%)

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Why would God say, "You can't EVER get a divorce, but hey, it's TOTALLY OKAY to fake your own death to get out of a marriage!" God, that's a stupid, stupid plot.

Raph is reminding me of Thomas Poorbitch from Wonderfalls (the guy whose wife went lesbian and dumped him). I'm calling him Raphael Poorbitch in my head every time he's on screen looking hangdog.

He will have slept with Brandi before the season is over. Doesn't matter how much he says no now, that girl don't take no for an answer. Ugh. I hate the family plots so much.

July 25 2008 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think this episode was a good one in terms of familial balance. Raph, Brandi and the mom all made sense. Sure, Marshal got pushed to the back, but it's Mary's show and there are only 45 min per ep.

I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the mother's boss, although I hope there's a love connection. I didn't like that his pep talk consisted of describing how they would've made it if they were good enough.

I thought the ending was hokey, too. Plus, it didn't make sense that the uber-Christian would decide to fake his death, knowing it'd make his wife a bigamist. Why didn't they enter the program separately?

Minor notes: L.A.W. is clearly a beautiful woman, but why does her make up artist give her such crappy hair and understated makeup? Also, I'm still not certain how I feel about Brandi aggressively pursuing Raph. On the one hand, Raph will have a more affectionate girlfriend. On the other, he'll have a crazier one -

July 22 2008 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If there is an Emmy award for "Best Song Selection To End An Episode" the person responsible for selecting Meatloaf's Two Out OF Three Ain't Bad would win.

Hands down, one of the best episode endings I've seen in a long time.

One criticism, Why did Mary walk injured Don from the church when big, tall Marshall was right there and merely opened the door to the SUV?

July 21 2008 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Complicit, not complicate :P

July 21 2008 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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