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August 21, 2014

In Plain Sight: Stan By Me

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 11th 2008 9:44AM
IPS cast(S01E11) "My family will be the death of me."

What an opening act! What a set up! This seemed to be the first of the two-part finale for season one, and in this penultimate episode, the writers really delivered a knockout. I think we're finally getting that clash of Mary's personal and professional life that's been building from the pilot when Brandi showed up.

The abduction of Mary was well done because they chloroformed her. If she weren't drugged, she would have not been overpowered. As it was, she nearly got away. Of course, they thought they were grabbing Brandi so why did they need to knock her out? Also -- continuity error -- Russell said they grabbed the first hot blonde that came out of the house. That's not where Mary was snatched; she was in the alley outside the theater.

One of the best sequences was Jinx's audition. She sang "Neverland" -- and yes, that really was Lesley Ann Warren singing. She has legit musical comedy chops -- Victor/Victoria, TV's second Cinderella (after Julie Andrews, before Brandi). That was also the perfect song for her character -- it's from Broadway's Peter Pan, a song is about never growing up, and isn't that just so Jinx Shannon?

Jinx's reaction to seeing Mary at the audition was a stunner. All that pent up anger. We've heard week after week how frustrated Mary is with her family, who knew they were equally frustrated with Mary! Jinx turned on Mary and screamed, "The only time you're ever happy is when Brandi or I are miserable. You root for our failures. It's the only thing that gives your life meaning."

Whoa! That's a heavy burden, especially since Jinx and Brandi are living off Mary. How can her mother really feel that way?

As screwed up as Jinx is, I'm really ticked off with Brandi. She is a maddening character. I think I hate her guts. She's selfish and manipulative. Oh, and did I mention that she's stupid! She's determined to get herself or someone close to her killed. She's already succeeded with Chuck. I think another victim is going to fall. Look out Raph.

The revelation about Mary's background was also stunning. "Honestly, with this family tree. It's a wonder she got into the U.S. Marshall service at all." Boy, did Agent O'Connor hit the nail on the head. Mary's father is on the most wanted list! Jinx and Brandi have rap sheets. I'm wondering if Mary did something underhanded to get into the Federal Marshall program. Did she bend the rules to achieve her goals?

Mary McCormack really shone in this episode. I loved the way she played Spanky, scamming him about the $500,000. It would have worked if not for the media alert the FBI was told not to put out. Later on, when she had to go along with the rape attempt to put herself in a position to kill Russell, that was Emmy worthy. It was also cathartic to see her shoot the guy -- and completely justified.

Next week promises to be a dynamite finale. I'm looking forward to it, but I hope they keep some loose ends untied for season two. Yes, I'm calling it now. In Plain Sight will definitely have a second season. It's earned it.

Other points of interest

-- The FBI comes off really badly. Not only is O'Connor a pain in the ass, the two dead agents in New Jersey hang out at Chuck's long enough for Spanky to get the drop on them. If they had just taken Chuck to the office as planned, they wouldn't have been shot.

-- Hooray for the homeless dude. Bobby D. acted like he couldn't be bothered with him, but the guy did the right thing. So much for prejudging the bums in the alley.

-- Did you see Marshall's emotional reaction to Mary's abduction? Talking to Bobby and Stan, Marshall was choked up.

-- The red Mercury Caliente doesn't have seatbelts. Isn't that illegal? Of course, Jinx and Brandi seem to regularly break the law.

-- For the first time all season, Stan finally rose to the occasion. He not only was involved in the case, he had the topper at the end, locking Agent O'Connor in the office to cool his heels. I guess that's why this episode was called "Stan By Me."
How will Mary handle Brandi's drug involvement?
She'll turn her in to the Feds and get her into WITSEC61 (33.3%)
She'll advise her to work with the Feds and get Witness Protection109 (59.6%)
She'll help her to get away to Mexico13 (7.1%)

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Crow

I know. I was just wishing out loud.

August 12 2008 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Crow

I wonder if they could do a "In Plain Sight/Breaking Bad" cross-over episode? I gotta nit-pick...during this episode and last episode the TV news call letters started with a W. Albuquerque is in the west and the call letters should start with a K.

August 12 2008 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Crow's comment
tv.squad.zkam

"In Plain Sight" and "Breaking Bad" are from 2 different networks (USA and AMC, respectively).

August 12 2008 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tv.squad.zkam

I believe the previews for next week gave away the answer to the poll question.

And a question for somebody who knows guns: Does Mary's pistol really hold 13 rounds?

August 12 2008 at 2:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anita

I agree with Carissa regarding Jinx's virulent response to Mary (particularly calling a daughter who gives her 3k, self-absorbed), but disagree regarding LAW's body. She's in amazingly good shape for a woman any age ;) I loved the Marshal-Mary exchange (MS: I think I saw my mother dressed as a h** MM: Doesn't your mother always dress like a . . . ). I loved Marshal getting choked up, but kind've wanted more (i.e. Lola). However, what's up with the FBI and police totally disrespecting witsec? Bobby D puts a tap on a suspect, knowing Mary's in contact w/ him, & publicly arrests him and shady FBI guy releases a statement. Sure he doesn't provide her name or photo, but couldn't he have just said unidentified woman?

Regarding Mary: Considering her family tree, I doubt she did anything illegal. She strikes me as the type of person to overcome her family's problems by becoming overtly moral in her personal and work life, hence the US marshals -

August 11 2008 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anita

I agree with Carissa regarding Jinx's virulent response to Mary (particularly calling a daughter who gives her 3k, self-absorbed), but disagree regarding LAW's body. She's in amazingly good shape for a woman any age ;) I loved the Marshal-Mary exchange (MS: I think I saw my mother dressed as a h** MM: Doesn't your mother always dress like a . . . ). I loved Marshal getting choked up, but kind've wanted more (i.e. Lola). However, what's up with the FBI and police totally disrespecting witsec? Bobby D puts a tap on a suspect, knowing Mary's in contact w/ him, & publicly arrests him and shady FBI guy releases a statement. Sure he doesn't provide her name or photo, but couldn't he have just said unidentified woman?

Regarding Mary: Considering her family tree, I doubt she did anything illegal. She strikes me as the type of person to overcome her family's problems by becoming overtly moral in her personal and work life, hence the US marshals -

August 11 2008 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sanna

It has already been renewed, 16 new episodes has been ordered.

August 11 2008 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carissa

Lesley Ann Warren in the dancing outfit kind of appalled me. I could see just a tad more of an older woman than I really wanted to. Just had to get that out there.

Her anger and nastiness toward Mary when Mary showed at the audition surprised me. She is so angry and living in her own reality. She and Brandi have done nothing but sponge off Mary while making her feel like a witch since they arrived. They always need something; money, help, compassion. And even though Mary gets annoyed and tells it like it is, she has continued to give.

I look forward to the finale and to next season. I hope she grows up a bit and stands up for herself. She is so capable of doing it with her job and even with Raf, but not with her mother and sister.

I have a feeling we will not see the end of that ass of an FBI agent. He is just the kind of character that can push enough buttons and make things off kilter to bring him back for more.

August 11 2008 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

loved these episode, but the teary marshall... just plain bad acting... anyway i love the character as well :)

August 11 2008 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

Good points about them following Mary. I was wrong about the continuity. But why didn't they grab her at the house as planned?

August 11 2008 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Allison Solow's comment
BC McKinney

Because it's easier to knock out and snatch someone in a deserted alley than in a suburban neighborhood where there are likely to be neighbors around? Even with the choroform, she might get off a few screams.

Also, seat belts were not required equipment until 1966; the car in the show appears to be a 1966 model, but could have been produced in 1965--I'm not sure whether the rule took effect for the model year or sometime during the calendar year.

August 11 2008 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

I third Nicolas. It was very clear that they'd been following Mary for some time--the CCTV had them making 5 turns after her.

August 11 2008 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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