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July 31, 2014

WITSEC

'In Plain Sight' - 'Father Goes West' Recap (Season Premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 1st 2010 1:52AM
in_plain_sight_mary_marshall_usa(S03E01) As originally planned, this season opener of 'In Plain Sight' was supposed to have run last season, but when Mary was shot and left clinging to life, USA Network and all the other brainiacs involved with the show decided to give us a cliffhanger. Not that there was ever really any doubt that Mary would survive, because without Mary in the middle, there's really no show.

Nevertheless, it was refreshing to see the new season kick off with Mary not clinging to life, but instead being the world's worst patient. More on her return to active duty and Marshall's green cashmere scarf and cheese danish theories after the jump.

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In Plain Sight: Gilted Lily (season premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 20th 2009 12:04PM
Liza Mary In Plain Sight
(S02E01)
After the harrowing conclusion from last season, Mary Shannon was back and after 30 hours of sleep, she actually seemed ready to return to work. However, as Marshall soon found out, looks can be deceiving. Mary and Jinx and Brandi were still together and coping, but the effects of one of them nearly being raped, killing a man, concealing drugs, having their home turned inside out and suffering the indignity of the FBI invading every corner of your life took a toll. They thought they had come out the other side unscathed, but as the episode unfolded, damage was evident.

For Mary, getting back on a case, even as Marshall's sidekick, was a welcomed relief from administrative leave. Her denial of post-traumatic stress disorder was typical for her. In fact, she was suffering, but it manifested itself as a happy, chipper and congenial Mary. Stan, Marshall and Bobby D. were baffled by this alternate universe Agent Shannon, but for viewers wise to the ways of TV, it was clear that something was amiss.

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In Plain Sight: A Fine Meth (season finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 18th 2008 1:02AM
Jinx and Brandi(S01E12) It feels to me that a big chunk of the first season of In Plain Sight was Brandi's great adventure, and tonight's show was the big finish. In a twist that was both surprising and satisfying, the loose ends were tied up and the air was cleared for the show to return for more chapters in the Shannon family saga. And all that other stuff that Mary's been doing with the Witness Protection Program, too.

After nearly eleven hours (give or take) of Mary's frustration with her mother and sister, it all came to a head. Directed by John Badham (Saturday Night Fever), this was an episode heavy on the drama, and he did a great job balancing the FBI investigation, Marshall and Stan's efforts to save Mary's career, and the family dynamics. From the first scene between the Shannons, there was no question that this was not going to be a warm and fuzzy examination of their feelings. Mary dropped the hammer when she told Jinx and Brandi how much trouble they were in.


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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.

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In Plain Sight: To Serge with Love

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 4th 2008 9:40AM
IPS Mary(S01E10) What does Mary expect? I mean, really, what does she expect! Okay, before we get to the gory details, let's talk about the case of the week.

Remember the Russian girl from the pilot? Natasha with the new boobs -- thanks to the U.S. government, our tax dollars -- has gotten a job at Headlights (nee Hooters) and has hooked up with a new guy.

Turns out he's Marshall's charge, another program member, Serge. The problem is not just the huge coincidence that they've hooked up, it's that she's a witness and he's a felon, they cannot stay together.

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In Plain Sight: Iris Doesn't Live Here Anymore

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 14th 2008 12:04PM
Mary Mc(S01E07) This was quite possibly the best In Plain Sight so far. This is the one I'd submit for Emmy consideration next year. Seriously. From start to finish, this one had it all -- a good story, interesting characters, not too much voice over, a relatable situation and ultimately, a satisfying resolution that was realistic but tough. It also had what has been sorely lacking in the previous six episodes -- balance.

Marshall got as much to do as Mary, for a change, and was equally involved on an emotional level. Too often, Frederick Weller's character has been reduced to Mary's sidekick and support system. Not this week.

The credit for this show likely goes to veteran director Sam Weisman. Bring this man back! He gets In Plain Sight and has a feel for the wry humor off-setting the real drama.

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In Plain Sight: High Priced Spread

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 7th 2008 9:20AM
Getty-McCormack(S01E06) I thought this was one of the best In Plain Sights so far. It wasn't the case, it was the character, in particular Mary's. We got major character development from the leading lady, the key to what she's all about and how she's come to where she is.

Episodes like this just make a show; they really do. In Plain Sight is about Witness Protection, yes, but it's more about Mary Shannon.

Mary doesn't go looking for this case, she's just bringing in her crap car for service. Her mechanic is Scott, who it turns out, was Mary's very first WITSEC client. Mary gave Scott and his 10-year-old brother, Chris, new lives after they witnessed a bookie murder another bookie.

Parenthetically, Scott invites Mary and Marshall to watch Chris play basketball at the university. The kid's got mad skills and is projected to be an NBA star, natch, but something's amiss. Chris is hitting up Mary for $3,000, which we learn is out of bounds for decade-long WITSEC clients.
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In Plain Sight: Never The Bride

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 16th 2008 3:32AM
Frederick Weller(S01E03) For a change of pace, In Plain Sight opted for a mainly comic episode. The results were mixed. The comedy wasn't really all that funny, and the plot was plagued by more than a few inconsistencies and holes. But once again, what's keeping viewers from switching to another channel is Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon. She's really a compelling actress, and this Mary Shannon is a complicated mess of a very cool character.

Mary's newest witness to be protected is a con artist, bigamist scumbag -- Mary's words -- named Treena. She ripped off her previous husband while on a Hawaiian honeymoon, getting away with $10 million in conflict diamonds before being arrested by the FBI. When Mary is forced to take Treena under her wing, she makes no secret of her antipathy for people of her ilk, saying, "God I hate con artists, even more than murderers."

There's an instant conflict between Treena and Mary, the uncooperative witness and unhappy marshal. Mary suspects that Treena is playing her and the system. She warns her that if you hang onto garbage from your past, sooner to later it starts to stink.

The machinations to get Treena into the WITSEC program is the first leap of faith in the episode. The second comes when she allows her picture to appear in the newspaper, announcing her sixth wedding.

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In Plain Sight: Hoosier Daddy

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 9th 2008 10:22AM
in plain sight(S01E02) Overall, a very good episode from Mary and Marshall as In Plain Sight settles into the kind of show it's going to be. Far less frantic than the pilot -- which in retrospect looks like a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth -- this show dealt with one main issue and it was a touching one at that. The story starts 18 months earlier when Mary's assigned to place an 8-year-old boy who's seen drug dealers kill his mother in Witness Protection, which is virtually impossible unless she can find a family in the system who are willing to take on that responsibility.

I was stunned that she pulled it off, and when we were back in the present and we see little Lonny -- now Leo -- enjoying a perfect life with the Billups, I was skeptical. The adoption seemed too good to be true. Leo fit right in, taking care of the baby. Were the Billups for real? I thought there had to be something wrong, but it wasn't. I was just suspicious. It turns out there was a reason to show Lonny/Leo in such a happy family.
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