Monday, August 10, 2009
In Plain Sight Finale
Wow. The In Plain Sight season finale, "Don't Cry for me Albequerque," hadn't been what I'd been expecting at all. I try not to be spoiled for episodes, so I had no idea what was coming at the end of this season.
*SPOILER ALERT* Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack) got stuck babysitting Francesca, a revolutionary in her country who was rescued by the American armed forces just before her dictator had her killed. Francesca has to be one of the most annoying witnesses Mary Shannon has ever faced. She's arrogant, self-centered, and difficult. All she's concerned about is her own cause, and getting Mary drunk and stupid--to prove she's not a square. Because you'd want the woman protecting your life to be completely wasted, right?
Which of course means Mary dislikes her, but respects her for her bullying ways. After all, Mary is once again bullying her fiance Raphael (Cristián de la Fuente) about his work for Peter's car dealership. I think it's fine for her to not be thrilled that he's filmed a corny Spanish language car commercial with bimbo girls, but she doesn't have to get so nasty about it. Raphael continues to stand up for himself, telling her she doesn't get to decide where he works--just as he doesn't have to decide or like where she works. That actually gets through to her a little bit, but who knows how much.
Things with Francesca go from bad to worse when she decides to move to a gang-infested area so she can be amongst "her people". She laughs off the dangerous flirtations of the drug dealers across the street, saying she grew up with boys like him. When Mary brings up the fact that they're criminals, Francesca says it's only because of the laws that they're criminals. Talk about rose-colored glasses.
Since the CIA is in charge of Francesca, Mary has no say in the matter. Marshall (Frederick Weller) is not happy with the arrangement, but he gets Mary's permission to take off for a date. After all, it's Mary and she can take care of herself. When the crowd on the street starts to get rowdy, Mary calls the police and then takes Francesca out for dinner.
The one moment I did like with Francesca was that while they were in the dance club, Raphael's commercial came on the TV. Francesca thought it was wonderful, and told Mary she was so lucky to have him. It was an interesting moment, when Mary saw Raphael through someone else's eyes.
Back at the house, Mary is dismayed to find that the police have never come by. She calls her police contact Detective Dershowitz (Todd Williams) and asks him to send a black and white by to at least scatter the thugs on the street. Dershowitz comes by himself, just as a drunk is on their porch threatening them. The situation escalates, and Dershowitz and Mary are outnumbered. Then Mary sees one of the gang reaching for a weapon. She calls "Gun!", but before she draws her own, she's shot in the stomach and falls abruptly to the ground.
The gang finally scatters and Dershowitz is left wondering what just happened. Marshall is at the hospital as they're rushing Mary into surgery, saying she's stopped breathing. Marshall kisses her on the forehead just before they wheel her in, then he breaks down as Stan (Paul Ben-Victor) arrives.
My favorite part of the In Plain Sight episode was when Stan conferred with the CIA agent in charge. The agent just started to blame Mary for the situation, and then suddenly Stan was shoving him into an office and slamming him up against a wall. Get him, Stan!
Stan let the agent know very clearly that they were the ones that put Mary in danger--giving her a witness to protect with no say in a location that put both hers and Francesca's lives at risk. Despite being a good deal shorter than the agent, Stan threatened him well enough that the guy knew to keep his mouth shut after that.
Another great scene was Marshall interrogating the gang leader. He knew that this guy knew who had shot Mary, but that no threats would ever work on such a hardened criminal. So Marshall offered sugar instead, letting the gang leader know that he could be in Hawaii tomorrow leading a new life. There was a sweet moment when it looked like the guy might actually give in--but then he reverted back to his old ways. He felt that destiny was destiny, and he was meant to live and die right where he was.
As if Francesca wasn't bad enough, she had the nerve to tell Marshall that she thought this was all Mary's fault. She felt that the guys would have just wandered away if they'd been ignored and it would be okay. While I honestly have to wonder if Dershowitz and Mary's interference may have stirred up the situation more than it warranted, it also felt like it could have gone very badly either way. These guys aren't children, after all--I'm not sure they would allow Francesca to ignore them. Either way, it wasn't the right thing to say to Marshall at that moment, when they still had no idea if Mary was going to make it or not.
Of course Marshall had his own perceptions. He realized that Francesca had been once again driven by her own causes. If her people had found out that they'd been in a revolution while Francesca sat in a mansion in America, it would not have looked good for her. So she risked her own and Mary's life for appearances.
So, In Plain Sight fans are left with a cliffhanger until next season. Along with Mary's precarious condition, there's also the plot that's been building with Marshall's obvious feelings for her. There's also a real question of whether Mary and Raphael belong together. I've been feeling for some time that Mary's relationship with Marshall is far more real, and on equal levels, than hers with Raphael. In Plain Sight either needs to show us a legitimate affection for Raph from Mary for more than five minutes, or they need to break them up.
I also ask that they not give Marshall any more big emotional scenes. Weller didn't exactly sell the teary breakdown, and it didn't seem in character for Marshall anyway--which is maybe why Weller had trouble selling it. Sure, Marshall is more sensitive than Mary, but he's still very stoic and laconic and a big display didn't seem to fit. It was much better when he was pissed and determined to find the shooter, but still you could see the anguish in his eyes.
Unfortunately for us, we've got to wait for In Plain Sight until Spring 2010 to see what happens to Mary and Marshall, and find out who the shooter is--if we ever find out.
PHOTOS: Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon and Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann, In Plain Sight screencaps, c2009 USA Network.