In Plain Sight: The End Begins Tonight

The fifth and final season of In Plain Sight premieres on USA Network with “The Anti-Social Network” tonight at 10/9c, and fans really don’t want to miss this. The network let the show “honor the fans,” as star Mary McCormack said, by announcing ahead of time that the fifth season would be the last, which gave the writers eight episodes to wrap things up. (Personally, I wish all shows got that kind of notice.) Of course, given the dramatic way season four ended, how they’re going to wrap things up is quite the question. I recently talked to stars Mary McCormack (Mary) and Fred Weller (Marshall) to get some scoop on what’s coming up in the final eight episodes as well as their feelings as they reach the end of a show they’ve been working on for years.

Let’s talk about their general feelings about the end of the show first, so the spoilerphobes among you can enjoy this part without hearing about the actual episodes. You know how co-stars almost always say they’re close friends? This is one case in which I actually believe it. When asked what they’ll miss the most about working on the show, McCormack and Weller both immediately said the other’s name. McCormack later elaborated:

I imagine the end is going to hit us hard, because I don’t think that this relationship that Fred and I have happens a lot. I mean, I’ve been making television for a thousand years. I’m as old as the hills. And [I’ve] never worked with anyone that, you know, I just work with so easily. And Fred and I spend a lot of time together. And we always enjoy each other, every single day. So I think that’s going to be really sad because I sort of know wherever I go after this, it won’t be that.

Looking back, McCormack and Weller agree that season one’s “Trojan Horst” was their favorite episode, and McCormack’s second favorite was “Iris Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”

Any job that lasts for years winds up teaching you things about yourself, and McCormack says that she learned a lot about the nuts and bolts of making a TV show, as well as to give herself a break:

I used to pride myself on knowing all my lines before I came to set. And with three kids and the line load that I have, there’s no way to do that. I’ve learned to . . . do the best I can and move on. And know that I also have to be there for the kids. If I wake up and spend a half hour with them, that’s equally important. It’s hard. That’s what I’ve learned: to be more forgiving to myself.

And with a bit of prompting from McCormack, Weller admitted that he’s learned that he wants to direct. So that’s something we can look forward to in his future projects!

Okay. If you don’t want to know anything about upcoming episodes, it’s time to click away.

Still here? Let’s proceed!

First, let’s address the big question I’ve been getting from Mary/Marshall ‘shippers: Are they finally going to get together before the show ends? I’m trying to figure out how to break this to you gently . . . well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the show will definitely deal with the issue. It will not be ignored. McCormack said:

There’s this long history of will they or won’t they. And, you know, sometimes I’m in a relationship and sometimes he’s in a relationship. And that’s always complex. And this final season does explore that further. I mean, I don’t want to give it away if we will or we won’t. But definitely, we deal with it. And I think it’s dealt with in an adult way.

But it sounds like it might actually be Marshall who’s ready to move on, as Weller explained:

I think it’s possible that Marshall might be ready to face the fact that his relationship with Mary has been one of sibling rivalry for so long now that it might be better for him to move on romantically.

He also called Marshall’s relationship with Abigail “serious” and said that the whole situation gets “awfully messy and awfully complicated.” Marshall will be in a “period of turmoil” and the Marshall/Abigail relationship will be “a source of great conflict and inner conflict and interpersonal conflict for the show.” Uh-oh.

If that answer bummed you out, maybe this will cheer you up: At least once, we will see Marshall holding a certain ridiculously adorable baby. (I’m not saying that “But will Marshall hold the baby??” was my number one question about the season . . . but yeah, it basically was.) Since Weller has young children himself, he had to think about being less comfortable with babies as Marshall:

I have to sort of pretend like I’m more of a novice than I am a bit. But I mean, Marshall is probably a natural. So it’s not too much of that. It’s just a slight, you know, remembering what it was like the first time you handle babies. But Marshall, his basic outlook is pretty close to mine.

Aww. By the way, McCormack confirmed that her own newborn daughter Lillian does not appear on the show – the babies playing Mary’s baby are all pros. And Stan’s going to do something baby-related that sounds so cute that I’m not even going to tell you what it is, because I don’t want to lessen the impact.

In general, it sounds like this season will have both a lot of action and a lot of closure. We’ll deal with Mary’s adjustment into motherhood – Weller says “she’s not maternal, and yet she manages to be a mother in a way that makes sense” – and her relationship with her father, as well as Marshall’s relationship with Abigail. Jinx, Brandi, and Raphael will all return for parts of the season. (Peter, sadly, will not.) We’ll see the office react to Stan dating someone. We’ll see Marshall in drag. And Cougar Town fans will be delighted to hear that Josh Hopkins will show up toward the end of the season as Kenny, a man Mary meets in a coffee shop who may try to woo her. Good luck with that?

Need a few more teases? I’ve seen tonight’s premiere and I can tell you that it wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was really good. We skip ahead six months from the season four finale, to Mary’s first day back at work, but don’t worry: They manage to work in some flashbacks in a clever and believable way. Mary with a baby is just as awesome and unconventional as you’re imagining. Bones fans should keep their eyes open for a familiar face. People who swoon at Marshall-pedia will have a few great moments. (One made me literally clutch my chest, I was so overcome.) And you should watch with your teddy bear handy, because there was one moment that made me gasp and reflexively pause the episode because I was so shocked. Don’t miss “The Anti-Social Network” tonight at 10/9c on USA.

(Photo courtesy of USA Network.)

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