Raise a Glass to In Plain Sight

After five seasons, USA Network’s In Plain Sight concludes Friday night at 10/9c. The finale is called “All’s Well That Ends,” but I know I speak for a lot of fans when I say I’m distinctly unwell with the fact that this show is ending. After this week, there will be no more of Mary’s surprisingly deep philosophical voiceovers or Marshall’s wide-ranging trivia. No more banter. No more to-do lists. No more witnesses. No more Shannon family drama or adorable baby Norah or witsec office hijinks. In Plain Sight has always been something of a quiet show, and it’s never gotten the attention I think it deserves, but I think it’s one of the best out there at showing smart, competent adults doing their jobs and getting on with their lives while alternately ignoring and dealing with their personal demons, and the loss of its very specific tone and perspective will definitely leave a hole in my viewing rotation.

In a move that I think should be more common in the industry, the network gave the In Plain Sight writers plenty of warning about the show’s end – they knew while creating this whole eight-episode season that they had to wrap things up, and wrap things up they certainly do. The past few episodes have focused on the return on Mary’s long-absent father and the way she deals with him, both psychologically and in the flesh, and they were some of the strongest episodes the show has had in a while. The finale is a little more scattered in focus, but it does deal with the aftermath of James Shannon’s death – which means that we get to see how Mary reacts to the funeral industrial complex, and yes, that goes about as well as you’d think. As always, Mary McCormack does an amazing job of taking a character who could too easily come off as cold and unfeeling and showing her layers and vulnerabilities, and Fred Weller’s Marshall is completely believable as the one person who sees through all her defenses and really understands her.

Of course, Mary’s father’s death isn’t the only loose end that the finale ties up. Marshall does a lot of soul-searching, which results in difficult, revealing conversations with at least two other characters (and some great acting from Weller). Jinx and Brandi both return, and one of them has life-changing news. Norah is very busy remaining adorable. Oh, and remember how the Albuquerque witsec office is supposed to be closing? Yeah. They have to deal with that this hour too. And on top of all that, we have one last witness – and she’s one of my favorite witnesses of the week ever. It’s an emotional episode on several fronts, so grab your tissues and maybe a teddy bear, and pour a glass of wine to toast the end of this great show.

The In Plain Sight series finale airs Friday at 10/9c on USA.

(Photo courtesy of USA Network.)

2 thoughts on “Raise a Glass to In Plain Sight

  1. My stomach is literally twisted in knots over this finale, worrying about how things will end. I am way overanalyzing everything right now. I’d gotten so caught up in the Mary/Marshall worries that I’d almost overlooked the other fabulous aspects of the show, which you ably pointed out. I am so going to miss this show. I don’t have any other show to fill the hole that IPS will leave. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and grievances after the finale airs.

  2. I thought the scene of everyone gathered together was absolutely beautiful. I am sad to see it end, but love how they handled it.

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