(Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the past two episodes of USA Network’s In Plain Sight!)
We all love Mary Shannon, (Mary McCormack) the tough, caustic United States Marshal serving in the WITSEC (witness protection) program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During seasons one through three of In Plain Sight, without missing a beat as the best WITSEC Inspector ever, Mary managed to hold her topsy-turvy family together by relentlessly challenging their conduct but always helping them when they got into serious trouble. By the end of season three, Mary has helped her mother, Jinx, (Lesley Ann Warren) and her sister, Brandi (Nichole Hiltz) mainstream their behavior until they seem, well, normal, which leaves Mary with no one to fix; no one who needs her care.
Several weeks ago, season four opened with an excellent show. Mary gets a bit distracted from her WITSEC duties because her sister, Brandi, is accused of grand theft auto. But, hey, we fans are used to a Brandi problem every few episodes, so we’re not surprised when, with the help of a WITSEC witness’s criminal expertise, Mary proves that Brandi is innocent. And in a major change, Mary’s partner Marshal Marshall Mann (Frederick Weller) finally quit mooning over Mary and seems happy dating a lively and pretty detective on the Albuquerque PD.
The next few episodes focus more on the witnesses than on Mary. There is a father/son problem; a Romeo and Juliet problem, and even a beauty pageant problem. Mary and Marshall, along with their boss, Stan McQueen, (Paul Ben-Victor) deal with every expected and unexpected problem with professional ease, lots of banter, and an occasional screw-up. Then, in episode five, Brandi, who has been super good until now, invites Mary’s ex-husband, Mark (Bryan Callen) for a visit. (Didn’t know Mary had an ex? Neither did I.) Mary and the ex have a grand old time, until she realizes he is the snake he has always been, and she tosses him before the final credits.
If you are having trouble accepting Temperance Brennan’s pregnancy on Bones, you may have a problem with this:
Episode six opens with Mary just back in Albuquerque from a six-week tour training new marshals. Mary, Marshall and Stan work hard to save two Amish witnesses. At the very end of the show, Mary tells Marshall that—KABOOM!—she is pregnant by her ex. Marshall says he’s already guessed she is pregnant by the look of her (with a meaningful nod to her chest) and asks what she’s going to do. So, we all waited a breathless week.
This past Sunday night, episode seven was centered on a witness with a serious health problem and some family battles. But I was more concerned about Mary. I watched her dive and roll across a street to save a child from an oncoming car. I wanted to smack her when she got furious at Marshall for telling her she has to see a doctor and should take better care of herself. Her anger dissipates when she realizes that he is determined to help her through the pregnancy and she swears him to secrecy, but not before he reminds her that her job as an expectant mother is the same as her job as a WITSEC Inspector. She need only “protect and relocate.”
I can’t wait for next Sunday night.
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