"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In Plain Sight: Trojan Horst

Okay, this was the best episode of In Plain Sight to date. Action-packed and filled with character revelations, if this is where In Plain Sight is going, it's going to definitely make it beyond this premiere season.

The set up has Marshall and Mary taking custody of a seemingly innocuous, diabetic, asthmatic accountant/arranger for a hit man named Lola. He's been caught in an FBI sting and will go WITSEC in exchange for "delivering" Lola.

Expertly played by Dave Foley (News Radio), he's just enough of an unctuous ass to make him amusing. When Mary throws him to the ground and pounces on him, he says, "Could you get off of me, you're not exactly petite."

The subtext of the episode was more fascinating than the case itself. Mary snoops into Marshall's mail and discovers he's been interviewing for a new job outside the Witness Protection Service. She acts out, getting moody, but not revealing why she's pissed with him. There's an interesting workplace dynamic between Marshall and Mary; they're really good at doing their business while doing this back-and-forth battle about their relationship. I wonder if they would they have walked into a trap if they were not bickering? I don't think so, because at the rest stop, Marshall is suspicious of the bottle drop.

So their Jeep breaks down, it's a trap. They're outside cell phone range -- good! I hate when you can just call out of a perilous situation, don't you? While checking out the engine, Marshall and Mary are ambushed by two shooters in a car -- the couple from the rest stop. There's a tremendous amount of shooting, but only Marshall is hit on first shot. Excuse me for complaining, but these people need to get to the shooting range! Mary shoots and shoots and doesn't hit either of the bad guys. There's lots of bullet holes, but only Marshall's blood.

Thanks to Marshall, they get away and find shelter in an abandoned building. Anyway, Marshall he passes out and Mary gets desperate. She really needs him, despite what she says. He comes to and manages to temporarily mend his wound with a plastic tube and a bottle of water. You gotta love Marshall's ability to know what to do when - bravo.

Mary suspects the bad guys have a GPS device. They're trapped, outnumbered and vulnerable, and in this tense, dangerous situation, Marshall admits he wants to leave the marshal service because of their relationship -- but it's not a love thing (at least that's not what he's saying). He tells her, "I feel like I'm this keeper of an exotic animal." He's protecting Mary -- the exotic animal -- from the world and the world from her. The responsibility of caring for her is getting to him. Mary gets it.

She kisses him -- as a friend -- says he can't quit. He's her friend; she needs him. When he starts bleeding, Mary acts boldly because she must. She tries to get the drop on the baddies, and when she uses their Jeep to get position, she realizes Horst was never shot at. She confronts him and in a rapid connect-the-dots way, she sings words to the Kinks' song "Lola," and confirms that Horst is hitman Lola. He got himself arrested to do a job. Acting decisively, Marshal Mary exchanges Horst for a car and rushes Marshal Marshall to help. Horst is apprehended and Marshall's fate hangs in the balance.

Other points of interest:

Mary brings "expensive coffee beverages" to the office. Marshall is stunned: "You're not a treater. ...It's just an observation, not a criticism." He's right, though. Mary wants to be reimbursed.

After discovering that Marshall's looking for another job, Mary wisecracks, "Why did I put up with your running commentary for three years?"

The weakest part of the In Plain Sight continues to be Mary's family. Brandi busts Jinx for not doing her cosmetics job. Jinx claims that "The dog ate my samples" which is dumb, but true. Brandi forces Jinx to turn to her "box." No, not that box. It's her jewelry. Guess what? All her gems are paste -- DOH!

Back at the bar, Jinx and Brandi drink to Mary, their meal ticket. By the way, who's paying for their drinks?

Great line when Mary confronts the woman from the shootout. "You shouldn't have shot my friend; I only have one friend." She then kicks her to the ground. Nice.

As "Lola" plays on the soundtrack -- "She walked like a woman and talked like a man" -- you realize the lyrics kind of describe Mary.

In voice over (the only time during the show), Mary quotes Nietzsche: "We go into the world alone and come out alone." At hospital, Mary really breaks downs and we see that she does need the emotional connection to her dysfunctional family. She is, as she says, "Infuriatingly dependent on others."

Lesley Ann Warren needs a new outfit. Her hot "Mary Kay" pink suit is tired.

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