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

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In Plain Sight: A Fine Meth (season finale)

It feels to me that a big chunk of the first season of In Plain Sight was Brandi's great adventure, and this show was the big finish. In a twist that was both surprising and satisfying, the loose ends were tied up and the air was cleared for the show to return for more chapters in the Shannon family saga. And all that other stuff that Mary's been doing with the Witness Protection Program, too.

After nearly eleven hours (give or take) of Mary's frustration with her mother and sister, it all came to a head. This was an episode heavy on the drama, and he did a great job balancing the FBI investigation, Marshall and Stan's efforts to save Mary's career, and the family dynamics. From the first scene between the Shannons, there was no question that this was not going to be a warm and fuzzy examination of their feelings. Mary dropped the hammer when she told Jinx and Brandi how much trouble they were in.

Kudos to Mary McCormack. She looked like hell for most of the show, which was completely appropriate after what she'd been through. Her performance was excellent. It was hard to feel sorry for Brandi. She was crying and moaning like she was the victim when she created the entire disaster. Mary had every right to be furious with her sister. Brandi's reckless actions endangered all of them.

Jinx's revelation -- that Mary was not her father's favorite -- was cruel beyond belief. I loved it when Mary was able to trump her with the letters. Also, considering the fact that Mary's such a savvy character, it would have been incredulous if she'd thought she was her father's favorite based only on her wacky mother's stories. It made sense that Mary had proof of his feelings. Of course, next season is going to have to get in to where Mr. Shannon is. I wouldn't be stunned to find out that he's in WITSEC and Mary's his handler.

The back story about Biscuit, the teddy bear, was sweet. I could really relate, too, because those flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz gave me nightmares when I was a kid, too. It was also nice and appropo that Raph was the person to remind Mary that Brandi's family and she needs Mary's help.

Were you worried that Mary was going to be found with the suitcase of meth? I was. Then I thought she must have had a plan or something because just as she told Brandi when she wanted to make a run for it, the FBI would stop her before the car was down the street. Instead, Mary, Jinx and Brandi were all shocked to see towels in the suitcase instead of drugs. The final shot of Raph taking batting practice in a baseball stadium, with the grounds crew putting white chalk down the foul lines, was the perfect button on the season. The smile on his face was not in reaction to his swing (which was awful), it was because he knew what was really lining the field. Raph turned out to be smarter than all three Shannons put together. He's also a really good guy.

In Plain Sight is now officially over for 2008. I'm anxious to see where they take the show in 2009. I'm even curious about Mary's annoying family, which is something I thought I would never feel when the series began.

Other points of interest:

Great line. "I'm the hall monitor in this family and nobody likes the hall monitor."

I've wanted to like Lesley Ann Warren, but I just don't. She's all wrong for this role. She's too hysterical...all the time.

Dad's letter to Mary was perfect. I mean, considering the fact that he was abandoning her, the sentiments were great.

Spanky wouldn't drink a Diet Coke but he'd eat powdered sugar donuts? I guess he got that Michael Phelps body from proper eating habits.

Mary's description of the taste of blood was graphic and pretty gross. "A sickening, sweet smell. I don't think it's ever going to go away." All the booze in the world wasn't going to erase that taste.

The authorities have the right to rip up someone's home with a search warrant. They have the right, but it's really disgusting that they can do so much damage and just walk away. And, yes, they do it all the time.

As I said last time, Stan finally has proved himself. Marshall also was the real brains, figuring out that Rebecca's kid was Spanky's because of the RH factor. Love that Marshall.

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