In Plain Sight

If you don’t know by now just how obsessed I am when it comes to my favorite TV shows, well hell, you just haven’t been paying attention. And while I avoid saying things like “they’re my babies” because, well, that would be creepy, I will admit that it does pain me when a favorite show comes to an end. I think it must be like what those NASA/JPL guys feel when one of their robot explorers goes off into that “final frontier,” to be heard from again only in short bursts, delayed further, and further, by time.

Anyway, the latest show heading off into that “great beyond” is the USA Network’s
In Plain Sight. With just a single episode left to go, out of just eight in its fifth and final season, I find myself filled with both anticipation for how it will end and regret that I’ve put off posting about it for so long. I can’t even describe what makes this show so special to me, at least not briefly anyway, because this show really does have it all.

So, even though I’ve worked on this, off and on, for the better part of a week, I’ve decided that it’s best to simply let the show speak for itself – with a few choice “promo” videos and some of those awesome “voiceover” quotes I gathered with the help of the “In Plain Sight” Wikiquote site:

From the “Opening” for each episode:

Mary: [voiceover] ”Since 1970, the Federal Witness Protection Program has relocated thousands of witnesses, some criminal, some not, to neighborhoods all across the country. Every one of those individuals shares a unique attribute, distinguishing them from the rest of the general population; and that is somebody wants them dead.”

From the “Pilot” episode [1-01]:

Mary: [ending voiceover] “We all live in hiding. In one way or another, each of us conceals pieces of ourselves from the rest of the world. Some people hide because their lives depend on it, others because they don’t like being seen. And then there are the special cases, the ones who hide because… because… because they just want someone to care enough to look for them.”

From the “When Mary Met Marshall” episode – [3-02]:

Mary: [voiceover] “There’s a researcher who claims he can tell if a couple is going to break up based on how they talk to each other. An ability I’ve had since I was five, without NIH funding. I just looked up at my parents and thought “nope.” It took a six figure gambling debt, an alcoholic spiral and an FBI manhunt before they finally came to the same conclusion. It can take many forms but the worst are the ones who should have known better. The ones who rushed in, got hitched and now they don’t know how to get out of it. They look like marmots, trapped in a cage.”

Mary: [ending voiceover] “I pride myself on being able to tell when a relationship won’t work, and normally I love being right more than anything. More than Blue Moon beer, Exxon on Main Street, food smothered in mole sauce, but sometimes it’s good to be wrong.”

From the “Son of Mann” episode – [3-08]:

Mary: [voiceover] “‘Father Figure’ is a phrase as potent as ‘Mother Nature’. Say that out loud and the image flow from having a catch on the side of the yard, the screen doors slamming behind the deadbeat dad. For every ‘father knows best’, in Atticus Finch, there’s a Great Santini bouncing a ball at the head of his teenage son. One thing for sure the father figure, in your face or out the door, would make his presence felt. Like it or not.”

Marshall: “Everything matters. Everything you think, feel, but most of all everything you do. It all counts.”

Marshall: “I wish I had had you in high school.”
Mary: “High school me would have eaten high school you alive.”

Mary: [ending voiceover] “For most kids, the scariest thing you can hear is, ‘Wait till your father gets home.’ For some, there’s no fear of that or hope for it. I’m still waiting. Not like a puppy, head tilting at footfalls on the porch or a key in the lock, I go about my days, every so often, aware of his absence. And telling myself that the heart, old adage aside, does not grow fonder. Except it does. It really, really does.”

From the “The Medal of Mary” episode – [5-06]:

Mary: [ending voiceover] “Everything’s mythical when you’re seven-years-old: fathers, mothers, Santa, God, the alleged protective powers of a gold medallion. It’s not that certain things seem larger than life, it’s just life seems larger, but the world keeps spinning and in a tiny thousand surrenders, or sometimes in one fell swoop, what you’d seen as truly miracle you learn is merely myth. The good news, if you can call it that, is that ultimately you find other myths to believe in, and other men as well. You see the myth for what it is: close up and in its bones, smaller and greater and more like you than you care to admit, and it nevertheless leaves you, always, every single time, sitting foolish on the doorstep awaiting its return.”

From the “Sacrificial Lam” episode – [5-07]:

Mary: [ending voiceover] “Everyone always says life isn’t fair. Bad guys get away with the goods and the good die young, but we carry on anyway, because what other choice do we have? In the face of unfair, we carry on, holding on and bracing ourselves and only sometimes forgetting that there’s another storm right around the corner. But life, I find, is often more about the storms than the peace they seek to overwhelm. They lurk, ready, any minute now, to shake things up and take your breath away.”

From the “All’s Well That Ends” series finale – [5-08]:

Mary: [ending voiceover] “Nobody likes letting go. From our earliest moments, from birth until we’re six feet under, our instinct is to grab, grip, cling to a finger, bottle, best friend, to a faded old racing form. Sometimes we hold on for deal life to the very things that keep us from living it, but that comes with an upside. It’s the way we feel when we finally let go. The trick, I guess, is to not find a way around the curveballs life serves up, but to live with them; a halfway happy, uneasy alliance, and to search for new things to cling to, and when you finally find them to hang on just as tight. And around and around we go, holding on until the time comes to say goodbye, and like it or not, ready or not, you have to accept one universal truth: life is messy. Always and for all of us. But a wise man once said, maybe messy is what you need, and I think you might be right.”

BTW, in case you’re wondering where you’ve seen Mary McCormack before (like I did for nearly the entire first season of the series), it might have been in one of my very favorite movies, Deep Impact

Which, ironically, reminded me so much of another great story I’ve been wanting to post about, the awesome SciFi epic Lucifer’s Hammer.

I want ice water.

Check out more of my TV & Movie Classics

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30 thoughts on “In Plain Sight

  1. My wife and I love this show too. We have last Friday’s episode saved on the DVR and can’t wait to watch it. It is sad that there is only one episode left. I wonder how eveything will end.

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    • Thanks so much for your comment Andy. I had to watch that episode twice before finally deleting it. As one who watches way too much TV for his own good, having a favorite show come to an end is kinda traumatic for me. I’m still recovering from the loss of Law & Order and Smallville, so having In Plain Sight end in the same year that House and The Closer ends is depressing indeed. But you can bet I’ll still be watching that final episode! 😀

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      • I understand exactly how you feel. As a huge LOST fan it was really sad to see the show end, though as a story it was time to end it. The same can be said for In Plain Sight.

        Though I have not seen this past episode I have one big fear regarding the ending. Most male/female partner shows end up having the two leads get together. It has been hinted throughout the entire final season that Mary and Marshall will end up together. I hope this is not the case. I really enjoy Marshall and Abagail’s relationship and I see Marshall and Mary as the brother/sister type, not romantically involved.

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        • Your line of thinking mirrors mine almost exactly Andy. I’ve been amazed at Abagail’s tolerance for Marshall’s willingness to rush to Mary’s aid at any time of the day or night, and I can’t help but wonder at the impact that might have down the road after they marry. Conversely, I suspect that the old “what might have been” thing would forever hang over either a Mary + Marshall or a Marshall + Abagail relationship… 😕

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  2. Never heard of it nor watched it. But then, then only thing I watch on TV is: the news (imagine that); movies; sports. There is not one series of anything that I watchin anymore. And I used to watch a ton of TV. Before I bought my first VCR, I would do the best I could to schedule around my favorite shows. BTW… MASH and Cheers were always at the top of my list. Although I started to lose interest when Diane left and Rebecca Howell came on the show. Although in Rebeccas’ earlier seasons, I did enjoy watching her slam Sam all the time. The best, though, was with all the original cast. Although Woody’s character was a damn good replacement for coach.

    And if anyone didn’t care for MASH… they’ve got to be a commie. 😉
    The closing scene seriously bought tear to my eyes.

    Now the only “series” on a major network that I enjoy and will record every episode, even if I am watching at the same time, is “America’s Got Talent.”

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    • Oh hell Michelle, unless they’re getting paid, they’re having a gun held to their heads, or they’re another agoraphobic “urban hermit” like yours truly, I doubt anyone on the planet watches as much TV as I do. I literally never turn mine off – and that’s only partly because it takes forever to get the old darlin fired up after it’s been powered off!

      As for Cheers and MASH – two of my all-time favorites, I could do several blogs for each one. And that goes the same for Frasier and Friends! But I absolutely detest anything that even looks like “reality” TV – especially shows where people leave their “dreams” in the hands of random knuckle-draggers on the street and “judges” who care more for their own ratings than they do for true talent!

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      • America’s Got Talent is the ONLY reality show I watch. For some reason, I really enjoy it. I think because, for the most part, it’s folks like you and me all trying to live the dream of being good enough at some type of entertainment to at least win several rounds. Of course some won’t settle for less than winning. Naturally the initial audition is a bunch of knuckle-draggers, which some are highly entertaining in their own crude manner. But after that, then those with real talent start to appear. I don’t find this “fake” like I do American Idol or any other “rags to riches” talent show.

        Oh, any my roommate/housemate would be able to battle you for the amount of TV – if she just had not recently opened her new pet grooming shop. Now she’s gone a minimum of 12 hours, 4 days a week. And about 10 hours on Saturday. Closed Sun and Mon. She is so horribly addicted to TV. LOL… I used to bet that way, then I re-discovered my passion for technical creativity – new passion for blogging. So, here I sit on the computer about 90% of the time when I’m not sleeping. Hell, half the time I fall asleep at my computer late at night then eventually wander to bed for the last 3 hours of sleep for the night. Pretty bad.

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        • To be fair Michelle, there’s a lot of reality TV that I’ve never seen – including America’s Got Talent. I place the blame for my prejudice squarely on the shoulders of the first seasons of American Idol and Survivor! And while I’m sure there are more than a few that try out for those shows, the “knuckle-draggers” I was referring to are the people in the TV audience who use any means possible to get “votes” cast for their favorite – even if they’re “cast” by people who don’t watch the show and couldn’t care less about its outcome. At least the show’s so called “judges” have the courage to have their say on camera – even if it’s their own performance they’re actually more concerned with… 😕

          I watched a lot less TV back before I got sick. I wore four separate hats for my old job – quality control, field engineering, production engineer, and technical writer – the last two of which got me into working with PCs. Hell, if you ask my family, they’d probably tell you that it was all the time I spent on the job, added to all the time I spent at home teaching myself to write software for PCs, that actually drove me off the deep end in the first place. But I do miss the creativity. When I think of all the things I could learn about now, all these years later, I’m sure I’d watch a lot less TV if I had equipment reliable enough for me to dive into it! 😀

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          • I could never get into American Idol. To me, it was very obvious that it was set up, or at least would follow the audience’s interest, even though the person may not be the best, but the results rather “steered” that way, if you know what I mean.

            Now I liked Survivor the first few seasons. And that’s primarily because I have always dreamed of going on some sort of back woods survival trip (but not like that on TV) where I literally have to actually live off the land and survive. Although I wanted to start with at least a log cabin. No electricity or anything else is fine. But just the cabin and the primarily took required for survival. Then create my own little back woods Davy Crockett type life.

            With America’s Got Talent (AGT) I just ignore the audience. I will admit, and probably because I have gotten used to the judges, but I like the current trio of Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandell. Howie’s severe phobia is hilarious because it is truly there and very very strong. He does all he can to retain decorum, but every once in a while, one of the acts “gets” him. A few times he’s actually been really pissed, but managed to keep some level of decency.

            Sharon… just gotta love her no matter what. Hell, she’s been married to Ozzy for how many years now? A lot! And they are so in love, which is so awesome.

            Piers… it took me a while as he is the Simon Cowell persona of AGT. I don’t care for those type of people who are just outright cruel. But after a while, I came to realize that Piers really isn’t that cruel – he is more brutally truthful. There’s a difference. Cruel is purposely wanting to hurt someones feelings. Brutally truthful is telling it like it is, but not with the intent to hurt. Although from time to time, there is an act that Piers finds to appalling that he is cruel. But usually I can see why.

            Give it a whirl next season. You may just be surprised. Actually, look up some of the past seasons episodes. In fact, I would love to show you this one. This is from 2011… Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. He talks about his life in the beginning – been a car washer for years in W Virginia. Landau ended up winning the show, and deserved it. Just watch… you’ll be surprised at what comes out of his mouth…

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            • Wow, I hardly know where to start Michelle. First, I guess, I should say that I wanted to check out Survivor for pretty much the same reason you did – I always wanted to know that I could make it on my own without the “trappings” of civilization. Secondly, I don’t think my previous responses made it clear just how much respect I have for anyone who can get up and perform in front of people like that.

              You see, singing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. The problem is that the songs I liked to sing were so different from what the people around me were used to when I was growing up that I was never sure if their response (or lack thereof) was because they truly didn’t like my tastes (as they said) or if it was really my singing that they hated. As I’m sure you can imagine, that left its mark on my willingness to get up in front of an audience. And guess what? I grew up less than 60 miles away from Logan, W.Va. too!

              Having said that, I’m just as blown away by Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. as you and the people on the show were. The fact that his style of choice is so different from what anyone might expect makes his success just that much sweeter in my eyes. But the thing is that, no matter how decent the judges are, or how true the show itself is to its stated purpose, you still see so many more failures than you do successes – and I just can’t watch that.

              There was one other time I tried to sing in front of other people. I was out with some friends once, just driving around, when they decided to stop by the house of a guy I hadn’t met. It turned out that this guy had a band, and a makeshift studio, and they were practicing one of my favorite songs when we arrived. But their singer was really butchering it. My friends knew how much I like the song and had heard me singing along to it while it played on my stereo. The next thing I knew, they had talked me, and the band, into giving it a shot.

              I had never sung into a microphone and a PA system before and, let me tell you, it wasn’t anything like those impromptu performances you see on TV or in the movies. IT WAS LOUD! So loud, in fact, that I simply wasn’t able to adjust to it – and that just completely freaked me out. I was so embarrassed that I just walked out and sat in the car until my friends were ready to leave. To this day, I can’t listen to that song without cringing.

              This is it:

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  3. “High school me would have eaten high school you alive”–I love it!

    Those are some profound quotes!

    And I like “Deep Impact” too–awesome film!

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    • If I had to name my two favorite things about In Plain Sight, I’d have to go with the things that stick with me afterwards – the cool verbal jabbing and those incredibly profound voiceovers! 😀

      Apparently I’m not the only one who caught the connection between Deep Impact and Lucifer’s Hammer. Check out this “homemade trailer” I found for a Lucifer’s Hammer movie, parts of which were clipped from Deep Impact! 😀

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  4. “… but we carry on anyway, because what other choice do we have?” So simple, so obvious, so true. I came to a similar conclusion after our recent discussion here about how you “put something behind you” and just “move on.” You don’t choose to “move on” or not; you have no choice. Time marches on and carries you with it. Period. As long as you draw breath.

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    • Thank goodness that WP allows me to search past comments PT, because what you said then applies here so damned well. Especially after the reply I just made to Michelle!

      It was on my The Old Ball And Chain post:

      “Great quote. And I identify with your “being unable (or unwilling) to let go of the past…” Our pasts are permanent and unchangeable, and like it or not we’re stuck with them. We hear “let it go” and “move on” all the time, but I’ve never heard anyone explain exactly how to “let go” of the past. I could really use some instructions on that because there are definitely some things I’d like to let go.”

      I’m carrying so much “Baggage” from my past around that, as great as I imagine it would feel to lighten my load, that baggage is so much a part of who I am that I’m afraid there wouldn’t be any “me” left if I did get rid of it! 😕

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      • Yep, every second of that past goes into making us who we are today. But still, we’re here, today. And the baggage is back there somewhere back there in our yesterdays. So I guess we should just let it keep falling farther and farther behind as we move ahead. Besides, like the show said, it’s not like we have a choice.

        Another quote that occurred to me after that past discussion. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” (Now if only I could put that into practice … )

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        • So true PT! I had to look that new quote to see who said it. Amazingly, I found it attributed to both Dr. Seuss and Bernard Baruch, but the Bernard Baruch – Wikiquote page explained the confusion. Regardless of who said it though, I really wish I could live by it. Hell, I might actually be able to leave my apartment! 😀

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  5. In Plain Sight – possibly one of the best written (and acted) TV series of ALL time… seriously… Marshall Marshall Mann…
    so sorry to hear of your music moment – it’s not too late for something to happen differently…
    your series is still running!!!

    hugs and peace, Izaak…

    🙂
    janet

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    • Wow Janet, what a nice thing to say! While I’m nowhere near optimistic enough to think I could ever have the courage to perform in front of an audience, it would be nice to learn how to play the guitar or the piano so I could do my thing in private. But honestly, it’s not very likely I’d have the patience for that. Maybe I’ll just get one of those cool Karaoke machines instead! 😀

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      • hi… thought I’d stoop over here while commenting on newer post… just don’t let what sometimes happens to me get you down – I’m over 60, handicapped, can’t work and pretty/very broke, so many of my options are limited too – like I’d love to go back in time and learn higher math so I’d get fractal math. But, truth is, there’s just probably not enough time left for me to spend enough quality time to, you know solve Fermi’s thing (or did they fix that already?), then I get all depressed cuz what’s the point of any of it and all… you know the usual self doubt shit… so, yeah – karaoke sounds great!!!

        🙂

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        • Thanks Janet, that’s some pep talk. But the way I’m feeling right now is like hanging on to the edge of a cliff by my fingernails alone. I haven’t even watched the In Plain Sight finale because, well, I’m kinda depressed enough already.

          Karaoke does sound good though. YouTube has a great assortment too. It’d be nice if I thought this old hunk-o-junk would cooperate… 😕

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  6. Pingback: Cosmic Synchronicity? | I Want Ice Water

  7. Pingback: Perspective… Restored! | I Want Ice Water

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