We all live with a certain amount of self-delusion, and this week's "In Plain Sight" showed that those delusions can be as life-saving as they can be heartbreaking.
We'll get you dispensation for these spoilers…
Ed Fogerty (David Denman) is a security guard for a trucking company, who one night happens upon two dock workers unloading hot cars in addition to their legit load of frozen sockeye salmon — which Ed ends up dropping on them from a forklift after persuading them he won't tell anyone what they're doing. As he enters WITSEC, he asks about the visitation arrangement they've worked out so he can see his son, Miles. Mary and Marshall know nothing of it, but they start working on getting special permission, because Miles seems to be the only thing in the world Ed cares about. He threatens to leave and take his testimony against the international car theft ring unless he can see his son.
So Mary and Marshall try to figure out what's going on, after confiscating the photo of Miles that Ed has kept. But there's no record of his birth, no license documenting Ed's marriage to his ex-wife, and none of the contact information he has for her checks out. In the midst of the search for information, Stan lets a "hon" slip out in relation to Eleanor — as in, "Tell Mary what you found, Hon" — which makes Mary and Marshall's heads practically explode. Stan and Eleanor's stuttering explanations about how that's totally normal are hilarious.
They decide that Ed's got some issues upstairs, and bring in Dr. Shelley Finkle (Ali Marsh), Mary's post-traumatic stress therapist (and Frederick Weller's real-life wife). She and Mary seem to have worked out an amazing rapport — a warmer relationship than Mary has with practically anyone except Marshall — and between them they manage to learn some actual details about Ed's ex-wife and son. The info about Caroline checks out somewhat, but it becomes clear that Miles is an invention. For one thing, both Caroline and Ed have blue eyes, and Miles has brown eyes, which is a genetic impossibility. This fact binds Shelley and Marshall together in their nerd-ness, and their chemistry is great. Watching Shelley get increasingly turned on by Marshall is brilliant, and I'm totally rooting for them to get together beyond their date-gone-wrong.
Ed runs away from the motel room where Mary and Shelley are making headway in learning about Miles, and he flees to a ranch outside town. Mary eventually finds him, ankle twisted, at the bottom of a ravine. Little by little Ed starts talking about the boy in the picture — and he can show her where the boy is buried.
The next day they head to Chicago with search teams, but frustratingly Ed seems unable to make a real connection with reality. He's been clinging to this delusion about Miles for such a long time that it's what's keeping him functioning. Then he opens up to Mary. He'd been at work one night with a new shipment and heard noise coming from one of the containers. And when the noise stopped, he got worried and broke policy, opening the compartment up. Inside he found the bodies of the boy and two others — the car smuggling ring was also a people smuggling ring. Overcome with guilt, he saw their faces everywhere, and invented Miles as a way to live with what he hadn't done — namely save the boy and his family.
In the end, the U.S. Attorneys filed human trafficking and murder charges against the people Ed was supposed to testify against. And even though Marshall's date fell apart when Shelley's ex called, he and Mary still have each other.
Brandi's storyline was miniscule, but I suspect it will be telling in the weeks to come, even though it didn't seem to fit with much of anything in this episode. Outside a coffee shop, Brandi encounters a homeless Native American man — at first he's on his feet, asking people for change. But the next time she sees him he's lying on the ground, in obvious pain, and it touches her. She can't understand anything he's saying, but she ends up getting him to the hospital — and in the transaction, she saves his life, because he had a blood clot that was able to be treated. She leaves, crying, after the nurse tells her the good news. A new leaf for Brandi?
What did you think? Did you buy Ed's story, or did you see through it right away? Did you love seeing Shelley so clearly into Marshall? Do you think Mary's edging closer to trying to find her father?