Tonight’s installment of “In Plain Sight” left me wanting a little more complication, and a little less resolution. After last week’s excellent installment, this week felt like a step back into the realm of plots that wrap up in neat little packages, rather than those that challenge the viewer. However, there were many redeeming factors, Martin Landau’s moving performance and Mary and Eleanor’s snippy banter among them.
Witness of the week: Joe Tank, played by Landau, is an ex-mobster who’s been in the program for 30 years and wants out when his adult son dies and WITSEC won’t authorize the expense of letting him attend the funeral. Bobby D., conveniently a patron at the bar where Joe works, puts two and two together and figures out who Joe really is once he sees him with Marshall. Aaaand he and Marshall decide to partner up off the clock and go to the funeral with Joe as his protection. Uh-DORable. The pieces continue to fall neatly into place at the wake, where Joe meets his grandson and daughter-in-law, who tells him that far from being despised for leaving, he was his son’s hero and inspiration.
Things get interesting when Joe finds out that a wannabe mobster bragged about killing him, and Marshall and Bobby D. bust Joe as he has a gun to the wannabe’s head. Marshall, of course, has to arrest him…until Joe reveals that the wannabe killed a couple college kids lo those many years ago, information Joe held back as a bargaining chip until now. With the wannabe behind bars where he belongs, Marshall and Bobby D. leave Joe as he looks at old family photos with his new family. It’s all very…nice and neat and happy. Martin Landau saved it from becoming too sugary sweet, but instead of zigging and zagging this plot just kind of kept on zigging. That said, I hope it’s not the last time Marshall and Bobby D. team up, because I like the dynamic there.
In training: The WITSEC training video is being updated, and the deputy director wants Mary and Marshall, “the best of the best,” to serve as technical advisors. Mary is unwittingly pressed into service when Marshall has to help his mobster, and unsurprisingly, she doesn’t love the optimistic tone of the script (or the terrible dialogue). The scene is about a WITSEC inspector who’s having a hard time concealing what she does from her loved ones – Mary’s view is that she should just suck it up and do her job. And she gets kicked off the set until a somewhat crazily (considering we’re talking about a training video) passionate speech about doing things right inspires the director to take her advice and have the video acknowledge that everyone struggles, but that simply talking about that to your loved ones can help a lot.
In the meantime, Raph has taken it upon himself to fix Mary’s wall. And has invited himself to move in. And has made a budget for them. Mary, for her part, isn’t even wearing her engagement ring at work. Hmm. Raph explains that he wants to move on to the next part of his life, including a new job as a car salesman thanks to Brandi’s boyfriend. He also explains that marriage is about compromise. Mary’s face, however, indicates otherwise.
And hooray, because Peter’s back! Seeing Joshua Malina on TV again just makes me happy, you guys. Even if he’s just back to dispense jobs, extravagant gifts, and wisdom. He gives Brandi a car, and gives Mary a somewhat deserved talking to about treating the people in her life a little better, and talking to them about what she’s going through. Hmm…that sure dovetails nicely with the WITSEC training video. In this episode’s one real surprise, Mary takes Peter’s advice to heart and tells Raph that she’s a WITSEC inspector. Wow. I mean, there’s still no way this relationship lasts, but that’s definitely more than I thought Mary was capable of.
“You’re not a sports guy, are you?” -Bobby D. “I like to think I’m…sporty.” -Marshall
“You know what your problem is? You’ve got integrity. The world hates integrity.” -Eleanor to Mary
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