Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hautboys Off

Come later this month with the return of MAD MEN, BURN NOTICE, THE CLOSER, etc., summer TV will get started in earnest, but I've already been enjoying IN PLAIN SIGHT.

A character-driven procedural with a generally lighter tone a la its USA network-mates BURN NOTICE and MONK, SIGHT stars Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon, a marshal for the Federal Witness Protection Program who has a crunchy shell of suffer-no-fools snark hiding her soft sentimental center.

One recent episode had a fantastic final beat, a great example of leaving offstage stuff that just isn't the show.

(*SPOILERS AHOY* if you haven't seen the episode guest starring the fabulous Missi Pyle as a grifter... )

The episode involves missing diamonds and the scary smugglers searching for same. The final showdown happens in a stable, Mary and her partner Marshall vs. the scary smugglers. Mary spooks a horse to cause a diversion and they take down Smuggler #1, while Smuggler #2 mounts the horse and gallops off bareback with the diamonds.

Cut to Mary and Marshall wrapping up the case outside the stable, cops everywhere, with Smuggler #1 escorted into a black-and-white in the background.

But what about the other smuggler? The diamonds? Hell, the horse for that matter? Wait for it...
MARSHALL, looking offscreen: How cool is that?

Detective "Bobby D" Dershowitz, with whom Mary has a contentious professional relationship with a side of flirty sparks, rides through frame on the horse, diamonds in hand, towing a lassoed Smuggler #2 behind him.

BOBBY D: 'Sup, y'all.

MARY, annoyed: Where did he get a lasso?
Love that.

This isn't a show about Mary chasing down a diamond smuggler on a horse, so why not skip it? Sure, there's a bit of hand-waving in the logistics, but Mary's line hangs a lantern on it, so the scene plays. It's funny, wraps up the plot's loose ends without belaboring them, and most importantly illustrates how amazingly cool Bobby D is.

And as if that wasn't enough good stuff, earlier in the same episode, Marshall scolds Mary for throwing food at him. "These are my mambo pants," he complains.


1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Agreed, that was a fun episode of In Plain Sight. I have been enjoying the show as well. That role really suits Mary M., who I have been missing since The West Wing went off the air.

I am also giddy with excitement about the return of Mad Men, The Closer, and Burn Notice. Battlestar alert - Tricia Helfer will have a role on Burn Notice this summer. Not sure how many episodes she is lined up for, but I am so there. :)