In Plain Sight

We recently finished watching “In Plain Sight”. While I wouldn’t classify it as one of my favorite shows, we did enjoy the series. It had its fair share of tropes and “uggh” moments, but for the most part they were pretty limited. The characters were likable and the situations mostly believable.

Even though it was fairly police procedural, US Marshalls have some trouble with the people they’re protecting in Witness Protection. It was also unique in that the Marshall service is something you don’t hear about a lot. While I can’t say how accurate their depiction of witness protection was, since I’m not in it (at least as far as I can tell you…). But at least the spotlight was on something different than regular cops or the FBI.

It was also notable for the tropes it avoided.

*SPOILERS*

The relationship between the two main characters, Mary and Marshall, was very well done. You had the typical buddy cop element and definite hints of sexual tension between male and female coworkers, but the show never went where most shows go with it. They eluded to feelings romantic feelings there, but for the most part this was done very subtly. Instead of being a “will they won’t they” it was a presented as a natural consequence of two people becoming so close friends and coworkers. It made sense that emotions would get a little confused. And it was great that they didn’t end up together.

It was also nice that the number of times the characters fired their guns was very low.  There were probably more, but I can think of only of about 4 instances. The goal of the characters was to keep people away from danger, so the drama focused on the characters, relationships and situations, not relying to much on gunfights to jazz it up.

They also avoided another trope until the very end. Main character Mary has a father that left them when she was a kid. They drop some hints about him throughout the show and reveal he was a bankrobber. It seemed obvious he would show up at some point, either because he’d been in hiding in witness protection all these years or would need to go in. It was nice that this element of her character just ended up being backstory all the way until the end of the series.

That said, they did go there a few times when it wasn’t necessary. When we watched the fourth season, we some how missed the last episode on the disc. So it ends with Mary deciding to keep her baby. At the time, I thought that was a nice way to end the season. No dramatic delivery in a quirky situation. They had pointed out that according to Marshall rules, she should be riding a desk for her last few months of pregnancy, therefore away from the action. Which is the way it works for most people.

Unfortunately, when we started season 5, we realized we’d missed an episode. And while she didn’t give birth in a quirky situation, it did end the season with an early labor and have an unnecessary gunfight. Not a bad episode, but would have been better without it.

They also, of course, had to had the episode where working Mom takes her baby to work. Its a favorite trope for Hollywood and one that’s pretty stupid. But I can’t hold it against them to much since its so common. And the baby was never put in danger so there’s that.

Overall, a fun character show. If you enjoy the police procedural genre you’ll enjoy it.

 

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