In Plain Sight: Ending Well

The final episodes of In Plain Sight demonstrated how to end a series well. Some old favorite characters returned for cameos (Mary’s former fiancée Raphael, as well as Jinx and Brandi, both of whom have been absent for most of the season, and we hadn’t seen Brandi since she ran out on her own wedding at the end of the previous season). Some things we have been waiting for played out finally—Mary’s family-abandoning father finally returned, and Mary seems on the path to resolving her abandonment issues. And some things we didn’t even know we had been waiting five years for, happened–I mean, who knew that we had been anxiously waiting to see Marshall in drag performing a Donna Summer song? I didn’t, but the moment I saw it, I knew, I had been waiting for just this moment. Thank you, In Plain Sight, for giving it to me.

And some things that I was dreading because that might happen–didn’t. I have long appreciated In Plain Sight for not turning the admittedly special relationship/partnership/friendship between Mary and Marshall into yet another “will they or won’t they” romance. In Plain Sight resisted using the series finale to bring Mary and Marshall together as a couple. Marshall did declare his love for Mary, in a beautifully staged “balcony scene,” but he did so in a way that encapsulated the unusual nature of their best-friendship and that re-affirmed both Marshall’s committment to his romantic relationship with Abigail and that allowed both he and Mary to express their deep affection for one another.

The end was also presented as a new beginning, with Stan going off to Washington as a WitSec director, and Marshall being promoted to take his place in Albuquerque. Brandi, it seems, is very very pregnant, so there’s another new beginning, with the sisters making plans to join together to take care of their children. Mary invites her single-parent dad boy friend to a group dinner, suggesting another new beginning.

Also, Mary’s bank robber father was allowed to make his exit in a blaze of western glory. In an episode that began with Marshall and Mary discussing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, “Sacrificial Lam” ended with a shootout that recalls the final moments of Butch and Sundance in George Hill’s famous 1969 western. “All’s Well that Ends,” states the title of the final episode, and that’s true enough, but it’s even better when the end is also as satisfying and as well done as the final episodes of this excellent series.


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