Monday, July 8, 2013

TV on DVD Review: In Plain Sight - Season 5

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Character arcs for Mary and Marshall, still fun show
Cons: Only 8 episodes, no extras
The Bottom Line
Final episodes
Give fans character closure
A perfect send off

"I Was Doing My Bad Cop Thing."  "You Have a Good Cop Thing?"

A recent trend in TV has been to give shows a limited number of episodes in a final season to wrap things up.  That's what happened with In Plain Sight - season 5 was reduced to 8 final episodes.  But boy did they cram them full of so much goodness.

This season picks up six months after the end of season 4.  Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack) is returning to work at the Albuquerque branch of Witness Protection, aka WITSEC, after six months of maternity leave.  And as baby sitting does or doesn't work out, that means that the new baby might be in toe.  Meanwhile, Mary's partner Marshall (Frederick Weller) is still living with his girlfriend Abigail (Rachel Boston).

As things get under way, their boss Stan (Paul Ben-Victor) learns that their branch of WITSEC might be closed down.  And a face from Mary's past reappears to cause problems.

And there are still witnesses to deal with.  A drag queen can't resist going back to the clubs even though he's been warned to leave that life behind.  One witness with a secret wife enters the program.  And a hoarder with a mental breakdown makes for a hard day on fellow agent Delia (Tangie Ambrose).

With only 8 episodes, there's a lot packed into each one, so none of them are wasted.  Most still follow the standard formula of a witness main story with the lives of the characters as a sub-plot, although a couple of times Mary's life completely takes over.  People new to the show probably won't get how great the last few episodes are, but fans of the show will relish the closure and character arcs we get.

And the cases of the week?  They are still entertaining since the writers manage to find new ways to create suspense.  These walk on characters are still rich enough that we care about the outcome, although we know we won't see them again next week.

Really, it's Mary we've come to know and love despite her harsh exterior, and watching her in action is always a thrill.  Mary McCormack is wonderful as bringing her character to life.  The rest of the cast shines as well, especially Frederick Weller whoseMarshallhas some stuff of his own to deal with this season.  Both of their characters experience growth this season, and they play it perfectly.

You might notice I haven't mentioned Mary's sister and mother yet.  They do make a couple of appearances in the season, but for the most part aren't around.  I missed their characters at first, but there was so much going on for most of the season, there wasn't time to miss them beyond that.

Since the season only contained 8 episodes, this set is only two discs.  The episodes are in their native widescreen and full surround sound.  No room was found for any extras, but the episodes themselves are enough to make it worth getting.

Season 5 is never a good place to jump into a series, and that's especially true since In Plain Sight wrapped up so much.  Fans will definitely enjoy watching it end over and over again.  And if you aren't a fan, start the journey at the beginning.  It is definitely worth it.  

Season 5 Episodes:
1. The Anti-Social Network
2. Four Marshals and a Baby
3. Reservations, I've Got a Few
4. The Merry Wives of WITSEC
5. Drag Me to Hell
6. The Medal of Mary
7. Sacrificial Lam
8. All's Well that Ends

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