In just eight weeks, “In Plain Sight” will disappear — not in quite the same way as the people who disappear into the Federal Witness Protection Program on the USA Network series — but still: “In Plain Sight” has eight episodes to go and then it’s gone.
The eight-week fifth and final season starts Friday (March 16) at 10/9c (following the season premiere of “Fairly Legal” on USA). While eight episodes — just eight hours — doesn’t seem like a lot of time, this show about U.S. marshalls who work with protected witnesses in the southwest (the show is filmed in Albuquerque) plans on covering a lot of ground in that short time, says the series star, Mary McCormack.
She plays one of the marshalls, along with co-stars Frederick Weller and Paul Ben-Victor, but it’s been McCormack’s character, Mary Shannon, who has taken centerstage on this series for five seasons.
In the final eight episodes, she will once again be working on mending various fractured relationships with those close to her — most notably, her estranged father, played by Stephen Lang.
“We deal with one of the big stories of the series, which has been the relationship between Mary and her father,” McCormack said of her character in a conference call with reporters the other day. “And this is a guy who left when she was 7.
“She changes in a lot of ways,” McCormack said of Shannon. “And [she's] sort of forced to change. I mean, there’s a lot of things going on in her life. Her father comes back. You know, Fred is in a relationship. . . . Her mother is sober and sort of moving out. And everyone seems to be moving out of her life . . . The one thing that she never thought she’d be [is a] mother.”
What’s she talking about? A quick review: As the previous season ended last August (you can watch the season finale below), Mary had shot and killed a perp, then went into labor with her first child — a girl named Nora. As the new season opens, her mother (Lesley Ann Warren), a recovering alcoholic, is on hand to babysit Nora — although not for long — while Mary returns to work after a six-month absence.
In the meantime, her partner, U.S. marshall Marshall Mann (yes, the character Weller plays is named “Marshall”) has struck up a new relationship with Albuquerque PD Det. Abigail Chaffee (Rachel Boston).
In Friday’s season premiere — titled “The Anti-Social Network” — Mary and her team are assigned to protect a college kid who witnessed a murder by the president of a fraternity with very powerful alumni. While that story has nothing to do with Mary Shannon’s personal life, it does represent her return to the office, where she encounters the many changes that will now have an impact on her life.
“USA did a very cool thing of telling us it was the final season before we began, which allowed us to really write it differently,” McCormack said, “to sort of decide what we wanted to [be] invested in. . . . [Viewers] dedicated five years to the show [and] I think it’s a nice way to honor the fans by essentially respecting that.”