The idea of the Witness Protection Program is that it’s a second chance, and as we’ve heard Mary tell her witnesses before, bringing stuff from your old life will just mess you up. This week, In Plain Sight explores what happens when you and your wife enter the program and bring a particularly difficult piece of old baggage in with you: your mistress.
Mary initially refuses to have anything to do with such a stupid plan, but as she puts it, "Funny how things like mortgage payments and a desire not to eat cat food gets in the way of principles."
Jay Arnstein is an unscrupulous art dealer whose wife, Marci (Sherry Stringfield) cooperated with the feds and got them landed in the program. And she’s unaware that Jay’s mistress, Kay, has followed them. Fast forward a few months: Mary and Marshall attend a party at Jay’s art gallery. Jay’s happy, Marci’s happy and glowing, feeling like the fun, affectionate Jay she met years ago has returned. And she credits Mary for being the glue that held them together those rough first few months. Meanwhile, Jay corners Mary — he is happy, and wants to right by Marci. And he wants Mary to break up with Kay for him. Mary, disgusted, tries to explain that it’s not that easy.
She also meets Margaret Chapman, a wealthy patron whose family collection — which she refers to as "pedestrian early American crap" — is on display at the gallery. Marshall notes that the program says the paintings were done on poplar, but he argues to Mary that they’re cottonwood. Marshall’s just full of Mr. Wizard science stuff this episode — but I like him more and more, from the random yet specific knowledge to the deadpan delivery. And elsewhere at the party is a surly guy with long hair and a very serious beard who lights up a cigarette, rousing Jay’s disproportionate ire.
Then in walks Kay, drunk and making a scene. Marci, appalled, decks her with one hand, then decks Jay with the other — it’s a more impressive feat of ambidextrousness than anything Paul McCartney’s ever pulled off. And she’s extremely upset with Mary, who she counted as her friend. Back at the office, in the midst of a Marshal Marshall lecture on moral decision making, comes a call — Jay’s been shot. Marci and Kay are both in custody, and Mary and Marshall go to spring them, finding Bobby D stuck dealing with Kay — and none too happily. Mary turns on the charm, which Bobby sees right through — we like him too — and goes to talk to Marci, who says she did not shoot Jay, even though the cops think she did.
Poor Marshall gets stuck with Kay duty, and takes her to a motel — an admittedly cheap one that probably would’ve given me pause too — and she treats him like an errand boy with a list of things to pick up from home. Yet, oddly, he ends up talking her through her own existential crisis and ultimately gets her to clean up her act. Nice work, Marshall. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Mary goes back to the gallery to check out the crime scene — and is soon joined by the ever-present Bobby D. Going through a sketch book she found in a drawer, Mary comes across a sketch of the surly smoking guy and starts putting pieces together. Then someone sets the place on fire, and Mary gets all TV-cop-style tough and shoots out the back-door lock and kicks it to get them outta there. Mary and Bobby D pay a visit to the art teacher, making sophomoric cracks about the, ahem, assets of the sketch class model. Mr. Pretentious Art Beard Guy denies knowing Jay or Marci, until Mary shows him Marci’s sketch to refresh his memory. Then she pulls out her little suck-up routine and starts asking questions about his work, done with cottonwood. Later, in the interview room when he’s accused of forging the paintings, he says he wouldn’t dirty his brushes forging "that pedestrian early American crap." A-ha!
Marci admits her affair with Mr. Pretentious, but Mary’s put it together — his plot with Margaret Chapman to forge the paintings. She gets Mrs. Chapman to come to the hospital, where they proceed to set up a sting (Marshall does a sufficient unconscious patient imitation), catching her trying to kill the guy she thought was Jay by injecting poison into his IV. The deal: Her husband died, his creditors came calling, she commissioned the forgeries with the idea of setting the gallery on fire and collecting the insurance money. In the end, Kay gets out of the program, and Marci and Jay stay together — in a different location.
On the B side, we see Raphael again this week. He’s torn his ACL and is on Mary’s couch, which leads to feuding between the nice guy and the awful sister. They of course end up warming to one another, and the sister gives Mary a stern talking to about not being such a crank to the guy. As long as they keep these two from falling for one another and Raf getting mixed up in whatever ginormous drug bust plot line is coming, it’ll be OK.
What did you think? Are you feeling like this show is getting its legs under it? Do you really buy that Mary was shocked that Bobby called her hot?