'In Plain Sight' series finale: Messy is what you need

mary-mccormack-frederick-welller-in-plain-sight-finale.jpg "In Plain Sight" is a USA show, so going into Friday's (May 4) series finale, it's not like we were expecting something other than a happy ending.

We got one, but it wasn't the wrapped-up-in-a-bow, walk-into-the-sunset kind of happy ending. It was instead an ending that suggests everybody will wake up tomorrow and their lives will continue to play out -- imperfectly, most likely.

Given everything that's been thrown at Mary Shannon over five years, that's the kind of ending that feels right for her and the show. The finale wisely didn't reach for a big, action-packed episode -- the witness-of-the-week story, in fact, felt almost like the B-plot -- and instead let us say our goodbyes -- or farewells, to use Marshall's word -- at a measured, even leisurely pace.

We're curious to hear what you thought of Marshall and Mary finally having The Talk on the balcony. The will they-won't they vibe between them has cooled in the past season and a half or so, but we were still prepared for a big declaration of love when he finally got Mary to slow down and listen to him.

That's not quite what happened, though. He said "I love you," but then he followed it with "I don't mean ... you know what I mean. I love this, what we have, this -- it's indefinable."

That's not exactly the stuff swelling romantic scenes are made of, but we kind of love that "In Plain Sight" decided to this route. Mary and Marshall acknowledge that they're soulmates, but also that theirs is the kind of love that doesn't involve wanting to wake up next to one another every day. Marshall admits that he's likely always to put Mary first if he feels like she needs him, and Mary gets to say that above all she wants to see Marshall happy but knows that outside of work, she's probably not the one who can do that.

It's a great scene -- maybe not one that some fans were hoping, but we think it played perfectly. And as a side note, we're happy to see that Abigail didn't get 'Ship-wrecked, which is a term we will henceforth use to describe what happens to the otherwise perfectly nice significant other who gets tossed aside when the will they-won't they couple finally gets together.

Following that scene, which came about two-thirds of the way through, we got a series of grace notes to close out the series. Mary and her witness, a model who's never really been independent, figure out a way to get her started. A returning (and pregnant) Brandi is ready to put down roots and raise her child alongside Mary and Norah, and the one selfless act by their father before his death sets up both babies' future. Mary brings Kenny to Stan's farewell party, which signals more for them down the road.

"In Plain Sight" has always been among our favorites of the shows USA has aired in the past decade because more than most of the network's other series, it embraced the complications Mary's job and personality brought to her life rather than smoothing them over. Mary's final voiceover -- quoting Marshall's "messy is what you need" speech to hear at the end of Season 3 -- acknowledges that, and by letting go of some of her need for order it feels like Mary's in a better place. We know we're pretty happy for her.

What did you think of how "In Plain Sight" ended?
Photo/Video credit: USA