Oh my god! Holy mackerel! It came out of nowhere! I'd been just complaining to my husband recently that tv shows have a tendency to set up unrequited love plots, drag them out for years, and then abandon them and pretend they never existed. I was sure that's what was happening on "In Plain Sight" ... until this episode.
How incredible was it when Marshall's dad said that Abigail was the woman his parents had always hoped he'd bring home ... and then asked if she was the woman Marshall had always hoped he'd bring home! Amazing! Phenomenal! Marshall's face! The realization, the admission, the angst!
Not to mention the symbolism of the fact that the wedding ring Abigail bought him doesn't fit.
All the emphasis on partners, trusting partners, Mary's fear of trusting anyone, but the implicit, underlying truth that Mary does trust Marshall. When everyone in her family is in danger, Marshall's the one sent to get Nora, Marshall's the one sitting there with her on his lap, Marshall's the one she tells about the tracking device she gave her dad.
I'd been losing interest in the show, because it was seeming more and more episodic, with less intense emotional issues, but this episode just dove right back into the deep place I've liked in the past. I really liked the return of both fathers, including Marshall's awkwardness around a dad who is actually nice to him. I liked the cut (during voiceover) about how Mary, hurt by her father, can learn to trust other people ... and, specifically, other men, and it cut to Marshall. I liked how Marshall insisted that Mary has to get a better emotional grip on herself and how she treats Mark, or she's going to fuck up her child's life and leave her kid fatherless just like she was. I love how Mary is having to face her most central, core emotional issues, and it makes so much sense that she would finally do it in order to save her daughter pain, and that it would be triggered by her father's return.
So I'm liking not only the Mary/Marshall stuff -- which I'm now expecting to lead to some satisfying resolution in these next 2 episodes -- but also the character development and the return to different parts of the series continuity (both with characters returning and with old emotional issues popping up).
I have once again fallen in love with my once-beloved show!