I love the insightful thoughts from Mary Shannon at the beginning and end of each episode of IN PLAIN SIGHT. I was always looking for them but couldn’t find them all in one place. So I decided to create a “database” by typing them up as I watch and putting them all in these posts (one for each season). I hope others benefit from it too! I’ll be posting each season’s quotes every day of the week leading up to the series finale.
SEASON 1 Mary Shannon Quotes
Episode 101 “Pilot”
We all live in hiding. In one way or another, each of us conceals pieces of ourselves from the rest of the world. Some people hide because their lives depend on it, others because they don’t like being seen. And then there are the special cases, the ones who hide because…because…because they just want someone to care enough to look for them.
Episode 102 “Hoosier Daddy”
Family can present itself in all manner of bizarre and exotic permutations. A few months earlier, the Billups family didn’t even know Leo existed. And now, here they are. bonded. Like some essential molecule. The particulars of Vernon McRoy’s future involvement in Leo’s life: visitation rights, etc remain to be worked out. But the Billups are forgiving people. And like vernon, they understand the irresistible pull of family.
Episode 103 “Never the Bride”
“Happily ever after”, the big lie. Those three insidious words, repeated again and again, promising myself and a gazillion other little girls that some day, sure as the sunset, a man prettier than ourselves would sweep us away. To live our lives forever and a day. Blah blah, blah. Never once mentioning the years of quiet desperation that surely followed. Which is why I pray with all my soul that whoever invented the lethal mantra “happily ever after” died penniless, face down in the gutter, with cats gnawing on his ears.
Episode 104 “Trojan Horst”
Nietzsche was right. “We come into this world alone and we go out of it alone.” Perhaps that explains why we spend our time here on earth so infuriatingly dependent on others.
Episode 105 “Who Shot Jay Arnstein”
Funny how things like mortgage payments and a desire to not eat cat food can get between a person and their principles. Damn, I hate principles.
If there’s one thing working in witness protection has taught me it’s that people hate change. Oh, we all say we want to change; get thinner, quit smoking, learn to speak Portuguese, but we don’t. For better or worse, our habits define us. We turn the pages of the same tattered script over and over, clinging to our well rehearsed routines like barnacles, and nothing rankles us more than having to learn new lines.
Episode 106 “High Priced Spread”
We’ve all had the experience of talking about a long-lost friend with someone, and then out of the blue the phone rings and it’s that same long-lost friend. Famous psychobabble quack Carl Jung called these occurrences “synchronicity.” Skeptics regard these synchronicities events as mere coincidences. Others posit a pie-in-the-sky cosmic connection linking all things. Take a guess on which side of the argument I fall.
At first glance, one might suppose me walking into the middle of Chris’s gambling problem and the arrival of the FBI letter about my father, the gambler, to be cosmically connected events. And who knows, maybe they are. But in the end, the whole happenstance versus master plan debate probably a big waste of time. All that really matters is that we cross paths at an auspicious time. Chris was lucky. He got off with a year suspension, but will still be able to play his senior year. As for me, well…
Episode 107 “Iris Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”
I think my least favorite phrase in the human language is “I’m sorry.” Nine times out of ten when a person says they’re sorry, they’re really only sorry they got caught, and now want me to forgive them for something I’m still pissed off about. Which puts me in the unhappy position of either saying, “Up yours” and looking like a total bitch, or saying, “I forgive you” and feeling like a total schmuck. And that’s why I hate the phrase…
People generally think of forgiveness as the flip side of contrition, the obligatory response to an apology. It is not. To forgive is to answer the call of our better angels and bear our wounds as the cost of doing business. It is that rarest of things, simple and pure…transcendent… without strings.
Episode 108 “Don of the Dead”
Okay, so Don’s a little anal, and maybe Ruth’s a bit of a ball buster. Who isn’t ? Still, you gotta wonder, if such good people with so much in common can’t find happiness together, what hope is there for the rest of us ?
According to the gospel of Don, God told Don to free himself and Ruth from the surly bonds of their loveless marriage. He said that their union had fulfilled his purpose. And now Don was to leave Ruth with the belief he had perished so that they might both go out and find happiness on earth. Don, being the lord’s faithful servant, was loathe to disobey. Before Don limped off into the desert night, he asked God, “Lord, you have commanded me to be happy, but you haven’t told me how. “Please, Lord, what does it take for two people to be happy?” But the Lord had said all that he would say.
Episode 109 “Good Cop, Dead Cop”
Every day we make hundreds of choices. Most of them innocuous either or kind of decisions, like, “should I turn right or left?” others require a bit more thought, like, “should I order the bacon-cheeseburger,” which I love or some low fat flavorless salad “which I know is better for me but will ultimately leave me unsatisfied?” and then there are those really tough choices…
Perhaps the most difficult choices to make are the ones that deny us those things our heart wants most because as it’s been said, “Without reason nor prudence, the heart wants what the heart wants and more often than not, it will not be denied.
Episode 110 “To Serge with Love”
I stare agape at Sunday couples. Sidewalk strollers, fingers laced, heads on shoulders, hearts laid bare. Audacious highwire artists, soaring netless. Oblivious or brave? Ignorant idiots, I observe from my spectator view. Hoping no one hears this screaming inside my head.
Episode 111 “Stan By Me”
After dropping Brandi off at the airport to fly home to her skeevy boyfriend Chuck, with a ticket I paid for, no less, only to discover her hours later at Raph’s with her head in his lap, no less, an idea has formed, a realization if you will. I don’t know. Anyway, here it is. My family will be the death of me, and I don’t mean in that “you kids will rue the day” kind of way. No, I’m talking about knocking on heaven’s door, charge the beach at Normandy, shuffle off that mortal coil, deceased. But the real epiphany is, I have absolutely no say in the matter. I wonder why I’m not more upset.
Episode 112 “A Fine Meth”
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