In Plain Sight and Law And Order: Criminal Intent

In Plain Sight (2008-    )
Law And Order: Criminal Intent (2001-    )
Type: Crossover
Group 2

   Well this one just popped up out of nowhere. Did not see it coming at all. In fact even when I saw it I didn't initially believe it. Both shows involved air on the USA cable network. USA constantly does promo spots for their shows that are little pseudo crossovers. Monk bumping into the cast of Psyche or The Dead Zone. They even have an ad that's a fake crossover between In Plain Sight and Criminal Intent. So when I was zapping past the commercials while watching Criminal Intent and came upon In Plain Sight's Mary Shannon talking to the Criminal Intent cops, right away I thought, ah, not past the ads yet, this is one of those USA ads. Only they sure sounded like they were talking about the actual plot of the episode I was watching... damn if it wasn't a full on crossover!

   Okay, for those living in caves (in which case... how do you have the internet?) Law And Order: Criminal Intent is one of the many many Law And Order shows. There's, like, 42 of them. Criminal Intent started as a detective drama starring Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erb as the lead detectives Goren and Eames. Like with all the Law And Order shows the cast changed with the passage of time... only this was a bit different. On the other Law And Order shows usually the old actors would leave and be replaced by new ones. In this case, mostly, the original cast stayed with the show. But for personal reasons Vincent D. had to lighten his workload on the show. So Chris Noth was brought in to pick up the slack, reprising his role of Detective Logan from the original Law And Order. Logan was partnered with a number of female partners.

   In 2007 something interesting happened to Criminal Intent. It had been airing on NBC with repeats airing on USA. But with the 2007 season that formula flipped. NBC was thinking of cancelling Criminal Intent. USA stepped up and said they'd pick up the show. With that NBC turned around and said they'd be happy to air reruns of the show after their initial airing on USA. Weird. Weird but, I think, pertinent to this crossover happening...

   In June of 2008 USA premiered a new drama called In Plain Sight. It told the story of Mary Shannon, a US Marshall working for the witness relocation program, hiding federal witnesses away with new identities. Of course the bad guys were constantly on the verge of finding Mary's witnesses. Mary McCormack played Mary Shannon as a funny and no nonsense guy's girl. She was practical, blunt and jaded. She worked relocating people who were usually jerk ass criminals. But every once in awhile usually once an episode - something would surprise her, sneak past her armor and restore her faith in life just a little. I make it sound formulaic and maybe it is but... it works. Mary is a pisser and fun to watch. Fred Weller played her snarky partner Marshall Mann, Marshall being his job and his actual first name: US Marshall Marshall Mann. Marshall's attitude and delivery remind me a lot of Randal Graves from the movie Clerks. Mary and Marshall are really funny together.

   I'm thinking the powers that be at USA really had high hopes when they launched In Plaint Sight. They did a really good job marketing the hell out of it. I mean, I always skip commercials when I watch TV but I still saw a billion ads for the show. And, more impressively, they actually made me want to see the show. Like I said earlier, by the summer of 2008 USA also "owned" Criminal Intent. Being one the networks biggest shows, one that also reaired on NBC, somebody clearly struck on the idea that a really good way to promote In Plain Sight would be to have Mary Shannon appear on Criminal Intent. Hey, it's why a lot of crossovers happen.

   Cut to the June 15 th episode of Criminal Intent called "Contract". I'm going to skip over the finer points of the case itself. Suffice it to say the case lead to a Hollywood producer who made a film about someone going into witness relocation. The producer claims that the she never met the man who wrote the script, that he died in a car accident before she ever read his script. But it soon becomes clear she did know the guy. And when the cops start digging it also becomes clear the car accident the guy "died" in never really happened. Ah ha! The cops quickly realize the writer was a friend of the producer who had his death faked so that he could enter witness relocation. Lucky for the detectives, the Marshall in charge of the guy's relocation just happens to be in town. Why... whoever could it be? Amazingly enough, it's Mary Shannon! What are the odds? Mary pops in for one quick cameo of a scene, giving Detective Logan and company the lowdown on the guy. In, out, gone. Real quick. But it's there and it's solid, pulling Mary Shannon and her group into a very very big crossover world.

Other Law And Order: Criminal Intent Crossover Links
Law And Order: Criminal Intent and Deadline
Law And Order: Criminal Intent and Law And Order
Law And Order: Criminal Intent and Law And Order: Special Victims Unit

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