At the beginning of In Plain Sight, we’re introduced to Sergeant William Muncie (Douglas Henshall). It is the Sergeant’s birthday. He returns home and is somewhat surprised by his family. During the party, Peter Manuel (Martin Compston) approaches the family’s home and leaves a letter for Muncie. William opens the letter and finds a threatening message of sorts. The letter tells Muncie it is better to be over the hill than buried under it. He heads outside and sees nobody of interest. Muncie returns inside and speaks with his friend about Manuel and the letter. He convinces his friend to keep the note a secret from his wife, Agnes (Shauna MacDonald).
We see a flashback of a previous interrogation carried out by Muncie. He smacks Manuel around, while accusing him of attacking a woman. After the intro scene, we jump over to a dance party. During the party, we’re introduced to Mary McLauchlan (Jenny Hulse). Mary is confronted by Barbara or Babs (Louise Mccarthy). They speak about men, before Mary admits she is thinking about dying her hair a different color. Babs tells her she should do no such thing! Meanwhile, the Sergeant scours through his evidence on Manuel. He opens a letter, which was collected during Manuel’s prison stint. The letter makes it clear that Manuel intends to get his revenge on the Sergeant.
During this time, Manuel stalks the party. Mary checks her watch and leaves. She rushes to the bus stop only to see it pass her by. She begins walking home, before a local businessman hears her screams. He grabs a flashlight and looks for the woman, but she is nowhere to be found. We see that Manuel has her held at knifepoint with a hand over her mouth. Manuel exclaims he will cut the woman’s head off and bury it with her. He humps her leg, before smoking a cigarette. Manuel offers Mary a cigarette, but she denies the offer. He admits he doesn’t know why he picked her, but seems excited about his potential first victim. Mary remains with Manuel for many hours.
Eventually, Mary begins to nod off. Manuel wakes her up and toss the knife to the side. He agrees to take the woman home. Surprisingly, Mary makes it home and Manuel does the same. While Manuel sleeps, Mary speaks to Muncie about her attacker. She admits to lying about having two children and believes that could’ve saved her life. Mary gives a description of the man. She also reveals she believes she has seen the man in the past. She alleges she takes the same bus to work as the man and his father. That gives Muncie a plan. They put Mary on the bus and see whether or not she can identify the man’s father.
Mary picks out Peter’s father, Samuel (Gilly Gilchrist). They venture to Peter’s home and the Sergeant speaks with Theresa (Bobby Rainsbury). Eventually, Peter decides to join the group. Peter remains very arrogant and asks Muncie what brings him around. Peter is taken to the station and put into a police lineup. Mary quickly identifies him as her attacker. Peter is taken to Muncie’s office and interviewed. He admits to being in the field, before toying with Muncie. Manuel insists he was out there poaching rabbits. He also admits he threw his knife out there to get his dog to return. Once the interview ends, Muncie speaks with his team and urges them to collect as much information as possible, so they can prevent Manuel from getting bail.
He tells them about Manuel’s previous crimes to get them motivated. During this time, Peter receives a visit from his mother. It is clear he is not worried in the least. Manuel complains that his mother believes he is guilty of the crime in question. Muncie and his partner meets with Hugh (Gavin Jon Wright). Muncie speaks with his boss and is told he is wasting too many men and hours on Manuel. Muncie argues otherwise, but the operation is scaled back nonetheless. Muncie then visits Hugh and learns about the forensic evidence against Peter. Muncie takes a look at Peter’s underwear and reveals it is the fear of his victims that arouses him. Next, Muncie and his partner, Iris Laird (Joanne Thomson), learn that Manuel will be remanded to Barlinnie, until the trial.
During the lead up to the trial, Manuel learns about the funeral of James Dean. He complains about the boy’s stardom. Muncie learns that Manuel will be allowed to defend himself during the trial. That night, Muncie speaks with his wife. He asks her what could’ve made Manuel keep Mary out in the fields so long. She insists he wanted to drag it out for as long as possible. Next, the trial gets underway. Manuel questions Mary and quickly concocts a story that they were having an affair. He also insists Mary made up the story to get back at him for wanting to end their relationship. She denies everything, but the jury doesn’t believe her. Manuel walks. Manuel and his friends ridicule Mary, as she leaves the courtroom. Muncie chases after her.
Muncie admits the law let Mary down. He promises not to stop, until Manuel is behind bars for good. Samuel Manuel spots Mary on the street. He confronts her and spits in her face. Back at home, Muncie receives another strange letter. It is from Manuel. His daughter’s friend, Douglas (Neil Pendleton), arrives at the door. Williams gives him direct orders to get his daughter home on time and not to let her out of his sight. Jane (Sorcha Groundsell) leaves with the boy moments later. Meanwhile, Manuel leaves his parents’ house as well. Muncie stares out the window that night. His wife urges him to return to bed. He admits he is worried about his daughter. He is told he will catch the monster should he strike again. Later, Mary returns to the dancing club with her hair dyed. She speaks with Babs. Private Andrew Murnin (Tony McGeever) asks a young woman to dance. Annie Kneilands (Alana McDowall) agrees and introduces herself to the man.
The next day, a man searching for golf balls discovers Annie’s body.
In Plain Sight Review
In Plain Sight was a little slow, but it did a good job of building up Peter Manuel as a crazed egomaniac. The episode displayed Sergeant William Muncie as the strict inspector, who will do anything to catch his prey. It was hard not to feel sorry for poor Mary McLauchlan. The woman probably never got over the heartache she experienced during the attack, during the trial, and after the trial.
This was evident in the way she was treated by Samuel and the other locals at the dance club. The trial of Manuel was so bizarre that it was a little difficult to believe. Nonetheless, the episode was good. A 7.5 out of 10 is deserved.