Category Archives: White Collar

White Collar – Cruel Cliffhangers

The summer finale of White Collar was last night, and once again, the writers left us with a mean cliffhanger. I wonder if they get paid on a sliding scale based on how much they torment viewers.

And with USA Network’s split schedule, they get to have cliffhanger moments twice as often. In the 2 1/2 years the show’s been running, there have been five cliffhangers. And I clearly remember every one.

Suffice it to say, there are going to be plenty of spoilers below. So beware!

I sort of envy people who came to the show late, like my parents and siblings. They avoided months of restless wondering.

The first mid-season finale (halfway through season 1) ended with Peter confronting Kate, in a way that made it seem like he was the one who’d been controlling her moves. And for weeks we wondered – could Peter be the bad guy? Was he betraying Neal? And if not, what was he doing there, wearing that ring?

The season one finale ended with a plane exploding. Who wanted Neal and Kate dead? How would Neal get over losing her?

The second summer finale (halfway through season 2) ended with Mozzie being shot. The outcry I read over and over online was, “Not Mozzie!” He was just enough of a secondary character that he could really have died, but such a favorite that no one wanted to imagine the show without him.

The season two finale ended with Peter accusing Neal of faking a fire to steal the Nazi treasure, and Neal hotly denying it, only to later find out that someone close to him had done exactly that. Out of all the cliffhangers, this was the one I minded least, but the complications that arose were far-reaching.

The third summer finale ended with Keller telling Peter he’d seen the treasure, and kidnapping Elizabeth to get it.

While the mid-season finales seem to be more intense in terms of “what if?” emotional turmoil, it’s the season finales that drive the action for the following seasons. We find out Mozzie’s not dead and Peter’s not the bad guy quite quickly once the season resumes. So I’m hopeful they’ll find El in the next episode – but that one episode will be amazing.

If anything could postpone Mozzie’s island getaway, finding out that Mrs. Suit is in danger will. Mozzie is closer to her than to anyone else on the right side of the law (and perhaps even on the wrong side, too), and it’s his stealing of the treasure that got her kidnapped. His putting the bounty on Keller that gave him the opportunity to escape the FBI.

Not that Neal’s going to be feeling any less guilt. Keller is his enemy. Neal’s lies to Peter led to this.

But my guess is that the treasure’s only going to be a side issue during the next episode. The focus will be on getting El back.

I just hope that, when this is all hashed out, that Peter realizes that Neal was having to choose between Peter with all the confines of the anklet, and Mozzie with all the treasure he could imagine. And that in the end, Neal chose Peter.

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White Collar – Listening to Fans

Season three of White Collar opened with two new aspects – a con driving a wedge of mistrust between Peter and Neal, and new opening credits.

The revelation in the first episode that Mozzie was the one who stole the treasure and faked its destruction makes Neal’s dilemma a bit more believable. He can’t simply “do the right thing” and turn everything over to the Feds – he’d be betraying Mozzie. Yet escaping with millions in art will mean cutting all his ties in New York – Peter, the FBI, Elizabeth, June, Sara.

Some close calls and quick decisions in the first few episodes tabled the issue for a while, and I’m glad that it won’t overtake the entire season. The past two episodes have been fun character portraits.

“Dentist of Detroit” dives into Mozzie’s past, including how he got started in the con business, how he got to be so well-read, and where his name comes from (you don’t think someone that paranoid would tell a fellow con artist his real name, let alone the Feds?). Interesting note – Mozzie’s mentor played Gus’s dad on an episode of Psych.

“Veiled Threat” has Peter going undercover to catch a black widow. We got to see a new side of his relationship with Elizabeth, and my heart broke for her when she had to walk away after Peter was nearly hit by a car. This episode had so many fun aspects as well: Neal doing the painting for Peter. Mozzie as Peter’s valet. Peter tangoing like a pro. Neal bring Diana an awesome meal as a thank you. And the end of the episode was so sweet!

Many fans were disappointed in the new opening credits, myself included. They just don’t fit the tone of the show, especially the new music. It’s hard to believe a network that has been spot on with such credit sequences as Psych and Covert Affairs could get this one so wrong (though I imagine that’s more of a decision for showrunners). But after catching wind of fans’ dislike of the new credits (creator Jeff Eastin tweeted: How are you feeling about the new #WhiteCollar opening? Be honest, I can take it…), USA Network is allowing viewers to vote on keeping the new opening sequence or reverting to the old one.

I think this is a huge step for a show and a network to take, moving toward and flowing with the inevitable changes media is taking. Someday soon I think we’ll see the option for fans to vote for which shows get canceled, what pilots get picked up, and which guest stars make an appearance. But in the meantime, cast your vote here (voting starts today!) and be a part of history. And let me know which side you’re on in the comments below.

What do you think will change in TV during the next few years? I’d love to hear your predictions and thoughts!

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White Collar – Con Man vs. Lawman

I don’t remember what first perked my interest in the show White Collar. I likely heard something about it while watching another USA network show such as Psych or Burn Notice. And generally, if a show is on USA, I usually don’t need to hear anything else to try it out, or at least watch a few promos and uncover the premise.

If I wasn’t hooked already, the first five minutes of the pilot episode would have been enough to do so. It opens in a prison, where an inmate shaves his beard, changes into a guard’s uniform, swipes a forged key card, and proceeds to walk out the front door. That is our first introduction to Neal Caffrey, con artist extraordinaire.

FBI agent Peter Burke, the only man who’s ever been able to catch Caffrey, is called in. He deduces the reason Neal would escape with only a few months left on his four-year sentence, and brings him back in with four more years added to his sentence.

But con artists know how other con artists work, and Neal is able to strike a deal with the FBI – serve out the remaining years while working to catch other criminals for the FBI’s white collar crime division, under the supervision of Agent Burke.

Peter’s solidness and by-the-book methods contrast with Neal’s charm and out-of-the-box thinking, and the two gradually come to trust each other. Since the show focuses on white-collar crimes, it’s a refreshing change from most crime dramas’ “murder of the week” scenarios. It also keeps the show free from most gruesome images, sensual scenes, and crude language.

Neal is played by Matt Bomer, who had a reoccurring role in Chuck as Brice Larkin. And I can’t write about White Collar without mentioning Neal’s friend, Mozzie, an OCD conspiracy theorist who doesn’t trust Feds (or as he calls them, suits. Peter is the Suit, his wife Elizabeth is Mrs. Suit, and FBI agent Diana is Lady Suit).

White Collar just finished season two, ending a major plot arch and adding a final twist for the cliffhanger. I must admit, though, it wasn’t nearly as powerful of an ending as the previous 3 (season one ending and the two mid-season breaks). In a way, I’m grateful, as those 3 made me nearly go crazy waiting to find out what happened. This one has far less emotional ties.

I’m still ambivalent about White Collar adding Sara Ellis as a permanent member of the cast for season three. I didn’t feel much chemistry between her and Neal these last few episodes, though I think they had some earlier this season.

Even though the season didn’t end as strongly as I hoped, much of season two was excellent, particularly the third episode from the end, “Payback,” the mid-season finale “Point Blank,” and the retrospective “Forging Bonds.”

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