Sharif Atkins in the house ladies and gentlemen! Continuing this season’s fantastic trend of secondary character development, tonight’s episode of White Collar was all about Jones. Once again, Atkin’s work on the show has me screaming for the show to make him a regular cast member. As You Were gave us more character development on Jones then we have had in the previous two plus seasons combined. We learned about his past, what drives him, his regrets and that he is quite handy with a skillet when he needs to be. Clearly Jones enjoys some Tyler Perry. Finally given the chance to take center stage for longer than a few seconds, Atkins absolutely shined. In a recent interview with PopBytes, Atkins assures them that even though he is currently has a guest role position, he will not be going anywhere. Still, he absolutely deserves better than that. I have a hard time naming any character on any show that has appeared in almost every episode over multiple seasons, and yet is not a main character. Get it done for season four show!
Tonight we also saw the ramifications of Sarah finding the webcam watching the stolen art. I am glad the show did not drag out this plot point, and dealt with it in the opening scene. That said, I am really sad to see the outcome, which of course was inevitable. As I talked about last week, Sarah has her clear line in the sand when it comes to things of this nature. It just sucks that her and Neil are on opposite sides of that line. Though, Neil might be moving across that line sometime soon if the last scene is any indication. I think the combination of losing Sarah, Jones telling him he really does have it all (and he does, make no mistake), and Peter opening up to him might just make him give up his fantasy of the perfect score.
Obviously, the fact that he would have to betray and leave behind everybody except Mozzie has weighed heavily on Neil this entire season. I have no doubts that Neil will have his opportunity to sell the art and make a clean break, however, I am now not sure he will take it. And that murky area is exactly where the show needs to be right now heading into the summer break in two weeks. I expected Neil to take the manifest, or at the very least not lie to Mozzie about it, but he did. More importantly, I loved it, and I am sure a lot of people did. For some, it will be seen as character growth on Neil’s part. For me, it just leaves the show in that grey area where it always does best creatively. I cannot wait to see where the show goes from here, and I am sure I am not the only one.
Time for the quick hits kids:
-Thank god Jones did not hook up with Isabel. I partly say that because, duh, she was his friend’s wife. Also, he considered going down that road with her before, and pulled back for what he considered valid reasons. Of course he will always wonder what if, but that does not mean he should try and find out.
-I am sure that was not the last we have seen of Sarah. Now that Neil is looking like he will make a change, hopefully they can work things out. I do not want to lose Hilarie Burton and her snazzy outfits!
-Best fight scene ever the show has done? I think so, and not just because Jones decided to play a modified version of Grit Ball. No one has ever gotten overtly physical on the show, and Jones went all beast mode on Striker’s ass. Also, I liked Striker going after Neil with a bow and arrow. Hopefully next week we see a mace will be used to continue diversifying our bad guy weapon arsenal.
-I loved the little spy tricks Neil and Mozzie used this episode. Using the gum to make a copy of the safe key was smart, but taping Peter and Diana’s conversation with his phone was pretty ingenious in my opinion. It is always fun when the show goes with more low-key methods and toys.
-While I was very happy to see Neil not copy the manifest, I do wonder where this puts him with Mozzie. I am sure this will come between them, but I pray it does not ruin their friendship. Outside of his and Peter’s, Mozzie’s relationship with Neil is the best one on the show. White Collar needs to make sure it does not ruin their friendship for the sake of the plot. I will not be able to enjoy the show anywhere near as much if I cannot watch them love life together. Yes, I just said “love life together.” Deal with it.
So what about you? Do you like the direction the show is going with Neil and the Nazi art? Is the show’s treatment of Atkin a total injustice? Are you mourning the (temporary?) lost of Sarah? Will you be able to watch if Neil and Mozzie come to hate each other?