What an absolutely fantastic episode, right? Going into White Collar tonight, I was really interested in two things. One, how the show planned on resolving/furthering all of the plot lines it has been juggling. Two, if I would find these developments believable and satisfying. I am not going to lie, I was nervous. So many things were up in the air; I honestly thought the show would drop the ball somewhere. Luckily, and happily, I was completely wrong. Coutdown was everything I could have wanted and more. And you know what, shame on me for doubting the show. There are times White Collar can dip in quality, but never near the end of the season. For any problems the show might have, it has always stuck the landing. Tonight was no different, and this hour will go down as one of the best in the show’s run.
And what an episode it was! As I have been saying these past few weeks, the two main relationships on the show, Neal and Peter’s as well as Neal and Mozzie’s, have basically stayed the same throughout the series. Before this episode, it was easy to predict how everything would play out in both of those relationships. For Neal and Peter, their relationship, which was built on respect, would always have a cat and mouse aspect to it. Peter’s style with Neal was to give him enough rope to hang himself, but now that has backfired and Neal has accidently gotten Elizabeth tangled up in his mess. I suspect when the show returns in the winter, Peter will be on the warpath, and a lot of his anger will be directed at Neal. True, it is not Neal’s direct fault that El was kidnapped. I do not think, however, Peter will view it that way. I am expecting the gloves to come off in their relationship, with Peter no longer taking a passive but prepared stance on Neal’s criminal ways. The minute El was put at risk, everything changed.
As for Neal and Mozzie, I have no idea what is going to happen with them. Their relationship was all about complete trust in one another. Various people would come in and out of their lives, but ultimately, they would always have each other. My gut wants to say that has not changed, but I can no longer say for certain that is the case. In reality, what is driving Neal and Mozzie apart is not the lies and going behind each other’s back, it is the fact that their life goals are changing. Mozzie still wants the perfect score so he can escape away to his dream life, while Neal has actually found his in a lot of ways. Their relationship is growing apart naturally, not because either or one or both of them did something wrong. The hard part is, that means there is nothing to fix to get their relationship back to how it was. When somebody makes a mistake, they can apologize, make amends and rebuild. When two people just grow apart due to natural differences, nothing can really be done. I hope Neal and Mozzie find a way back to how they were, but I am just not sure how they can.
To the quick hits, posthaste:
-Seeing as it was the most shocking turn of events in tonight’s episode, we might as well talk about El’s kidnapping. I did not see that coming at all. In fact, when Keller called Peter and gave him the ultimatum, I went slack jawed. Then, when Peter got home and El was gone I yelled, “Oh shit!” Keller has proven himself to be the best villain this show has ever had with his past appearances, but now he is going for legendary status. Kidnapping El was as ballsy of a move as he could pull, short of walking straight into the FBI. I actually will not be surprised if he does that at some point too.
-Loved Agent Kramer. It was nice to get a glimpse of what Peter will be like in a decade or two. Also, while Peter does fury very well, it has nothing on Kramer’s stone cold intensity. It was very smart of Neal to not try and go toe to toe with him, because he would have been so far out of his league.
-Good for the show bringing back Friday, as she will be now referred to thanks to Mozzie. It would have been easy to just ignore her existence, but it really would not have made sense for her to not be in New York when everything was going down. Neal’s handling of the situation was superb, as he smartly ensured their mutual destruction if she told on him. I also really liked her acknowledgment of Neal’s badassness, because he so clearly is one.
-Speaking of Neal’s badassery, his performance at the weapons dealer’s was masterful. Getting locked in the room? Smart. Switching out the real painting for his fake one? Brilliant. Parachuting from the building? Coolest thing, action wise, he has ever done. I will say this, though, that fedora almost cost him. Not only does it look terrible, but also what would have happened if it had not landed near him? How was he going to explain that going missing to Peter? Lose the fedora Neal, their ugly and mission jeopardizing.
-Neal can keep the wife beaters, however. Matt Bomer sure does fill them out well, does he not? People should not be that blessed. It is not right.
-I thought the tension and intrigue about who was really in control tonight was well done. Every word, every action was like a move on a chessboard. Watching everybody continually circling Neal, and then watching him trying to escape was so captivating. This is especially true when the odds are so stacked against Neal. He performs at his best when it feels like him against the world.
-Tonight I think the show was pretty much perfect. If nothing else, it succeed with its ultimate goal. Namely, I will be definitely tuning in this winter to see how it all plays out. That is what a finale, mid-season or otherwise, should always do. It should make the audience anxious for the show to return. Tonight, White Collar did just that.