Secrets can’t be kept forever. Near the beginning of the episode, Sarah said those words to Neil. By the end of the hour, those words could not have been truer as all of the secrets Neil has been keeping this season started to unravel. Of course, this is not the first time all of Neil has had his secrets exposed, but this time, it felt much more personal. For one, as I have mentioned throughout this season, Neil has a much closer and deeper relationship with his FBI cohorts. When Neil would lie to and trick the FBI at the beginning of White Collar, it was nothing. If anything, it was even acceptable, because these were the people who caught Neil and put him in jail. Now, his relationship with Peter, Jones, Diana and others has progressed well past a simple professional point. With every lie he tells them, he truly betrays their friendship.
Furthermore, for the first time, Neil is lying to Mozzie. No matter what, Neil and Mozzie have always had an honest and open relationship. Sure, there are things they have not told each other, but they have never blatantly lied to one another’s face. This time, however, that is exactly what happened. Neil and Mozzie’s relationship has past a certain boundary line now, and I am not quite sure what that means for them. Along with panic and fear, you could honestly feel the hurt and pain in that final scene. It was obvious that a betrayal of this magnitude had never occurred between Neil and Mozzie.
Last week, I mentioned I was not sure I would enjoy the show as much if Neil and Mozzie’s relationship was put in jeopardy. I would like to amend that now. I do not want to see Neil and Mozzie lose what they have permanently, but I would not mind the show exploring this betrayal plotline. Like I said, this has been the most stable and consistent relationship on the show to date. After two and a half seasons, however, it is not a terrible thing to see that challenged. If anything, it is quite a good turn of events. It means the show is willing to be creative and not just go through the motions. I still what Neil and Mozzie to come out fine in the end, but I am now okay with watching them get put through the wringer.
What is quick hits:
-Let me clear in saying though, I don’t think Neil was the only one at fault for the conflict between him and Mozzie. Mozzie decided to take things into his own hands just like Neil, and his actions caused just as much of the problem as Neil’s. Moreover, who knew Mozzie had it in him to put out a bounty? For someone who has been so very non-violent and rational, that was extremely out of character. At the same time, I can see how he got to that point. His good friend was just killed, his best friend targeted, that will make you do things. On top of that, his entire life’s ambition was at stake, along with everything he ever wanted. Still, I was not totally convinced that Mozzie was at that point. I think people in general can go from zero to sixty when pushed to their limits, but not Mozz. I get why it was necessary for the Mozzie to do what he did for plot reasons, but did not think it was organic as the show would have wanted it to be.
-Love that Keller was back. He has always been my favorite bad guy on White Collar, and On the Fence marked another terrific episode for the character. Keller is absolutely Neil with no conscience. Too often people label the character as just ruthless, but tonight Keller demonstrated his extreme intelligence. He played, played Neil, and was pretty much three steps ahead at all times. Sure he got caught, and was lucky to get away. Like always, however, he found a way to survive and live to fight another day. Can you say that about any other bad guy on the show?
-Seriously show, you better be keeping Sarah around past the summer. She absolutely gave it to Neil, and yet still had his back when he needed it most. She also seemed genuinely touched by Mozzie’s admission of Neil’s feelings. I have stated my love for the woman numerous times. Each episode, that grows some more. Also, her clothes. Totally shallow reason to want her to stay, but I mean in a world of grey and black suits, she seriously adds some needed fashion. Sigh.
-Eliza Dushku was good, but did not blow my socks off. I get she was going for some type of campy, sexy villainess, but it just seemed a little over backed and overwrought. Do not get me wrong, I love Dushku. She was fantastic as Faith in Buffy and Angel, and I heard good things about Dollhouse. I was just not feeling her that much in this role. I did like her chemistry with Neil though. That was pretty damn good.
-I felt like the banter game between Neil and Peter was stepped up this week. Always love when they get to play off each other and have some fun. It is nice to see who wins whenever they get on opposite sides of an idea like the café meeting. It is telling that each win about half the time, just showing how evenly matched they are. The sad thing for Neil, he only has to lose once and the game is all over. Peter can lose however many times he wants and gets to try again.
-God love the meta-reference about the palace and the fans liking it. Nice nudge nudge, wink wink at the fans show.
-As much as Matt Bomer needs to stop wearing fedoras, he can be in glasses all he wants. I mean damn! I love you Mike Ross, but Neil Caffrey just rocketed back to first place in my USA fantasy husband rankings. Do not worry, you will have another chance to win back my love on Thursday Mike!
Well next week we will see how it all plays out in the summer finale. I am really interested to see how it turns out, are you? Do you think this new development with Neil and Mozzie will turn out to be a good thing? Are you cursing the return of the fedora in next weeks preview like I am? Any bets on how it all plays out? Comment away. No seriously, do it.