Previously on episode 1.12 (Bottlenecked), we met a Caffrey-wannabe con man named Matthew Keller. He's smart, ruthless, but not exactly suave and charming. Think stereotypical New Jersey con man versus Neal's New York style. He killed a man and then challenged Neal to create a fake wine bottle given to Ben Franklin by Marie Antoinette. Neal accepted only to play right into Keller's hands. He wanted his bottle tested to prove it was real, driving up the price, which he needed to pay off the Russian mob. Unfortunately for him, Mozzie buys the wine bottle for a million dollars he doesn't have, forcing Keller to confess to theft and murder to get protection from Sergei and the Russians.
All in all, this is my favorite episode since Point Blank. It had lots of humor, action, and poignant scenes. It incorporated the best of White Collar, specifically the bond between Neal and Peter along with Mozzie and Elizabeth's strange but awesome friendship. I wish they recapped themselves less but that is the only small criticism I have in this episode. Keller is a classic rival and I hope he comes back again next season. I'd love to see how Neal reacts to being bested by Keller. Let's hope the Russian mob doesn't get him first.
Next week, Neal and Peter switch identities. I think we can safely say humor will abound again.
Screencaps by Caps by Emma-Jane and White Collar Online