Monday, November 10, 2014

White Collar - 6.01 - Borrowed Time - Recap

Previously - Neal and Rebecca searched for the Hope Diamond's twin, Peter turned down a job in Washington, El got a job in Washington, both Rebecca and the FBI screwed Neal over, Rebecca was arrested for killing a Fed, Mozzie and Neal planned to escape, and Neal was kidnapped.

Note - I know that Boots is actually Booth, but before I knew his name I noticed the boots he was clomping around in and the name stuck. He's Boots to me.

Responding to Neal's ankle monitor being cut, the Feds rush his apartment looking for signs of his escape. We all, Peter included, know that's a waste of time. Like Neal's going to leave evidence behind. They do find some stashed cash, which makes no sense in their fugitive scenario. Wouldn't he take that with him if he were fleeing? Enter Mozzie carrying a mannequin dressed like Neal. Busted! Peter brings him in for questioning, where Mozzie stresses that there's no way Neal would run and leave him behind. He makes a compelling argument, but from a Fed perspective evidence is stacking up. Good thing Peter's no ordinary Fed. He knows Neal so he's willing to pursue Mozzie's abduction theory. Over in some random abandoned New York City skyscraper, Neal faces his kidnapper while I ponder just how much unused real estate there is in NYC. The bad guys never seem to have trouble locating entire buildings that sit vacant in the heart of the city. Boots tosses a beer bottle down the elevator shaft to prove how far down it is, but he wouldn't kidnap Neal unless he needed him and we've still got 5 episodes left. (Moment of silence to mourn the fast approaching death of this show. Huge sigh.) Neal uses a novel approach, thanking Boots for shortcutting all the logistics he'd need to arrange if he ran. Neal: "This is the best thing that could have happened to me." Boots and I side eye him to check his crazy level. "You know you're cuffed to a chair, right?" Oh Boots, you didn't do your research. Handcuffs have never stopped Neal Caffrey. He surmises that Boots is an acquaintance of Rebecca and my dreams that she escaped and had Neal kidnapped are shattered in 3, 2, 1…Boots actually betrayed her and got her caught. Bad luck for him though. He needs the diamond and that's where Neal comes in. Neal just laughs. He's good but that's in FBI lock-up. Boots is done being restrained but before he can send Neal to a splattery end he gets a call, giving Neal time to get a nail to free himself but he stops when he overhears the name Woodford. I would still try to escape but I don't have Neal's powers of persuasion or any clue who Woodford is.

Back at the Fed building, Peter waits for….Rebecca. Woo hoo! She was a great con/villain right up until the writers suddenly made her stupid so Neal and Peter could capture her in the most inane manner possible. Sigh. I hate that. Diana's more worried about Peter's mental state. Peter: "I'm torn between being afraid Mozzie's right and hoping he is." He asks what she thinks and she's on Team Abduction, mostly because Moz is still at the Fed Building even though he doesn't have to be. Peter worries about Moz seeing Rebecca so he shoos him out, after removing the miked pen Mozzie planted. Can't get one over on Peter. "Don't use our own listening devices on us. It's rude." Ha! Moz starts an anti-bureaucracy rant but Peter cuts him short by saying he believes him. I love when these two are on the same page. Peter tells Moz to talk to his contacts, but he realizes Peter's trying to get rid of him. Can't get one over on Moz either. Moz: "You want me to leave." Peter: "Very much so." Moz: "Which is why I should stay. What are you hiding from me?" Enter Rebecca. Moz wants in on the interrogation but Peter nixes it because Rebecca tried to kill him. Valid point. Moz protests, "Which is why I will be a properly motivated bad cop." Another valid point, but no dice. Darn. Mozzie as bad cop would be hilarious. Neal as potential ally is just smart. He convinces Boots not to shaft him by mentioning the Pink Panthers, as silly a name for a gang of topnotch thieves as you can get. Of course it is based in truth because you can't make this stuff up. Neal surmises that Boots wanted the diamond for his audition to join the group, but since that's off the table Neal suggests stealing from the group themselves. Um, that sounds like a horrible idea. Boots agrees. They aren't people you want to mess with.

Neither is Rebecca. Peter tells her Neal was kidnapped. Rebecca: "Well if you think I did it, you've got far too much faith in me." Ha! I believe Rebecca could have orchestrated it from supermax. She's that good. She also wants to deal. Peter: "Want us to let you go, get an anklet, help us find Neal." Rebecca: "I'd settle for a room with a view in a low-security prison, but if you're offering?" No dice. Peter offers nothing. Instead he asides into his relationship woes, baffling Rebecca and me. Huh? Rebecca: "So you chose Neal over your wife." Peter: "I chose to do what's right." That's supposed to make Rebecca share info? Neither of us buy it until Peter makes it about Neal's safety. "You may be a cold, calculating murderer, but I know you love Neal. Both of us would do whatever it takes for the people we love and deep down, I think you realize this may be all your fault, but it doesn't have to be." It's a great speech that shouldn't sway Rebecca one inch, but it does because she's now some fangirl with no sense of self-preservation. Ugh! Thankfully it's back to Boots' dilemma. Trust Neal's crazy plan or hide out from the world's smartest criminals for the rest of his life. Neal: "Your options are prison, death, or trusting me. What's it going to be?" Crazy it is. They skedaddle as the Feds and Mozzie rush in, but Neal leaves a clue in the chair - Kessman. Now Peter knows where they're heading, but Moz knows it's also an ideal mark, since only the richest of the rich can be found there. The Feds try to reason it out. Peter: "So we have a thief not known for kidnapping and a building that's more target than safe house. What am I missing here?" They turn to look at Moz, who just stares back. Bwah! I love this character. Jones: "This is usually where Neal says something." Moz: "Look where that's gotten him." Ha! He suggests Neal has "adapted to the situation at hand." Since they can't figure the target out, Peter suggests figuring out how to get in but Mozzie doesn't give away his tricks of the trade. "Nice try. I know a trap when I see one." Diana points out that it doesn't work that way.

At the same time Neal and Boots check out the building's security. Both sides reach the same conclusion - they need to go through the roof during the day via zip line to get to the elevators. Moz: "Fire code's a thief's best friend." So is Fat Charlie, a supply man, although Moz is reluctant to rat him out to the Feds. Peter, on the other hand, is done. "No, Mozzie, no more excuses. If you want me to keep Neal alive, you're going to give me that name." Moz capitulates and they go see Fat Charlie together. Moz: "I get it now." Peter: "What's that?" Mozzie: "Why Neal likes working with you. With every new case he gets to think of how he would commit the crime. He gets the thrill of invention without the threat of jail time." Peter: "Hmm, maybe I'll put an anklet on you next." Mozzie: "I would gnaw my leg off." Ha! I adore these two setting aside differences and working together. It's a shame we couldn't get a longer season so Neal could stay kidnapped a little bit longer. Peter and Mozzie never got enough time alone together for me. Fat Charlie is a find too. He may be even more paranoid than Mozzie given how many locks he turns before opening the door. He's surprising slim too. Peter tells him to get lost for 24 hours and be silent about it and he won't bust him. Deal. Moz is offended by Peter's abruptness and shortsightedness. Peter has a plan though. He'll be Fat Charlie, which only works if Boots has never worked with him. I'm with Mozzie here. This plan has holes like a sieve. Still the shock on Neal's face when he sees Peter open the door is legendary. Awesome! What a way to put them back together again. Neal: "It's good to see you." Peter: "You know I'm always here for you." He has Neal write down the order, which Boots checks, but Neal of course writes Pink Panthers without the ink so it shows through on the triplicate form. Good move.

Having Mozzie in the van is not. I can see why Jones is cranky though. He's spent the better part of 5 years there and as much as I love Moz, he can be irritating. "Neal has a plan. We're interrupting it. What if he doesn't want Peter moving in?" Jones, suffering from Rebecca Regression, wagers that Peter busts Boots. Really, Jones? You know better than to bet against Mozzie. Granted the possibility of never having Mozzie in the van again could make even a smart man desperate enough to try. They listen in as Peter sees the Pink Panther note. He asks if Neal's sure and Neal confirms that it's worth the risk, all while sounding like their talking about the job. I love how well they know each other. Jones, on the other hand, now owes Mozzie one truthful answer…sometime in the future. That'll haunt him. Back at the office, the group exposits the real Pink Panthers for those of us not up on our criminals. Suffice to say they've stolen a lot. Like billions of dollars, a lot. Peter and Diana debate whether Neal's plan is safe and Jones questions Neal's loyalties since he'll be auditioning for the Pink Panthers too. The Feds haven't given Neal much incentive to stay. Still they go forward, trusting him. That's more than can be said of Boots and Neal. In fact, Boots gets off on not trusting his partners. Neal preys on that and gets Boots to think it's his plan to have Neal do the robbery instead. Conning the con. Neal is just that good. Plans are all set for a break-in the next day. That night Peter talks to El, who's at her new job. They chat about mundane things in the cute way they do. I will miss this perfect TV husband and wife as well. El , showing how well she knows Peter, sends Mozzie over with real food instead of the cereal Peter's munching. Sadly he walks in the backdoor and is greeted by a fistful of gun. Really Moz? He's a Fed. What did you expect? You probably shouldn't bring bugs as the main course either. I wouldn't eat anything Mozzie brought after that mix up, but Peter's happy with his steak. He even asks Mozzie to stay and eat. Awww. These two have come so far.

The next day, Peter's ready on backup. Neal's ready to zoom between skyscrapers…until his equipment malfunctions. That's one shoddy harness. Perhaps it's not a bad thing that they have to sever all ties with Fat Charlie. His equipment could have killed Neal. Ever resourceful, Neal uses a belt to zip over instead and then lights the primer cord to dispose of the evidence. I would NOT trust anything that disintegrates that quickly to hold my body weight while slinging between two buildings. Just saying. At least Peter's relieved, shaking his head as Neal goes by overhead. Back in the van, Mozzie is in cuffs? Peter and I both give Diana a raised eyebrow. Diana: "He kept touching things." That explains it. Peter says to arrest Boots and Jones can't leave the van fast enough. Still he leaves a warning. "Don't make any deals with him, no matter how innocent they sound." Um yeah, I don't think they'd have fallen for that like you did. While Neal breaks in to the wall safe (a disappointingly ordinary hiding place), Peter spots Woodford heading home early. Uh oh. Mozzie to the rescue. He "runs into" the rearview mirror of Woodford's expensive car, posing as a bike messenger, just in the nick of time. Mozzie: "So you admit, you own the car that hit me." Woodford: "My car is parked." Ha! It's a delightful, zany exchange and like the best Mozzie cons of old, it works. Sadly Boots gets away too and that makes Peter nervous since there's no need for Boots to keep Neal around now. He pulls a gun on Neal, who thanks him. Boots: "Not this again." Ha! Luckily, Diana and Peter shoots him when he goes to pull the trigger. Reunited at last, Neal and Peter banter about heckling, timing, and trusting each other. No lie, I wanted Neal to stay kidnapped for awhile so Peter and Mozzie could work together longer, but there's something about these two being in sync that makes my heart sing too.

And then the real plan is revealed. Everyone knows Neal has a million plans going at once so it isn't a shock that Neal wants to barter the Pink Panthers for his freedom. This time no loopholes. You can only fool a con once. He wants an ironclad contract and Peter is all about making that happen so Neal, sans anklet, walks into Woodford's office instead of Boots and gets a not so warm welcome. Neal, ever quick on his feet, has Woodford open his safe to find Neal's passports hidden in there. Ha! Woodford: "If I really was who you think I am, I could have you killed for this." Neal: "You could or you could acknowledge the skill involved. Skill you need for your team." Neal tells Woodford his real name, but in all honesty he should already know who Neal is. In fact, he should also know Neal's working for the Feds. Sigh. Oh well, I have Rebecca to brighten my day. Neal thanks her for telling Peter about Boots, but the sad strings of "You Can't Trust an Assassin" play over their relationship. Rebecca: "People like us, we live on borrowed time. We either end up behind bars or dead." She warns Neal to use his time wisely as the Marshals take her way. Peter asks how Neal's doing and for once he's honest. He loved Rebecca and Peter thinks it's better for him to remember her as he loved her. Awww. Sadly Neal recognizes her goodbye speech too late and Rebecca, one of the greatest characters on this show, dies. Suicide by Cop. Nooo! First Hagen and now Rebecca? At least I still have Keller. Neal closes Rebecca's eyes and walks off. Later that night Mozzie and he discuss whether she was brave or not. Neal thinks there's always another way. Moz: "The greatest lies a con man tells are to himself." Neal exposits his plan, but Moz argues that it's an illusion since they screwed him before. He may be right but Neal always has a plan. It’s been a tough day for all but Peter comes home to a great surprise. El is there with good news. She's pregnant! The goofy glee on Peter's face is heartwarming. Yeah for them! Yeah for us that the Burkes are reunited once again!

Given the shortened season, this was a pretty good opener. They don’t have the luxury of keeping Neal kidnapped or slowly raising the stakes this time around. That being said I like how they kept Neal and Peter separated for a great part of the episode so that we could see the Peter and Mozzie dynamic. They rarely get a storyline that allows them to work alone but when they do it is golden. I hope that Mozzie stays an important part of the big con instead of being the naysayer to Neal's freedom plans. I also hope he gets a chance to work with El again, although it's doubtful Peter will let her be any part of it given the pregnancy. That was a perfect plan by the way. Peter and El are the quintessential TV couple and no one does it better. Still it is nice that El has a compelling reason to come back instead of giving up on her dreams to stay in NYC with her husband. As for Neal, he's as charming as ever but he's going to need that quick wit and silver tongue even more to turn old enemies into allies. While I am not ecstatic over the short season, I am thrilled at the return of Keller and the fact that there can be zero filler. I expect great things out of these 6 episodes and so far I am not disappointed (except for Rebecca's death). This is a great start and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Mozzie and Peter working together
Best Scene / Best Reaction - Neal to seeing Peter playing Fat Charlie
Funniest Scene - Peter, Diana, and Jones turn to look at Mozzie for answers but he just sits back and snarks
Best Twist - El is pregnant and back in New York with Peter
Weirdest Reaction - Neal thanks his kidnapper for kidnapping him
Silliest Name - The world's scariest crime syndicate calls themselves the Pink Panthers? Bwah? That's too goofy to not be true.
Biggest Mistake - killing off Rebecca
Least Clever Thief - The head of the Pick Panthers has an ordinary wall safe. How pedestrian of him.
Best Deductive Skills - Diana, who realizes that Mozzie wouldn't stick around if he weren't telling the truth
Shrewdest Negotiator - Peter, who offers Rebecca nothing and still gets everything
The "I Know What I'd Choose" Award - Neal says, "Your options are prison, death, or trusting me. What's it going to be?" In all things but my money, I'd follow Neal wherever.
The "Yeah, There's Nothing Simple About This Plan" Award - Neal and Mozzie seem to feel that zip lining between buildings is no big deal. Yeah, I don't think so. Especially not via belt.
Best Awww Scene - Mozzie brings Peter dinner and Peter asks him to stay and eat together
Most Anticlimactic Kidnapping - To be honest, it is a tossup between Neal talking his way out and Trubel getting a club invite on Grimm. Either way these are disappointing follow ups to a cliffhanger.
Best Quotes -
1. Mozzie: "I know all your interrogation techniques, Suit. I'm never going to crack. I'm also aided by the fact that I have no idea what you're talking about."
2. Peter: "Hmm, maybe I'll put an anklet on you next." Mozzie: "I would gnaw my leg off."
3. Moz: "Mrs. Suit asked me to make sure you eat something not made out of green clovers and purple horseshoes. Less magically delicious."
4. Neal: "It's good to see you." Peter: "You know I'm always here for you."

Screencaps by Midnight Road, TV Equals, TV Fanatic, and MStarz.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", Sleepy Hollow "Headless," and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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  1. That's handy...(honestly what are you doing over at SpoilerTV? The updates are not liked by my computer, first the site kept kicking me out and now the only thing I can see are the articles, no video, no comments...hope you are done, soon).
    can't emphasis enough how happy I am that my show is back. It's sad that they killed Rebecca, but at least they did it to make a point. Not that I really believe that prison or death is a true option of Neal. Not in this show.

  2. I am having issues with commenting on Spoiler too. Not sure what is going on and it only happens periodically. Perhaps it's only a glitch.

    I am happy White Collar is back too. I will mourn Rebecca but I am glad they brought her back on even if only for one episode. Still hoping Alex will make her way back too.I am firmly convinced that it is going to be a happy ending for Neal. If it isn't, I will riot.