Monday, November 17, 2014

White Collar - Return to Sender

After wrapping up the remaining threads of last season and introducing the possibility of Neal (Matt Bomer) finally winning his freedom last week, Neal's mission to take down the secret organization of thieves known as the Pink Panthers begins in earnest with the return of old enemy Matthew Keller (Ross McCall). When Keller doesn't expose Neal's work with the FBI, and given that Russian officials state the man is still in prison, Neal deduces Keller has struck his own deal with Interpol to take down the Panthers opening the door to an explosive partnership that both men aren't likely to survive unsinged.

Neal's first assignment isn't what he expected as he's tasked to steal a stamp during a live auction. To do so he'll need Peter's (Tim DeKay) help, but even after pulling off the unlikely heist (which the Panthers expected him to fail) Neal has to quickly forge a duplicate when the rightful owners want the item returned overseas as soon as possible. Uncovering Keller's secret gives Neal the leverage he needs to pull off the switch, but how long will the two be able to continue working together even if (for now) their needs are aligned? The episode's B-stories mainly have to do with the impending Burke baby, a storyline I hope we see less and less of as the season arc begins to heat up.

Although Neal gets his deal in writing we have still yet to see his back-up plan should the FBI fail to take down the Panthers or if something else goes amiss. Neal's days may be numbered but will they end with him being freed or deciding to run once again? McCall's return makes me wonder how many other familiar faces might show up for White Collar's final season. I know I wouldn't mind seeing Raquel LaRoque (Eliza Dushku), Sophie Covington (Laura Vandervoort), Sara Ellis (Hilarie Burton), and especially Alex Hunter (Gloria Votsis) one more time. I'd also hope for some resolution with Neal's father (Treat Williams) before the series comes to a close.

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