White Collar Episode 1-7 Review
by Nicole Byer on December 8, 2009

The story is completely different but having a case involving a stolen pink diamond kinda reminds me of the Pink Panther movie. It does skip around a lot and felt longer than any of the previous episodes but there was nothing dragging about it. It was full of action from start to finish. And did the finish blow my mind. This series just jumped to the top of my list, I’m hooked!

Peter calls Neal about a jewelry heist, the item stolen is the world’s most exotic pink diamond. They meet with the boutique’s owner who believes that the gem she currently has is a fake. Her first guess came when she reviewed the security tapes from the night before and saw a masked man in the vault. That’s usually a big sign that somethings been stolen. Peter decides to shut the store down for now to investigate.

Neal inspects the diamond on display and confirms that it is a forgery. The ask the owner if she has any more video of the masked man. She says no and adds that the security alarm was not triggered either.

Back at FBI headquarters, OPR, their version of internal affairs, is there. Peter is called up to talk with Hughes. As he enters the room, the OPR guy, Garret Fowler,  glances suspiciously at Neal. I don’t trust him already. Peter has a seat and notices his file is out on the table. He is told that only a few people knew that the diamond would be in that vault, the boutique employees and a few FBI agents. They believe that it was an inside job and Neal is their prime suspect. They point out that some of the data is missing from Neal’s anklet, which includes his whereabouts during the robbery.

Peter and Neal look through a list of suspects that would be capable of pulling off this type of heist. Neal’s prime suspect is a man named Adrian Tulane. Peter can’t help but inquire if Neal would be capable of pulling it off. Neal says maybe if he were able to go anywhere near the equipment needed.

They go to Tulane’s apartment to ask him a few questions. He already has an alibi prepared for the night of the heist, he was on a trip to Madrid. Neal goes over to Tulane and tells him that he is a big fan of his work before he leaves with Peter.

Peter is disappointed that Tulane was a bust because now Neal is looking more and more like their man. Peter asks him for an alibi and he doesn’t have one. Neal tells Peter that he did not do it. When Peter does not believe him, he walks away.

Peter gives Jones Neal’s history files and asks him to find his signature, saying that Neal told him that he signed some of his forged bonds. Jones inquires if it has anything to do with the diamond case. Peter says that he hopes it doesn’t.

While the FBI is looking into him, Neal is looking into them. Peter’s boss Hughes has been with the bureau for 25 years and has no skeletons in the closet. Ruiz from organized crime has lots of skeletons but Mozzie does not think that he is smart enough. He checked Jones and found out that his first name is Clinton. He also checked Lauren and Fowler. Fowler used to work violent crime for the bureau until his wife was killed during a robbery. Then he joined OPR and his files were sealed. Neal is interested in him.

Neal’s signature is a match for the one on the fake diamond and he is arrested. Neal tells Peter again that he did not do it, but Peter ignores him. As they walk Neal out of the building the OPR guy looks a little too happy.

Peter talks with Neal in prison. He is upset with Neal for letting him down. He tells Neal that his signature was on the diamonds, he has no alibi and that his anklet was tampered with. Neal points out that he wouldn’t be stupid enough to leave his signature on it again so he must have been set up. The guard tells Peter that Neal’s lawyer is there, Mozzie walks in. Mozzie asks to talk with Neal alone so Peter leaves.

Mozzie got the judge to grant him all the documents that the government has on Caffrey. Mozzie also followed Fowler who made a stop at a dumpster, throwing out some shredded paper. Neal asks Mozzie to liquidate some assets and buy a bakery.

Peter is wondering what Neal is up to but cannot get any information because of attorney-client privileges. All they know is that a bakery was purchased in Neal’s name.

Neal works on putting the shredded paper back together again in his cell. He finally completes it and looks over his work. Its a transcript of the conversation Neal had with Peter when he was being told about the diamond heist.

It’s time for Neal’s court date. Lauren approaches Peter outside the court house and tells him that Neal says that he will confess. Peter says that Neal would never confess. The proceedings have been moved to the judge’s chambers.

The judge complains about how hot it is in there today. Courtesy of Mozzie who disabled the AC that morning. The judge asks Neal if he is ready to confess. Neal says that he is. He confesses that he has done many things that are not good in his life but what he is doing now is good. Peter has finally arrived and notices a bakery next to the judge’s chambers. He knows Neal bought that bakery. Neal tells the judge that he did not steal the diamond. The judge demands to know who did steal the diamond if it wasn’t him. Neal says “I’ll let you know” and jumps out the window landing safely below. He shrugs at Peter who’s watching and seemingly escapes in a van. Peter knows Caffrey to well and says that he is not in the van.

Peter tells Jones to find out where the sewers lead. Fowler is upset that he escaped and has an argument with Peter before Hughes intervenes. Hughes puts Peter in charge of the investigation since he knows Neal better than anyone else. Fowler asks him what his plan is. Peter responds roadblocks and wanted posters and smirks because he knows that neither will catch Neal.

Neal calls Elizabeth from a payphone and asks her for some help.

Peter comes home and tells Elizabeth that there is a protective detail outside looking for Neal. Peter comments that Neal would not be dumb enough to come there. Elizabeth makes a face at this comment and looks towards one of their doors. Peter tells Neal to come out of their kitchen. He gives Neal one minute to explain. Neal starts out by saying that he was set up. He says that at first he thought it was someone from the FBI but now he’s certain that it was Fowler. He shows Peter the shredded paper of their conversation and shows him the bug that is on his home phone. Peter is shocked that someone was in his home. Neal says that after Jones checked for his signature, Fowler also did and then his signature also showed up on the diamond.

Neal tells him everything that he has been up to, looking for Kate. He suspects Fowler is the one who has her too. Neal does not know what Fowler wants from him but they need to find out. Peter says this would mean going behind the FBI’s back. Neal tells him that they have to clear him first. Neal gives Peter a cell phone in case he has to reach him and then sneaks out of the house.

Jones tells Peter that they have had sightings of Neal everywhere, from Jersey to Geneva. Fowler calls Peter over and asks him if there is one place in particular Neal would be. Peter says that he is probably trying to leave the country if he hasn’t already. After Fowler leaves, Peter tells Jones to keep an eye on Fowler, something isn’t right with him. Jones easily gets rid of the other OPR guy and goes after Fowler.

Peter calls Neal and tells him to meet him at the scene of the crime, he wants to look over a few things. They looks around and Neal points out that one of the big lights was not on in the security tape. They get it open and find a secret entrance that leads outside the store. Outside, Neal spots a camera conveniently pointing at the exit. Peter tells Jones to get a picture off the camera.

Peter and Neal watch the video and the real thief was Tulane. Got to say, I was not expecting that.

OPR is very upset at Jones and threaten him with an investigation. Jones points them to Tulane and says that they arrested him that morning in connection with the jewelry heist, Caffrey is cleared.

Peter asks Tulane how he knew the diamonds would be in the vault, he can offer immunity for an answer. Tulane asks why he would give him immunity. Peter says that he doesn’t think that Tulane is smart enough to put it together. Peter shows him that they found the real diamond in one of his townhouses. Tulane still refuses to give up a name.

Peter confronts Fowler about the bug on his phone. Fowler says that he is not done with his investigation yet, Peter tells him neither is he. Looks like Peter has made an enemy.

The FBI has a small celebration for getting rid of OPR…for now. Neal is called out of the room for a phone call. Neal leaves the room and answers it, its Kate! Once again she tells Neal to just give the man what he wants. She tells him not to trust anyone and hangs up.

Neal tells Mozzie about Kate’s call. Mozzie says that he has a theory to where she is, a suspicious hotel room under Fowler’s name. Neal thanks him and runs out.Neal goes to the location and bangs on the door. Fowler asks him what he is doing there and how he found out about Mentor. Kate is not there. Neal tells him that he was watching him before the jewelry heist and was listening to his phone calls. Fowler points out that it wasn’t his phone that he bugged.

A hotel room opens and a voice says “Hello Kate”. She responds “Hello Peter”. Peter, wearing the same ring from Kate’s photo, tells her that they need to talk about Neal.

WHAT!!!! Peter is the one behind it? I truly can’t believe it. Curse these writers for leaving us with that big of cliff hanger. Luckily,  we only have to wait a month. White Collar returns Jan. 19, this is a Tuesday. If you haven’t already heard they are moving it to Tuesday night from here on out. See you after the break.



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Nicole Byer

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