White Collar Episode 1-8 Review

Although it has only been a little over a month since the last White Collar episode it has felt much longer with the cliffhanger that lest us wondering Is Peter really evil? The reactions to this were kinda mixed, some people believed that it was a good twist, others did not want to believe trustworthy Peter was behind the scheme. Unlike some shows that try to draw out their answers (Lost I’m talking to you) White Collar provided us with an answer in this episode. Peter is not the one behind it. The mysterious ring worn by the man who has Kate is a type of fraternity ring worn by members of the FBI. We also found out in this episode that the man who has Kate wants some kind of amber music box that Neal stole which surprisingly is one of the few items that Neal never did. I thought the case in this episode was an improvement over some of the episodes earlier in this season. I liked it because Neal and Peter both played undercover roles in this one rather than just sending in Neal alone.

Neal is having trouble believing that Peter is the one behind the Kate business. Mozzie tells him that if he needs proof then he is going to have to find out if Peter has the ring.

Peter tells another agent that Neal is the man he wants for his case. Neal meets the agent who still has some doubts that he is the right man for the case. Peter tells the other agent that if he needs someone who can sweet talk his way in then Neal is his guy. The agent is convinced when he sees Neal sweet talk his way into getting some Rangers tickets.

The case involves a group of people running a boiler room scam. They buy loads of dollar stocks then inflate the prices while selling them over the phone. When the stocks peak they sell the shares leaving the buyers with nothing. They already have a female agent named Madison on the inside but they need someone who can work his way up in the organization. That’s where Neal comes in.

Peter gives Neal the run down on the operation so far. They have been able to infiltrate the organization enough to be able to tap all their calls. He gives Neal a recorder that has a built in gps in it. Peter informs Neal that they are going to have to cut his anklet for this case and after his last escape he needs him to behave or he’s going back to prison. “Glad some things never change” says Neal who is absolutely right. They use this line on almost every episode.

To get into the organization, Neal is going to have to pass an interview done by a guy named Brad. The interview is simple make a call and sell some shares. Neal makes the call and Peter picks up acting like a difficult customer. Peter holds back for a little bit to make Neal look like he is winning him over before giving in to buying shares. Brad is impressed and Neal is hired.

Neal quickly becomes one of the top sellers at the company and catches the eye of one of the guys in charge of the scam. He calls Neal in for a chat. Brad takes Neal to the meeting spots and explains that Avery has been fighting with his business partner over the running of their business. When Avery introduces himself to Neal, Neal inquires about their argument. Avery tells Neal that it’s none of his concern and to keep having fun.

Neal calls Peter in the middle of the night to tell him that he met the man in charge. Peter says that he wants to get started on this and to meet him at the office in an hour. Neal suggests that they work at Peter’s house instead.

Elizabeth is up making everyone coffee. Peter listens to the recording then looks up this Avery man. While Peter’s working Neal asks him if he could use his bathroom. Peter tells him where it is and to leave the seat down when he’s done. What a gentleman! On the way to the bathroom, Neal searches the pictures for a sign of the ring. He finds one. Looks like Peter is involved afterall.

At the office Peter tells Neal that Avery runs a second legit business with a man named Daniel Reed. Neal looks at the photo of Reed and says that that is the man he saw Avery arguing with. Neal is still clearly upset at knowing Peter is involved and makes a few remarks while Peter is talking. Then he makes himself Reed and tells Peter he’s Avery and asks why he’d try to screw him over. Peter answers money. Neal says that you manipulate everyone around you just to get rid of me, I’d never see it coming.

Peter is trying to figure out how to proceed with the case. Agent Lauren suggests that since they already have a fake company doing business with them they could send in a CEO wanting to exploit them for a cut of the profit in exchange for silence. Peter likes the sound of it and asks who they should send in. Neal suggest they send in Peter, saying that he looks like a man they could trust but whom could also be bought for the right price. Peter is starting to catch on to Neal’s comments and asks if they have a problem. Neal says that they don’t he just wants to see Peter go undercover for once. Peter says he does more than he thinks. Neal says of course you do “you’re a man of many faces”.

Neal is told to freeze out Madison from his sale by Brad. When Neal asks why he is told that Avery said to and just to do what he’s told. Brad also tells Neal that he’s invited to a party at Avery’s house this weekend. The agents listening in comment that they are starting to get suspicious of their inside woman.

Peter, using the alias Mr. Edison, comes in to meet with Avery. Peter tells him that he knows what Avery is doing and that he wants in. Avery invites Peter to his party this weekend to do business.

Neal see Peter talking to Avery at the party and asks Brad what’s going on. Brad suggests that he minds his business and resumes shooting plates. Peter follows Avery into his house. Avery shows Peter his comic book collection that’s inside of his vault. He tells him that the vault is there is a fire inside of the vault it seals down and all of the air is sucked out of the room to put out the fire. The same would happen if someone tried to break in and steal from him, killing the intruder trapped inside.

Avery takes Peter back outside to intrude him to his boys. He asks whose up to shoot. Brad says that Nick/Neal is but he has been passing on them all day. Neal tells them that he’s not really a gun guy. Peter says that’s ok let the grownups play with the big boy toys. Neal starts getting confrontational with Peter. Avery sensing trouble tells Nick to take the shot. Neal takes the gun and expertly shoots each target. He then points out that just because he doesn’t like guns doesn’t mean he can’t use one. I’m just glad we finally see Neal use a gun. Neal and Peter spot Madison being taken inside Avery’s house, they know she’s the mole.

Peter tells Neal to back his play. When Neal says no Peter asks him whats wrong. Neal tells him that he saw the ring. Peter tells him they’ll discuss it later back my play now. Peter yells over to Avery and tells him that Neal is a spy. Brad looks in Neal’s pockets and finds the recorder. Avery asks Neal who he is. Neal responds like he said I’m a spy. Perhaps a shout-out to Bryce Larkin on Chuck? Avery asks him who he works for, Neal tells him that he works for Reed. Avery tells his boys to take Madison home, she is employee of the month. Peter suggests to Avery that he flips Neal on Reed to have the upper hand.Avery gets Neal to agree to flip on Reed in exchange for 3% of the profits.

Elizabeth is telling Neal that Peter is not the guy who has Kate. Neal won’t believe her. Peter shows Neal the ring as evidence of his innocence. The ring is a ten year FBI pin that many agents have made into a ring. Neal says that he’s never seen Peter wear it. Peter explains that its a fraternity thing, they only wear them to gatherings. Elizabeths says that if he comes with them to the next gathering he will see hundreds of them. Neal apologizes and leaves. Elizabeth asks Peter when he is going to tell Neal he met with Kate. He says he will when the case is done.

Avery tells Neal to tell Reed that they are going to drop the stock next Friday, the real drop will be this Friday. Neal goes in to talk to Reed and tells him that Avery is betraying him. Reed does not believe him until Neal plays a tape recording of Avery telling him to lie to Reed. Neal tells him that together they can take down Avery all he needs is access to Avery financial records. Reed says that Avery doesn’t trust him enough to leave a trail. The only place Avery would think safe enough to keep his records would be his vault.

Agent Lauren says that according to the company that installed the safe its state of the art, the same kind they use in museums. Peter also says that there is a kill switch inside in case someone gets trapped inside but they do not know where it is. He hands Neal a small breathing device that would provide him with 5 mins of oxygen after he triggers the alarm. Peter assures him that he will be nearby to back him up. Neal decides he is going to practice holding his breath in case something goes wrong.

Neal chats with Brad about what they are going to spend their money on after the deal goes through. Neal says that he is going to buy a cruise boat, Brad says he will by an island. Neal acts like he is going to follow an attractive waitress but goes to the vault instead.

Neal goes into the vault and looks in a box that’s in the middle of the room. Jones calls Peter and tells him that they have a problem, Reed just went in the front door. Reed confronts Avery about his plan but Avery denies hiring Neal, he says that he is only flipping him back on Reed. Reed says that he knows about the ledger and they arm themselves to find him. Peter sees Neal in the vault and runs in to protect him from Reed and Avery. Neal takes the lid of the box tripping the alarm, sending the seal down to prevent Reed and Avery from being able to shoot them. Except now they have a problem, there’s two people in the vault and only one breathing device. Neal gives it to Peter. Together they begin searching for the kill switch.

Reed tell Avery that they should go but Avery wants to watch Neal die. Neal finds the kill switch and points it out to Peter before collapsing from lack of oxygen. Peter runs over to hit it but Avery is standing right outside ready to shoot him when he does. Peter can’t wait any longer though will Neal suffocating. He pulls out his weapon and hits the button. Luckily Jones and backup have arrived just in time to prevent any shooting. Neal starts breathing again and comments that that was a long five minutes.

Outside, Peter comes clean with Neal about talking to Kate. He asked Kate what the guy wants and tells her that he can get it for her. She says that its a music box that Neal stole, that is her price. Before he left he asked Kate if she ever loved Neal, she didn’t answer.

Neal refuses to believe that Kate doesn’t care about him, he maintains that the guy is controlling her. Peter asks him if he knows where this music box is. Neal tells him that he does. Peter asks what is so special about this music box. Neal tells him that it belonged to Catherine the Great who had an entire room made out of amber. Peter says that he wants to see it but Neal tells him that he is going to need some time.

Mozzie returns to help Neal escape but sees that the anklet is back on him. Neal says that he is going to see this thing through. Mozzie tells him that if Fowler wants the music box then they should give it to him and asks where it is. Neal confesses to him that he doesn’t have it. Mozzie says that he told everyone that he had it. Neal says that he never told anyone that he had they just assumed he did and he failed to correct them. Mozzie asks him what he is going to do now. Neal says that he is going to find the music box and steal it.

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