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White Collar - 5.02 - Out of the Frying Pan - Recap / Review & Episode Awards


Previously - Peter became the white collar ASAC, Hagen blackmailed Neal to help him win his appeal by destroying evidence, Diana was pregnant, and Peter told Neal that he was getting a new handler.

As Neal practices his dance steps, Mozzie plays instructor. They choreograph the footwork Neal needs to avoid the cameras in FBI evidence. It's not going well. Mozzie: "Since when do you overstep your mark." Neal: "Take it easy Bob Fosse." Bwah! They both are anxious. Neal over his new handler and Mozzie over Hagen's blackmail. He exposits that Hagen's bonds will be in evidence in 3 days. Neal: "If you're aiming to reduce my anxiety, I'm not the only one missing my mark." Neal meets his handler that morning and Moz thinks that's good, since they are too close to the FBI. Mozzie: "Maybe your new handler will remind us of why snakes don't fraternize with mongeese." Neal: "Mongeese?" Moz: "Mongooses?" Neal: "That's why I always go with scorpions and frogs." Ha! Mozzie exposits the plan to age Hagen's bonds using UV light to disintegrate them. He's working on a light source so Neal practices his nondetection dance until it's time to go to the FBI. Peter says Neal's late but he counters that they spend 30 minutes drinking coffee anyway. Not today though. The FBI captured Brendan Holland, who runs a con version of E-Bay called Gray Trade. Neal's more worried about his new handler whom he surmises is "late middle aged, curmudgeonly, prefers Sports Center to Masterpiece Theatre." Peter won't confirm or deny so Neal goes in cold. Jones and Diana coordinate the debrief and Neal doesn't win any points being late or his continual interruptions. The plan is to go after the sellers before they notice the site is shut down. Neal counters that keeping Gray Trade open gives them more time while his new handler suggests they create fictional accounts to win the bids to keep from selling any contraband. Neal: "I guess I was wrong about curmudgeonly." Ha!

Peter introduces Neal to Agent David Siegel, his new handler, who flatters Neal for his skills. He previously had a CI, who got a deal patterned after Neal's. Siegel: "I want to work with you Neal. Hey, you're the best there is. Your skills are unmatched and your smarts are unparalleled. You might be the most valuable asset the FBI has." Neal eats it up but Peter decides he made a wrong choice until Siegel convinces him that he is flattering Neal to gain his trust - handling him. Peter gives Siegel his office, which I call foul on. Diana or Jones deserves it. That night Peter compliments Siegel, and Elizabeth knows he kissed up to Peter as well. That much smoke makes me suspicious. Everyone from other FBI divisions and locations has been nothing but bad news. I don't expect this one to be any different. Plus I want Peter and Neal as partners. El points out that the new situation must be hard on Neal, which Peter should already know. She calls him on not checking to see how Neal's doing. Peter: "I should reach out to him." Fans: "Duh!" El agrees it's a great idea, but she wants some Peter time first. Deal! The next morning Peter greets Neal with coffee, making him suspicious. Neal: "Just a friendly coffee, chat, and walk to the office thing?" They talk Siegel, whom Neal compares to the Von Trapp's - bwah!, and Neal informs Peter he knows the game Siegel is playing with him. What he doesn't know is why he's in NYC? We all want to know that Neal. Apparently Neal is okay with the new situation, but makes sure he and Peter are on good terms. Peter: "I might have a new title, but I'm still the same old me." Yeah right. In future events, you're darn near psychic, Peter Burke, but that's an issue for later.

Back at the office, Diana is "multigeeking." BWAH! I'm so using that. Diana poses as Holland and 40 clients to win the auctions. To say she's cranky is an understatement. Diana: "What are you? My obstetrician." Ha! Peter offers to have someone cover for her but ends up roping himself and Neal with the task. Luckily Siegel pops in with a case and both make a breakaway before Diana's wrath spews over them. He wants to target Little Star Merchandise, which sells stolen art and antiquities, but Neal protests about going after the dangerous, which of course means Mozzie runs Little Star. Peter snarks about Faberge eggs. Neal: "Oh Peter, you know me so well." Siegel and Neal head to Little Star headquarters where Siegel notices Neal thinks the con is male. Siegel: "He?" Neal: "English doesn't have a gender-neutral singular pronoun." Good cover, Neal. I'd be suspicious too. Neal says they can't spook the perpetrator and Siegel agrees to let him go in alone. Yeah, definitely Mozzie, who works on the light source to destroy the bonds, but panics when Neal says the Feds are there to arrest him. Both Neal and I are shocked he doesn't immediately flee in escape plan A. Mozzie: "I knew when those pencil necks at UCLA invented the internet that I would end up like a trapped rat." Neal: "Mozzie, I'm going to get you out of here but I need you to breathe." Shoe's on the opposite foot now. Mozzie exposits the Roanoke Praxis, which includes leaving his teeth behind when he torches the place. That's one way to get the Feds off your back. Neal is horrified. Neal: "Are those…" Mozzie: "My teeth? Yes." Neal: "How did you….actually no. I don't want to know." Neither do I. That's gross. Mozzie sets the filing cabinet on fire and Neal freaks, getting the fire extinguisher. Neal: "I'm cancelling the Roanoke Praxis. Does your other contingency plan involve burning anything down?" Mozzie: "Not as such." Neal: "Then we're going with that one. Now gather up your teeth and get out." Bwah! Sadly the fire alarm triggers so Siegel heads in as well. He spots Mozzie, who flees. Uh oh!

Neal and Siegel sift through the wreckage, find Mozzie's laptop, and head to the office where Siegel says he has experience with computer forensics. Double uh oh! He also gives Peter and Jones a description of Moz and I run out of uh oh's. Jones: "Short, bald guy with pre-war treasure. Diana, sound like someone we know?" Diana grunts, too wrapped up in her work to listen. Neal says it isn't Mozzie and Siegel suggests he make a sketch. It's definitely NOT Mozzie he draws. Peter wants Siegel to confirm it and he does through the glass of his office, mostly because Neal flips the page to a Mozzie sketch. Neal: "Farsightedness and male pattern baldness are epidemic, Peter." Ha! Jones interrupts to talk about Diana. Peter says he'll pull Diana soon, but Jones calls that a mistake. He argues that becoming a single mom is hard enough for her. Fear of losing her career on top of that is too much. Jones: "I mean she's staring down the barrel of Diana Barrigan, single mother and that's scary, but I think the idea of her losing Diana Barrigan, special agent…I just think that's scarier." Well put Clinton. These insights prove Jones deserves more screen time. Here's hoping for a good story line his way. Jones questions how Peter will treat Diana in the future, knowing she has a child. It's a great question and Peter's natural instinct is to protect. Jones agrees Peter is in a tough position, but reminds Peter that Diana is in one too. Excellent scene! Meanwhile Neal impatiently waits for Siegel to crack Mozzie's laptop. He suggests Neal help Diana, but one look at her banging on the keyboard in frustration is enough for Neal. Besides, Siegel finds a name, Teddy Winters, along with prints and dental records but no photo, making Neal only slightly less nervous.

Cutting through the park from work, Neal finds Mozzie…dressed as Lady Liberty. BWAH! Best disguise yet! Neal obviously disagrees. "The FBI shuts down Little Star and this is your alternative revenue stream?" Mozzie: "This is my camouflage, security through obscurity." Neal: "Not sure that principle applies here." Mozzie: "Says you. Plus I made $11.50…75." Neal: "High roller." Mozzie wants to jump ship to Florida but Neal says they only have an alias. Mozzie's relieved until he hears the name. "Teddy Winters isn't an alias, Neal." Ladies and gentleman, we have Mozzie's real name…or at least he figures it's his based on Detroit birth certificates from a month before his abandonment. Moz: "Babies in baskets rarely arrive with birth certificates. I was no exception. I was homeless, nameless, purposeless…" Neal: "Histrionic." Ha! Moz: "You'll never really understand the plight of the orphaned, not truly." Moz explains that the FBI can find all his worldly goods with that name. Mozzie: "If they have Teddy, they have it all." I don't know why Mozzie isn't moving stuff as they speak but Neal's more concerned about why he kept his real name active. Moz: "Just in case my parents came looking." Aww, you break my heart Moz. Neal: "If you let Teddy die, no one would ever find him." Neal is sympathetic but only Teddy's death can get the FBI off Mozzie's back. The Roanoke Praxis is back on, but suddenly Mozzie is squeamish. Moz: "I'm not the one who thinks my teeth need a host." Um, I don't like the sound of that either. Moz: "Pulling my own teeth is one thing but a dead man's? On the off chance that there actually is a heaven, this is definitely going to get me barred." For his part Neal hunts for combustibles. Mozzie and I want a loud boom and Neal delivers. Woo hoo! I miss Burn Notice. Homemade napalm it is. Mozzie sets it up to an unclaimed body. Hmm.

Back at the office, Siegel and Peter gloat about cracking the Winters case. A Cayman account leads them to all of Mozzie's properties. Neal: "He won't have anything left." Aww. Peter: "That's the point." Hmm, I definitely prefer Peter and Neal working together. Siegel wants to go to SoHo but luckily Diana breaks in to say there's activity at Little Star. So back to Little Star they go, where a toy monkey types on the internet. Ha! Those things creep me out but finally there's a good use for them. Moz heads out wearing a gas mask. When the Feds appear, Moz goes back in and the whole place explodes. 6 hours later, the fire department gets the blaze under control and there's a perfect teeth match. Peter, Siegel, and Diana are unhappy to Neal's surprise. Siegel: "It's a win when the bad guy's in cuffs, Neal. Not when he's a briquette in a burned out building." Diana is suspicious but Peter orders her to go home. Before leaving she asks Neal how he'd fake his own death. Yeah, she's not dropping this anytime soon. She asks Neal to go to the warehouse with her and Neal snarks, "Are you suggesting we disregard direct orders from the assistant special agent in charge?" Diana: "Are you suggesting we follow them?" Ha! Neal: "Things really are changing around here, huh?" Sadly Neal. I'm not a fan so far. Neal agrees to meet Diana at the warehouse the next day. Diana, of course, can't wait that long and goes by herself.

Neal, however, learns from Peter that the Hagen evidence is in building. They reminisce about the pilot before Neal heads upstairs at the same time Diana goes down a manhole to find Mozzie. She's sweating and about to give birth at any moment. Mozzie: "This isn't what it looks like." Diana: "It looks like you're Teddy Winters." Moz: "And if I am?" Diana: "Then you're under arrest." Mozzie: "Oh then I'm definitely not." She tries to arrest Mozzie but goes into labor instead. At first Mozzie flees to avoid prison, but he can't do it. Diana: "You came back." Mozzie: "You may be the enemy but bad karma isn't hereditary." He helps Diana deliver the baby. As if things aren't hectic enough, Neal distracts the evidence guard with a phone call while Siegel and Peter talk about if Neal purposely messed up the Little Star case. They dialogue about Siegel's CI, who is back in prison for forgery, and Siegel says Neal's still in the building. Peter tells him not to be worried until he leaves, but Peter is definitely suspicious enough for both of them. Apparently he is clairvoyant now because for no reason, he decides Neal is up in evidence. I hate them making Peter a plot device this season as seen here. Argh! Neal gets Hagen's evidence successfully and corrupts the bonds with Mozzie's light source. However, Peter calls him in the middle of the job. He ignores the call, sending Peter to evidence right as Neal is about to leave it. He exits while Peter inspects the room. Meeting back in the office, Neal claims he left his hat. I call foul on this whole situation. Peter is smart but this is ridiculous! They are setting up conflict for conflict's sake at the expense of believability. It's a shortcut cheat that makes me less excited about the buildup of Neal's situation.

Heading back to Mozzie's underground safe house, Neal's shocked to see Diana's baby. Moz: "I'm a dad." Diana: "Not even close." Moz: "I'm a midwife." Ha! They get Diana to the hospital and El hurries Peter off to join them. Peter, El, Jones, Neal, and Moz coo over the baby and Diana calls them her family, even Moz. She names her baby Theo. Awww! Peter ruins the moment expositing Theodore Winters, shocking Jones that Diana named her kid after a criminal. Jones: "I mean no offense to present company." Neal: "None taken." Diana and Moz exchange a small smile as Peter grills her about her non-hospital birth. Diana says she didn't know the person who helped her to deliver and Peter looks at her suspiciously. Ugh! Really? Now he suspects Diana? I hate this new omniscient Peter. He is smart enough on his own without giving him spidey senses. Thankfully we end on Neal and Moz smoking cigars to toast the new baby's birth. Neal: "It's poetic you know. One Teddy dies, another is born." Mozzie hopes the baby calls him papoose. Huh? Neal: "I think you're going to be disappointed on that one." They banter on Shakespeare, being nameless, and how Mozzie smells. Yeah, um, moving on. Neal calls it a new beginning although Mozzie is now broke. In good news, Moz is not in prison and the bonds are destroyed. Moz: "So Hagen will get his retrial and that sociopathic blackmailer will be back on the street." Yeah, but at least we get more Mark Sheppard time. Moz: "Hey, you paid the piper. That's the end, isn't it?" Oh you beautiful dreamer. There's no way it's the end. Neal agrees. "I hope so Moz, but I have a feeling it's just the beginning." Me too, Neal.

Overall I liked this episode better than the premiere. However, this all-knowing Peter takes me out of the episode every time.  Instead of logically getting from point A to point B in a story arc, it feels like they have jumped the track and headed straight for point M. The writers are generally better than this when it comes to characterization although they have taken shortcuts with the plot before. As it is, I hope the whole thing comes to a head quickly before I get really frustrated. On the plus side though, I really liked Jones in this episode as well as getting more Mozzie back story. There were some great scenes and Diana naming the baby Theo was a masterful touch. Siegel was also a plus, since I was worried he would be a tool like the other FBI agents who have come in from other areas. However, I am worried that Siegel can never see Mozzie again though. That will make any further direct assistance from Mozzie to the FBI more difficult. It's hard to believe Mozzie didn't have another escape plan that didn't involve walking right in front of Siegel. It's another odd plot device I don't find advantageous. This was definitely an episode I liked better in the little moments than overall.


Episode Awards:


Grade: B-

Best Aww moment - Diana names her baby Theo and she and Mozzie share a moment

Best Humor - Mozzie dressed as the Statue of Liberty

Best Use of an Underused Character - Jones makes Peter see Diana's perspective

Best Scene - Mozzie and Neal talk about why he kept the name Teddy Winters around

Biggest Relief - Siegel makes an interesting handler for Neal so far

Best Use of Music - Opening scene with Neal practicing his evidence room break-in

Most Prophetic Line - Neal: "Things really are changing around here, huh?"

Best Line - tie -
Mozzie: "Since when do you overstep your mark?" Neal: "Take it easy Bob Fosse."
Mozzie: "You may be the enemy but bad karma isn't hereditary."


Other Great Lines -

Mozzie: "I knew when those pencil necks at UCLA invented the internet that I would end up like a trapped rat." Neal: "Mozzie, I'm going to get you out of here but I need you to breathe."
Diana: "What are you? My obstetrician."
Neal: "I'm cancelling the Roanoke Praxis. Does your other contingency plan involve burning anything down?" Mozzie: "Not as such." Neal: "Then we're going with that one. Now gather up your teeth and get out."
Neal: "Farsightedness and male pattern baldness are epidemic, Peter."
Jones: "I mean she's staring down the barrel of Diana Barrigan, single mother and that's scary, but I think the idea of her losing Diana Barrigan, special agent…I just think that's scarier."
Moz: "I'm not the one who thinks my teeth need a host."
Moz: "Pulling my own teeth is one thing but a dead man's? On the off chance that there actually is a heaven, this is definitely going to get me barred."
Mozzie: "I'm a dad." Diana: "Not even close." Mozzie: "I'm a midwife."


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