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15 days after Seigel was murdered in a stunning cliffhanger, the FBI have no leads. It's still labeled as a mugging gone bad, so Peter's division needs to get back to white collar crimes. Peter: "The best way we can honor David Seigel is by doing our jobs." Everyone else leaves but Jones stays behind to make sure Peter is okay and to exposit Neal's house arrest. Not sure why since they don't suspect him in Seigel's death. Jones reminds us that Neal needs a handler and I vote for Peter. Why mess with a great thing? Speaking of great things, Mozzie walks around Neal's apartment in a bathrobe and shower cap. Bwah! Obviously he's been staying there awhile because Neal's patience is thin. Moz: "Okay if I air dry on the terrace?" Neal and I together: "No!" I love you Moz, but there are some things no one needs to see. Neal: "Moz, tell me how I can help." Yeah, the roommate thing isn't working. Bottom line, Mozzie's broke and until they score a heist, he's not going anywhere. Poor Neal. Of course it's hard to score on house arrest. Moz: "What's worse, the Federal Bureau of Invasion has confined you to this impenetrable dog pound." Neal: "It's my apartment." Ha! Still, after 15 days, Neal ought to feel more stir crazy. He's not the patient, sit at home kind. Moz says it's a prison. Neal: "Does that make you my cellmate?" Moz: "I prefer the term misincarcerated." Neal: "That sounds like you just won a prison pageant." Bwah! Talk turns to Hagen, Seigel, and the codec. Neal: "I can't stop wondering if it was my fault in any way." This episode is brought to you by guilt and self-doubt. Moz: "Coincidence is fate's favorite tool. You're condemning yourself because there's no one else to blame." Aww, I like these moments. Neal says he would be better off in prison but Moz assures him that Peter would not let that happen. Again, awww.

The next day, Neal is called back to the FBI office where Peter says they need some wins. It's back to the old system - Peter and Neal together again. Woo hoo! Neal thinks it's for him, but I think Peter is going a little stir crazy as well. Peter: "I'm ASAC. I make the decisions around here, and I've decided that I'm going to actively pursue investigations." Works for me, Peter. Neal: "Where do we start?" Peter: "Accounting scam." Neal: "Can we start over?" Bwah! I call re-do as well. Luckily a thief comes in to confess. That doesn't happen every day. Neal: "Looks like it is going to be a good one." I'm counting on it, Neal. Peter interrogates the guy but there are more holes in his story than facts. Griffith the thief says it's all sort of hazy and the big, bleeding gash on his head may have something to do with it. Run ins with NYC cabs will do that. Call me a softie, but I buy this guy's remorse. He doesn't want to relapse so he can be a credit to his son. Aww. White Collar sure has a way of making the criminals sympathetic. Besides this guy has major problems if the number of high-dose prescriptions are any indicator. While Jones and Peter discuss the case, Neal and Griffith bond. He says Neal's different from the others and Neal agrees. Neal: "I did a lot of things. The point is that I was able to turn myself around just like you're trying to do." Neal asks for more info but Griffith doesn't have it. "I know you're trying to help me, but I honestly can't, Mr. Caffrey." Neal: "Don't ever call me Mr. Caffrey. It's Neal." It does sound weird. Back in Peter's office, Jones confirms that the theft money is not where Griffith said it would be. Peter: "This gets stranger by the minute. I don't like it." Jones: "Really? Guy walks into the FBI with stacks of cash and begs you to cuff him. I'd think that was your catnip." Peter: "I don't have catnip." Jones disagrees and shares his own - Real Housewives. Bwah! Peter just stares. Luckily Peter realizes the money is textured - marked bills and the case gets even more interesting.

Peter and Neal go to the vault but the manager swears nothing is missing and won't let them investigate without a warrant. That's not suspicious at all. Neal suggests getting info an alternative way and shock of all shocks, Peter agrees. Neal makes a fake employee badge, MacGyver style. Peter: "Watch your fingers." BWAH! Yes, mom. Apparently heating Chapstick makes instant glue. Who knew? Neal's benchside created ID is pretty convincing. Peter: "You frighten me." Neal: "Actually you're usually the frightening one. Do you have any pictures in your wallet?" Ha! Neal makes Peter a fake ID. Maybe they can go out clubbing later. Peter is now the employee and he does intimidating well. Peter: "I've been here for 5 years. You've been here for 5 seconds." Ha! Peter sends the new guy for start-up papers so Neal can hack into the client files on the computer. Works like a charm. Well until the real boss shows up. They narrowly skip out before he sees them. The vault belongs to a dummy corporation called Niteowl Holdings and Jones adds that the money came from a bank robbery. Peter figures out both thieves see the same psychiatrist, Dr. Mara Summers, who specializes in Impulse Control Disorder. After attending her lecture, Neal introduces himself as a felon looking for counseling with Peter as his parole officer. Doc: "How long have you been keeping an eye on Mr. Caffrey?" Peter: "Eternally some might say." Bwah! And Peter gets a one-liner. Doc says she can't take any more pro bono work but Neal has Peter confirm that he can pay. Peter: "Well, Neal's been convicted of bond forgery. He's also been implicated in over 4 dozen works of counterfeit art and there's also the fact that he's still a suspect in several ongoing, high profile federal investigations." That does sum it up. Doc: "For what exactly?" Peter: "Pick something." Ha! Neal: "Bottom line, money may not be a problem for a guy like me." Peter: "I didn't hear that." Ha! I love the pacing of this exchange. It's always great when Peter gets to be a little snarky.

Back at the office, Peter is stumped by how the psychiatrist is doing it. Peter: "You can't put the idea of a heist in someone's head without them knowing about it." Say what? You already had this conversation in Diminishing Returns last year when Neal taught you how to get the fence to pick up only the real diamonds. (Good episode by the way.) You know it can be done, Peter. Neal demonstrates the power of persuasion again by guessing the number in Peter's head. I remain uncomfortable at how easy he always makes this look. Neal: "In less than 20 seconds I got you to the number I wanted. Now think of Griffith and Summers. With that much time and influence, she could make him do anything she wanted. This guy's innocent." Head games are good and fine but they need actual proof. Neal gets the shrink; Peter takes the thief. Peter: "Neal, be careful. I do not want this therapist getting inside your head." Neal: "Please, I'm a wall." Famous last words, Neal, especially with one this tricky. Doc hands Neal water while Neal talks normalcy, which she doesn't think he can have. Neal: "That doesn't sound very encouraging." Oh encouragement isn't her thing; acceptance is. Neal: "I have to accept that I can't be normal." Doc: "You're too interesting to be normal." Nice save. Of course she insults him with her next breath, reminding me of early Sarah. They do some intricate verbal sparring with word association (see below) and then Neal makes the mistake of asking for her diagnosis. Neal: "I assure you I can handle it doctor." Well not if she calls you a sociopath. Sheesh! Neal turns her diagnosis back on her and gets her to admit her flaws, but he's obviously shaken. Neal: "I'm reformed." Doc: "Are you? Just because a person starts doing good things doesn't mean he wants to stop doing bad things." Neal gets defensive about being able to change but Doc asks if he really wants to. Point to Doc….especially since she drugged Neal's water. Yikes!

Meanwhile, Peter questions Thief #2, aka Jacoby. He's less than thrilled as well. Denying everything, Peter gets nothing from Jacoby until he sees his baseball cap. It's from Brooklyn Residential High. That means something to Peter. Me not so much, but both of us see how angry he gets when Peter says his vault was robbed. Guess those anger management sessions didn't take. Perhaps the good doc drugged him as well. Ending the session, Doc gives Neal smelling salts to wake him up but he can't remember what happened. Everything is fuzzy. Doc says it was hypnotherapy but Neal's unsure and he can't leave her office fast enough. Back at Peter's office, Jones fills in the blanks. Jacoby was on a wrestling team in Brooklyn, where he earned the nickname Night Owl. Okay, I get it. That was stupid, Jacoby. Peter tells Jones to have him brought in as Neal enters. He tells Peter his cover was blown and recaps the drugging. Neal has no idea what he told her, but Jones says a tox screen gives them enough evidence to prosecute her. Neal protests that Griffin will go to jail too and Neal is desperate to save him if only to prove to himself that they both can change. Peter realizes that Griffin inadvertently made Neal when he talked to Doc. Nice going, budy. He apologizes to Neal, but his doubts on being able to go straight shakes an already unsteady Neal. I see an emotional spiral in the future. Hold on to your caps, folks.

Happily, Mozzie pulls Neal from his funk by expositing the Goodnight Cinderella drug. Shouldn't it be called Aurora instead? Apparently Moz has experience with it through Rio prostitutes. Moz: "I've heard stories." Neal: "You've heard them or have them." Moz: "What's the difference?" Neal: "The difference is you've been using my towels." Ha! Roommates are tough. I don't blame Neal for wanting to avoid the stinky fish either. Neal: "What did you put in my fridge?" Moz: "Oh, I made some hongeo." Neal: "Can you please unmake it?" Bwah! I know Moz gets on Neal's nerves, but I like this roommate snark. Meals containing rotten fish not so much. Neal: "Alright, if you are going to live here, you can no longer cook here." Deal. They exposit more about the Cinderella drug and Neal is worried he could have spilled about Hagen and Seigel to Doc. Moz says the only way to find out is to go under the influence again in a wacked out "hair of the dog" thing. Neal is hesitant. "Look even if I were going to consider this, would you be able to find this stuff on the street?" Moz: "No, of course not. I'd have to make it for you." Uh oh, Moz looks far too excited about this. Run, Neal. Instead, he asks if it's safe while Moz breaks out the chemistry set. Moz: "One of the few certainties in life is that persons of certainty should certainly be avoided." Huh? Neal: "That does not make me feel better." Me either Neal, especially when Moz talks about modifications like stimulants to make the drug last longer. He does say the potassium he added should keep Neal in control Yeah, right. Moz: "Neal, you'll be fine. I am your Sherpa guide, your spirit animal for this fantastic voyage you're about to embark upon." Unhhhnh huh. Sure you haven't been smoking the rest of your chem set, Moz? Neal's more trusting than I as they toast to their success. Great, fun scene.

Apparently it works because Neal instantly remembers the session. Doc asked what the FBI could prove, which is of course nothing, and then Neal asked why she stole the money. Doc: "For the same reason you steal. It was there." Moz snaps Neal out of the trance but he's visibly agitated. Neal: "Summers, she was right. I'm not reformed. I mean I like doing the things I do. You know I like working with Peter. I like working with the FBI." Moz: "That's simply the drugs talking." Neal: "I also like working against them. I like doing things I shouldn't and I don't feel guilty. I don’t feel remorse. I don't feel anything except…" Moz cuts him off but there's the crux of this season's problem: Neal the con vs. Neal the good guy. I like them both better. Then he suggests Moz take the drug too. "What are you doing here, Moz? You should be out on the streets rebuilding yourself. You are smart. You are resourceful. You can do anything without a height requirement." Moz: "It isn't so easy." Neal: "Has Big Brother really finally just cornered you into defeat?" Ouch, but necessary for Moz to hear. If I were suspicious I would suspect Neal of using the situation to speak out when he could blame the drugs. Alas, that theory is crushed when Neal sneaks off to Peter's while Moz composing himself in another room. Neal's so stoked on stimulants he practically high fives Peter before going into confession mode. From stealing money from a purse in 7th grade to high art theft, Neal's baring his soul. Neal: "Am I talking too much?" Ha! El: "Is he okay?" Peter: "I have no idea." Neal explains, "I talked to Mozzie and he gave me a solution and I drank that solution." El is justifiably confused but Peter translates before asking about Seigel. Neal hedges.

Saved by the bell, Mozzie walks in but Peter's already suspicious. Moz: "Oh good. For the love of Thoreau, you can't simply wander off into the woods like that." Peter asks what's going on and Mozzie snarks, "He ran away like an impudent child chasing after an untethered balloon." That's actually an apt description of the state Neal's in right now. Moz says the effects will only last another 15 minutes and Peter decides to focus on the case instead of Seigel. Hmm, that kind of surprises me since Seigel is presumably Peter's #1 priority. Still, Peter leads the questioning this time and Neal gives Peter the phone number Doc dialed after asking about Griffith. Peter dials and gets Jacoby's voice mail. Sadly, Neal's down for the count. Moz offers to take him back home but Peter says no. "You've done plenty. I'll take care of him." Peter covers Neal with a blanket. Awww. The next day, Jones and Peter visit Griffith's place, only to figure out that Jacoby is holding his son hostage. Jones works his way to the side while Peter pretends to leave. When Jacoby comes down the steps with Griffith's son, they pull guns on him as Griffith pulls his son to safety. Jones takes father and son outside, and Jacoby tries to get away when Peter goes to cuff him. Not sure why they didn't do that before Jones left, but no problem. Peter takes him down in seconds. Peter: "Now we're done."

One bad guy down, but that still leaves Doc. Peter says they either need to get a confession or find the money, both of which Peter scoffs at. Neal says there's always a solution and I get a bad feeling about this. Neal returns to Doc's office but this time the tables are turned. He talks about feeling free walking the line between consultant and con man. Doc: "So you admit you still like to commit criminal acts." Neal: "I'm going to commit one right now as a matter of fact. Where's the money?" Neal drugged her. Payback sucks. At first I thought Neal was just manipulating her into believing she was drugged since Peter was obviously part of the plan. However, the visual effects are the same. I can't believe Peter was okay with this. He is definitely changing. Neal: "Tell me where the money is." Doc: "The FBI will never find it." Neal: "No, they won't. I am a criminal after all. You helped me realize that so thank you doctor. All I need from you is a confession. I'm ready to begin when you are." Yikes! Don't tick off Neal Caffrey. As Neal wakes her, Peter places her under arrest. Doc calls Neal on drugging her, but Peter maintains she accidentally drugged herself. Wow, this is way beyond the gray area Peter usually plays in. It will be interesting to see how far he goes with the Hagen-Seigel business. As cops take Doc away, she tells Neal, "You do understand you'll never be anything more than what you are." Neal: "But at least I'm free, which is more than I can say for you." Ouch! You tell her, Neal. Back at the FBI, Griffith is free to go due to psychological duress. He thanks Neal for being a role model to him, but Neal seems unsure of himself. He congratulates Peter on a closed case, but the money is missing. Neal: "It's a good thing we got a confession." Ha!

Peter knows Neal took the money and there's no question about what he'll do with it. Back at his place, he gives it to Mozzie as an apology for being so blunt under the influence. Personally, I think it's so Moz will move out. Moz says he needed the kick to getting going again and $2 million is not a bad start, even if he only gets 50¢ on the dollar for the marked bills. Moz points out that Neal profited off an investigation, one with Peter no less, and calls him on it. Moz: "So why'd you take it?" Neal: "Because it was there." Uh oh. I feel Bad Boy Neal coming to the forefront this season with Shades of Gray Suit right next to him. If Mozzie ends up driving the bus, mayhem meet New York City. This is going to be one fun ride. Moz quotes, "One day I'll find the right words and they will be simple." Neal says it's that simple "for guys like us." Moz: "Guys like us? You coming back to the life?" He asks the plan and it starts with ditching both Hagen and the FBI. Neal: "Change the state of play. I've been serving too many masters. I'm through being everyone's puppet." Obviously Seigel's death and Doc's words hit Neal hard. Seigel said he could ditch the FBI any time he wanted and it's true. I wonder how far Neal will go now that self-doubt and guilt is leading his way.

White Collar is shaping up nicely this season. I like that they are playing with the characters more but I'm not sure how far that can go. This isn't Graceland and part of White Collar's charm is that we can like both main characters even when they see the world so differently. Neal and Peter complement each other and that's what makes them a great team. They already tried to make Neal more like Peter and this time around it feels like they are going to try to make Peter more like Neal. The issue is that the core of Peter's being is justice and I'm not sure how he will react if he learns that Seigel died as a result of a deal Neal made to get him free. Things are getting darker for our characters in a show where consequences usually don't have much weight. Will we get a quick fix like Neal's return from the island or will the stakes change now that USA Network is going for grittier fare? I can't see the solution yet and that makes me excited because I know it will be a blast getting there.


Episode Awards:


Best Scene: Neal drugged up
-I always enjoy when Neal is out of control because it happens so rarely. I like getting to watch Matt Bomer play with these situations. I'm only sad he didn’t start singing again.

Best Moment: tie - Peter tells Neal to watch his fingers with the X-Acto knife / Peter covers Neal up
-One of my favorite things about White Collar is the almost brotherly relationship between Peter and Neal. These were both great examples of that.

MVP: truth serum

Best Reason to Watch: verbal repartee

Biggest Shock: tie - Peter allowing Neal to drug the doctor / Jones' Real Housewives obsession

Season Theme?: Neal: "I'm reformed." Doc: "Are you? Just because a person starts doing good things doesn't mean he wants to stop doing bad things."

Best Dialogue:

Moz: "What's worse, the Federal Bureau of Invasion has confined you to this impenetrable dog pound." Neal: "It's my apartment." Moz: "A sublimely spacious cell." Neal: "Does that make you my cellmate?" Moz: "I prefer the term misincarcerated." Neal: "That sounds like you just won a prison pageant." Moz: "A. I could. B. I'll work on a better term."

Neal: "Where do we start?" Peter: "Accounting scam." Neal: "Can we start over?" Peter: "You don't get to choose. I choose."

Moz: "I've heard stories." Neal: "You've heard them or have them." Moz: "What's the difference?" Neal: "The difference is you've been using my towels."

Best Quotes:

Moz: "Coincidence is fate's favorite tool. You're condemning yourself because there's no one else to blame."
Peter: "I don't have catnip."
Peter: "Watch your fingers."
Doc: "How long have you been keeping an eye on Mr. Caffrey?" Peter: "Eternally some might say."
Neal: "Bottom line, money may not be a problem for a guy like me." Peter: "I didn't hear that."
Neal: "I have to accept that I can't be normal." Doc: "You're too interesting to be normal."
Neal: "Alright, if you are going to live here, you can no longer cook here."
Neal: "What are you doing here, Moz? You should be out on the streets rebuilding yourself. You are smart. You are resourceful. You can do anything without a height requirement."
Moz: "Oh good. For the love of Thoreau, you can't simply wander off into the woods like that."
Peter: "You've done plenty. I'll take care of him."
Doc: "So you admit you still like to commit criminal acts." Neal: "I'm going to commit one right now as a matter of fact. Where's the money?"

Neal's Word Association Game: (Doc first - Neal second)

Job - Confined
Jealousy - Weak
Money - Prop
Women - Hope
Peter - Worthy
Theft - Capable
Caught - Oops

Screencaps by Screencapped.net

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