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White Collar - 5.05 - Master Plan - Recap



During some early morning canoodling complete with baseball innuendo, El realizes Peter is sick despite his protests that he hasn't been sick since '96. There goes the mood and a delightful Burkes scene. El: "Well this game's rained out. I'm taking your temperature." Too bad but at least Mozzie has bees on the brain. He wants Neal to keep bee hives to save the population decimated honey bee. Moz: "Without pollination, there's no strawberries, no almonds…" Neal: "No grapes. Is this about wine?" Moz: "Maybe." Bwah! Moz wants 3 beehives but Neal's seen too many SyFy movies. Moz: "What's the danger?" Neal: "Swarms spring to mind." Neal does capitulate to 1 hive though because it would make a good hiding spot. Huh? He must be talking about other thieves because I don't see the FBI deterred by some bees. Moz is excited because now he can play with his chemistry set again. Apparently honey has medicinal properties. I'd be a little worried, Neal. Or maybe that should be Peter, who blames his symptoms on allergies. Not sure why El is arm-in-arm with someone she suspects has the flu though. Peter walks El and her art portfolio to a friend of hers when Neal meets them. El: "You're casing my art?" Neal: "Please, you guys qualify for the friends and family plan." Ha! Peter: "I don't know what that means." Me either Peter but I bet you could get some quality home furnishings on the cheap if you weren't so morally upright. Neal exposits a missing rich kid's return, whom El tutored in Europe. That's who the art is for in fact. Patrick Wolcott left boarding school at 14 and has been missing for 15 years. El leaves for a meeting with him but refuses to kiss Peter goodbye. She checks his forehead. "Um, no." Ha! Love that El gets more screen time this episode. Neal asks if Peter's sick but he diverts. Peter: "Come on. The Mortensen real estate scandal's not going to solve itself." Neal: "I wish it would."

At the home of wayward heirs, Elizabeth converses with Stanton, the former butler, who is fired for leaking health news to the media. Apparently, Mr. Wolcott is not doing well, but he's giddy his son is back. Patrick joins them and implies El's time in Italy was quite the caper. El grills Patrick, who says he came home for his father's health. They flip through the art portfolio and El says art is Wolcott's way of bonding. Strangely, Patrick likes the Picasso, which makes El suspicious since he used to think Picasso killed beauty and people's taste don't change that much. She calls Neal to check it out, who agrees once he runs it by Peter. Perhaps the better plan is to run from Peter. He's not feeling well and Neal's wise to scoot back. Peter questions Neal about why he suspects Patrick. "It better be damn good." Neal: "Does your wife's intuition count?" Peter: "El called you." Neal: "I did say you guys were on the friends and family plan." Ha! Peter guesses Neal wants to ditch the real estate scam and really, who could blame him. Still when Neal says suddenly liking Picasso would be kin to Peter suddenly liking the Red Sox, his fevered interest is peaked. Neal adds that Stanton was recently fired, a great way to keep him from outing Patrick as a fraud. Peter says they need DNA and Neal suggests El, but Peter quickly kiboshes that. Peter: "Okay, I'm not sending my wife in as a secret agent." Neal: "The Wolcotts need a new butler. I can buttle." Peter: "Buttle?" Neal: "Yeah, it's a word." Ha! Learn something new every day. "Neal Caffrey, at your service." If only that were true. Sigh. To help Neal's new con, they call in Stanton who shares pouring etiquette but so far didn't find Patrick suspicious. Neal says El convinced the Wolcotts to hire him, while Peter exposits Neal's butler escapades of getting frisky with a princess. Stanton shares my doubt about Neal as a butler, albeit for different reasons. I don't believe anyone with a teen daughter would hire someone of Neal's looks and charm. Stanton doesn't think he's observant enough. Neal promptly negates that with keen observations like Peter has the flu. I could have told him that. Stanton agrees to help Neal in order to salvage his reputation. It works. Neal gets tickets for a literature reading for Bee, the daughter, and has newspapers ready for Wolcott.

Sadly, trying to get DNA from Patrick is more difficult. El breaks up Neal's duties to tell Wolcott about some art, whispering as she passes, "Nice uniform, slick." Ha! So true. Meanwhile Peter tries to run point con from the FBI office but gets banished when he starts hurling. There's a reason why Jones got promoted. He finds a way to both quarantine Peter in his office while keeping him in the loop. Jones: "Stay in there." Peter: "Kicking me out." Jones: "No, no, no, no. Just taking the appropriate medical precautions." Bwah! Glad for more Jones time as well. It's time for Peter to go home and Neal to try his hand at fingerprinting. No dice. The water glass is wiped clean, hair brush as well, and toothbrush and razor bleached. Yeah, that's not suspicious at all. I can't go anywhere without leaving hair behind. Even his pillows are spotless. Downstairs, Patrick channels his inner creepy. As El stares at the completely out of place Picasso, Patrick mimics her movements behind her. Yikes! Mr. Ripley here we come, but one who has done his homework. He suddenly remembers his museum ranting. Patrick: "It all came back to me…eventually." Hmmm. Meanwhile, Neal catches Bee doing some reading…in Patrick's journal. Bee: "Would you mind keeping it down a little bit? I'm working on a genealogy project." Neal: "Apologies. I mistook it for snooping." Ha! Busted. Bee: "Seems we have a pot-kettle situation." I like this Nancy Drew-Hardy Boys dynamic. Bee says Patrick doesn't want to open up with her and she's worried about when her dad dies. Neal sympathizes, "And you don't want to be left with someone you don't know." Don't blame her. Uh oh, Patrick enters the room, so Neal hides Bee in a closet while picking up a suit jacket. Patrick says he's not wearing the jacket to dinner while fiddling with a cuff link. Oddly ornate for an anti-status guy. Neal asks how Patrick evaded the authorities for so long and they trade tactics. It's all a way to get Patrick to wear the suit while Neal pilfers the link. Neal also points out the water-stained journal, which makes Patrick unusually uncomfortable. Not sure why Neal celebrates getting Patrick's print after he leaves though. After all, Bee's still watching him from the closet and Neal just made his motives abundantly clear to her at least.

Neal takes his findings to the Burkes, where El treats an unhappy Peter. He asks Neal how he pinched the cuff link but since Neal's shown him how every season now, I'm left to conclude that either Peter's fever is spiking or they wanted a fun Neal and El moment. Either way, I'm good. Neal exposits the fine art of PDA - proximity manipulation, diversion technique, and attention control. Not what PDA meant in my day. He demonstrates on El, over Peter's objections, putting a paperclip on her sleeve. Neal: "I'm going to steal something right off your wrist. Watch." Peter: "Oh I'm watching." Neal helps El on with her coat, but the paperclip remains. Of course, that's because Neal stole the watch on her other wrist. He's good. Sadly, Patrick is proving better. The cuff link fingerprint doesn't match in any criminal database. Whoever Patrick is, he wasn't caught before. Peter talks mitochondrial DNA testing but that takes too long. He suggests the GaF method instead - grab a fork. Neal: "Literally steal the silverware." Peter: "You're a cliché. Get over it." Bwah! I guess modern butlers get nights off because Neal goes home to find Mozzie in full beekeeping gear. Neal: "How's life on Golden Pond?" BWAH! Best line of the night. Neal busts Moz on drinking his wine. 1 million worth of stolen bills must not be enough for Moz, since they still act like roommates. Best get scheming guys. Moz claims he had to get 3 hives because a fellow grifter got nabbed. Hives must be a con's favorite hiding place in NYC. Neal: "So in addition to me being undercover as a butler and taking care of Peter, I'm now the guardian of orphaned bees." Ha! Moz however takes note that Peter is under the weather. Uh oh. He's been busy making a cure with the magic healing properties of a 1800's shuckster tonic. Next up carnival circuit, Moz? Peter must be desperate because he downs the first vial. Moz: "I'll stay here and observe." Peter: "Observe what? What's going to happen?" Shouldn't you ask those questions before drinking? Moz: "Well, the first 15 minutes…Well, let's see." Not reassuring.

On fork nabbing duty, Neal overhears Wolcott say he's reinstating Patrick's trust fund. They're running out of time. As Patrick babbles about Picasso, he puts his fork in the middle of his food before Neal can grab it, making DNA evidence iffy. Luckily the attorney paperwork shows up and Neal misdirects it to Peter's, who is on his second tonic vial and looking better. El asks about Moz. Peter: "He needed to check on his queen. Assuming he meant bee but with him…" El: "You never know." El gives Peter the lawyer's envelope but he can't open it. No problem, El opens via the steam method. Peter: "Neal's a very bad influence on you." Ha! I think El can be a bad influence on Neal too, which is why I like them working together. The document shows Patrick's $40 million trust fund will be transferred to him that day so El goes to warn Wolcott. Yeah, that'll go over well. Patrick hears them arguing and grabs the needle for Wolcott's insulin shot. His father doesn't need proof, but the rest of the world does. Wolcott: "I won't stick a needle into my own son." Patrick: "Okay, I'll do it." Patrick draws blood without worry, which means he already thought of it. Well-planned con. He gives the needle to Neal to be tested. While Jones coordinates arrest procedures, Peter walks in to say he's joining. He won't leave El in possible danger. Aww. Jones: "Peter, you're a biohazard." Bwah! Jones rocks. Peter downs the last vial. Jones: "What is it?" Peter: "I don't know. Mozzie gave it to me." Jones: "Oh God." Medical assistance on standby please. Under the guise of walking the dog, Neal and Peter exposit the evidence trail, proving tampering is impossible. Neal's convinced the blood won't match, but Patrick's far too confident. It passes and El is fired. Later, Patrick interrupts Neal and El outside and says he's taking the dog to the vet. Hmm. Not suspicious at all since the dog obviously doesn't like him. El says they shouldn't walk so Neal offers to drive. Ha, Patrick's plans are royally screwed, whatever they are.

Patrick demands Neal wait in the Rolls, which of course he does not. He calls Peter, who already heard the events on the wire. Peter: "You've gone from My Man Godfrey to Ace Ventura." Bwaaahhh! Yeah that one makes the quotes list too. Riskily using a bicycle mirror, Neal sees the vet take a shunt of blood out of Patrick's arm and then joins a much better Peter at the FBI. Peter: "I feel good, really good." Neal side eyes his enthusiasm. Ha! Neal: "Great, you and the Wolcott's dog." Neal recaps, Peter exposits, and since the blood was fresh, they figure the real Patrick is alive and near. Neal: "You know we're kind of good at this." So true! Bad news - FakePatrick will likely kill RealPatrick once the trust fund is transferred. Plan B? Neal mentions Patrick's sudden Picasso knowledge and realizes he's visiting RealPatrick on his morning bike rides. Time for Peter to go undercover as an angry Polish enforcer who wants answers about Dusseldorf, where RealPatrick was last seen. Peter threatens to come back during the homecoming party if he doesn't call him quickly. Frightened, Patrick heads for a ride as planned while Peter plays stakeout in a very nice, product-placed car. The surveillance team loses him when their agent is hit by a car so Neal peals out in the BMW. Neal: "I'm a butler. I'm trained for this." For someone who walks and takes cabs all the time, Neal has impressive driving skills…though possibly not good for Peter who's about to hurl again. Peter: "That must be some butler college." Ha! They narrow the kidnapping lair to 1 building, but Neal sees water streaming in one area. Unlike Sleepy Hollow, they don't feel the need to recap the previous scene where Neal questions Patrick about the book. Thank you, White Collar writers. Neal merely mentions it to Peter and they head in. Bingo. FakePatrick almost tasers RealPatrick as the team surrounds them. Peter releases RealPatrick who reunites with his family and El in his home. Aww. It's touching. I hope this family comes back again. Wolcott apologizes to El and reinstates both Stanton and El. It's a happy ending made better by the continuation of the opening scene. Alas, nookie is not in the cards as El starts feeling sick. Peter goes to call Mozzie, but El stops him. Peter's already been infected so the baseball game is back on. Uh, good for them but I'm not sure sex and the flu are a good combination.

This episode was a lot of fun and I love how it tied Elizabeth directly to the case. I do wish she and Neal had more screen time together and that she could have helped try to get DNA, but any time they add El to the team is a win. As is, Neal in costume. I also like how playful this episode was with everyone getting good lines. Mozzie the apothecary was a great add as was his beekeeper suit. I really hope he and Neal stay roommates a little longer. Their odd couple routine works for me. Jones had some good scenes as well; however, sick Peter was the most fun since Peter never has a chance to let loose and be comical. I felt for him but his determination to get the entire office infected was probably not the best idea. I figure the flu is God's way of saying you need a few days off. Although this episode did not advance the Hagen or Seigel mytharc, I thought it was a great standalone. In fact, it is one of my favorite episodes in a long
time and I hope we get to visit this family again sometime.

Grade: B+

Screencap by Screencapped.net

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