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White Collar - 6.04 - All's Fair - Recap / Review and Episode Awards

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Previously - Neal infiltrated the Pink Panthers to gain freedom from the FBI, Keller and Neal with help from Mozzie broke into a vault as well as broke a woman's heart, and the FBI figured out the Panthers wanted to rob a shipment from an airline but didn't know what or which one.

Just as Neal thought things were heating up with the Pink Panthers, they suddenly go radio silent for days, shutting him out of the score. He goes to their former meeting place but everything is barren. Peter hasn't heard anything from LeSuit either, which worries Neal. Peter: "Any chance the Panthers are on to you. Maybe Keller said something." Neal: "If they were on to me, I'd be getting a lot worse than the silent treatment." Let's take this moment to ponder how the most brilliant and ruthless criminal organization in the world does NOT know about Neal's connection to the FBI. He has been in NYC openly putting criminals away for years now, the Feds worst kept secret. Haven't those criminals talked in jail and busted him as a CI yet? I'm surprised Neal can con anyone anymore. But I digress. Peter has other concerns…like the fact that Neal came in from a different direction this time. Hmm, yeah, wouldn't be top priority for me. Neal: "Okay I see what's going on here." Peter: "Oh really, enlighten me." Neal: "You're having separation anxiety. It's totally natural." Peter: "We're never separated enough for me to be anxious about it." Bwah! And so true. Neal knows being sans anklet is getting to Peter. Peter: "I'll admit I sleep better when that dot tells me exactly where you are." Neal suggests lavender or a sound machine to help with sleeping but Peter's not amused. "How about you worry about the Panthers and less about my REM cycles?" Ha! He reminds Neal of how serious the mission is, adding that not only is Neal's freedom on the line but so is Peter's whole career. "I have to deliver." Neal: "What happens if you don't?" Peter: "Oh something along the lines of an early retirement package and a box for my mugs." That unsettles Neal. At the office, Diana is stumped too. They've accessed the randomizer but now need to unlock the data. Diana: "So we don't know what it is, when it's happening, or at which airport." Neal suggests drawing them out but Peter says it's too risky. Then he snarks about Neal's separation anxiety from the Panthers. Bwah!

Since nothing's happening and the entire episode is a placeholder, Neal's free to join Mozzie when he texts. He finds Moz scouring a crowd with binoculars. Nothing suspicious about that. Apparently Moz received an anonymous message to meet and he thinks it's the Pink Panthers. Mozzie: "I think they're wooing me." Neal disagrees: "I don’t think they know who you are, but can you blame them? You take every precaution to stay unknown." Good point. Moz is offended when he learns Neal didn't mention him with the stamp and vault escapades, but Neal counters that the Panthers are dangerous and the stakes are really high. As Neal blathers about his own problems, Mozzie scouts the area again until he recognizes someone. Moz: "You're right." Neal: "Thank you for understanding." Moz: "No, not about that. You should have told the Panthers about me. But you're right. The message wasn't from them." Neal takes the binoculars to scout it out himself. Moz: "It occurs to me now there's something I may have failed to mention." Neal: "Okay, who am I looking for?" Moz: "Aubergine frock reading a book." Bonus points for using aubergine, meaning eggplant purple. Neal: "Who is that?.....Moz, who is she?" Moz: "She's my wife." Umm, say what? Neal and I shoot stunned looks his way and double take. Huh? Mozzie isn't the marrying kind, what with his whole "institutions are evil and never leave a paper trail" attitude. Mozzie exposits that it was while Neal was locked up and he was out a friend and partner in crime. He met her while running a sweetheart con. They married after a few days of meeting only to find they were both scamming each other. Appreciating each other's talents, they teamed up. Neal: "I know this doesn't end with and they lived happily ever after." Moz: "No, our fairytale ending was more in the traditional German oeuvre." Neal: "Oh tragedy, betrayal, diminutive man lead astray by a cunning vixen." Yep, she stranded him in Morocco on their honeymoon, taking his half of the loot. He should probably have expected it.

He should also be skeptical at her sudden return, but instead he thinks she's there to grovel and ask him back. Umm, someone's got an overdeveloped sense of self. Neal reminds him that people don't typically wait 5 years to grovel but Mozzie won't hear of it and as such, sets himself up for disappointment. He goes to meet Eva as Neal looks on worriedly. Mozzie and Eva banter a bit…and pickpocket each other. Oh the joys of con love. Eva: "I wanted something to remember you by." Moz: "My half of the Moroccan silver wasn’t enough." They laugh about it and Eva brings up the future, which cues Mozzie to launch into his "solitary hunter" spiel before she stops him to ask for a divorce. Yeah, that seems more logical. In a head-spinning scene change, Moz is suddenly in the Burke's kitchen discussing the situation with El and Neal. Moz: "She's getting remarried. Can you believe it?" El: "That's not what I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around. Did you know he was married?" Neal: "I was in jail when this happened." A grumpy Peter interrupts because he thought he was having lunch with just his wife. El: "Honey, will you get the plates?" In the funniest moment of the night, both Peter and Mozzie head for the dishes. Peter: "She was talking to me." Bwah! Moz counters: "But I know where the plates are." Peter is puzzled as to why Moz rearranged his kitchen. Neal: "He creates chaos to cope with change." Umm, okay. Moz convinces Peter that Eva is scamming her future husband, who happens to run a big non-profit. Neal: "You really think she's conning this guy." Moz: "Of course. It's what she does, quite excellently." He points to Peter: "And what you do…with some skill, is stop that from happening." Ouch, but that's high praise coming from Moz. Neal calls Mozzie on it being personal but he makes his case well. Neal: "Well it is a bit hard to believe that a con artist marrying the head of a charity is just a coincidence." El tells Peter to check it out and he agrees, provided Mozzie stays out of the investigation. Bwah! Yeah, right. What are you smoking?

Not one NYC cityscape slow pan later, Neal reluctantly finds himself with Moz in the lobby of Jack Conroy's charity. Neal: "I promised Peter we'd stay out of it." Moz: "Technically you didn't promise. I did and the Suit and I have our own understanding about truth." As in Mozzie never tells it unless Neal is in trouble? Neal stars to walk out but it's too late. The con is on and Mozzie overplays every hand. They sit down with Eva's fiancé, posing as potential donors, and Neal double talks as the voice of reason. Mozzie tells Conroy some things require an outside perspective to see clearly. Neal: "Like good friends to let us know when we're doing something stupid." BWAH!!! I'm with Neal here. Mozzie way oversells it. In reply, Conroy tells them getting shot in the leg stirred his desire to help the less fortunate. He also knows Eva's con artist history. Twists are everywhere tonight. Even Moz and Neal are shocked, but Conroy believes in second chances. Plus the charity finances are locked down so even he can't touch them. Mozzie asserts that Eva can con her way into them, almost blowing his cover, but Conroy simply invites them to an art gala they are holding. As they leave, Mozzie is even more sure Eva's running a con but Neal just stares. Moz: "I don't believe it. She's got you fooled too?" Neal: "Oh I'm not fooled. I'm concerned." Moz: "As am I. Jack is clearly in too deep." Neal: "For you. You're thinking with your heart instead of your head." Neal reminds him it was 5 years ago, but Moz counters that people don't change much. He cites Neal as an example, but I'm not sure either of them are who they were in season 1. Moz: "We are who we are." Neal: "And even we can be blindsided by love. You know I've learned that one the hard way." Moz: "And who had your back all those times?" Neal: "You did and I have yours now. If this is about saving a charity I'm in, but if it's just about Eva you should walk away. Trust me."

That's sound advice, but Mozzie's not ready for it. "I require wisdom from the nectar of the gods." Neal: "You've got it. First pour's on me." Moz: "Some journeys need to be walked alone." Awww. He leaves Neal standing alone on the sidewalk. Later outside Dmitrov's pub, a definitely tipsy Mozzie is blindsided by a non-tipsy and non-crippled Conroy. Huh? That came out of nowhere. He knocks Moz down with the cane he definitely does not need. He's in on the con as well! They trade words and he punches Moz again, but the gist is Moz better leave it alone or else he'll get hurt worse. Moz: "You can't threaten me." Jack: "Blather all you want. Who's gonna believe you? You're a conspiracy nut and a criminal." I guess they didn't do their homework about Mozzie's connection to the Feds because Conroy's really done it now. He's going down. As Conroy fake limps off, Mozzie heads to Neal's. Moz: "I was right…mostly." Neal: "I never should have let you drink alone. What happened?" Moz tells Neal he was attacked and Neal's first reaction is to take the wine away. Huh? Show some concern. But Neal questions why Conroy would blow his cover and he has a point. Moz: "Must I have all the answers? Isn't my bloodshed enough?" That gets Neal's attention until it turns out to be just a scratch on his palm. Neal: " I can see that you suffered." Bwaahh!!! Mozzie is like my students, who act like pulling a hangnail is a major crisis. Still he's persistent so Neal agrees to talk to Peter about it. Neal: "In the meantime, no more altercations. Really this time." Moz: "But my wound needs a salve." Oh, brother. Neal: "I'm getting you a band-aid." Ha! I really love Mozzie and Neal's relationship and how they always have each other's backs even in the midst of their foibles. It's evident that Neal is genuinely concerned about his friend, especially with his heart.

The next day, the Feds convene to discuss their lack of progress. They know San Francisco is the target but not know what's being shipped. Plus they can't get there in enough time anyway. Neal's more concerned about the Panthers cutting him out of the big score. Peter: "You're the new guy. Maybe they don’t quite trust you yet." As Peter waits to talk to the San Francisco ASAC, Neal frets over catching the Panthers. It won't get easier if the FBI can't figure out who's in charge and keep giving an irritated Peter the runaround. While on hold, Neal brings up Conroy attacking Moz. "Mozzie claims he was beaten." Peter: "Mozzie also claims the government uses fluoride to control my mind." Bwah! That doesn't surprise me. Peter says the charity's funds are inaccessible, but Neal counters: "From my experience whenever someone says there's no way this is a con..." Peter: "It's usually a con." And probably the most fun ones. Peter finally talks to someone in California but then there's nothing else for them to do. Seriously, 2 episodes left after this one and our two leads are stuck twiddling their thumbs. This is one weird episode. Nothing left to do but deal with Mozzie's situation. Neal: "We'll go crazy if we sit here and watch the clock." Peter: "We're back to Mozzie again." Neal: "Well he did help you find me and bring down Booth. That earns him a few minutes of government service." Absolutely! Still I understand Peter's irritability while on a stakeout with Neal and Mozzie. How uncomfortable. Moz breaks out his best spy gear, but to a skeptical Peter everything seems on the up and up. Conroy and Eva talk about Mozzie, who gets offended and decides to confront the two. They continue the act so Mozzie yanks up Conroy's leg to prove he's a fake. Moz: "What you have is as real as his limp and you leave me no choice but to prove it." He's bewildered by the scar and starts poking it but I'm too busy laughing at the absurdity of it all. Funniest moment of the night.

Luckily Peter takes pictures though and notices something fishy. Neal: "I don't think this is what Mozzie meant when he said moment of truth." Peter: "I think it is. I think Mozzie could be right." Huh? Did Peter really just say Mozzie is right? They ship Mozzie off to El and head back to the office where Peter says the leg scar doesn't match Conroy's story. He shouldn't have a limp and there's no way he got it running from a bad guy. They conclude he shot himself and then concocted a story to start the charity. Jones: "Nothing like a Come to Jesus moment to get people to trust you with their money." I don't get con artists. Who willingly shoots themselves? The only problem with this theory is the charity's accounts really are secure. Neal finally realizes it's all a con to get access to a private gallery. "If this is really their angle, then Eva is as good as Mozzie says. I get what he saw in her." I think that's an awful lot of time and effort for burglary. It would take months, if not years, to put into motion. I don't have the patience to be a con artist. Back at the Burke's, Mozzie mopes. "I should have known. Love is the ultimate con." El: "Just because it ended doesn't mean it wasn't real." Aww. They argue over Eva's merits with El taking the sane side while Mozzie thinks leaving him was brilliant. He just wants a chance to turn the tables. Ultimately I wonder if it's more about love or wanting to even the score. El: "Moz, there's going to be other Evas out there." Moz: "I find my truest self in solitude. I'm a loner by nature and I have my bees." El: "You have us." Awww, he really does. They've become an oddly fantastic family, one only TV could make and I will really miss their vibe. Mozzie says he's done with the whole situation, which of course means it's time for Eva to call. He excuses himself outside, pretending he's talking to Neal. That's never a good sign. Eva says she's in trouble and she made a mistake with Conroy. Moz: "I'm tempted to say something about dogs and fleas but you may have heard it before." Ouch. Still he leaves to meet her at the gala, her knight to the end.

Shortly after, Peter and Neal appear but El tells them about the phone call supposedly from Neal. They head outside, but no Mozzie so they brainstorm answers. They realize Eva set the whole thing up from the divorce to Conroy attacking Moz in order to make him the fall guy. Peter: "Mozzie walked right into a trap." Duhn, duhn, duhn. Anyone surprised? No? Moving on. As Mozzie heads towards Eva, both Peter and Neal intercept him and forcibly march him to the staircase. Ha! Moz: "I'm here to rescue my wife. You can't stop me." His pride won't accept that he's the fall guy either. Moz: "You two have concocted a fascinating story yet there are holes in your plot. Namely I can't be the fall guy for a crime I'm not going to commit." Good point, so Neal and Peter walk him through what they think will happen. It's a novel way to handle exposition and they pull it off well. Basically Eva will get Moz to steal the item by saying that Conroy is paranoid and watching her. Conroy will actually steal the item first and leave a decoy. When Moz is inside the exhibit, Conroy will set off the alarm. It's not a bad plan, but he doesn't buy it. Moz: "Eva would never do this to me." Peter: "You're the one who's been trying to persuade us that she's a con artist not to be trusted." Moz: "Yeah and she's a really good con with a code. She would never send me to prison. That is the ultimate betrayal." For a skeptic, he sure is naïve about her. He takes Peter's spy pen to prove them wrong, but everything pretty much plays out like they guessed. She suggests he steal a Faberge egg so they can run off to Morocco together and pick up where they left off. Moz: "Need I remind you, we never left off in Morocco. I was left alone and broke." Double ouch! He now realizes Neal and Peter were right.

Meanwhile Neal and Peter scout the gala while talking about San Francisco. At this point it's much ado about nothing. If they aren't there, it's not like anything will really. All it does is remind me how bizarre it is to have a filler episode in a 6 episode season. Luckily they find the tampered with security and refocus on the task at hand. While Neal reworks the wiring, Peter heads to the 4th floor to confront Conroy. Busted! The alarm goes off as he puts the fake egg into place. Neal: "Man is the only kind of varmint sets his own trap, baits it, then steps in it." Peter: "Steinbeck. Didn’t he also say you have the right to remain silent?" Neal: "I think that was Sergeant Friday." Peter: "Yeah, I get those two mixed up." I love Peter and Neal banter, especially when they're gloating. Neal takes the real egg out of his cane as Peter arrests him. At the same time, Mozzie lets Eva know the jig is up. "I'm guessing this wasn't part of your plan." Eva: "It's part of yours though, isn't it?" He calls her a worthy opponent as Eva freaks looking for an exit, but there's no time for that. Eva: "Somewhere along the line, I misjudged. This plan would have worked 5 years ago." Moz: "Five years ago there would be no Neal, no Suit for that matter. By myself, I would have walked right into your trap." Eva: "You're not working alone. Uh, I didn’t see that coming." Moz: "Five years ago I wouldn’t either." So even Moz realizes things have changed. No matter how often he stresses that people stay the same, here he admits that he hasn't. Neal and the Burkes have left an indelible mark on him and I for one am glad of it. Eva tries one last con to no avail. Eva: "I'm sorry, Moz." Moz: "No, no, you're not Eva. You're conning me to help you escape." Eva: "Doesn't mean I'm not sorry." It's the first time I believe her.

Ever the gentleman, Mozzie is not willing to leave her to her fate. He has a plan to escape as sirens wail. Moz: "What do you say about one last con? After all, they are playing our song." Ha! He drops the spy pen and they use divorce papers as a prop to distract the guard and steal his badge. Ducking out the door, they laugh but ultimately go their separate ways. Eva: "I'd ask you to come with me but…" Moz: "You won’t ask a questions you don't already know the answer to." Eva kisses Mozzie one last time and walks away as Peter rushes out the door with Neal. Moz tells Peter she got away. Neal: "Good ones always do." Peter calls in an APB but Mozzie knows they won't find her. Neal asks how Mozzie is and they talk about bachelorhood only to find that Eva didn't sign the papers. He's still married and Neal says that's good. What isn't? Their sting in San Francisco was a bust - no Panthers. Peter: "Well we better find out what that is and soon or else this whole thing is going to blow up on both of us." Fortunately Diana and Jones have been busy figuring out the target. The Panthers are going after the Federal Reserve. Specifically, they plan to steal a large shipment of cash coming from Europe. Apparently when American tourists exchange money in foreign countries, the money is gathered by the Central Bank and then shipped back to the US. The randomizer directs it to one of 12 cities with a Federal Reserve. Each shipment contains up to half a billion dollars. Jones: "And the icing on the cake - the cash is clean, completely untraceable." Now that is an impressive score. So impressive that it earns Neal a house call by Woodford. He sits in the dark drinking Neal's scotch with a revolver on the table when Neal returns. Neal: "Not here to exchange pleasantries I see." Woodford: "There's a small problem. It seems there's a mole in the operation." They want us to think he's there to kill Neal, but I'm betting he wants Neal to find the mole instead. Such is the way of cliffhangers.

This is a totally bizarre episode given that there are only 3 more episodes. It is pure filler, which is not a good plan for such a short season. This is no time to segue from the main plot. However I adore Mozzie and one of my favorite sides of Neal is when he is protecting his best friend, so I am good with this. In fact, I'm inspired to watch all those episodes in which Protective Neal watches over Mozzie. But I digress. I like how this episode took a huge twist and threw it right at the beginning. Mozzie has a wife! Say what? I expected many things out of this final season but that's not one of them. It's a bit of a retcon, given he's pursued other women before but it was a fun diversion. Presumably this is largely a standalone about Moz getting played. Mostly though, this episode is about Mozzie realizing that no matter how many times he says he's an island, he really does depend on the people in his life. He's not who he was 5 years prior, even though he keeps telling Neal that no one changes. Before he really was alone, but now he has Neal, El, and even Peter. They're a team and that team saves his freedom when they realize Eva is conning Mozzie again. To be honest, I figured we would not get a Mozzie-centric episode in such a short season and unless it ties into the finale, we probably didn't need this one. Still, to paraphrase Eva, doesn't mean I'm not happy to have one. Actually what I really wish is that USA Network gave us one more episode so I don't have to feel guilty about my extra Mozzie time. Other than that, this episode was a placeholder to get us to the final 2 episodes. Things are in place to take the Panthers down, now that they are contacting Neal again. It should be an intense, wild ride to the end.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Neal trying to protect Mozzie\
Best Reaction - Neal (and me) to Mozzie saying he has a wife
Biggest Twist - Mozzie has a wife
Best Moment - both Mozzie and Peter go for the plates when El asks for them
Best Continuity - Mozzie's taxi
Best Flirt - Mozzie and Eva exchange pickpocketing when they first meet again
Most Starling - Conroy assaults Mozzie
Welcome Back" Award - Megan Dodds, who played Marguerite in Ever After
Most Fun - Mozzie and Eva
Most Smooth - Peter and Neal grab Mozzie by the arm right when he's going towards his wife and march him out to the stairwell
Most Like a Kindergartener - Mozzie has a boo boo and he makes as much of a deal out of it as my kindergarteners when they have a slightly red hangnail
Least Convincing - Moz when he tells Peter he'll stay out of it. For a con artist, Mozzie doesn't lie well.
The "Poor Baby" Award - Mozzie is feeling ill used by everyone this episode from his best friend to his ex
Most Absurd / Biggest Laugh - Mozzie lifts Jack's leg in public to check for scars
Best Double Talk - Neal and Mozzie when meeting Jack Conroy
Most Incongruous - Mozzie rides in on a kid's scooter in a suit
Most Uncomfortable Stakeout - Peter, Neal, and Mozzie all in a car together for a protracted time. That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
Best Slip in of a Conspiracy Theory - in the conversation with El, Mozzie clearly believes Paul McCartney died a long time ago

Best Quotes -
1. Neal: "Mozzie claims he was beaten." Peter: "Mozzie also claims the government uses fluoride to control my mind."
2. Moz: "Five years ago there would be no Neal, no Suit for that matter. By myself, I would have walked right into your trap." Eva: "You're not working alone. Uh, I didn’t see that coming." Moz: "Five years ago I wouldn’t either."
3. Neal: "I know this doesn't end with and they lived happily ever after." Moz: "No, our fairytale ending was more in the traditional German oeuvre." Neal: "Oh tragedy, betrayal, diminutive man lead astray by a cunning vixen."

Scrrencaps by Springfield Springfield, White Collar Obsession, TV Guide, Celebrity Dirty Laundry, and me.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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