WHITE COLLAR: In the Red | Give Me My Remote

WHITE COLLAR: In the Red

August 18, 2010 by  

All right, be honest: who has “The Gambler” stuck in their head after last night’s episode? And do you really think Neal cheated to beat the bad guy in poker? Let’s break it down.

Case of the Week

The episode opened in the middle of an operation. Neal was exchanging a briefcase full of money for a bag full of stolen jewelry, while Peter, Jones and Diana were monitoring from the van.

As soon as Neal asked the woman driving if she was alone, I knew something was up. What I expected, though, was a guy with a gun sitting in the back seat. What we got instead – as Neal hollered “No guns!” and raised a toy – was a little boy, asleep in his car seat.

Neal: Throw a wig on her, and she’s Carol Brady.

Peter: Carol Brady had an affair with Greg Brady.

Neal: Proof that everyone has a dark side.

It came as no surprise that Neal and Peter were anxious to help the mom being scammed by her adoption lawyer. Mozzie, though, was unexpectedly passionate about this case, ranting about adopted children, even though he pointed out that he was in foster care and never adopted.

eal and Peter’s investigation led them straight to John Larroquette playing Kenny Rogers playing Luke Donovan, a sleazy adoption lawyer who was apparently in debt to a Chechan mobster. And what better way to raise some quick dough than a poker game?

(Other than stealing your own jewelry and selling them to a fence while your son sleeps in the back seat, of course.)

After scamming and sweet-talking his way into the high-stakes poker game, Neal almost misses the whole operation by getting himself arrested (more on that later). Of course, he makes it, and of course he beats Donovan, forcing him to scam one more adoption-hopeful couple: Jones and Diana, the Hamptons version.

I loved the way they busted Donovan in the end, by using the Chechan mobsters for good and not evil. Even mobsters have a soft spot for kids, I guess.

Music Box Mystery

I love how Mozzie took a moment to admit that he rarely tells Neal thank you. But at this point in the show, I’m still not sure he’s the one who should be thanking the other. Regardless, to show his appreciation for Neal and whatever all it is that his friendship entails, Mozzie broke into Sara’s house to get the FAA recording.

And of course Sara figured it out. How, I’m not sure. But it does seem plausible that a savvy investigator would not leave her home so unprotected, especially just after being targeted for murder.

When we last saw Sara, she was flirting with Neal and seemed to be interested in trying the soup that he supposedly makes so well. Now? Not so much. She’s back to being Angry Sara, accusing Neal of breaking into her house for a second time and apparently forgetting that the first time was part of a an FBI operation.

Peter: Sara is like a tornado in heels, and you’re –

Neal: Please don’t reduce me to a trailer park.

Peter: Well, if the shoe fits.

I find it a little strange that Sara marches into the FBI office like she owns the place (although, I suppose it’s not that weird considering she “lived” there for a few days) and demands Neal take a polygraph test.

Not strange, though, was her first question after asking him his name: “What color are your eyes?” As if you don’t know, Sara. As if you don’t know.

With the help of a conveniently available thumbtack, Neal passes the polygraph – but doesn’t fool Sara, who somehow manages to get a search warrant anyway and finds the FAA envelope in his apartment.

As she’s about to have Neal arrested, Peter arrives and convinces Sara to let him go – both on the premise that their case is about a kid and that Neal doesn’t think straight when it comes to Kate.

And that brings us to the tape itself. If we hadn’t finally gotten to listen to it, I was going to be all sorts of frustrated. But we did. Kind of.

Though Neal seemed to be wary of listening to Kate’s last moments (He knows she was crooked; you can just tell. And I think that kills him a little bit.), Sara ended up bringing him the recording after listening to it herself. And, to answer last week’s question about whether we’ll see much more of this character, she says that she doesn’t know anything about Kate, but she’s in.

What did you think, White Collar fans? Did you love the back-and-forth banter between Neal and Peter when Sara was having Neal arrested? (Neal: “She’s mad.” Peter: “Pssh-yeah!”) And did you see Sara’s face when Neal answered the door – shirtless? (And can you blame her?)

Mary is a soon-to-be PR freelancer, a wife and a mom to a toddler who she describes as “VERY two.” And while you might think her busy life would get in the way of an ambitious TV schedule, she’s way more organized [AHEM, addicted, AHEM] than that. Also, a clean house is overrated. Mary blogs about an imperfect life at Giving Up on Perfect, writing about family, faith, books, food, celebrity look-alikes and chick flicks. You know, the important stuff.

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Comments

7 Responses to “WHITE COLLAR: In the Red”

  1. Summer on August 18th, 2010 2:24 pm

    I thought this was an exceptionally good episode and all of the key team got to play an important role – even Jones! Any time that Diana gets to play an undercover role in the week’s case it seems like the show is stronger. Also the interaction between Sara and Neal and Peter is proving to be an important dynamic and I think Sara will – and should! – stick around.

    Completely agree with you that Neal’s face sunk when he realized that Kate was crooked. It will be interesting to see the music box come back into the picture and I think that will happen soon given that this “pod” of the WC season is nearly over.

    I think the finale of this group of eps will be when Neal figures out that Peter/Diana have the music box. The writer’s of this show always end up a set of shows with a game changer, and that certainly would be one. Neal would realize that he has been manipulated and lied to and that is bound to turn the show on its ear!

  2. rachel on August 19th, 2010 9:17 am

    not a fan of sara…if kate is “dead” i’d rather have neil and alex

  3. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect on August 19th, 2010 9:48 am

    @Summer, you’re probably right about the music box reveal, but I hope they don’t turn it into another “I can’t trust you” struggle between Peter and Neal. That’s something I hope we’re getting past. Also, I loved the larger part Jones got to play this week! He has such a dry sense of humor, and I think he brings something to the group.

    @Rachel, I like Alex better, too. But since she’s not around, I’m okay with Sara. And as we discussed previously, I really hope (sick as it may sound) that Kate is dead and not fake dead.

  4. toast with JAM on August 21st, 2010 2:21 am

    This show gets better and better. It’s too bad that T.T. can’t be around to play with Mozzie, but that’s given Peter and Mozzie a chance to bond. LOVE IT!

    Loved the undercover work by Jones and Diana…proving that Neal doesn’t have to be the only one getting into the action while the rest of the team sits in the van.

    As a poker player I’m always suspicious of how they film a poker scene. I think it was OK at best, with the underbetting on the turn card and “tells” that they mentioned. If I had a queen high flush like Donovan, I wouldn’t really think I was bluffing, I’d be pretty happy with my hand. Neal slowrolled his higher flush which is kinda douchey and people frown on it, not applaud like on the show. That hand was just a cooler for the Donovan character and he wasn’t wrong for calling unless he had some tell on Neal that he was beat. I’m just nitpicking, but it would only take a quick phone call to a pro poker player to make it dramatic AND correct. Or they could call me ‘cuz I care about poker AND the show! 🙂

  5. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect on August 23rd, 2010 3:42 pm

    Love your insight into the poker game, @Toast with JAM! I couldn’t help but think how much more interesting White Collar made poker look than, say, Casino Royale a few years ago, but I had no idea about all the technical stuff!

  6. Darcy on September 23rd, 2010 9:17 pm

    Well, I didn’t have the song Gambler in my head before, but I certainly do now. (You got know when to fold them…)

    Excellent review as always!

  7. Elle on February 12th, 2011 6:16 pm

    Just watched this episode (we are way behind US TV schedule in my part of the world) and I couldn’t quite make what Kate was saying on the tape – does anyone know?
    Thanks!