White Collar: 'Forging Bonds' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

White Collar: ‘Forging Bonds’

January 26, 2011 by  

Finally! At long last we learn how Neal became a con artist, how he met Mozzie, Kate and Alex, how Peter tracked Neal down, and what Mozzie looks like with hair.

Neal and Peter have both discovered that Vincent Adler is the man behind Kate’s death, and in this episode, they sat down over some beers (and a questionable bottle of wine) for a walk down memory lane. It was interesting to see the story unfold from both perspectives and see how the pieces fit together to form the white collar crimes team we know and love today.

As it turns out, Vincent Adler — the man who killed Kate and is after the music box — is the man responsible for teaching Neal much about finances and fine suits.

But the story didn’t start with Adler. It started when a young Neal happened upon Mozzie and beat him at his own card game (Find the Lady). Mozzie – like the mustachioed Peter, working a counterfeit case on bonds that Neal has forged – can see that this “kid” has talent and a future. Mozzie enlists Neal to run a long con against Adler, Neal connects with Adler – and his assistant, Kate. The rest is history.

Even with shaggy hair and an uncertainty we’re not used to seeing in Neal, he can apparently charm anyone he meets: first Kate, then Adler (with solid tips about an investment he was about to make) and of course, Alex. But they charmed him, too – and before he could make up his mind to finish the con, Adler disappeared.

The story moves quickly from there, with Neal teaching Kate “how to survive,” losing her when he leaves to work on a music box lead with Alex, then reconnecting with her right before Peter arrests him.

They really packed a lot of back story into one hour! Let’s break it down by character:

Mozzie is running card games in the park and apparently a young con training program: And, of course, wearing a toupee. I may not love Kate, but I love that she convinced him to just go bald. After watching Moz take Neal under his wing, I have to wonder how he feels about Adler getting all the credit for the man Neal is today. It seems to me that he had a pretty large hand in polishing Neal’s natural conning talents.

“Brooks Brothers suit. Suit means Fed.” I love the glimpses of each character’s development. Mozzie may still be a weird, paranoid little man, but I’m pretty confident he actually trusts at least one “suit,” if not his whole team.

Kate is still a mystery to me: Finally, we get to see more of an actual relationship between Kate and Neal. And yet…I still don’t know what the big deal is. She seemed sweet, but somehow vague. And, well, kind of boring. Every other character on this show is interesting in his or her own way, but Kate, to me, is dull.

I did like the fact that a) she realized Neal was conning her when he tried to oh-so-casually convince her to run off to Copenhagen – where Alex needed help with the music box, and b) she didn’t stand for it.

I’m not completely sold on Vincent Adler as a big bad, but I can certainly see him as a mentor for Neal: Since the password he gave Neal was an anagram for “Nice try, Neal,” does that mean he knew all along that Neal was a con? Or did he just realize it at the end? And if so, is that what caused him to disappear?

“Oftentimes, the things we try to hide are the things that are the most obvious.” Right. Like the fact that Adler wasn’t exactly an innocent mark, despite his penchant for giving away $10,000 suits. After all, he got physical with Alex – in her face, at least – really quickly. Why was no one else alarmed by this?

Speaking of my favorite fence, I see even more clearly now why Alex isn’t satisfied with being a consolation prize for Neal. Even in the beginning, he wanted Kate but settled for Alex. That being said, I still say there’s more spark between the two of them than with Kate.

I wonder if Alex knew that Adler was committing fraud. (Really, it’s hard for me to believe that nobody suspected a thing!)

Peter might be an incredible FBI agent, but he’s no Magnum, P.I. And thank goodness (and Elizabeth) for that!

“I think this guy has a future.” Peter can try to explain away his interest in Neal’s case as purely professional all day long, but if you ask me, it comes down to something more basic. I think that, no matter if they’re on the same side of the law or not, Peter simply has fun hanging out with Neal. I found it fascinating to see that the deep respect – and chemistry – between the two was there from the beginning. You might even say they worked their first “case” together by finding Kate, something that served both their purposes (even if it did lead to Neal’s arrest).

Who IS Neal Caffrey? I’m still not sure I know. I’d still love to know more of Neal’s background. Where did he learn all his forgery skills? What did he do before he came to New York?

However, I’ll take what I can get – especially when that includes a sleeveless painting scene and two [AHEM] romantic scenes. (Seriously – him joking around with Kate after she took the sheet? That may be the only time I actually saw a spark of something between them…but I may have simply been distracted by the thought of what the neighbors could see…)

“Yeah…I don’t know if I’m a suit guy.” Oh, you are, Neal. You are.

Final Thoughts and Questions:

  • How cute are Neal and Peter when they get so excited about their work together? I know Peter is excited to finally know who is behind all of this, but I also think he was just plain excited to hang out with Neal and reminisce. And just like in Copycat Caffrey, Neal loves hearing about how people talked about him – and admired his skills. Finding out his nickname was James Bonds didn’t hurt either.
  • Loved the little touches in the flashbacks: Satchmo as a puppy. Jones joining the team. Diana mentioning her girlfriend. Neal commenting on the cramped van they were in before arresting him.

What did you think about this episode? Which back story was your favorite? Do you like Kate, now that you’ve seen her actually interacting with Neal? Are you glad our White Collar guys have figured out that less is more when it comes to their hair? Where do you think we’ll see Adler next? Are you Team Kate or Team Alex (or, more realistic than Kate because she’s gone, Team Sara)?

And how weird was it to see a rumpled, not as well-read or well-dressed, slightly less confident Neal?

Mary is embracing her new life as a stay-at-home mom, staying up late to rewatch the second season of Veronica Mars and catching up on How I Met Your Mother during [her daughter’s] naptime. Mary blogs about living 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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12 Responses to “White Collar: ‘Forging Bonds’”

  1. Amy on January 27th, 2011 1:50 am

    It’s a tough call between Sara and Alex. Kate and Neal were flat, flat, flat. I think I’ll go with Sara, though, if pressed!
    Enjoyed learning the backstories, but I’ll be glad for a “real” episode next week.

  2. Danny on January 27th, 2011 6:21 am

    Kate is beautiful. Neal and Kate are the best couple. Their scenes had hot chemistry a blind man could see it. Females viewers just tend to dislike other attractive, mysterious female characters. As a dude, it’s obvious she is sooo smoking hot, her and Neal are much better than bland Sara and nasal Alex.

    Here’s hoping Kate comes back. She’s such an enigma there’s more of a story to tell.

  3. Ellie on January 27th, 2011 6:24 am

    Only started watching now, but yeah, Kate is the best. The clips with her and Neal made my heart melt. I always need a great ship to watch a show so I’ll watch when she makes another appearance. (Here eyes are AMAZING!)

    Team Kate because WOW are her and Neal amazing.

    Just wanted to comment because the episode was well good.

  4. Ellie on January 27th, 2011 6:26 am

    Lol, I meant her eyes. Daddario has the most captivating eyes.

  5. you lot are crazy! on January 27th, 2011 6:33 am

    YOU LOT ARE CRAZY! Kate and Neal were the best part of the episode. The music swelling in their last scene where he risks his freedom just to see her. I did want to continue watching but my favorite part of WC was Kate/Neal as well a Neal/Peter so its hard to imagine she’s dead. The two other girls aren’t as beautiful or interesting. The writers need to sort it out and make Kate alive.

  6. Rachel on January 27th, 2011 1:12 pm

    Neal + Kate = EPIC COUPLE!
    Alex and Sara suck. Bring Kate back.

  7. Team Kate on January 27th, 2011 1:39 pm

    Team Kate the only team that rocks.

  8. gigi on January 31st, 2011 11:57 am

    Danny says, “Female viewers just tend to dislike other attractive, mysterious female characters.” As a dude, it’s obvious …. you don’t know what you are talking about! I agree that Kate is flat. I had to check to make sure she had any acting roles before this. Alex is mysterious and totally smokin’ hot! I am female and I have NO problem saying when I think an actress is beautiful. I just wish they could have found one that was beautiful – like Kate – AND could act – like Alex. I just don’t think Alex and Neal will be a couple … the tension they create is there for a reason. To create interest. If Kate comes on full time, I hope she brushes up on some acting skills so I won’t be yawning.

  9. david on February 3rd, 2011 11:38 pm

    hi there, absolutely love this episode especially the ending. Could anyone tell me the background music played when Niel and Kate reunite?

  10. MIkeHill on February 8th, 2011 10:09 pm

    There was no chemistry between Kate and Neal as Alexandra Daddario can not act.
    Why would Neal desire a woman who has nothing to offer as a character?

  11. MELENA2154 on February 14th, 2011 12:49 pm

    i love you

  12. dan on April 15th, 2011 1:00 am

    I know it’s too late, but I just watched this episode. And WOW! Simple the BEST! What up with the acting, experiences, etc? Now you guys are taking this personally. Just base everything with the show. Can’t you see how the writers created such an amazing and hot episode with Kate?

    P.S. I just watch White Collar because of “Kate.” Her character in other movies WOWS me as she enter/introduce!

    P.P.S. Neal’s and Kate’s eyes are fascinating!!