WHITE COLLAR Recap: 'Under the Radar' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

WHITE COLLAR Recap: ‘Under the Radar’

March 9, 2011 by  

In the season two finale, we finally learn why the music box was such a big deal, why Kate was killed and why Mozzie has been building that fractal antenna. Questions are answered, for sure, but like any good cliffhanger, we’re left asking a lot as well.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Sara has tracked down another lead on Adler, and it’s big. Almost as big as the morning after tension between Sara and Neal.

Sara: If we’re going to continue working together, then we really should not ignore the other night.

Neal: Look, it was –

Sara: Hot.

Neal: Hot?

Sara: I mean, I thought so, but –

Neal: No, I know. In the stacks . . . it was like being back in college.

Sara: Yet you didn’t go to college.

Neal: Well, I wasn’t enrolled, but I did a lot of…research.

According to Sara’s research (the real kind), Adler is looking for a German submarine that reportedly sank off the New York coast in 1945. Its contents are unknown, but clearly it’s something Adler will kill for.

After Peter tells Jones and Diana that Alex is involved, Sara realizes that she’s more than an acquaintance of Neal’s. She asks and Neal promises that relationship was over a long time ago.

Mozzie’s antenna is working, but because the U-boat’s signal is in passive mode, they’d have to be on top of it to receive a signal. Meanwhile, Neal tries Alex’s phone again, and this time, Adler answers. Now, in addition to Adler and the U-boat, the team is searching for Alex.

After conning a con man who was last person to see Alex, Peter and Neal follow the lead to the Conservatory Gardens. They split up, and Neal is promptly snatched by Adler’s men. Peter follows, and they both choose a cocktail of chloral hydrate, ethanol and ice tea over being shot. They wake up in a warehouse with Alex.

Adler doesn’t waste time and reveals his reason for abducting Neal. He’s found the U-boat, a submarine he learned about from one of its only surviving crewmen, Adler’s father. It’s rigged with explosives, so he needs Neal to break into it.

With Alex’s help – she remembers at the last-minute that her grandfather, the radio operator who received the sub’s last distress signal, gave her a code – they break into the boat and discover billions of art, jewelry and other treasure.

Adler’s men dump Peter, Neal and Alex in a dry dock and proceed to flood it – with the intention of drowning them – but not before Neal and Peter find the boat’s signal and activate it. With Mozzie’s help, Jones and Diana (and Sara) find them just in time.

They also arrived just in time to see Neal and Alex lock lips, proving to Sara that perhaps that relationship isn’t exactly over.

After Sara and Neal spend an awkward yet sweet dinner at Peter and Elizabeth’s house, the team narrows down the search for Adler to 15 warehouses. While the FBI begins searching methodically, Neal conveniently picks the one that Adler is using. Adler shows up, offers him half the art in exchange for helping him escape the FBI and tells him that the explosives that killed Kate were her idea and he only blew her up because Neal hesitated in leaving with her.

And then, the warehouse – and the submarine – explodes! Adler blames Neal, who seems genuinely baffled, and Peter shows up to save the day. They clearly did not take enough time to work through the emotions of the situation, because as soon as Peter realizes that it was actually Neal’s paintings in the warehouse, he blows up, too.

Peter accuses Neal of arranging the whole thing and stealing the art, while Neal denies it all.

Peter: You did this. The fire, all of it. You did it.

Neal: Peter, those were masterpieces. I would never burn them. You know that.

Peter: No, but you’d steal them.

Neal: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Peter: The long con on Adler finally paid off, didn’t it? You saw your chance and then you took it. I don’t know how, I don’t know what game you’re playing –

Neal: I haven’t lied to you, Peter. I’m not lying to you now. I did not steal the art.

Peter: I think you did.

Neal: Then prove it. Prove it.

Neal arrives home to find a key with a note containing an address and the words, “You’ll thank me.” The key opens another warehouse that, of course, contains the actual art from the submarine.

And now we have to wait until this summer to find out what Neal and Peter do next!

Questions, Observations & More Questions

  • Why do Jones and Diana dislike Alex so much? I realize she’s a criminal, but Peter doesn’t seem to have a problem with her anymore.
  • Thank you, Mozzie, for pointing out that Neal’s relationship with Alex has always been based on convenience. And good for you, Neal, for not arguing.
  • Did you notice Peter’s little grin after his and Neal’s performance, convincing Tim Eames that he owed Neal for helping him get out of an arrest?
  • How did Adler get the submarine into that warehouse?
  • Did you buy the kiss between Neal and Alex? In previous episodes I’ve liked them together, but this time it didn’t work for me. I didn’t see any build-up, so it really seemed solely a plot device and roadblock for Neal’s new relationship with Sara.
  • How guilty do you think Neal feels about Kate’s death now (“No, Neal, you [killed her]. You changed her. The Kate I knew would still be alive.”)? Or do you think he bought Adler’s version of the story (“Then, as now, Burke tried to ruin everything.”) and has shifted the blame to Peter?
  • Peter killing Adler presents an interesting scenario. Neal has said that Adler made him the man he is today, and tonight Adler claims that Neal is the son he never had. However, in the past few episodes, the father-son dynamic between Peter and Neal has been highlighted (both to Neal and to us). Do you think those [weird] relationships have messed with Neal’s mind?
  • During this second half of the season, I’ve really appreciated how the WHITE COLLAR writers have truly developed the characters and shown progress in Peter and Neal’s relationship. Another show might have kept up the premise that they doubted each other’s motives every episode, but not WHITE COLLAR. So I let my guard down, believing that these two were really on the same team, and then – Bam! It all went south in this finale. Did it catch you off guard, too?
  • Last, but most certainly not least, who do you think switched the art – and what do you think Neal will do with it?

Best Quotes of the Night

Peter: Painting it for your girlfriend?

Neal: Are you nine?

Peter: Thanks for the help.

Mozzie: Anytime, Serpico.

Peter: Buy June’s lunch.

Mozzie: We’ll see.

Adler: You can pretend you’re doing it to protect her and Peter, but we both know the real reason. You wanna see what’s inside.

Mozzie: I get it – we’re fascinating creatures. We live a life of danger. It’s exciting, slightly erotic. But guys like us, you find yourself always trying to stay a step ahead. You relax once, let down your guard, and it all goes away.

Mozzie: I’m not comfortable with this.

The team: WE KNOW.

Diana: We’re not abducting you.

Mozzie: Can I get out?

The team: NO.

Neal: Peter, in case this doesn’t work . . .

Peter: Yeah, me, too.

Jones: Across the room – danger! So, which one you going for? I’ll be your wing man.

Neal: I’m good, Jones. If I’m not back in 10 minutes, send backup.

Sara: You trust Neal?

Elizabeth: Wow, that’s a loaded question. I’m guessing you don’t?

Sara: Well, you said it yourself, I know who he is.

Elizabeth: Neal is a lot of things, but when it counts, you can trust him.

Wow. After I finished watching this episode (for the first time), I kind of wished I could have live-blogged it. That way, you could’ve seen my real-time reactions that included brilliant observations such as, “WHAT THE HECK? Why is he KISSING ALEX???” and “It BLEW UP!!! Peter SHOT Adler!!! Why is everyone so mad???”

Tell me I’m not the only one who was shocked and confused throughout this episode. Tell me it wasn’t just another day, another Nazi sub for you! Were you surprised the sub didn’t contain plutonium or Hitler clones? Have you met any small-time grifters trying to move up in the world lately? And how much would you give to join Peter, Neal, Elizabeth and Sara for those little chickens that Neal likes?

More importantly, are you happy with the resolution of the music box mystery,? Are you ready for Alex to leave for good, and do you think Neal and Sara can make it? Who on earth switched the art and left the note for Neal, and what is he going to do about it? And how long will Neal be in a fight with Peter?

I told you we were left with lots of questions! Thanks for watching along with me this season, WHITE COLLAR fans. See you next season!

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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4 Responses to “WHITE COLLAR Recap: ‘Under the Radar’”

  1. John on March 9th, 2011 2:37 pm

    I don’t think Neal feels guilty over Kate’s death. When Adler first said Neal killed her he felt a momentary “WHAT!” feeling because he didn’t know what Adler was really saying. I think Neal knows the only person responsible was Adler (and maybe a little bit Kate for suggesting the explosives in the first place).

    I am happy we are now done with Adler, Kate and the music box. Those mysteries/issues have gone on long enough.

    My guess is Alex stole the art. Mozzie is too aware of the strain the theft would put on the Neal/Peter relationship and he generally seems to approve of it.

    I agree the Neal/Alex kiss was an artifical road block and I saw it coming a long way off and I knew Sara would see it. That plot “twist” wasn’t worth the time.

    This was a great season ender – wrapped up one set of stories and left us with a cliffhanger.

  2. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect on March 9th, 2011 9:29 pm

    @John, I like your theory on Alex stealing the art. Mozzie seems to have developed a real (though grudging) respect for “The Suit” and his relationship with Neal.

  3. Dee on March 18th, 2011 8:14 am

    don’t care that the Alex kiss was a plot device…it was way hot and hotter than anything between Neal and Sara.
    Team Alex all the way.

  4. aly on April 6th, 2011 12:33 am

    Dee you are SO right! Neal and Alex are much better than Neal and sara. They bore me to tears, maybe its becuase I am NO Hilary Burton fan. Though she is very pretty. I just love Neal/Alex, we just have to wait for him to open his eyes and see it lol