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15 August 2012 @ 12:22 pm
White Collar: Honor Among Thieves  
I've fallen behind in watching and writing about this show despite my continued love for it. But I'm finally getting a chance to catch up.


I watched this particular episode with a lot of interest because in many ways the main theme was very classic!White Collar in that it presented Neal with the conundrum of how much he was willing to lie to Peter in order to get what he wanted. At the start of the episode I was willing to give Neal a lot of slack. Ellen had just died and as we know about Neal, he doesn't think straight in the ethical sense when people he cares about are taken away from him. Having said that, I was practically chanting at Neal to tell Peter what was happening once Abigail made him the offer of the thievery exchange. By the time she went full out and blackmailed him, I was nearly on my feet shouting, "NEAL, TELL PETER!"

While I sort of see Neal's point about the evidence being stacked against him regarding the blackmail, after the events of the last two seasons I can't fully buy this excuse of his not to tell Peter what was going on. Neal has been in tougher situations than this and frankly, Peter has always had his back and given him the benefit of the doubt. Short of getting himself killed for Neal, there isn't much left Peter can do to prove his loyalty. Had I been Peter in the moment I realized Neal had been Abigail's accomplice, I might have thrown him through a wall. When Peter initially forgave Neal for the entire thing because Neal ultimately rejected Abigail's offer, I was a little frustrated.

The ending, however, closes the episode out on a bit of a cliffhanger that's both intriguing and a little sad. I'm actually of the belief that Neal wasn't running a long con (at least not consciously). His conversation with Mozzie about his guilt over stealing the art seemed genuine and unnecessary if Neal wasn't actually feeling bad about the whole thing. But it hardly surprises me that Peter is now second guessing Neal's actions. As unfortunate as it is to see the cracks in Peter's trust, at this point I'd be questioning Peter's instincts if he didn't. This show's always been dangling the threat of Peter and Neal reaching a crossroads in their relationship that they wouldn't be able to fully recover from and I'm now sort of hoping we get some sort of delivery on that.

On a random note, I watched this episode with a friend of mine who decided there should be a White Collar/Doctor Who crossover. During the scene where Peter realized the lack of Neal on the gallery's security cameras, she shook her head and said rather gravely that if only there was a TARDIS and two Neals that could have been avoided. I think if Neal ever got hold of a TARDIS, the universe would be doomed beyond repair.

 
 
 
Liliaethliliaeth on August 15th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
I've got to say I was repeating the same refrain of "Tell Peter" during all of Neal's dealings with Abigail.
formerly lifeinsomniac: Neal&Peterjoonscribble on August 15th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
I thought the episode might do an audience fake-out and reveal that Neal had told Peter everything and we would see it the same time Abigail realizes it at the end. But no go.
aelfgyfu_mead: Peter and Nealaelfgyfu_mead on August 15th, 2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
I was annoyed; I felt the conflict between Peter and Neal felt forced. Every previous episode this season (not to mention previous seasons!) gave us reason to believe that Neal would trust Peter now more than ever—and, as you say, he has been in worse situations. He should have told Peter; they'd have put a wire on him and gone through with the "theft," with a lot less risk to Neal and to the mobile. I was dying while he put the glass pieces quickly and not-so-carefully in the trash; if someone had dumped the bin, they'd not only have found it, they'd have found it in more pieces than Neal had put in!

I agree that it wasn't a long con. I think Neal may only have realized while he was talking with Abigail that he had one more option.

I'm angry that Diana and Christie broke up; I felt as though it was just a plot mechanism.
formerly lifeinsomniac: Peter&Eljoonscribble on August 15th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
I was dying while he put the glass pieces quickly and not-so-carefully in the trash;

Yeah, my friend who once worked at a gallery was all, "AARRUUGGGHH!!!!" It seemed kind of hilarious that later you see Neal carefully wrapping up each piece to put in the bag when minutes before he'd been dumping it all into a bin.

Every previous episode this season (not to mention previous seasons!) gave us reason to believe that Neal would trust Peter now more than ever

I feel like this show either has to really start demonstrating that or go the other route which is to show Peter finally starting to lose faith in Neal altogether. It would be sad but I'd rather that than him constantly just being okay with Neal making the wrong choices.

I'm angry that Diana and Christie broke up; I felt as though it was just a plot mechanism.

From the start this show had been dropping hints that Diana and Christie had problems. But when we actually got an episode with Christie, I thought perhaps they'd worked things out. I wasn't pleased with the break up (are the Burkes the ONLY happy couple in this universe?) but I've been starved for any sort of story for the supporting characters (what's Jones' story??) that I was willing to take this one.

Edited at 2012-08-15 11:28 pm (UTC)
aelfgyfu_mead: Juneaelfgyfu_mead on August 15th, 2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
From the start this show had been dropping hints that Diana and Christie had problems
Really? I don't remember those. Can you remind me? I'm feeling very dense.

It's the curse of shows that last: the characters need to grow and change to be believable, but the writers are afraid to change them too much, so they keep patterns of behavior that no longer make sense to them. I don't think I'll enjoy the show if Peter really does lose faith in Neal.
formerly lifeinsomniac: Peter&Eljoonscribble on August 16th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
There was an early episode where Peter asked Diana how Christie was doing with the move to New York and Diana looked less than happy when she said she was "adjusting." And there was another episode somewhere where someone asked Diana about Christie and she said Christie being a doctor and her being an FBI agent didn't leave them much together time.

the characters need to grow and change to be believable, but the writers are afraid to change them too much, so they keep patterns of behavior that no longer make sense to them. I don't think I'll enjoy the show if Peter really does lose faith in Neal.

Yeah, this is the huge issue. I wonder if they could do half a season with Peter losing faith in Neal and the other half getting the faith back. Or something.
aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on August 16th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
D'oh! Now I remember both of those bits. I had forgotten; I just remembered the one episode where we saw Christie and Diana together, and they seemed so happy. And they deserve to be happy. But you're right: apparently only Peter and El get to be happy. Well, June and Byron apparently had a number of happy years too.

I wonder if they could do half a season with Peter losing faith in Neal and the other half getting the faith back.
I thought that was last season!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on August 16th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
I just remembered the one episode where we saw Christie and Diana together, and they seemed so happy.

They did. I was so convinced that they'd worked through their problems but apparently the strife went on off camera. Can we hear about how Jones is living with someone and their relationship is great?

I thought that was last season!

Oh, damn that's true!