SG1 - Prepare to Squee - Lifeistoobrevis

They're Back! :)

As predicted, White Collar would get me back in the habit of weekly posts. ;) These are my somewhat immediate thoughts. I did watch the repeat airing (thus being severly sleep deprived this morning) and I stuck around for the premiere of Covert Affairs. I enjoyed that show more than I expected too (and Piper irritated me far less than I expected!). The show is derivative of Alias, yet well made with a good supporting cast and I'm likely to leave it on after White Collar. Now, on to THE show...



I’m a bit confused with the timeline and the missing two months. The writers are being asked questions about it which means they didn't do their job (sorry guys) it making the situation clear. It looks like Neal was supposed to be in jail for two months, which, given he was looking to make bail I find a hard time believing he just sat there waiting for the FBI to get the paperwork to reinstate him in order. I also don't believe on his first day back he could pull off the bank heist. I'll have to assume Peter visited hm often and was having him consult on the case and help him and the team prep the security test.

I was also a bit confused about June's comment about not being able to stand the thought of Neal in that motel. I guess she meant he would be forced to live there if she didn't take him back in.

Peter got a new suit. Seems Neal has had an influence on him, at least when it comes to fashion. ;)

Tim Matheson did an awesome job directing the episode. The show always looks gorgeous, but he worked in some incredible shots we’ve never seen used before on White Collar. My favorites: the overhead view of the park when Peter and Mozzie first meet. The multiple Neals as Neal and Mozzie review the documents they’ve collected. And Neal and Peter climbing the fire escape outside the bank (and via someone I know who saw a screener, the entire scene was not in the original cut).

I also couldn’t stand Edward, so Tim did a great job on the acting front as well. :)

The bank sequence in the teaser was brilliant. The plan was well executed. The music and editing were perfect. And while I knew Neal had to be working for the FBI again (if he wasn’t it would ruin the premise of the series), everyone involved did a good job of trying to make you believe Neal might have opted not to take the deal.

While I don’t want Neal to change dramatically from the reforming con we know and love (well, I love him), I really appreciate Neal dealing with post-traumatic stress and being a bit off his game. In addition to making the character more layered and interesting, it gives Matt Bomer some meatier material to work with. Yes, he’s a very pretty face, but there are some acting chops there as well.

At first I didn’t understand why Mozzie seemed even more paranoid than usual. He's been to Peter’s house, twice, so all the precautions he was taking in meeting him seemed excessive. But given Kate’s (supposed) death, Neal almost being blown up and Moz's close association with both, yeah, I guess I can see why he was acting as he was. Plus, it was funny!

I always assumed Mozzie was derived from part of his real name, but if it’s just a nickname….hmmmm…..

I LOVE Neal and Diana together. Not in THAT way. ;p I think I like the idea of Neal having female friends who can resist his charms and will hold no punches with him. I also like the idea of him having more allies at the bureau and the entire team welcoming his input and contributions. It was obvious they had quickly settled into a productive working rapport and the fist pump was very cute.

I’m trying very hard to be forgiving of the terrible green screen. I know Tiffani was pregnant and couldn’t travel and I appreciate the writers working her into episodes because, if she were to be MIA for half a season, that would be much harder for the writers - and fans - to deal with. Still, it was distracting.

So, Neal Caffrey looks like Matt Bomer, is intelligent, charming, well traveled and Whitney is going to be scared off because he’s a convicted bond forger on parole? Seriously???

Given everything that happened in ‘Out of the Box’, it makes sense that both Peter’s job and Neal’s deal are tenuous. However, given how many times Neal was threatened with going back to prison last season, I’m rather tired of hearing about it.

I want to stress I in no way think Neal is playing Peter. Peter and Neal, during the course of the episode, both referred to the other as a friend. In ‘Vital Signs’ Neal confessed there was no one Neal trusted more than Peter. But I’m not completely convinced Neal’s admission that he no longer wanted to run and he sees he has a life in NYC is totally honest. This was coming soon after Diana told Neal that Peter’s job was on the line because he had trusted Neal’s lead. Part of me feels Neal wanted to reward Peter for his faith in him and so he told Peter what he knew he wanted to hear. Yet, I do believe Neal wants to be settled and not be on the run for his entire life. He wanted to settle down with Kate. And I don't believe Peter should be worried about Neal running. Neal wants to know who killed Kate and because she is (supposedly) dead, he has no one to run off with.

I aslo found it interesting as they were watching the news of the bank alarms going off all over town, Neal states, "He’s spreading us thin." The "us" stuck with me. He's seeing himself as part of the FBI.

The faked bickering in the bank vault? OMG, HOW MUCH DO I LOVE THAT SCENE! The writing? Brilliant! The acting? Brilliant! But I also love that it had layers. It said so much about them and their relationship. They know each other so well. A glance down at the table and dye pack and Peter knew where Neal was going. And Neal can start performing and Peter can quickly follow his lead. But there was truth to their 'argument'. As much as they like and admire each other, they do get on each others nerves. There were elements of truth to what each was saying...to the extent I'm wondering if Peter really has an unwritten novel in his head!

On the downside, I saw Renee as the inside woman from the beginning.

Neal and the Fedora. The hat trick was a nice call back to the pilot.

Favorite Lines:

Neal: “The infamous Caffrey and Burke. We’d be legends.”
Peter: “I can see the wanted posters now, but it would be Burke and Caffrey."

Neal: “Hell hath no furry like a Fed scorned.”

Peter: “Jones has excellent penmanship.”

Neal: “For the record it’s a marathon and not a sprint.”
Peter: “And he would know.”

Oh, and the final scene? It reminded me too much of ‘Free Fall’ and “Evil” Peter. I’m sorry, but they are not making Marsha a series regular and then making her one of the bad guys. Maybe Peter is having her hold it. I’m not going to think too much about it because it’s all a red herring.
  • Current Mood: tired tired
So, Neal Caffrey looks like Matt Bomer, is intelligent, charming, well traveled and Whitney is going to be scared off because he’s a convicted bond forger on parole? Seriously???

Huh.... okay maybe it's just me being me but I can totally see why someone would freak out at that. We KNOW what Neal did and that he's most likely harmless (at least in terms of how knowing there's a line he won't cross) but she has no reason to trust Neal at all. No reason to believe anything he said and I can understand worrying that he could have done something worse than what he admitted to. Plus he was speaking like the crimes he DID commit were no big deal - acting like it's ridiculous to have been arrested for it. As I've said previously if Peter didn't like Neal so much I wouldn't like Neal as much or be able to trust Neal at all.
I get rescinding the invitation to her apartment. Then again, I would never invite a guy I just met back to my place. But I didn't get the fleeing. He's being honest with her about his past and he's working with the FBI. Given she was obviously attracted to him, I could see her taken a step or two back, but why not make plans for dinner? Not that Neal wanted that, he got the response he wanted, but I just didn't feel it made a lot of sense from her POV.
Yes the director did work in several stunning shots. I also loved the one at the end when Neal put on his hat again and the sky was glorious in the background - truly beautiful.

I think it's pretty realistic for Neal to have to deal with some post trauma as no one can possibly just revert to the old them after something like that had happened to them but I think nabbing Walker would have brought some of the old Neal back.

The wanted posters - loved that part SO MUCH.

Haha I can understand why Whitney freaked out - it's quite a lot to swallow and she does not look exactly like the play with fire sort of girl, but her loss really ;)
Neal watched the love of his life get killed (supposedly ;), he almost died and it's only been two months. If he was fine, I would have found that very unbelievable. (And, on a personal note, that fic idea I have touches on PTSD so I was a bit squeeful that the writers went there. ;)

I think Caffrey & Burke has a better ring to it, but Peter should get top billing. :)
I don't even know if we get White Collar. But I'm glad to see you back.
You do! I know Season 1 aired in Canada, though I can't recall on what channel. But it was released on DVD yesterday. Nudge, Nudge. ;)
Thanks for clarifying that scene with Tiffany. I was apalled by how they did that but now it makes sense and i can *forgive* them. And red herring or not i like that final shot. Food for thoughts definitely.
When I think back to when they were filming the green screened scenes with Tiffani and Tim, Jeff Eastin, on Twitter, seemed very excited about using the technology. I got the impression that they wanted to experiment the bit (and the network was willing to foot the bill), but I wonder if when they saw the finished product they went, "Oops." I really don't understand why they couldn't have created a restaurant on a stage in LA. Did we need to see them eating outside?

I don't have any issues with the final shot. Obviously, they are setting up the story arc for the season and we already know Diana will play a part in that. I don't think for a moment she's "evil", but I am intrigued as to why she's holding the box.
Ah, i'm a *virgin* to any WC spoilers so i didn't know about what Eastin talked about on twitter. I don't know why they didn't use staged scene either but maybe when they realized that scene didn't work there was no time to reshoot it? Who knows.
As for the last twist i'm even ok with her being *evil*. I think they still would make her interesting and maybe a *double* agent that we'd think she's *bad* t figure out in the end she worked for bad guys but was undercover and is actually good.
I have nothing substantial to add, just that I am so glad it's back! :)
The show returned at a perfect time for me. I need the pretty and the fluff right now! :)
I’m a bit confused with the timeline and the missing two months.

Yeah, the "two months" thing is rather confusing. I could understand skipping ahead two months, due to the meeting date they'd found on Fowler's computer, but not that Neal had just gotten out of prison. Weirdness.

everyone involved did a good job of trying to make you believe Neal might have opted not to take the deal.

This. I knew it couldn't be as it seemed, and yet I still wondered just a smidge.

The "us" stuck with me. He's seeing himself as part of the FBI.

Yeah, he's definitely thinking of himself as a member of the team now, which just made me fistpump during the episode. :-D Also, while he may have referred to himself this way before, I don't remember it, so I was equally thrilled when Peter said, "He's my friend, too" to Mozzi. \o/

However, given how many times Neal was threatened with going back to prison last season, I’m rather tired of hearing about it.

I'm pretty tired of hearing it, too. However, I did appreciate that it wasn't Peter threatening Neal with going back this time. Instead it was, here's the situation we have to deal with. So at least that was different, because I was really tired of Peter threatening Neal with prison.

But I also love that it had layers.

This. I loved the bickering, too (as you know), but it was really the level of it that made it truly awesome.

I’m sorry, but they are not making Marsha a series regular and then making her one of the bad guys.

I'm pretty sure it's going to be that Diana and/or Peter don't trust OPR not to "lose" the music box in some deep dark hole and that's why she's got it tucked away in her closet. I will admit it gave me a bit of a start initially, though.
I'm fine with the time jump (says the person who watched BSG and Alias ;), but it's that we are to believe Neal was in jail all that time. He was on the verge of getting bail, yet he chose to sit in jail while he waited for the FBI to get the paperwork in order? Yeah, that's the excuse the writers are giving on Twitter.

What's also confusing is it was heavily alluded to that Peter had been watching Neal and noticing he was suffering for PTSD. Are we to believe he picked up on that sitting across a table from him in jail? And Neal would have had to help Peter prep the test heist so the FBI had him working for them while sitting in jail? Unless Peter didn't tell them he was having him help with the case, which would make no sense since he was obviously ready to go on his first day back. I'm so confused!

Also, while he may have referred to himself this way before, I don't remember it, so I was equally thrilled when Peter said, "He's my friend, too" to Mozzi.

In 'Hard Sell', Peter referred to Neal as his friend when he confronted Kate. But Kate had no contact with Neal. Saying it to Mozzie, who sees Neal daily (or so it seems) and who has been loyal and concerned about his friend I feel carries more wait.

But I'm not sure if Neal ever referred to Peter as his friend before. When Neal commented to Peter that Edward had made his friend look bad, it jumped out at me. I really felt we were watching Neal and Peter's relationship evolve during this episode. They definitely had a partnership developing in the back half of season 1, but I think both we're hesitant to admit they also had a friendship. Peter had, I would say, legitimate concerns that he could be being played by Neal and Neal has trust issues.

I'm pretty sure it's going to be that Diana and/or Peter don't trust OPR not to "lose" the music box in some deep dark hole and that's why she's got it tucked away in her closet. I will admit it gave me a bit of a start initially, though.

I have to admit I had a heads up about a 'shocking' twist at the end of the episode and that it involved a female character. I didn't think they would reveal Kate alive (at least not this soon ;), so my guess was the scene involved Diana.

And I like your theory! And it makes sense! Neal had concerns the music box would go missing, so why wouldn't Peter? And he certainly can't hide it at his house, which has been infiltrated by the bad guys - twice. Peter would have concerns about Neal trying to steal it, and he's shown he will do just about anything he can to try and keep Neal out of trouble.
Outside of the aforementioned, appallingly bad green screen, I loved it to pieces. I think given that it's the first ep back from break, it's easier to forgive the (perhaps too) familiar beats and red-herring parting shots because they're setting the stage for the rest of the season. We'll see if/how they keep us on our toes w/out relying on what might become expected (even if it really, really works) in later eps.

In the ancient recesses of my heart, Tim Matheson will always be Eric Stratton in "Animal House", so it did my heart good to see him playing an ev0l sort that I could actually see Stratton turning into if he went south (i.e. smarmy rich bastard who gets his jollies knocking off banks for a few mil. LOL)
If the writers begin relying on red-herring scenes to 'shock' us, I may start getting gripey. ;) I actually think the Diana scene worked better than the scene with Peter at the end of 'Hard Sell' because a) we don't know her as well and b) I had suspected that Peter had been in contact with Kate.

Did you see the deleted scene I linked to on Twitter? I'm wondering if it was cut because it clearly showed that Peter was questioning who he could trust within the FBI and perhaps would have alluded to his involvement in the music box swap.
I enjoyed the episode a lot. It was fun seeing Tim Matheson playing a different kind of bad guy from his Burn Notice psycho.

The only thing that I questioned was the lack of follow-up after the discovery of the inside woman; does that mean the other robberies had inside accomplices, too? If not, why would this one be different? And really, isn't that cheating the game Edward is playing? Tsk!
I was just reading how Matheson got the part. He had already been hired as the director, but the part of Edward had yet to be cast so he was reading Edward's lines during run-throughs. Someone finally said, "Hey, do you want to do it?" :)

Good point on the accomplices! From what Neal mentioned earlier, that he was still unable to figure how The Architect pulled off Boston, I guess we could assume each heist was done differently and the only way the FBI could connect them was through the business cards left behind. Which means it was really, really dumb to leave those behind! If he did have inside people on each job, yeah, his accomplishments are far less impressive. And shouldn't the FBI then be tracking down and arresting those people? Which we had no mention of. Good thing I don't watch for the plot. ;)