WC - OT3 Couch - Shadowhuntress

White Collar: Vital Signs

At least one person on the White Collar writing staff has to be reading fan fiction.


I'm not going to discuss the plot. I can't discuss the plot. If I try to think about it my brain hurts. I hate to call it sloppy writing, but it was bordering on that. The scenes in the hospital were particularly problematic. Peter's ease in wandering around the building. Peter and Neal's apparently unhindered escape from the building. Peter knowing where to find the security tape and getting his hands on it. Where was the guard watching the monitors we saw earlier?

I'm also 99% certain the evidence collected in the FBI sting - which was actually a con job - is inadmissible in court.

I said I wasn't going to talk about the plot, didn't I? Moving on.....

As always, the character moments saved the episode. While Neal and Peter will always be the focus of the show, I was happy to see Elizabeth - and Tiffani - had the opportunity to come mto the forefront and shine. Simply put, Elizabeth was Awesome. For a second I actually believed she was crying at the discovery of the business card and Peter's attempted explanation, which left me going "Huh?" since the reaction was so unlike Elizabeth, but it was her laughter she was trying to stifle. (My favorite moment within the scene was Elizabeth asking if there was surveillance tape she could see. :)

I adore the level of trust between the two. Just as she knows her husband is a failure at flirting, she knows she can trust his faithfulness. Still, she had every right to be perturbed at Peter's neglecting to mention the message. I had a feeling the omission was going to come back to haunt him, though it provided one of the highlights of the episode when Elizabeth later informed Peter there were, "dishes that need washing, Magic Hands".

Neal seemed extra adorable this week. I might even go so far to say the adorableness was laid on a little thick. Neal spends his Saturday afternoon with June watching her granddaughter play soccer in the park. He drops by unannounced for breakfast and rummages through the cereal box for the toy sheriff's badge. He does his best Clark Kent impersonation at the clinic (and there is a whole lot of meta there because those may, in fact, have been Matt's glasses and he almost was Clark Kent). Neal sings! I didn't think they would show off Matt's singing talent until season 2. And, of course, Neal is still incredibly talented and charming while drugged.

Then there was that moment. Neal tells Peter he's the only person in his life he trusts. Some have questioned whether Neal remembers the declaration. I think he does. He may have been loopy, but he wasn't completely out of it. Plus, in 'Hard Sell', Neal already told Peter he trusted him and asked him if he had his back which meant the statement wasn't jaw-dropping.

I've also seen a few people question whether Neal was manipulating Peter, possibly to encourage him to get that surveillance tape. I don't believe so. Neal is genuinely appreciative of the life he is living as opposed to the one he could be living. In the teaser, Neal's comment to June about enjoying the fresh air and scenery was, imo, helping to set up the Neal/Peter scene. Neal knows he should be - and would be - in prison if not for Peter's faith in him. He disobeyed Peter's instructions and broke in to the clinic on his own. While I've grown tired of the threats to put Neal back behind bars, in this instance, I could see how his actions could cause that to happen. He wasn't there as part of an FBI investigation.

As a viewer, we've seen how Kate has jerked Neal around and Neal may be beginning to doubt her intentions and loyalty. It's relatively easy to accept Neal would trust Peter over Kate. Neal stating he trusts Peter more than Mozzie may seem like a stretch, but I think I get it. Mozzie has exhibited a great deal of loyalty, has gone above and beyond to help Neal, and I'd say loves Neal (as a friend! ;). But, like Neal, Mozzie is a con man and I'm sure within the 'profession' con man have to have a certain level of distrust of each other for the sake of their survival.

Peter wants nothing from Neal. Sure, he uses Neal's smarts, talent and connections to help him solve cases, but it's never for personal gain. We even know Peter has turned down promotions in the past to stay where he is because it's the work that is important to him. So, I can see why Neal trusts Peter more than anyone else in his life. Peter doesn't have an ulterior motive. He's not looking to advance his career or get rich off of Neal's accomplishments. Whatever he does for Neal is for Neal and Neal has come to see that.

As for fanon becoming canon, I've lost track of how many fics I've read in which Neal is ill/has been injured in the line of duty and is taken to the Burke home to spend the night while Elizabeth cares for him. The scene was very amusing. I especially enjoyed Elizabeth attentiveness towards Neal to annoy Peter for leaving out the not so small detail about his encounter with the woman from the charity. And I'm sure it was just a matter of time before the scene happened, Neal spends as much time there as he does at June's. But I've never been a fan of a show that has come so close to fandom's ideas for it. It's WEIRD.

Random Notes:

I didn't go back and check last week's episode, but did the theme music change?

Jeff Eastin has discussed shooting the back half of the season out of order, though the episodes are being shown in the order intended. It was especially noticeable this week as Tiffani was wearing a belted dress and, last week, was wearing loose tops to cover her pregnancy.

Matt looked like he needed a haircut.

The episode was written by a woman. I was very excited by that. It may explain Elizabeth's larger role.

Where's Lauren? Shouldn't they explain her absence? At least Jones had a slightly bigger role.


How is it I'm able to write so much about a show of so little substance???
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Yeah, some of this episode was actually embarrassing in regard to the blatant disregard for the way things work in the real world, but then I don't watch it for that. Hee!

I absolutely LOVED El in this one. Her trying not to laugh but instead crying with laughter was just perfect. And Neal was so adorable in his loopy state, but yeah, he wasn't so out of it that he has no memory of it.

You want to read something that's even better than last night's ep? Check out halcyon_shift's That One Time, With That Thing. It's all about how Neal ended up in prison and it's frakking perfect.
It's a bit funny we're criticizing a series believability after spending six years watching a show involving gods, robot uprisings and special destinies. ;p

Another thing I loved about El, was as Peter was distracted by his anger at Neal for screwing up and having to go to a judge to get a warrant, El (calmly) pointed out that if Peter was invited to the clinic there were no legal issues to worry about.

Thanks for the rec. I'll definitely check it out. :)
Ya the theme music sounded different this week but I'm liking it and the new credits had grown on me.

I think Matt's hair still looks okay hee. In fact I was rewatching the pilot a few days ago and missing his longer hair then.

Ya this episode requires too much suspense of belief which is truly annoying but as long as the characters continue to be awesome I will watch.

If peter's omission of all the details of his flirt will result in many make it up to El sessions I don't mind LOL.

I wonder how much the writers poke around online. I know the Supernatural writers pay a lot of fanservice to their viewers thus irritating me a lot but it looks like the whole OT3 thing in White Collar now may have been planned rght from the beginning: from the pilot there was already a strong sense that Neal is going to plant himself in the Burke household lol. I love June's house but I think Neal should move in with the Burkes lol.

And how gorgeous was Elizabeth in that red dress!!
I'm willing to suspend belief with most TV series. If shows were completely true to life they would be pretty boring. ;) But this episode was really pushing the limits of believability. I get frustrated because the show has the potential to be awesome overall and not just awesome when it comes to the characters and their relationships.

I know Jeff Eastin and the writers read fan reaction on Twitter. They may also check out White Collar's Facebook page. I looked at USA's White Collar forum today and that was pretty dead so I doubt they venture there much. Jeff stated in an interview that, originally, he envisioned the show focusing on the 'Con of the Week', but realized the show's strength was the relationship between Neal and Peter and that character dynamic. But I'm not entirely clear if he reached that conclusion as he was writing and plotting out the season or after seeing Matt and Tim in the pilot or if fan reaction influenced the turn the show took. It's probably a combination of all those things.

I'm waiting for Peter to walk into the spare bedroom and wonder when Neal started bringing his things over. ;)

Tiffani looked especially fabulous in this episode. Maybe it was the 'just found out I'm pregnant' glow. :)
I love White Collar for Peter, El and Neal. It's pure fun, it makes me happy, and sometimes, that's all I want. :)
I agree. I enjoy having a show to look forward to each week that I know won't leave me emotionally drained. ;)
My favorite line reading ever, so far:

"Oh, you mean these? WHUT?!"

Yeah, thought I was gonna die. XD