Asta 2

White Collar: Need To Know

Warning: You may encounter uncontrollable squee behind the cut. ;)

The title of the episode reflects Peter and Neal's "need to know" rather than pertaining to the case/criminal of the week. That's different. But I'm not sure it's siginifcant or simply the best title the writers could come up with. ;)

As much as I loved the episode, I have some quibbles. I still feel the plotting could be tighter. It almost seemed like an afterthought at times. And after the elaborate scavenger hunt for the cash (which was hilarious and well plotted), it seemed tracing the money wasn't even necessary after arresting Barrow and having him make a deal. (Sidenote: Why are all criminals on this show quick to make a deal? Does no one go to court and fight the charges? I want to see Neal and Peter on the witness stand!)

The Man Behind the Paper. Could he have been any more obvious in trying to hide his face? It was the one funny scene that shouldn't have been funny.

I understand the desire to include Tiffani in every episode. The green screen wasn't as bad as last week. At least her face didn't look distorted. But even with Neal's comment about El's business becoming very successful, am I to believe there aren't great event planners in San Francisco?

Now, onto the awesome, of which there was much.

Peter: Mozzie votes?
Neal: More often than you think...Or would approve of.

My first "HEE!" of the night. It doesn't surprise me that Mozzie votes, and often. He's paranoid about the government and their involvement in our lives so it makes sense he'd try to have his say in how things are run (though I'm sure not using his own name).

Neal didn't graduate from high school. I was as surprised as Peter by that revelation. However, shouldn't that be information the FBI has on Neal? Seems strange if they can create false identities, that they're unable to find out if Neal graduated high school.

I always assumed Neal wasn't a college graduate, though perhaps took some courses. It's possible there are family reasons behind not graduating. Or maybe he was simply bored.

I think the majority of fandom concluded that a) Diana was not the bad guy/working for the bad guy and b) was holding the music box under orders from Peter. I'm thankful they didn't draw out the reveal. Taking the music box is a line Peter likely never thought he would cross, but given what has happened to him, El, and Neal, courtesy of Fowler and OPR, taking the box is probably the best thing to do for them.

It didn't occur to me that Jennings had the photos taken of Peter and Diana. It was a nice surprise. But what I most appreciated is Neal is aware Peter (with Diana's assistance) is actively investigating the music box and explosion. One of my concerns for the season was we would know what Peter is up to, but Neal would be in the dark. And when the truth finally came out it would do some serious damage to their relationship.

While Neal may not have all the facts and Peter will continue to lie about his investigation, Neal's awareness will prevent suspicion and distrust from growing. It also helps that Mozzie pointed out Peter is trying to protect Neal and they've kept secrets from Peter as well. Ultimately, whatever Neal may be feeling, he knows Peter isn't out to stab him in the back or harm him. I also think he's self-aware enough to realize, if Peter did share everything, then he'd go off and do something foolish.

What struck me in Neal's confrontation with Peter was that he wasn't hurt because Peter withheld information, but because he had lied to him. Neal admits he's used his words to lead Peter to draw conclusions, but he's never lied to him. It can be argued there is little to no difference between the two things, but to Neal there is. He obviously prided himself on his 'truthfulness' with Peter. And, in fairness, he's never conned Peter. Peter has always known Neal as Neal. And to not be given the same respect, the same trust, hurts.

I wasn't spoiled for the scenes between Neal and Diana, but I had read enough buzz about them to become very excited. I must say, my expectations were far exceeded. :) I expected bantering and cuteness (and maybe a little sexiness ;), but not the sharing! And the backstory! And theb two bonding like that! They are the definition of fast friends. Has Neal told the story of his first date with Kate to anybody else? I suspect not. And how often does Diana open up about feeling responsible for Charlie's death? As close as Neal has become to Peter and as much as Diana respects the “Boss”, they'll never bond with Peter as they did with each other in that moment.

Neal may question the daughter of a diplomat going into law enforcement, but it makes sense to me. The man she thought of as a father, whose job it was to protect her, was killed. Now she's chosen a profession in which she can protect others. It would also be interesting to discover if, like Neal, she's looking for some revenge against those who killed Charlie, if they were not caught.

There were so many cute moments between them as well. Neal getting her to take full advantage of the suite. Diana revealing the art behind the art and encouraging Neal to leave something behind (that he drew the bridge made me go, “Awwwwww”). Revealing to Neal Peter once had a mustache, then tracking down a photo to share with him. Which, in turn, lead to Matt/Neal's awesome Mario Brothers impression. And the family vibe in the FBI offices following that moment was off the charts.

No offense to Nathalie Morales, but I am SO GLAD Marsha is back. She fits so much better into the dynamic. I know part of it is the writing. Diana has been given more screen time and she's written as being more kick ass. I LOVED her taking down Barrow on her own, complete with stiletto heal to the chest. I can't even imagine Lauren in that scene. And if Lauren had been asked to go undercover as a prostitute, there would have been snark and finding a way to blame Neal. Neal's, "It's good to have her back" felt like a statement on the part of the writers.

Also awesome, were the scenes between Peter and Mozzie. We've come to the point where Peter doesn't even attempt to brainstorm for a Plan B. He goes to Mozzie and follows his ridiculous rules. he even just sits and reads the magazine as Moz may be rifling through who knows what. (And it dawns on me Moz originally told Peter to grab a 'Sports Illustrated' because he knew that's what Peter would enjoy reading. :)

Finally, lots of random things I loved:

Moz's participation in the letter writing campaign and Neal's surprised and pleased response, "There's a letter campaign?"

Peter removing the magnet from the refrigerator.....and reading the note. Nosy!

Mozzie's, "That'll do Pig. That'll do." HEE.

"All of your quotes are getting on my nerves. Peter Burke."

Mr.C and Mr. F. It's a long, complicated story and one I hope we'll hear.

Neal got a park built! See what can happen when he uses his powers for good instead of evil. Peter was so proud of him. :)

And has Peter called Mozzie Mozzie before? He was using his name (well, nickname) A LOT in this episode as opposed to Neal's "friend" or "Haversham".
  • Current Mood: stressed stressed
Enjoying reading your reviews.
I was afraid Diana won't *fit* or i won't like her but i think she fits perfectly (at least so far) and makes dynamics more interesting. I adore that sharing scene.
I really liked Diana in the pilot, though my fondness for her was due in large part to her being a lesbian and knowing at least one woman on the show would be immune to Neal Caffery's charms. ;) I really appreciated the writers directly addressed that with her telling Neal getting up close and personal with him wasn't doing a damn thing for her. When the character was brought back I had a small fear she'd suddenly be bisexual.

I need a Diana icon!
When they first say she's gay i was afraid they'll go a cliche route with tough woman who does everything better then *poor* men. I didn't mind other women falling under Neal's charms because i never saw it as something serious more like a flirt from both sides. Still when Diana came back i liked her (maybe because she was vivid) but that sharing scene did it all to me. I finally saw a woman, not a cliche and i like she isn't under Neal's charms and i wouldn't mind if she would fall for it (not in sexual way of course) but mostly i want them to be real friends. She got me interested in her and that's a lot.
I liked the episode too, and I'm very glad Diana is back. This show is ultimately about characters and they've rounded hers out nicely.

I think I chortled out loud at, "There's a letter campaign?"
Lauren was never developed and pretty much disappeared by the end of the season. I have my suspicions that the writers had plans for Diana, but when Marsha wasn't able to come back for Season 1, it left them with a need for another female character, but not sure what to do with her. Plus, I never felt Nathalie had the chemistry with the cast that Marsha seems to have.

I think I chortled out loud at, "There's a letter campaign?"

Me too. :) Neal's pretty impressed with himself, so if he's surprised by the success of his actions, that's really saying something!

Aw, yay! It was so nice to read this! \o/ \o/ \o/ I had isssssues with this episode, but it's probably mostly that I'm grumpy at the world in general, and I enjoyed last week so much that my expectations got ramped up a bit too high. Must re-watch.
I wanted to answer this before I read your post. I had a feeling that amongst all the squee I was reading, there were people who would have issues with the episode and I could understand why. Now to see if what I thought could be problematic is what troubled you...
"Neal didn't graduate from high school. I was as surprised as Peter by that revelation. However, shouldn't that be information the FBI has on Neal? Seems strange if they can create false identities, that they're unable to find out if Neal graduated high school."

I was a bit surprised at this as well. My idea is that Neal faked a graduation certificate for some job. I can't imagine that the FBI hasn't looked into it for their records.
I'm sure Neal has faked a diploma...or two. ;) It's just given how much time Peter invested in researching Neal, I would have thought he would have discovered Neal didn't actually finish high school. Perhaps Peter was shocked to realize he isn't as good as he thought? ;)
Ya the plot is loose and I don't care about it at all oops - this is no good.

I am also glad that Diana is back, and I literally gasped when Neal was shown the photos of Peter and Diana lol. Did not see that coming!
I thought it was the guy they were after at the beginning of the episode who was either watching Peter or had hired someone to watch Peter. It didn't occur to me that Jennings and his people were behind it, so, for once, they got me! ;)