SG1 - Prepare to Squee - Lifeistoobrevis

White Collar: Prisoner's Dilemma

I'm posting twenty-four hours after the episode aired. A vast improvement over last week. :) I'm not using a White Collar icon since I feel the Stargate one is so very appropriate for this weeks episode. I'm sure Vala would approve.


First let me get this out. Peter! Elizabeth! IN A ROOM TOGETHER! And no green screen in sight! :D I was so focused on that I missed most of the dialogue the first time around. Though, I did pick up on their non-verbal and fragmented conversation. Seem familiar? My mind went to 'Unfinished Business'. Neal and Peter have developed the same ability to know what the other is thinking and what they are going to say without having to say it.

I thought I had seen series pay fan service before, but never quite like White Collar last night. Truth is, I'm not usually a fan of fan service. Usually, it's done for the wrong reasons, done poorly or both. Nothing in 'Prisoner's Dilemma' struck me as forced or coming out of nowhere. Neal and Peter's relationship is complex and unique. They know it. We know it. So to have fun with it, to shine a light on how their relationship could be interpreted, seemed natural to me.

We begin with Neal trying to crash Peter and Elizabeth's date night. If circumstances were different, I may have been a little perturbed at Peter's resounding “No”, but we have had to suffer through Elizabeth's absence so it's understandable, after so much time apart, they want some alone time together. However, I suspect if Neal had called El, she would have given in and she and Peter would have been making a museum run while the pot roast cooked.

When Neal approached Diana about going to the Powell, I was rather taken aback by her reaction. She seemed rather mean with her, “I went last week. You shouldn't have waited so long.” I wondered where the reaction was coming from and thought we would get an explanation later in the episode, but, no. On second viewing, I didn't have a problem with what she said, but how she said it. Whether it was Marsha or the direction I think it was a poor choice of line delivery. When Jones shot Neal down later, I had no issue with it.

Upon learning Franklin was demoted after having an inappropriate relationship with his CI, I thought to myself, “They're going to go with that parallel? SERIOUSLY???” So can we assume Neal and Peter are Franklin and Rebecca in about a year? ;)

Nick Halden: Car Saleman. That was a perfect confluence of con man and cover. I really loved seeing 'Nick' try - and succeeded - in selling Dan a car. I spent two plus years in retail hell and I never judged what a person might spend based on their appearance. My co-workers who did? Big mistake.

There were several other things I loved beside the Neal/Peter interaction. The ENTIRE cast was well used. Each character and actor had a moment to shine (I especially enjoyed Jones pretending to turn on Peter) and no one seem marginalized.

The anklet was also well used. There's been criticism that Neal seems to frequently travel outside his two mile radius. (I still don't bblieve the hanger in 'Unfinished Business' could exist within it.) But we saw Neal, in his desperation to attend the White Bored exhibit, is constrained. We learned the new anklet can pinpoint his location within a yard. And we also learned it can be a detriment to Peter as well. Deckard (or anyone else with connections to the Marshal's office) can find Peter's location when he's with Neal, which, as we know, is often.

Neal's competitive streak was in full force and was even encouraged and celebrated by Peter. Neal was positively gleeful when he asked Peter, “Is this a CI off?” And Peter was so proud when his CI beat Franklin's.

But my absolute favorite moment was thanks to the AWESOME Bancroft. Since I felt almost all of Bancroft's scenes could have easily been scenes with Hughes, I'm assuming the character was created due to James Rebhorn being tied up with another project. However, Hughes mostly has a grudging acceptance of Neal because Neal elevates the unit's success rate. Bancroft went several steps further. Maybe he really did want to go to the White Bored exhibit, but it also just could have been a thank you to Neal for his contributions and help in clearing two agents. I so badly wanted Neal to get to go the exhibit. He wanted it so much!

A few random thoughts:

We now know Elizabeth and Moz's safe words. I'm not sure I want to know why Moz has one and how he came to use “bread basket”.

I do, on the other hand, want to see the amazing view from Thursday. ;)

Favorite line (and one I'm likely to use) myself: “I guess it was more of an FYI.”

Other great lines: “Be careful, Mario.” And when Neal talks about the car coming equipped with a GPS tracking device, Peter responds with, “Just like you.”

Neal now has a key to his anklet. What will he do??? I'm sure the writer's have another plan, but I'd love to see Neal have the key until his time with the FBI is up and just as Peter goes to unlock the anklet, Neal whips out the key and does it himself. In other words, he chooses to stay put.
Truth is, I'm not usually a fan of fan service. Usually, it's done for the wrong reasons, done poorly or both. Nothing in 'Prisoner's Dilemma' struck me as forced or coming out of nowhere.

Yeah, me too on both counts. Badly done fan service makes me cringe (AtS, I'm looking at you), but White Collar has always existed in a generous-to-fans realm, so it absolutely worked for me here. Also helped that no one did the nudge-and-wink spelling-things-out. That would have killed it.

As it was... poetry! <3 <3 <3

"Mario" is now a term of endearment! *hearts soooo much*

So can we assume Neal and Peter are Franklin and Rebecca in about a year? ;)

It makes me wonder whether aspersions will be cast by OPR, regardless of whether there's any truth to them. I mean, this is White Collar! Anything is possible!
Badly done fan service makes me cringe (AtS, I'm looking at you)

You wouldn't be talking about Season 5 and a certain vamp rising from the ashes, would you? ;)

There is one difference between the relationship Franklin had with Rebecca and Peter with Neal - Franklin was sneaking around, whereas Peter is open about his relationship. :)
I'm talking about season 5 and the pasteded on Spike/Angel. /o\

whereas Peter is open about his relationship. :)

Making him much less susceptible to blackmail. So true! \o/
To this day, I recall Spike making the remark about "accept for the one time" and gong "NOOOOOOOO!!! Damn you, Joss!" I'm obviously not against slash, but there was nothing prior to that moment indicating Spike and Angel had that type of relationship, even briefly.
Yes, that. So bad! /o\

Btw, this:

I'd love to see Neal have the key until his time with the FBI is up and just as Peter goes to unlock the anklet, Neal whips out the key and does it himself. In other words, he chooses to stay put.

SO MUCH LOVE!
It's a damn shame that Eureka is going to need to keep Joe Morton around their neck of the woods in the future. I'd love to see more Bancroft, too. ;)
sounds like jeff wants to bring him back again. so who knows we may see him again.
I must have missed that tweet from Jeff. I'd like to see Bancroft back, but it seems that Eureka's filming schedule and White Collar's overlap so it would be tricky..
It would be hilarious if Bancroft came back and was all buddy-buddy with Neal. I can imagine Hughes and Peter's reactions. :)
First let me get this out. Peter! Elizabeth! IN A ROOM TOGETHER! And no green screen in sight!
Yes! This! I didn't realized how much i missed them together.
And word to your review. I agree with what you said but i even didn't have any problem with Diana's answer to Neal. I thought it was IC for her. I didn't take it as mean, just a little rude as she can be sometimes.
Given Neal and Diana have seemed fairly close this season, her response perplexed me. Had she said it in a more teasing manner, it would have worked better and been more believable.
I love your episode reviews. I have a few thoughts to add, but I copied and pasted them from another place because I'm too lazy to re-write them:

A couple of things that I noticed or thought of between all the squeeing:


--I like that date night isn't borne out from an argument. I like that date night is Peter's idea. I like that Peter can cook at least one thing. It shows an equality in their partnership that is just wonderful compared to so many other television relationships.


--Neal selling the car to that guy. I know he had an ulterior motive but I think it's fantastic that Neal understood that this man was a 'real' customer.

--Neal mentions he's been in a prisoner's dilemma. Does that mean this is how he was technically caught? Because Kate was used against him, or because she flipped on him?

--How could Kate have called Fowler at that time? And by the one-sided conversation, it seemed like the person on the phone was surprised Peter was there.

And how does Mozzie know who bought the phone?

--I like Bancroft...Barncoft???. But I think it will turn out he's the Big Bad. He's so awesome he has to be secretly evil.

--Peter cooks! But he got distracted by his sense of justice. I want to see him actually cook something and have El (and Neal!) enjoying it. :D

--Peter has been with the FBI for 12 years. That's a fun fact.

--El asked Satchmo about his "daddy". For some reason this just makes me all melty towards Peter and Elizabeth.

--Mozzie observed Peter's "manifest destiny". I thought that was fun.

--I am amused by the J. Edgar Hoover reference at the end. It's a fun way to reference the FBI and I'm glad he did it. :D

Mozzie wanted the last word and he got it in. ;-)
I like that date night isn't borne out from an argument. I like that date night is Peter's idea. I like that Peter can cook at least one thing. It shows an equality in their partnership that is just wonderful compared to so many other television relationships.

I too like that date night was simply a result of too much time apart and a desire to spend time together rather than "I owe you for doing something stupid". And now that we know Peter makes a great pot roast (so good he apparently bragged to Neal about) and Neal makes great soup and El can probably whip up a great dessert, can we assume a future date night will include all three? ;)

Neal selling the car to that guy. I know he had an ulterior motive but I think it's fantastic that Neal understood that this man was a 'real' customer.

That was one of my favorite moments. I wonder if there was a time in his life he was that guy? It's hard to imagine, but without the clothes and persona he's cultivated there may have been a time people weren't so quick to hand him whatever he wanted.

Neal mentions he's been in a prisoner's dilemma. Does that mean this is how he was technically caught? Because Kate was used against him, or because she flipped on him?

I HAD THE SAME THOUGHT! On third viewing, but, still! I was thinking she flipped on him, but he loved her so much he forgave her. And perhaps her guilt forced her to stand by him and visit him every week for four years.

How could Kate have called Fowler at that time? And by the one-sided conversation, it seemed like the person on the phone was surprised Peter was there.

Maybe when he was taken into custody, he still had his phone on him? But, yeah, I don't know that he'd be surprised by Peter's presence at the airport.

Did you see the Burke family portrait circa 2003 on Twitter? Awwwwww.....
Neal now has a key to his anklet. What will he do??? I'm sure the writer's have another plan, but I'd love to see Neal have the key until his time with the FBI is up and just as Peter goes to unlock the anklet, Neal whips out the key and does it himself. In other words, he chooses to stay put.

That is such a perfect ending for when Neal and Peter's adventure has to come to an end for the TV audience, but alas I think Neal has it for whatever he is thinking of pursuing re: Kate's death or no-death. I'm not very convinced she is dead still.

This episode has many many great lines, and is one of the better episodes this season.