I'm trying to decompress a bit and type up my White Collar thoughts before I forget said thoughts. If you leave comments while I'm gone, they probably won't get a response until next week. Sorry! Until the Marriott enters the 21st Century and provides free wireless, my internet time will either be limited or non-existent while I'm away.
After the awesomeness of last weeks episode, "Prisoner's Dilemma", I have to admit to being disappointed with "Company Man". There were scenes I loved and Tim/Peter was given some good stuff, but the plot was even more incoherent than usual and the guest stars were poorly used.
We saw very little of Kent, who turned out to be the murderer, and spent far too much time on Trent the Ass, who disappeared midway through the episode. Apparently, he was a red herring, another possible suspect, but I pegged Jessica as haaving had an affair with the victim and Kent as the killer right away. Not that White Collar ever keeps us guessing as to who the bag gay/gal is, but it seemed all too obvious this week.
While I thought it was potentially interesting to have Jessica and her loss parallel Neal and his grief over Kate, the execution was heavy-handed. And if we couldn't figure out Jessica = Neal, we had Peter there to spell it out for us with his confronting Neal about his empathy and need for revenge rather than justice.
An interesting idea was having Peter poisoned and Neal rushing to save him, but, unfortunately, this was another plot point poorly executed. Having Peter's life be in danger is tough sell. We know he's not going to die, but there is drama to be mined from the reactions of those close to him, like Neal. However, with the whole poisoning/rescue over in a matter of a couple minutes and Peter's life saved during a commercial break, there was never any tension.
We finally have all the cards or, more precisely, music box on the table, which is good, but it's unbelievable both Mozzie and Neal would be shocked to learn Peter was involved in it's theft. I could buy them not being 100% certain, but we're to believe they weren't even suspicious of him? Neal has expressed to Mozzie - and Peter - that he felt Peter was not being completely honest with him. And during "Company Man" Neal commented several times on the closeness of Peter and Diana so once Mozzie spotted the sheet music, and connected it to the music box, why would they think Peter had no involvement?
The end felt very rushed. After eight episodes of having the music box be an issue between the two, there was a minute(?) spent on what each knew and the opening of it.
Now that I have my bitching and complaining out of the way ;), let me talk about what worked and what I liked.
The scene between Neal and Peter in the teaser was awesome. NEAL WAS HELPING PETER GET DRESSED. The moment that really got to me was Neal assisting Peter with the cufflinks. As one of my Twitter friends said, it was like they were an old married couple. There's an ease to their interactions. The only thing that could have made the scene better was Elizabeth walking in to give them botha kiss goodbye. ;)
Speaking of Elizabeth, she was only in one scene, but her presence was felt throughout the episode. This was the most successful episode in terms of handling Tiffani's limited availability during her pregnancy.
On second viewing, I appreciated the scene even more for how much was packed into it. We had the fan service, but we also learned Peter was recruited by several fortune 500 companies and could have had a very different life. He and Neal may never have met.....or may have under different circumstances. ;) And they finally agree to work together (or have Mozzie and Diana work together) on the music box/Fowler's disappearance/Kate's death. It's also made clear, no matter how far they've come, personally and professionally, there still are trust issues. The issues born of fear the other won't act in a desired way. Peter fears Neal will seek revenge and thus end up back in prison. Neal fears Peter will allow the government to handle it all and Fowler will escape justice.
The tension between the two, when Neal throws Peter's "Do what's right" back at him and when both promise "no more secrets" (which I suspect neither believes), was terrific. As was Peter's talking about the people in his life, their importance to him, and how they make him the man he is. I hope Neal realized, even with all the aggravation he causes him, Peter was including him.
As for the LJ/Twitter/Facebook brouhaha, I'm too tired to really comment. I have no issue with the linking to your own post. However, linking comments does boggle my mind. Not for the security reasons, but what's the point? Out of context, most comments make very little (if any) sense.