Asta 2

White Collar: Burke's Seven

I'm just a wee bit delayed in posting about Tuesday's episode. It's been one of those weeks. Hopefully, I can get back into a pattern of posting on Wednesdays. Anyway, on to the show!

While I think "Burke's Seven" is one of the best episodes to date, and I appreciate how the entire cast was utilized in the episode, I, being who I am, do have some quibbles. ;) I continue to wish the writers would turn a more critical towards the plotting. It's as if they have a very clear of idea of Point A and Point C and throw in a Point B to bridge A and C. Paul Blackthorne was terrific as Larson, but it was difficult to believe he was an expert hitman, who missed Mozzie's heart at close range, and an elusive smuggler, who thought he could clearly delete a name from a file and have it go unnoticed. And I don't know if I should criticize Larson for thinking a hat is a cunning disguise or the FBI for being fooled by it.

While it's understandable they were all eager to catch Moz's shooter - who had also murdered others - Peter rather easily allowed a meeting of the top forgers in the city. I can see it's more urgent to get a killer off the street than a forger, but I wish the point was addressed more from the fed side.

(Also, I'll assume June has a elevator and the Burkes have a ramp because, otherwise, I don't know how Moz, in a wheelchair, got to Neal's room or the Burke dining room. ;)

OK, enough with the quibbling. On to the good.....

I realized, after my first viewing, my notes consisted of a very long list of quotes. There were so many great lines. Here's (for me) the cream of the crop:

"You are listening to me."
"I've never appreciated your distrust of me more."
"I see what you did there."
"Very good, Ironside."
"Now, it's the Burke's Seven."

However, it was Neal's request for combat training that made me burst out laughing. Peter is fearful of the idea, but, the more I think about it, Neal has shown us some impressive moves in the past. He'd likely do OK with it. Or maybe that's Peter's real worry. ;)

While White Collar's focus is the relationship between Neal and Peter, it was interesting that their relationship, especially on the heels of the events in "Point Blank", was not integral to the story. We did see some forward movement with each bending to the other's way of thinking - a logical development at this point. (Though I would add it's time for Jeff Eastin to take a break from Peter being in trouble with the bureau. He's had three suspensions in ten episodes? That's excessive. And not suspenseful since, for the premise to continue, Peter has to get his badge back.)

As I mentioned earlier, it was wonderful to see all the characters involved in the story and well utilized. Elizabeth was her usual awesome self. I found her conning Mozzie, a harder sell, more entertaining than conning the guy on the phone. Though, I loved the look Neal had at the end of the phone conversation - a mixture of impressed, embarrassed and maybe something more. ;) Also, loved El's kissing Moz on the cheek. Awwwww.

Diane was Diane. Again, awesome.

Jones is finally in the loop! Hopefully, we'll see him more involved in the off the books investigation as the season progresses. I felt he believed, as we do, Peter was trying to limit collateral damage if the FBI got wind what they've done. I was also amused to learn he and Neal have something in common: they both hate the van. Hee!

Poor Mozzie was beating himself up for betraying Neal. I anticipated his thoughts of retirement arose because he had been shot, but it was really about finding himself more and more working with The Suit(s). And Neal's reaction to Moz's confession showed some character growth. Not that Neal would have necessarily been furious before, but he seems to have more insight into himself. That he can act rashly, the consequences of those actions can be harmful, and people are trying to save him from himself.

Hughes! Action Hughes! I did not expect him to charge in, gun drawn. It was an unexpected moment. I always saw him as more of an administrator.

There seems to be a fandom divide in regards to Sara. You either love her or hate her. So, being the contrarian I am, I don't take either view. ;) I do feel she works better as a character working with the group (and Neal) than trying to nail Neal for his past crimes. Inevitably, she'd be thwarted in her pursuit and that would get real old, real fast. I expect we will get an explanation for her sudden warming up to Neal and his charms. And I suspect she also has lost someone she loved and this makes her more sympathetic to Neal. Given some of her looks, it's also clear she's more than sympathetic, but attracted to Neal.

Neal appears suspicious of Sara's change of heart. I don't think he thinks she is playing an angle, but does wonder why so sudden? Yet, they are two very pretty people. And since he hasn't had a physical relationship in a long time, I certainly can't fault him for entertaining the idea of letting something develop. Sara, having loosened up a bit, helps sell a relationship between the two.

Since this was the mid-season premiere, I thought it was a nice touch to reference back to the season premiere, "Withdrawal", in which Neal and Peter had discussed forming a crew and referenced Butch and Sundance. It's moments such as those that make me believe Jeff Eastin has a long term plan for the series.
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I agree on the Peter's suspensions thing - not suspenseful at all anymore. In fact, what I'd really like is for someone to try it again, and for Hughes to roll his eyes and make them go away. Because it is rather ridiculous anymore.

Loved both the good use of Elizabeth and Jones in this; it can be a little too easy to sideline them, so I'm glad they both got some good stuff and that Jones is in the know now. Yay!

You know, I don't love Sara, either, but the more people I run into complaining about her, the more I feel pushed in that direction. (For example, see icon, although part of the reason I got that is because it's simply very pretty.) I'm definitely glad that she's no longer (mostly) trying to catch Neal, although like Peter, is still interested when he mentions alleged *ahem* crimes.
You know, I don't love Sara, either, but the more people I run into complaining about her, the more I feel pushed in that direction.

I get that. I'm actively looking for reasons to like her more simply because character hate, without reason, really irks me. I know people who don't like her and can present a well reasoned argument as to why and, while I may disagree with them, I can still see their points. But when I see people hate Sara simply because she's there and is a potential love interest for Neal and OMG IS GOING TO COME BETWEEN NEAL AND PETER (people, trust me, the show will NEVER go there :p) then I start rationalizing why Sara is important to the show. Though, I steal remain firmly in the Alex camp. ;)

I'd like to know when Neal was a prince?! Peter was as surprised as Sara by that revelation. And every time Peter learns he doesn't know Neal and his history as well as he thinks, you just know he's extra worried.
Like you, I wish the writers spend more time on the crime aspects too. They are top notch in their characterisations and letting the characters develop and interact with one another, as you have pointed out in your review, but a really solid crime story WITHOUT compromising the characters would be really good.

Action Hughes was really cool :D I really really want to see more of Jones - he deserves to share some air time with Diana!

I'm still on the bench for Sara - I like it that way ;)
It would be interesting in Season 3, if they did an episode where the writers shifted the focus. Neal and Peter really have to be the heart of the show, but what if we saw them working a case through the eyes of the people they work with? Or have both men get into trouble and Diana and Jones have to come to their rescue?
Wait, White Collar is back??? I need to re-check the TiVO when I get home, but I'm starting to suspect it has decided to ignore my season passes for USA shows. (See also: this entire season of Burn Notice.)
See, if you were on Twitter you would have seen my numerous plugs about the show's return!

Did your TiVO happen to record the last hour of the last, abysmal Indiana Jones film? It seems some cable/satellite systems had the show on their schedules an hour early. It's 10pm on Tuesdays now. The premiere is on Hulu. I'm not sure if it's being repeated again on USA.
USA is repeating it tonight. And the good news is that I got off my butt and investigated what happened with those 2 season passes, which as far as I can figure got somehow corrupted and dissociated with a real network. (My To Do list had "Unknown" for the network for both of them.) Strangely enough, manually setting the To Do list to record the next showing of "Burke's Seven" seems to have... created a copy of the season pass that actually works, while resetting the original one to the network, so now I have two of them and I can't tell which is which. Hm!

Anyway, mystery solved! Sort of. And I can catch the rerun.