Bad News: Life has been very weird and drama filled where I live (though I'm not directly affected). I only mention this as a significant reason(s) as to why I'm nearly two weeks behind in White Collar discussions. Though you may consider yourself spared. ;)
I'm not sure what the future will hold for my White Collar posting. At best, the show is wildly uneven this season. I can't say there's been a single episode yet I loved. There were a lot of moments I liked in 'Dentist of Detroit', but then I watched 'Veiled Threat' and there was A LOT I loathed. :/
My biggest complaint about the episode, which is also my usual complaint, involved plot development. The Sting is a great film and the first time I watched it I was surprised by the twists and turns. But the film was released 38 years ago and I'd hazard to guess that a fair number of criminals and the criminally minded have also seen the film. I had a hard time believing O'Leary so easily fell into such an obvious trap. Maybe the writers could have sold me on it had more time been given to developing the storyline. I wasn't looking at the clock, but it felt like we were midway into the episode before the con even began. The Sting had over a two hour running time - without commercials.
Even though I find it hard to believe Mozzie was a criminal mastermind by the time he was twelve (there's smart, savvy and industrious and then there is being able to con a crime lord), the flashbacks were pretty darn adorable (OMG! Baby Mozzie!) and the events from his childhood (convincingly) helped define his personality and contribute to the man he is today.
My absolute favorite moment had to be the fake(?) argument between Peter and Neal. Actually, before I get to that, some other aspects of the episode I really appreciated.
The prom picture! As soon as Neal walked in in his tux, I just knew Elizabeth would ask for a picture. However, I did not foresee her referring to it as a prom pic. Hee! I will love her even more if she frames it and hangs it on the wall by the stairs. :)
This was the first episode of the season where I felt Neal and Peter were working together and not at all plotting against each other. There was the moment at the end, after Moz reminded Neal of 'who they are', that subtly acknowledged Neal's duplicity, but Neal's comment to Peter, "Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye", also expressed genuine conflict as well as some regret. This, to me, is Neal Caffrey. Still a con man. Still plotting his next move and trying to free himself from any sort of FBI control. But a man in conflict, feeling the pull between what he's been and what he could be.
Back to the argument.....There were a lot of truths unleashed in the supposedly faux fight between Peter and Neal. Much of it had been said before. Sometimes in real heated exchanges and sometimes in the course of a conversation. I suspect it was why it wasn't a big issue between the two later. However, the two have been working so hard to put on facades with each other and not tip the other off to their suspicions, it felt like a flood gate opening. Only one moment truly took either man by surprise. When Neal, after turning away, turned back to inform Peter, "Next time your hot wife gets lonely, tell her to call me", Peter looked genuinely taken aback. And while I don't believe Peter believes Neal would ever cross that line, it must lead him to wonder what thoughts Neal has had about Elizabeth.
Oh, gods, where to begin?
OK, there were a few moments I liked. I'm enjoying Jones have more screen time and I thought he did a better job under cover than either Peter or Neal.
Neal making Diana dinner was ADORABLE. It's so much fun seeing this two be friendly. And "Insurance Investigator Barbie" was AWESOME! Apparently, Diana doesn't think much of Sara either. ;) Bonus point for the comment causing Neal to pause and think.
And I'm still OK with the progress - or lack thereof - of the Neal/Sara not-really-a-relationship. Neal the Romantic didn't realize they hadn't been out on a real date? And Sara seemed more amused than upset by the situation. So, yeah, if this is just Neal moving on from Kate and Sara hooking up with a hot guy then I have nothing to complain about. Accept, Hilarie, PLEASE start eating more. :(
But the rest? This, to date, is my least favorite episode of the series. From both a story and character perspective, it was a mess. Editing may be partly to blame. When I hear that a running subplot was cut and insert shots were added much later, it's a sign things weren't well thought out and the episode ran long. (I'm a BSG fan, trust me, I know these things. ;p)
OK, I'm just going to run through my notes so I don't have to think too much more about this.
Why would the white collar unit be investigating a possible serial killer? I don't care if ultimately they tied her to theft/fraud, it was a murder investigation. And this is not the first episode this season that focused on what would not be considered a white collar crime.
Ideally, I would like to think all woman would be turned off by 'Nick's' bad behavior and not bid on him. In reality, Matt Bomer looks + family money = LOTS of bids.
How did Peter know about the two way mirror? That doesn't seem like something Neal would share. And why would Neal (conveniently) be storing his art supplies in his closet? As an artist, let me share with you that charcoals are VERY messy. And dusty. There is NO WAY he'd have those stored next to his suits!
Peter's behavior, charming one moment and recoiling at what's-her-names touch the next, should have clearly tipped her off that something was up. As should his proposal on the second date after avoiding all physical contact.
Why was Elizabeth so upset? It's not only been made clear she completely trusts Peter, but it's also been made clear he would NEVER stray. And if we're supposed to believe the reason for her anger/distress was Peter's life was in danger (though she seemed as upset the suspect was pretty as she was she was a potential killer), well, he's been in much more dangerous situations and without backup. It angered me Elizabeth was suddenly turned into someone I didn't recognize to suit a ridiculous plot.
I know I was supposed to find the wedding at the end sweet and romantic, but it left me going, "Ugh". I not only saw it coming, but I just knew Moz would show up to perform the ceremony. But what really annoyed me was that it was a repeat of the closing scene between Peter and El in the pilot. They even used Neal's place again!
Just how much did I dislike this episode? My cringing at Peter's character depiction (in particular) led me to start surfing the net half way through. I've never done that before. :/
A quick(er) rundown of some other TV:
Of USA's two new series, Necessary Roughness and Suits, Necessary Roughness I'm finding...OK. Like Royal Pains, it's a good show to have on in the background. ;) Suits, however, nearly sends me into rage blackouts. I've watched two episodes (the pilot and last week's) and OMG, IT'S ALL SO WRONG! I work at a law firm. I know how law firms operate. And I know how the attorneys work - what they do, what they don't do, and, oh, yeah, that THEY NEED TO HAVE GRADUATED LAW SCHOOL AND BE A MEMBER OF THE BAR. Argh! I find the whole thing incredibly insulting and cannot watch anymore of it. (OK, standard 'Unless Jamie Bamber guest stars disclaimer.) On the flip side, The Good Wife I do watch and it actually gets a lot of stuff right, if in a slightly more dramatic manner.
Burn Notice - It's Back! Yeah, it never really went away, but I found last season very hard to get through. I even debated giving up, but I'm glad I decided to check out the season premiere. The (sort of) reset has worked really well. As has relegating Jessie to outside help they call in only when needed.
The 'Who Burned Michael' storyline was dragging down the show (too many years, too many people and too many convoluted twists) and that's, mostly, been put in the past. I suspected Michael couldn't just let it go without knowing who was the man/woman/organization that set it all into motion and, perhaps more importantly, why him? But now I feel his quest will be a subplot rather than a driving force on the show and it really will be completely over this season.
Even if Michael is still obsessing, he's also moved on and is...happy? He is back working for the government, doing what he loved and what he's good at. He's able to travel wherever he wants. He finally called Fi his girlfriend and made a commitment to her. (Seriously, who else was he going to end up with? Though Maddie might be right about the wedding happening when he's 60. Hee.). And while it was brutal to watch, he - and Maddie - addressed some long standing issues regarding his father. Heck, even Nate seems to be getting his s**t together. Revealing that bottom was missing his son's birth because he was up $700 was poignant and a totally believable wake up call for Nate.
This is not a show in which I have strong shipping tendencies, but I'm totally Team Eric. ;) Bill/Sookie alternately irritated/bored me. Separately, I tolerate the characters just fine. And I'm even finding Bill interesting right now. I'm shocked! I didn't believe he was the Queen's minion out to seduce Sookie in order for the Queen to have access to her, but I never would have suspected he was an agent for 30 years! It puts ALL of his actions in a new light. But even if he's one of the good guys (relatively speaking) I don't want Sookie to take him back.
Pam is still awesome. Love her book club talk with Sookie.
The Fairyland thing was TERRIBLE. Let us never speak of it again! Though I fear we will see it again. I do hope we see Sookie's grandfather return. He was played by Gary Frakkin' Cole! You do not waste Gary like that!
Tara seems to have her life on track. ::crosses fingers it lasts::
I really could care less about the Werepanther clan and Jason getting turned. Maybe I'd care if the clan wasn't composed entirely of offensive cliches.
Luna seems OK...which probably means she's crazy and will go on a killing spree and have to be taken out by Sam after he falls in love with her.
Jessica and Hoyt - I'm still pulling for those crazy kids to work it out.
Mickey may be the devil or Rene's evil spirit reborn, but OMG THAT BABY IS SO CUTE!
OK, off to eat dinner and hopefully watch some new L&O:UK. :) Oh! And, if you have the opportunity, check out the most recent (in the US) Graham Norton Show with Ewan McGregor. I've always liked Ewan, but I didn't realize he was made of so much awesome! He essentially stated the original Star Wars trilogy was better than, oh, the one he starred in. Enthusiastically, wielded a replica lightsaber and engaged in a duel. And even more enthusiastically, reenacted his sex scene with Christian Bale in 'Velvet Underground'. O_o