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October 6, 2015

'White Collar' - 'Bottlenecked' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 24th 2010 9:28AM
White Collar
(S01E12) "Pinot. You've seen 'Sideways'." - wine expert, to Peter

So, I'm sure you were fascinated by the story Neal told Peter tonight, about how bottles of wine bottled before 1945 are different than those bottled after because of the atomic bomb that was dropped in that year. I was wondering if it was true, and thanks to the web, I found this article about how cesium 137 and how it doesn't exist naturally, it's a result of nuclear fallout, and wine bottled before nuclear testing wouldn't have it. I love learning stuff like that.

This was an episode that showed how much 'White Collar' resembles 'Burn Notice.' That's not a bad thing, just an observation. Where Michael Westen is always getting visits from old adversaries or old friends (often turned enemies), this episode had Neal getting a visit from the adversary from his past, Keller. I was wondering if the show was going to make one of those villains that escapes and comes back in future episodes to torment our heroes. And it looks like that could be the case. Sure, he was arrested at the end, but he's still alive and promised to take Neal "two out of three," so you can count on seeing him again.

What did you think of him as a villain? He wasn't what I was expecting. I expected this debonair, sophisticated wine and chess lover who wanted to best Neal but actually liked him deep down. But Keller was shorter and rough around the edges, with a tough guy accent who isn't above murder (and running someone down in a car - how gauche). I guess we can give the show extra points for giving us a villain that we didn't expect. He's not one of these bad guys that you don't want to see caught or even killed. He seems like a nasty jerk.

I'm not sure why I guessed that the old bottle of wine that Keller had was the real thing. It wasn't because of any clue that I saw or anything like that, it's just that it just came to me for some reason. I'm not quite sure if the solution to catching Keller was as clever as they think it was. I mean, it Keller is supposed to be so smart and "one step ahead of Neal," then wouldn't he have done something to plan for the possibility that someone would put in a fake bid at the auction, or not have the money or have trouble finding the money or a check bouncing?

As for the larger mystery story (Kate, etc), mention of that seemed tacked on this week, just a quick conversation between Neal and Moz about the music box while they looked at the skyline of New York. But that's OK. I like how they remember to put just a little bit of the mystery arc in every episode, even if it is just a few lines.

More thoughts:

- I'm not a wine expert, but aren't you supposed to hold a wine glass by the stem, so your hand doesn't warm up the wine? I don't think this is how most wine lovers drink their wine, but I think that the people at such a high end wine-tasting would be doing it.

- This show's theme song is lame. Sorry, but we need something catchier, not forgettable guitar riffs. A lot of show's don't even have time for theme songs (as it is, 'White Collar' doesn't have much either), so they should take advantage of that and come up with something memorable for the show's second season.

[Watch episodes of 'White Collar' and other shows at SlashControl.]

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Late comment here. You generally hold white wine by the stem to keep it cool, but actually hold red under the bowl to warm it. Frequently, if someone is storing red and white in the same temperature, they will store it at the cooler "white" temperature, and leave the red to warm a little naturally when it breathes after being opened.

It was a cool episode.

February 06 2011 at 3:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Since I time-shift all my TV watching, I just skip over theme songs and opening credits.

February 25 2010 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

They authenticate paintings in a similar manner

February 24 2010 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

... and compared to 'Royal Pains''s execrable excuse for a theme song, it's brilliant.

February 24 2010 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

White Collar is already on its second theme song/title sequence, isn't it? At least this one is better than the last one.

February 24 2010 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

speaking of theme songs. Psych has actually been playing their full theme on the opening credits for a couple weeks now. So either, they really like having a theme song, or the eps have been kinda short.

February 24 2010 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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