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November 28, 2014

'White Collar' - 'Front Man' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 3rd 2010 10:21AM
White Collar
(S01E13) "Paranoia is a skill, the secret to longevity." - Moz

Last week we had someone from Neal's past (Keller) coming back to cause problems, and I mentioned that it seems like the show does that a lot, a la 'Burn Notice.' And tonight continued that trend, with Wilkes coming into Neal's life, kidnapping a girl and wanting Neal to do some favors for him in exchange for the girl's life (of course, he has no intention of releasing the girl and would probably kill Neal too if he had to). The funny thing is, even though all these baddies from Neal's past keep making appearances, I bet none of them have anything to do with the Kate and the music box and none of them are the big bad guy in charge of everything.

What, you think it's actually Fowler? Yeah, right!

I disliked Diane Neal's character right away. Not just because she was overly ambitious/dumb to set up Neal, but because there was just something about Neal's performance that rubbed me the wrong way. And this is the point where I'm going to sometimes say Neal to refer to Caffrey and I sometimes say Neal to refer to Diane Neal, and that's going to get confusing, so let me start saying "Caffrey." I don't know, there's something rather unlikable about the way Neal portrayed this FBI agent. Maybe it's from knowing Neal from 'Law and Order: SVU' where she played someone rather hard and business-like, but I wouldn't mind if Neal's character didn't show up again.

Other than that, was this an enjoyable episode? Sure, they're all enjoyable episodes, but this one irritated me more than most. Not only was Wilkes yet another person from Caffrey's past, but we had yet another "brilliant" bad guy who meets with Caffrey in a secluded area, just the two of them, and he's taken in by Caffrey's stalling and charm and lies. And then, just when he's going to shoot Caffrey (which a real life bad guy would have done without all the explanation and talk talk talk), the FBI finds the kidnapped girl and train their guns on Wilkes.

Not to sound ghoulish, but I wish some of these bad guys would get killed. The 'White Collar' prison must be crowded. I keep picturing these people spending time with Martin, Dutch Gundersen, Lana, and Sally Decker.

More thoughts:

- So the kidnapper's location was discovered by listening to a foghorn or whatever the hell that sound was on the ransom video. How many times has that been used on television since, say, 1958? I'm sure stuff like that happens with the FBI all the time, but I just wish there was a more clever way it could have been done tonight.

- Can we finally put to rest the notion that Peter can't trust Caffrey 100%? I know he wants the music box and I know he keeps secrets and I know we have to set up the season finale next week, but he always comes back, even tonight when he could have fled.

- Every scene that Willie Garson is in is worth a laugh or two or a witty wisdom or two. I particularly like when he's paired with someone other than Caffrey. Tonight we saw him playing parcheesi with June and drinking coffee with Elizabeth. I love scenes like that.

- Glad to hear Peter mention all of the brunettes. There are a lot of brunettes on this show, and a lot of them look alike.

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dave

Anybody spot a label on that coat that Burke is wearing in the picture above? Any idea who sells it?

March 05 2010 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mahil

now all we need is some breakfast food and this will be the perfect show for Ron f***ing Swanson

March 05 2010 at 1:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Effie

Who is the guy playing Wilkes? He looks so familiar and I cannot place him!

March 04 2010 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Effie's comment
Jen

It is Charles Malik Whitfield. I recognized him from "Supernatural". But he's been in a lot of other things. :)

March 07 2010 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michelle

"Glad to hear Peter mention all of the brunettes. There are a lot of brunettes on this show, and a lot of them look alike"

So true! When Alex first appeared on this ep, for a second I couldn't tell if it was her, Kate or Elizabeth. It's confusing... never thought I'd be saying this, but this show really needs some blondes!

March 04 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Did anyone else wonder why Neal practically GOADED Wilkes to kill the girl? When he had him call his guys, I thought he had a plan, like he had somehow unloaded the guy's gun or what have you, but nothing like that was explained. If Peter has busted in 2 seconds later, the girl would be dead. I know that's exciting, but strategically, it seems like a HUGE blunder for Caffrey, and for the show, to make. Neil knew that the FBI had snipers on Wilkes the whole time, right? Why on EARTH, would they not take him down right away? Why would they let him call his guys and GIVE THE ORDER FOR THE GIRL TO GET SHOT? In fact, why the hell wouldn't they just arrest Wilkes as soon as they saw him? What is the point of waiting? He was alone, as long as he didn't call anyone, he would have no way of contacting his crew and therefore have no power over the girl's life. I couldn't believe a lapse in logic that large escaped notice. I'm hoping I missed something, because that really irks me.

March 04 2010 at 5:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

"This isn't, and never has been, a killing type of show. Its been FBI from the start, and its always been about avoiding violence. That's Neal's mantra: 'I dont like guns.'"

Yeah, sort of reminds me of what they use to say about Remington Steele back in the '80s. "The blood is never real on Remington Steele." ;D But again I have to say, put it on a little earlier in the evening. I would love a "White Collar," "Burn Notice" line up. I just seems to make more sense to me. [shrug]

March 03 2010 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
st3v3n

This isn't, and never has been, a killing type of show. Its been FBI from the start, and its always been about avoiding violence. That's Neal's mantra: "I dont like guns.".

That's what Burn Notice is. The violent side of con jobs.


And i don't know if the reviewer knew this, but this episode was written by a main Burn Notice writer.

March 03 2010 at 7:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guy

It wasn't the fog horn that helped them find it. The fog horn told them she was near the water but as Rice said, there are over 500 miles of coast in NYC. It was the Chinese restaurant the kidnapper was eating that helped them narrow it down, and they heard the fog horn but Peter noticed the crack in the wall.

I don't have a problem with Neals enemies as long as it isn't every week.

I do have a problem with Kate, and her age. In real life she is 23, and Neal is 32, so he was in jail for 4 years, she would be 19 and he was 28. That doesn't seem like Neal, he like the ladies, but I can't see him with a 19 year old without feeling like he was taking advantage. Just bugs me a little.

March 03 2010 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

"Not to sound ghoulish, but I wish some of these bad guys would get killed."

I know what you mean. It's part of why I wonder why this show is on at 10 PM. It could easily be a 8 PM show and not cause me to have to stay up to watch it. :)

March 03 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George

Wow, what if all Alex, Kate and Elizabeth all wind up in the same place, perhaps as part of a double-cross involving Alex and Fowler/big-bad-TBA, and from a distance we see one of them get shot, fall off of a bridge or otherwise bite the big one? There's some finale drama for you, and all built on the shaky prospect of casting a bunch of actresses who look a lot alike.

March 03 2010 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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