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October 31, 2014

'White Collar' - 'Out of the Box' Recap (season finale)

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 10th 2010 9:05AM
Matt Bomer
(S01E14) "I think there's a difference between loving the idea of someone and actually loving them." - Elizabeth

I'm going to say that this was the best episode of 'White Collar' since the pilot. Maybe it's because it was a season finale and the stakes are higher and a lot of things come to a head, but that's not always the case with last episodes of a season for a TV show. But this one had everything you could possibly want in a season finale: an intricate caper, witty dialogue, heartfelt moments, Peter being suspended, double crosses, Diahann Carroll with an important role in the plot, and even a surprising explosion (though I saw it coming -- not sure why). This was a really nice way to end the season.

It also had the return of an old character from the show ... and it's not just a one-time thing.

I'm glad that Elizabeth said the above quote to Neal. I've been thinking about Neal's relationship with Kate. Sure, we haven't seen the connection and history that Neal and Kate share, just the looks they give each other and the way that Neal talks about her. But I've been wondering if maybe -- just maybe -- Kate isn't the one for him. I've been waiting for Neal to figure this out himself, or with Peter's help, and it looked like he was going to listen to Peter in the airport hangar when the plane exploded.

But is Kate really dead? Maybe she slipped off the plane while Neal and Peter were talking (they did show her slinking back into the plane when Peter appeared). Maybe next season will have Neal mourning Kate's death and her getting on with her new life and then they'll be clues that she's still alive.

So Neal and Alex and Moz stole the magical music box for Fowler and we sorta have that part of the story behind us and we can now get to this "Mentor" business (didn't understand why Neal trusted Alex so much -- I thought he switched bags and the music box wasn't in it but no, he was just dumb for a moment).

Fowler was talking to the big bad guy on the phone (he called the person on the other end "sir") and if we're to believe that this mysterious person is someone we've seen (so it will be more shocking next season) and not just some stranger whose reveal as the head baddie wouldn't have any effect, then I'm still going with Hughes (James Rebhorn). He seems like the most logical suspect, but we'll have to see what happens in future episodes. I also liked how Fowler wasn't killed (that would have been too predictable).

I'm not sure how things will progress in those future episodes. Fowler said that Neal worked for him now in the "Mentor" program and even had official papers so he could go free. Is that deal still in place, so next year Neal will go on cases without the ankle jewelry? Or will things go back to the way they were because of the secrecy and the fact he was going to leave on the plane?

Looking back at the half-season finale, it seems a little stale now, since nothing ever came of that "is Peter bad?" thing. I think this season finale was done a bit better and leaves us with a cliffhanger(s) that could have several different resolutions.

It was also great to see Marsha Thomason (Agent Diana Lancing) again (and with a great line, about Neal: "Is he still wearing the hat?"). I never understood why she left the show so early in its run, but she has been hired again and will be a full-time cast member again in season two. Speaking of ...

More thoughts ("Things I'd Like To See Next Season" edition):

-- More actresses with blonde hair. Seriously, it's hard to tell all of these good-looking brunettes apart.

-- If Kate is still alive, how about some real concrete reasons why Neal loves her so much?

-- A new theme song.

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Pete

Great episode! Does anyone know what song is played when Neal makes the fake statue?? I would really like to know what song that is :)

March 13 2010 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

Ok, would you like to be forced to work for the FBI with an anklet tracking your every move? Its better than prison, but if he can go with Kate and be free then he should take it.

March 12 2010 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mara

Did not like this last episode of the season. Neal told Peter he didn't want the life Peter was offering him. Next season if Neal is running around with a new identity, I hope Peter will realize you can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved. The show was charming with the premise of the first season. If the premise changes second season - one FBI guy and one OCR guy running around solving crimes...ick, ick.

March 10 2010 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vix

I'm so glad that Marsha Thompson is coming back. The other female agent was boring.

Loved the episode - didn't see the explosion coming but perhaps I should since it's typical Fowler.

March 10 2010 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

I hope it was a setup. I really don't want Kate dead. BTW, DID U KNOW THAT KATE AND ANNABETH FROM THE LIGHTNING THIEF R THE SAME PERSON!

March 10 2010 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
st3v3n

I think kate died. Heres how i think it played out:

Fowler and his boss always planned on killing Neal and Kate. They planned on giving them new identities, so when they died, theres nothing really tieing them to it. And I dont think Kate likes Burke too much, so I got the impression that when he showed up at the hangar, she moved into the plane so she didnt have to confront him or something. They expected Neal to be on the plane, and kill two birds with one stone.


Or, it was a set up and Kate is still alive.

March 10 2010 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to st3v3n's comment
grc161

I think Kate got off the plane. Fowler said Kate made a deal with him. Maybe the deal was to get Neal to steal the music box and then kill him on the plane. Kate moves on with her life.

March 18 2010 at 12:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

Amen about the theme song. :-/ And they could be different and just not have a traditional openning a la "24."

March 10 2010 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Europa's comment
compuguy1088

Personally, they had a decent theme song with the original intertitle......

March 13 2010 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

I sure hope Kate died in the plane crash, I mean I just pulled one of the greatest heist and you can't get your selfish ass out of the plane to meet on the tarmac?

This season finale didn't do it for me.

March 10 2010 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dan2ktj

If Neal goes back to wearing the anklet it will set the story back too much. Nobody would give up their freedom like that just to keep his role as an FBI consultant helping people.

For the story to progress he needs to keep his freedom. The burning desire to punish Fowler, and the people with a higher pay grade in Mentor, will keep him in his role with the FBI, Peter & Moz.

I love this show. USA seems to appreciate it's value in their prime time line up.

March 10 2010 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TR

I'm not sure Kate is really dead either. Was that even really her on the plane? We never saw a up close shot of her. If it was her, could she have gotten off the plane before the explosion?

Not sure Neal can go ahead and work with the Mentor group, not after they tried to kill him. But if he does I think it will be in tandem with Peter in order to find out who is Mr Big in that faction. We know it isn't Fowler.

March 10 2010 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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