White Collar Season 2 Premiere Recap and Review: Withdrawal

It’s only fair to blog about the amazing “White Collar” Premiere before I get to the second episode.

“White Collar”‘s season opener talks place after the season finale where the plane blew up and Neal’s beloved Kate was killed.  The first five minutes take place immediately after the plane explosion. The rest of the episode takes place 2 months after the explosion.

The first five minutes explains three things:

1. Peter is off suspension

2. Neal is back in jail. He has to decide whether to be Peter’s consultant again or escape from jail.

3. Fowler is having a secret meeting in two months. Peter and Diana are going to sneak in and see what’s going on. Oh P.S. Diana’s back.

When dealing with number one I have to talk about the beautiful shot set up by the director of this episode, Tim Matheson. It also probably has to do with the gorgeous backdrop of NYC. I’m slightly biased because I am from New York, but honestly kudos to the location scout whether it be Matheson or someone else for finding this gorgeous very windowed building.

Here’s a shot of it.

It also helps that New York seemed to be having good weather that day.

Right anyway, during and after this meeting we learn a couple of things as stated above in numbers 1 and 3.

Let’s get to number two: Neal is back in jail and Peter comes to visit to offer the same deal. He goes back to work with Peter or he stays in jail.  Peter leaves while Neal talks with his lawyer a.k.a Mozz. Not before I discuss another shot that I liked, I can’t help it that’s why I love t.v….  Don’t worry it’s actually the last shot I discuss.

Right so you wonder why do I like this shot? It’s the pure simplicity of using the monitor to kinda rack focus in a way between the the real situation and what’s playing out on the monitor. I don’t know why, but I just liked it.

Back to the main story portion of the episode: The audience is left wondering whether Neal will go for escape attempt number three.

There’s a change of shot or commercial break, can’t really remember, but then the audience sees Neal lurking in a basement in disguise. He then cuts through this plastic pipe and sticks an envelope through it. The audience catches a glimpse of the words N. Holden.  One of Neal’s aliases. Of course, or maybe it was just me thinking, Neal! You didn’t take Peter’s offer?

We then watch Neal goes through the bank and take some money and walk out. Jones and Peter stop him. I was half thinking between Peter was just catching Neal for a third time or Neal was working with them. Luckily Neal was working with them and not against them.

The main case of this episode and to why Neal had to go through the bank in disguise was because of the number of bank robberies going on and done by the Architect.  The banks including Midtown Mutual Banks have faulty security systems and Neal proved that point, but just slipping in and taking the money. These security tests were set up by Renee Simmons, a bank manager at Midtown Mutual.

The problem with this case for Neal and Peter is that they do not know who the Architect is. Also Neal’s emotional state after all it’s only been two months since Kate’s death.

In a series of two attempts throughout the episode Peter meets Mozz in the park through a series of hand signals for communication designed by Mozz and that Peter doesn’t feel like putting up with, to discuss how Neal is doing and if he trying to figure out who killed Kate. I enjoyed the first meeting. The second meeting,  I was left a little dizzy from the constant spinning of the camera. Just do one rotation, stop and focus from the side. It’s a boring shot, but I also don’t get a headache.

Now Neal is figuring out who is this Architect. Thanks to Neal’s devotion the arts, he was able to pick up on the letter A in Architect to the same writing of Ivan Aivazovsky. Neal along with Diana decided to focus on someone who has been buying paintings of Aivazovsky and is a fan as to include Aivazovsky’s A in his name. Search leads to Edward Walker, an investment banker or is it mutual funds?, who is bored.  In his spare time, he’s hitting golf balls off his roof into the Hudson.

Peter can’t do much because there is no evidence that it is he, Edward Walker, is breaking into the banks. Neal has a  different idea and decides to use his charm to win over the fair assistant of Mr. Walker, Whitney. While Neal and Whitney chat up about summer homes and vacation spots, Mozz is copying the sim card of Whitney’s phone that has the calendar of Mr. Walker. Neal scares Whitney away by revealing that he in fact an ex- con. Mozz and he look at the phone and find out, all the days the banks were robbed in the country are in green in Walker’s appointment book. The next green appointment is tomorrow at 1st Unity Bank.

Meanwhile Peter is having lunch with Elizabeth in Rockefeller Center or should I say against a green screen? I understand that they wanted to included Tiffany Thiesssen in the Premiere while she is still pregnant, but the green screen looked a little rough including the medium close up shots. Can’t wait for Tiffany Thiessen to be back in New York after her maternity leave.

Oh I guess I should mention during their lunch that Peter discussed how before Neal got on the plane, he wanted to say something to Peter and Peter wonders what he wanted to say.

At 1st Unity Bank, all that F.B.I found was a ticking clock in the safe. Walker walks out of a meeting down the street and mocks Peter. Neal and Peter put their heads together well it’s really Neal who figures out what was really going on.  The 1st Unity Bank was a test, it revealed the weaknesses for Walker.

Peter and Neal have very little time left to figure out who Walker is going to rob the bank without getting caught. They both are at Peter’s house when two things happen.

Neal tells Peter what he wanted to tell him when the plane blew up. He doesn’t want to run anymore. He has a life here. Neal and Peter are both interrupted by a call from Jones. Jones tells Peter to turn the T.V. to see that 36 bank alarms are triggered.  They figure out that it’s all smoke screen leaving time for Walker to slip through to Midtown Mutual Bank with the alarms quit, steal the money and leave.

They go off on their own while the rest of the NYPD and SWAT teams are busy dealing with the 36 fake alarms going off. Neal and Peter get in the building through the roof after shooting off a guard of Walker. They need to catch Walker, but also save Renee who is being held hostage.

Peter saves Renee, but he and Neal fail to catch the Architect

Side note: The one thing that freaked me out about the bank robbery was how the masks reminded me of the Joker and his cronies  wore in the beginning of “The Dark Knight”.

Back in the F.B.I headquarters, Jones tells Peter that there is $8.2 million missing. Neal cares to differ when viewing the monitor. According the briefcase size, there is only supposedly  $6.5 missing. There had to be an inside man, I mean, woman.

It turns out Edward wrangled Renee into his team to get into the bank. In return Renee gets a little over $1.5 million. The money was stored in her dead Uncle’s safety deposit box that she forged her signature for. Renee pulls a gun and Neal and Peter bicker to stall time.

While stalling Neal realized that from his previous attempt at going through the bank that the ink is faulty. He finds two stack of money with the ink packets, smacks them together and blinds Renee with the ink. Actually quite brilliant when you think about their limited resources surrounding them.

Blah, blah, Renee is going to jail, Edward Walker is arrested. Here’s the kicker, last 3o seconds, the audience is taken into Diana’s apartment where she is getting ready to meet Peter to discuss Fowler’s meeting. We see her open a safe to get out her gun and OMG there’s the music box!!!!!! Ahh!

Next update: New episode and reasoning behind the music box. Is she still good or is she evil?


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