White Collar and its conning is back!

During the summer, I was off and on with “White Collar”. I kept on forgetting to tape it. I don’t know why. Was I losing interest? However that changed with the cliffhanger episode that ended the first half of Season 3 in August.  Who doesn’t love a good kidnapping?

The third half of season 3 picked up where they left off last August. Peter is back at his house where Elizabeth is taken from. In order to get Elizabeth back, Neal and Peter must give the treasure to slimy Keller. They must also find Mozzie who has already taken the treasure and does not want to be found. Good thing Mozzie loves Mrs. Suit.  This relationship might even be better than Neal and Peter’s.

The episode had its usual conning going on, but it also highlighted the character’s strengths… even Satchmo. Tim Dekay showed great dramatic change in his character thanks to Elizabeth being kidnapped. Peter would do anything, even a con job to get his wife back . However, one thing bothered me about Peter. Peter seemed to be too forgiving of Neal and Mozzie for lying about having the treasure. I’m sure it was the pressure of finding his wife, I’m sure the writers will make up for that.

Tiffani Thiessen also showed great change in Elizabeth. We’ve only seen bits of Elizabeth in the past as a doting wife who like to go to art galleries with Mozzie. She’s been cunning before, but never like this. She depended on her husband saving her, but she also depended on herself. In a closed off room with a locked door, a guard and shatterproof window, how would she ever get out?  She used her brain, her nice diamond ring from Peter, a well placed thermostat and a bite from Satchmo. This was probably my favorite part of my episode even over the whole con in the warehouse. She saved herself with a little help  in the end from Dianna and Jones.

The “White Collar” writers however also saved their creepy, slimy talking villain…. Keller. Keller was caught by the F.B.I., but he also  confessed in front of the Russian Government to be the only one who stole the Nazi treasure so he could give it back to Russia. Now he’s safe from the Russian  mob. He’ll come back again to twist the New York lives of Mozzie, Neal and the Burkes.

Neal is also safe from confessing he stole the treasure. Too bad, he just got a letter from the government that he will have  a hearing to free himself of his anklet. Seems like an amazing gift, right? Well,  Neal’s allegiance will be tested again in the second half of this coming season. If Neal is free of his anklet and free of his treasure, will he fly the coop? After all, once a con artist, always a con artist.


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?

White Collar Comes Clean at the Paley Center in New York

So tonight I headed to the Paley Center in NYC to attend the “White Collar Comes Clean” Panel. Okay it wasn’t Psych, but I gotta say the cast was very funny and just as kind.  Only bummer of the night: no picture with Bomer and I should’ve have brought my telephoto lens for closer shots.

Before the panel started, everyone was waiting outside and Tim was signing stuff out front. He was being a gentleman and talked and took pictures with everyone. He even came over to a woman in a wheelchair to take a picture. I didn’t get my picture until after the panel and I decided at last minute. Anyway that story’s at the end.

I have to say I will go back to the Paley Center. It’s a beautiful building with a comfortable viewing room. The cast was brought out a little after 7:30 because Matt Bomer was late. Tsk, tsk! (I take this Tsk! back. Matt came late and left early due to filming. What a hard worker!)

Before the panel discussion, the audience and the cast included got to watch an interview/promotion of the show called “White Collar: Nothing but the Truth.”  This interview discussed how “White Collar” came about and about the technical producer who was an actually FBI Agent. After that they showed an inside look to the wardrobe department where Neal gets all rat pack-ified. Love stuff like that!  I was expecting to watch an episode like they did for the Psych panel, but I was pretty entertained by these interviews. After during one of the promos from USA for the show, Matt did a little woohoo! in the audience. Everyone of course laughed.


Now on the panel was:

Matt Bomer: “Neal Caffrey”

Tim DeKay: “Peter Burke”

Willie Garson: “Mozzie”

Marsha Thomason: “Diana”

Sharif Atkin: “Jones”


Jeff King: co-executive producer.

Absent: Jeff Eastin who was probably back in L.A. and the lovely Tiffani Thiessen who is currently waiting to have her baby. Apparently, she is due any day.

The Moderator: Michelle Kung

Now here’s what went down in the panel discussion:

  • Matt Bomer loves the indignant New Yorkers who walk in the shots without caring.
  • The cast didn’t realize how many rich people lived in New York especially when they shoot in mansions/brownstones
  • Love filming in New York except for the Tour Buses. Willie Garson: “And there to your left is the Empire State Building and to your right, the actor who was in Sex and the City”
  • Cast films in New York, writers still in L.A.
  • Writer who wrote the episode, comes to New York for the week to help.
  • Writers from L.A like to fantasize scenes with alleys, problem with that. Not that many alleys in New York.
  • The Second Season will pick up 3 months after what happened in the Finale
  • The Finale was shot during the blizzard in New York. If you look closely you can see the snow starting to fall
  • We will find out more about Diana’s past and her girlfriend.
  • Everyone was drawn to the script because not of the cases, but because of the characters.
  • Willie Garson jokingly said, “You know, characters welcome.”
  • Tim and Matt hug at one point when one of the audience remarks on their relationship
  • Sharif imitates fangirl when seeing Matt
  • Satchmo, the dog will be returning.
  • Discussion about the future of the industry i.e. hulu and ipad and viewership: Doesnt matter what screen they see us on as long as they are watching us
  • Wow, I just realized why Sharif Atkins was so familiar and why they were talking about him going from Network to Cable. He was on “E.R.” I guess I should have known that.
  • Moderator asked about everyone on twitter to which Tim DeKay responded, “Does Jeff Eastin mean everybody?” Then he found out his t.v. screen wife Tiffani Thiessen has a twitter and he doesn’t feel so special about their conversation today if she already told the twitter world about it.
  • An audience member asks a very detailed question about Neal’s watches, Matt apologizes and says Neal doesn’t wear watches.
  • T.V.= writer’s medium
  • Tim DeKay is apparently a good dancer: Marsha Thomason says he does a good single ladies dance
  • Matt Bomer’s goal during the day: to get some obscure song stuck in the crews and cast’s head at the end of the day.
  • Willie Garson when talking about all the jargon: “blah,blah,blah, is there more wine?”
  • Crossovers: Jeff King said absolutely not to which Tim/Willie joked that Neal breaks a limb and there is a doctor in the Hamptons.
  • Matt couldn’t stay for the whole question and answer session, he had to go back to filming. He apologized, fangirls around me were not happy.
  • Actors: We dont’ come looking for a two page monologue. We want to have a great show. We want to make a better show.
  • “White Collar” was specifically made for USA Network
  • 7 day shooting, but scripts can take anywhere from a day to a month.
  • Keep it family friendly on a scale: Willie Garson’s son and class watch. “We’ve got a huge demographic of children under 14.”
  • The show does not operate believing that the audience is not intelligent. Tim and Willie joke around. “I’m the good cop.” To Matt “he’s the bad cop-esque”, To Marsha joking, “And here is the slut.” It was very funny.
  • I gathered not as much improvisation like Psych . The Cast however do give comments to Jeff Eastin which he does consider and work into the script if it fits.
  • 3/6 wore geek chic glasses: Gotta say I approve. Must be because I own a pair.
  • Willie closed the panel nicely  by noting: “The show keeps going thanks to the fans.”

I knew I had their hug!

Well that’s all I gather from my scribbly notes.

Now I met Tim and he was very sweet. He stayed around to make sure everyone got a picture taken. I decided at last minute to get mine and he happily obliged. When the person who took the photograph messed it up, he was nice enough to do another one. Thanks Tim!

An unexpected surprise: I walked out and “White Collars” marketing team handed me cookies. Apparently they are trying to pursue an Emmy consideration. Hmm.. Interesting. I just read an article this morning about that.  I still have yet to try the cookies.

I gotta say USA Network really knows how to pick their shows, but also casts that care about their fans! There’s nothing I love more than being able to thank an actor and they thank you right back for being a fan.