White Collar 2.13 “Countermeasures” Review

Let’s just get this out of the way first: The actual case narrative and the guest stars in ‘Countermeasures?’Not so good. I like Billy Dee Williams as much as the next guy, but this was not his strongest performance and the guy playing Jonas Ganz was also messy. Moreover, there was a point about 45 minutes into the episode when I realized I didn’t really know and/or care what the heck was actually happening with the narrative. Neal going undercover was fun as usual, but it felt like ‘Countermeasures’tried really hard to keep zigging when I expected it to zag and zagging when I expected it to zig. I don’t mind the occasional random twist, but this episode seemed to have two or three too many of them.

On that level, I found this episode to be a fairly substantial disappointment. I was just not invested in what was going to happen with Williams’Ford or the Ganz character.

However, the implications of these events for Neal helped make ‘Countermeasures’much, much more enjoyable and interesting. Though this is a USA series and therefore doesn’t require or include a whole lot of character development, especially in such a short amount of time, White Collar has done a good job of allowing Neal’s current circumstances influence his overall outlook on life. Obviously, he was this thief with a heart of gold from the beginning, but it is apparent that Neal’s time with Peter and the drama with Kate, the music box, etc. has taken a toll on his perspective. And I don’t really mean that in a bad way.

In season one, Neal probably would have let Ford sneak off and then subsequently cover up for him to Peter. I don’t think he would have participated in some of the maneuvers Ford took in this episode, but in the end, he might have just let it be because of some misguided loyalty to con men and the honor among thieves. That isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world because that’s the world that Neal comes from, but Neal isn’t the same guy as he was at the beginning of the series. He might pretend to be subversive to Peter’s wishes and outlook, but when it comes down to the end, he’s going to be there supporting Peter’s directives and making sure he does the right thing. There’s been a greater sense of trust between the two of them in the second half of the season and along with trust comes change. Neal now has a stronger moral compass and finds the differences between right and wrong to more black and white than just shades of grey.

Thus, with Ford’s reappearance and dedication to the whole ‘one last job’shtick, Neal starts to recognize that he actually has a future outside of his time with the FBI and he’s going to have to make a choice about what kind of man he wants to be. Peter always gives him the pep talks about not being an evil person as part of his makeshift father role, but it seems like all that’s finally starting to sink in. Neal has done a lot of good in the world since coming to work with Peter and the FBI and theoretically, he could stay on as a consultant even after getting the bracelet off. Of course, he could also use all the tips and tricks learned from Peter to create even better long cons.

But at this point, I think it’s going to a take a lot for Neal to take back his trust in Peter, Elizabeth and to a lesser extent, Diana and Jones. He doesn’t want to end up like Ford, always chasing the last job or one final score, even if that means being a more subdued, boring guy living in one place with a family or something. He might not have Kate, but Neal has a major support structure around him that is legitimately dedicated to making sure he knows what decisions to make, but now and in the future.

It’s nice to have an episode that seems to be a moderate failure on the basic levels still work on a more macro, ongoing sense. The series has done a nice job with Neal this season and I only hope the writers continue to make him a more well-rounded individual and not just a sly representation of Matt Bomer’s inherent charm. Not that there is a whole lot wrong with that, but you know what I am saying.

Leave a Reply

Luke Cage Comic-Con 2016
Marvel TV Brings Luke Cage To Comic-Con 2016
Some top 10 "Will They or Won't They" TV Shows
The Top 10 “Will They or Won’t They” TV Shows – A Closer Look
Some of the Top 10 "Will They or Won't They" TV Shows
The Top 10 “Will They or Won’t They” TV Shows of All Time!
Warner Bros TV Comic-Con
Warner Bros. TV Brings The Flash, Supernatural, Riverdale, Arrow & More For Comic-Con 2016
X-Men-Marvel-Fox-768x576
Rose McGowan Rips 20 Century Fox for X-Men: Apocalypse Billboard
Almost Paris Still/ Women Directors not at Cannes
Vive la Difference? Not in Hollywood. Case in Point: Almost Paris
Arrow
Amell Cousins Film Funding Campaign Closing in on $1.5M
denzel
Famous Celebrities Back in the Day
Disney
The Most Memorable Disney Channel Original Movies
1
Warcraft: Not Quite the Video Game Movie We Deserve
00
X-Men: Apocalypse Is (Almost) the X-Men Movie We Wanted
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 10:  Actor Bryan Cranston attends the "All The Way" Los Angeles Premiere at Paramount Studios on May 10, 2016 in Hollywood City.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Power Rangers Movie: Bryan Cranston Added to Cast
Galactic Empire
Why Star Wars Fans Should Be Paying Attention to Galactic Empire
bruce-springsteen-chris-polk-getty-946
Bruce Springsteen Opens with Prince’s “Purple Rain” At Barclay’s Center
spike-jonze-portra_2808683b
10 Awesome Music Videos Directed by the Incomparable Spike Jonze
rolling-stones-concert
The 10 Greatest Rolling Stones Concerts of All-Time
150415194757-2015-playoff-graphic-2-041515.1200x672
The Top Five Moments in NBA Playoffs History
2themastes
Your Official Guide to Watching the Masters Tournament on TV
Austin X Games
X Games Austin 2016 Has an Amazing Sports and Music Lineup
nascar_daytona_nationwide_auto_racing_15301727
Seven Incredibly Dangerous Car Accidents in NASCAR History

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.