White Collar 2.02, “Need to Know” and 2.03, “Copycat Caffrey” Reviews

Hey folks, I’ve been away preparing for and at Comic-Con for the past week or so, meaning I didn’t watch a whole lot of television in the meantime. Thus, you can expect a few double-shot reviews just like this one of last week’s and last night’s White Collar.

Much like last season, the ongoing mythology of the series isn’t kind of a bore. Neal seems like he’s on the outside looking in right now while Peter and Diana are investing the plane explosion and its attaching threads behind his back. I understand Peter’s desire to keep Neal away from the investigation because it tends to sidetrack him, but the lying about it just rings false to me. Peter is always so up in arms when Neal keeps anything from him and rightfully so, really. But Neal has been willing to trust Peter no matter what and that’s a big step in their relationship, so for Peter to go behind Neal’s back is kind of crappy, you know? I get that it drives the story forward, but it shouldn’t be right for the character. However, it was nice to see that Diana wasn’t doing anything shady, but just hiding the music box for Peter – even if this series is really bad at throwing twists out us that turn out to be completely false.

On a procedural level, ‘Need to Know’and ‘Copycat Caffrey’carried on the extreme levels of charm from the premiere episode, making for completely enjoyable hours of television. The case itself was a little bland in ‘Need to Know,’but Marsha Thomason wasn’t actually given a lot to do as Diana and she and Matt Bomer have really wonderful chemistry that is heightened by the fact that his Neal is clearly turned on and her Diana is clearly not. The stuff with the politician wasn’t much to stand on, but little moments like Peter playing an angry cop and the running gag about the mustache kept the episode afloat. I like that Peter, Diana and even Jones are getting into the fake identity game this season, which is often played well and for laughs.

‘Copycat Caffrey’was definitely a more solid effort on the case level, if only because the criminals were obviously copying Neal, which is something that works well for the series. Having Neal be able to gloat about his skills to Peter and in front of a college class was awesome, as was getting to watch him and the returning Alex take down the smug punk students who thought they could be the next great forgers. As for Alex’s return, again, whatever. She’s a frivolous character who likes to make sexual passes at Neal, but I’m with her on the ‘get over Kate’line of thinking. If she returns, so be it. If not, okay.

Moreover, all ‘Copycat Caffrey’did is reaffirm my thoughts. I still think the season-long arc should be something like a major Neal copycat who is perhaps from his past and is maybe trying to tell him something with the crimes. That would be much better than any of the secrecy and goofiness that the series is working with now. This is a total side-note, but at Comic-Con during the White Collar panel, Jeff Eastin asked the audience if Kate should be dead, alive or somewhere in between and more people said dead than not. I think that tells us something. 2.02: B-; 2.03: B+

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