White Collar: "Shot Through The Heart"
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White Collar: "Shot Through The Heart"

What would be in your go bag? That’s one of the most pressing questions that comes to mind after tonight’s episode. Rebecca’s features a tidy little plastic-wrapped bundle of cash, fake drivers licenses and falsified passports (now in both blue and red!), sleek enough to fit inside the radiator of her creepy rogue-criminal apartment. In general, the minx we now know as real-name Rachel Turner has a knack for concealing things inside other things. There’s said fugitive fanny pack, the gun she used to kill Siegel (which she keenly encased in cement amid a construction zone by her building) and the true feelings she harbors for Neal hidden behind the distance of their deception. Aw. 

At least Rebecca nee Rachel’s (let’s just stick with Rebecca) criminal alter ego explains how she so easily slipped into her role as decoy alongside Neal and Mozz in their entanglements with the Dutchman (RIP). And, while her naughty side was no massive revelation, it was never very obvious until last week that she did in Agent Siegel. Truth is, Rebecca’s kind of a badass. Whether she’s cautioning Neal from jail that she’ll see him soon, karate-chopping undercover agents in Madison Square Park or wearing her best Catwoman suit while toting a Glock at her lower back, this is one lady whose looks and skillset could kill. She’d give Revenge’s Emily Thorne a run for her millions.

While on the subject of attraction, how exactly would Rebecca’s con have been executed if either she or Neal were anything less than their respective physical specimens? They rightfully ogled each other as artwork worthy of stealing from the Gershon during their duplicitous courtship, and a bit of sexual-emotional grifting was the key to Rebecca’s six-month plan. So what was option B if her FBI target happened to be, say, Mozz (no offense to Willie Garson)? Or if Neal was her object but she more closely resembled your typical bookworm? This is probably why Garson was envisioned as the sidekick, and not the other way around.

But “Shot Through the Heart” mostly triggered a chain reaction of quality scene after quality scene because of how perfectly cast Bridget Regan turned out to be. She’s probably this show’s most iconic femme fatale, and it’s had its share. And the fact that romance is all but off the table going forward (though not necessarily she and Neal’s chemistry) but she still appears ready to boomerang back around into Caffrey’s life as a pure adversary bodes well for future stakes.

In the interim, as Season 5 marches into its final pair chapters, Neal and Mozz’s attention has turned toward the twin diamond left unrecovered and unbeknownst to Peter (and boy, Neal really get let off the hook with blackmail tape easy). It’s hard not to watch our self-destructive CI propose yet another illicit shortcut to independent wealth without either yawning or groaning. Neal, contrary to Peter’s relentlessly, inexplicably short memory or Elizabeth’s naive wish, has not really learned much from falling victim to Rebecca’s con. Or, for that matter, the inevitability that Peter will counter his every move, however forgivingly, and from whatever distance.

Which brings us to Peter’s new gig in D.C. He’s popped the champagne, toasted to both his new cushy Washington outpost and Elizabeth’s surprise job offer from the National Gallery (the ultimate kiss of death for this actually coming to fruition) and basically patted Neal on the back for five years well done, regardless of their constantly skirting death and imprisonment. 

As Neal and Mozz search for their Sita-inspired treasure, this leads to one of two future scenarios for the Burkes: Peter gets whiff of the plot and stays put, or only hears about it after the fact once news travels to FBI HQ and we’re treated to an Eastern Seaboard manhunt next year. Either way, Elizabeth will bounce between support, doubt, judgment and devilish advice, while Peter and Neal will rue each other’s predictable instincts and philosophize about truth and justice. It’s the White Collar way. None of which is bad when it’s packaged in clever, mischievous and fleet 42 minute installments a la “Shot Through the Heart.” Now if only Neal could start thinking with his brain.

Stray Observations:

  • Some pretty silly writing this episode (e.g. Neal quipping about Rebecca, “She should consider  second career on Broadway” and Neal Yoda-ing Rebecca with the comeback, “And yet still freer than you”), but again, great twists like the gun in the cement, solid action sequences and the smart move to catch Rebecca here and now (even if the twin-diamond search is a questionable new narrative) overcome it.
  • It would indeed be hard to lay low in Neal’s “open-concept design” apartment.
  • Why didn’t Mozz sketch the images in his head by now?
  • Rebecca and Neal clearly rook a page from the Dexter Morgan handbook of shady-nighttime-meeting attire.
  • Rebecca buried the gun at the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Commercial Street, a very cool nook right by where East River commercial barges come and go (not to mention the Boardwalk Empire Atlantic City set) at the tip of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. There’s a great ice cream shop right by there called Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory if you’re ever in the area.
  • Eh, I was sort of hoping Peter’s big surprise for Neal was that Satchmo was back and coming with him to D.C.
  • Really? After returning from a glorified safe house to your husband, the first thing on your mind is Neal? Elizabeth’s such a weirdo. 
  • Amazing that not one of Jones’ three OK Cupid aliases would invite Neal to his poker games.
  • If Rebecca ran from the FBI as quick as she got dressed, she might be a free woman.
  • Oh, White Collar
Filed Under: TV, White Collar

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