After last week’s less than stellar episode, White Collar was back to its true, fantastic form with tonight’s episode, “Compromising Positions.” Neal, Peter and the FBI were going up against a talented fixer with a little help from Sara and Mozzie and Neal finally made contact with the mysterious Sam. But can the former cop be trusted?
This episode needed to include a warning: Do Not Drink While Viewing. In the four years White Collar’s been entertaining us, I don’t believe there has been a funnier scene than the one in tonight’s episode, superbly written by Matt Negrete. The entire episode is a perfect blend of serious and hilarious.
The episode started with Sam picking up Neal and asking him a bunch of questions. Neal explained his FBI consultant deal and he assured Sam that he could trust Peter. Sam felt the FBI was somehow responsible for what happened to Ellen since she’d been safe all these years until she landed on the FBI radar.
Sam basically kicked Neal out of the car, but Neal broke off his key in the door so he could use it to trace Sam’s whereabouts. He brought Mozzie in on the plan, but Mozzie warned Neal that Sam might not be trustworthy and he wasn’t sure it was a good idea to keep Peter out of it. But Neal was worried about Peter doing anything off book since he’s still on probation.
When he tells Mozzie, Neal receives interesting advice about keeping Peter informed on the case. Seems like a surprising turn from Mozzie to trust and include Peter, but if you think about it, Peter’s always had Neal’s best interest at heart (as does Moz) and has proved that loyalty over the past years.
Watch White Collar – Compromising Positions Online
WC S04E07: Compromising Positions
One feature of this episode I found particularly entertaining was the introduction of the very feisty corporate consultant who seemed to know exactly how to push everyone’s buttons. Who knew she was following Mozzie? Was she really that good?
Knowing Sarah has a connection to Ms. Shepherd through her company, they bring her in on what they believe is a “perfect plan” never thinking anything could go wrong. Using Neal as the bait, Shepherd is led to believe he’s blackmialing Sarah with some incriminating photos. What no-one expects is Shepherd to turn the tables and pull out evidence she can use to incriminate Mozzie; Neal agrees to her terms and bails out. No way is he going to put Mozzie on the FBI’s radar. Peter’s pissed but Neal comes up with a new plan to get Shepherd and have her drop Delancy as a client.
The idea that Sam and Neal will expose bad apples within the good guys’ ranks, and that Sam himself still has to earn ours and Neal’s trust, is a solid enough foundation to really build from in the coming weeks. It won’t be satisfactory just to open with the continued fallout of Ellen’s death and then tack on a couple related minutes at the end to make things structurally sound. The pressure surrounding Neal’s search will need to be evident with increasing urgency, thereby simultaneously tightening the screws on he and Peter’s ethically ambiguous friendship.
The superfluous cons ought to become even more incidental to the unresolved drama, and “Positions” hinted at a great start. By looping in Sara and integrating Landon as a kind of unlikely moral arbiter on the main characters’ actions, things already feel a bit more uncomfortable. The episode probably could have ended right there and I would’ve been happy but there was still a lot to do. Neal and Peter have to jump through a few more hoops but finally end up putting the bad guy behind bars where he belongs.
Landon surprises everyone when she the blackmail she comes up with is on Mozzie, not Neal’s fake persona. Neal immediately kills the deal and agrees to turn over the photos of Sara and Peter is not happy. Neal tells him that he was protecting Mozzie, but Peter knows there was more going on than that and sends him home. Mozzie is upset that he got made by the “lady fixer” and he thinks the island made him soft. As he’s ranting, Neal comes up with a new idea on how to bring Landon down.
I’m thrilled to see two very strong, well-written and played women villains two weeks in a row. Easton called Shepard a “female Hannibel Lector” and he couldn’t be closer to the truth. She chewed up and spit out everyone she ran into, and Perrey Reeves looked like she was enjoying every bite. I hope we see more of her in future episodes.
So much fun in this episode. Not as fun as last week, but still a great ep. Is Neal in for it now going behind Peter’s back…again? And how high up does Neal’s father’s case go? And did you enjoy the compromising photo scenes as much as I did? And I hope Landon comes back; she was a fun counter to Peter and Neal. There’s my 2 cents, share yours below.
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