25 July, 2012

Review -- WHITE COLLAR 4.03: 'Diminishing Returns'

Who doesn't love a good bank heist?

Well in the particular instance of White Collar 4.03 ('Diminishing Returns'), that would be me.

Tough crowd, you say? Well in my defense, THERE WASN'T EVEN A BANK HEIST in the episode about a BANK HEIST.

Neat trick, 'White Collar'. Sure, Neal and Peter showed up at the bank -- but they were 20 minutes late. That's some riveting TV, let me tell you.

Sticking with the riveting theme, I never would have guessed that Neal and Peter would work together on a case, even though Peter doesn't work for the White Collar division anymore! Who saw that coming? Clever writers they have over there.

OK, I'll stop being a dick now. Not sure about you, but I was somewhat excited about a bank robbery episode that the beginning of the episode teased it would be, but that's not what we got. We didn't really get much that episode, either. The case was boring and otherwise un-noteworthy (is that a word?), save for seeing Peter play squash and Neal teach him how to subtly influence your mark.

This episode's only real purpose was to quickly put Peter back on track to re-join White Collar soon and fully introduce the season-long arc of Neal looking for answers about his father. A wonderful added bonus: Mozzie is back in town. Alhough we all knew that was coming. This show needs him.

Although I feel like I shouldn't really care about the Neal's father storyline, this show does a good job of sucking me into investing in the season-long arcs that really aren't special or original. I hope it turns out to be interesting and isn't dragged out too long.

I also hope next week has a better case, more memorable lines, more shady Neal activity and more Mozzie. I want those two crazy kids to get into some trouble. That is undoubtedly when this show is at its best.


--NEAL: "Ring shopping's not really my thing."

--NEAL: "You're clean shaven ... you've retired from retirement."

--NEAL: "At least you have your yard now."
--PETER: "We call it a picnic area."


--The first eight minutes of this episode were unbearable. Nothing happened. So. Damn. Boring.

--I admire each and every one of Neal's shady skills. Pretty bad-ass job of getting into that truck. "Since when do I need keys?"

--OK, this might just be my man-crush on Neal Caffrey showing, but that trick of making Peter pick the blue diamond was so slick and awesome. I want to be a con-man so desperately. But I lack talent, charisma, balls and a whole host of other necessary skills.

--As such, I feel like only Neal should have been capable of pulling that off, but OK.

--Mozzie! I want to personally thank you for finishing the cell phones for The Suit.

--Crap! My video cut off while Neal and Helen were talking. What happened at the end of the conversation? Help me, people!

THE SCORE: 58 out of 100

It wasn't funny. It wasn't original. It wasn't interesting. It wasn't witty. I could probably do this for a while...


  1. Yeah this episode sucked ass, Sterling Archer Enima style. It is like the writers lack situational awareness because they are in the danger zone of bad writing and shitty arcs....ahhhhh...time to call Kenny Log....you get the point.

  2. What happened in this episode? I fell asleep.

  3. At this rate, I'd be shocked if I'm still tuning in this time next year. Unless this season dramatically improves, I don't know how much more I can take which is a shame given how much stronger last season was in comparison to seasons 1 and 2!

    1. The show tends to get better as the season goes on so we shall see what things are like in a few episodes.

      This was just... fluff. Like a normal episode of BURN NOTICE.

      Man that show sucks.

    2. Man you have it in BAD for Burn Notice :) The fact that it has taken Michael Seven fucking seasons to find out who burned him and how to get back to the CIA...I agree it has been too much contrivances and bullshit. Man I wish they would actually do something that is not completely and utterly formulaic even if it is simply to go to somewhere other than Miami or somewhere that is also not a beach or a forest in a foriegn land that is Miami! Lets go to London or France or somewhere with a skyline and cold weather or ...FUCK!

    3. And they are shameless about pulling the same exact plot device out all the fuckin' time. Whenever someone in the real world tells me BURN NOTICE is their favorite show, I want to punch them in the face.

      And sometimes I do.

      Bail me out.

    4. The only one thing I like about Burn Notice now is Sam Axe, he still makes me laugh...a lesson to all shows, make sure your comic relief is working all the time it can allow viewers to forgive a lot of shit. I mean Saul and Hank from Breaking Bad never fail to make me chuck and I will instantly quit Mad Men if anything were to happen to Roger Sterling...I love that man...Sterlings Gold! lol...mother never let us eat Chocolate Ice cream...Burt Cooper was cut down in his prime...You know what that nut mean to Utz and what Utz means to us...he may lose his foot..just when he got it in the door...

      Fucking good times...

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Dish has cut off Mad Men and Breaking Bad and AMC and so therefore sucks complete ass. Spread the word brother!

  5. Man you guys really Hate Burn Notice I have a feeling that I was wrong from I said before about being like this for 1 or 2 episodes it looks like it will be more the just a couple for sure. but I hope it's not a lot though.

    1. The show pisses me off because it could EASILY be great. But they are so afraid of doing something actually good with it, so they just mash the exact same button over and over.

      Tonight they are tossing it out there that some big "game-changer" occurs. We'll see. Every time a showrunner says "game-changer" it usually means the appearance of a game-changer that will quickly bring us right back to square one.

  6. I write a review about White Collar and everyone talks about a completely different show. I really inspire people to think about the shows I write about!

  7. Most USA network shows are like that though.

    Have you ever noticed that most of their shows share similar premises and are the same thing every week.

    Burn notice is about a burned CIA agent that uses his training to help people in trouble and to usually put some bad guys in jail.

    White Collar is about a con man using his skills to help the FBI catch criminals and help people.

    Psych is about a guy pretending to be a psychic but he is really using police observation techniques to help people in trouble and solve crimes.

    The formula for them has worked since they are the #1 cable network.

    I would like the USA network to get some shows with some different premises and maybe have some serialized shows like the other cable networks but if it ain't broke why fix it.

    As for White Collar specifically i felt the show had a very good pilot episode and then it was just a boring procedural most of time.

    The season finales and the one episode before that are usually pretty good but other than that it's not worth watching for me.

    It's a lot like Castle it's rather hit or miss with most episodes following the boring police procedural formula that i don't like.

    I felt White Collar had a lot of potential to be better but it's not.

    My favorite cop shows are the ones that are serialized.

    1. COVERT AFFAIRS was going down that usual USA path but has taken a more serious turn. I don't just mean in show stories but in how the writers treat the audience.

      It is no HOMELAND or anything, but for USA it is pretty tight on story telling.

  8. I had the same problem...my video cut off at the last minute, and I am DEFIANTLY not going to wait to get another version. Best part of the episode had to be the subtle suggestions with the jewels. Help me...someone?

  9. I don't know if anyone else saw this but you know when at the beginning of the episode where they show the names of who is in the episode well someone Named Michael Weston was in it. Now I don't know if there was a guy who's real name is Michael Weston or if they where doing that for the fun of it but I thought it was funny.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.