Just because an episode introduces a promising villain and points the show in a seemingly-good and entertaining direction, doesn't mean I'm about to sing the praises of "Brass Tacks".
The back-half of Season 4 needed both a good antagonist and a clear goal to wrap up this storyline in order to learn more about Neal's father and his past. With Titus Welliver's character of Senator Pratt, it seems as though this episode of 'White Collar' is the precursor to doing just that.
While all this makes me encouraged moving forward, I didn't exactly love how we got to this point.
ONCE AGAIN it appears as though Peter and Neal may be at odds, because Peter knows he was lied to and won't be able to trust him. (Stop me if you've seen this storyline before) I do love the idea of both of them working and competing against each other regarding the key-map without Neal's knowledge, but I'm just sick and tired of that tired charade.
Damn you, Elizabeth, for not telling Peter the truth. You could have prevented this from happening again. My anger at Mrs. Suit aside, nice work from Tiffani Thiessen as usual. Great scene with her and Matt Bomer -- she always sells the emotional moments well.
No one loves Neal Caffrey as a character more than me. You guys must know by now that I'm a sucker for all episodes that involve Neal going undercover, doing something shady and channeling his con-man abilities -- but this episode is the exception. I know Neal is the master at infiltrating anything, but his turn as a master architect might have been the most ridiculous and far-fetched one this show has ever done. And that's saying something.
And yes, I liked Senator Pratt, and he looks like a good villain, but what does having Hughes removed from the bureau-- and not Peter or Neal -- really accomplish here? Stupid. A real villain knows that maneuver will only fire up and motivate his enemies even more. Plus, Hughes was never a threat to Pratt, anyway. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
This installment leaves me excited for the upcoming ones, but also irks me in the meantime.
QUOTES OF NOTE:
--ELIZABETH: "If you have to lie to his face to keep him safe, you damn well lie to his face."
--HUGHES: "And I bet you always wanted to be an architect, right Caffrey?
--HUGHES: "You're a real son of a bitch, Neal. But you're the best damn son of a bitch I've ever seen."
--Mozzie-related things that I enjoyed: He apparently doesn't play well with others and he calls Jones "Quantico", "Suit Jones" and "Wingtips."
--Gee, what a shock, Neal peddled his own agenda in the intial interview with Senator Pratt -- forcing Peter to kick him out of it.
--One thing about this show that should get more credit: the Burke's have one of the best marriages on TV.
--Enjoyed Mozzie improvising on the phone with Pratt, but I could have done without the ridiculous phone-swapping shenanigans.
--Damn you, Jones. I hate when the suits are competent when dealing with Mozzie.
--That car accident didn't even look that bad. I would have walked out of that crash without a scratch.
--Riddles are awesome, as are keys that are really maps.
--Neal/Mozzie vs. Peter/Suits ... who ya got?
--I miss Alex Hunter. Gloria Votsis, when are you returning, dammit!?
THE GRADE: C-
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