Thursday, April 28, 2011

Link to video on Mark Sheppard's many sci fi guest roles

I love Mark Sheppard. He's guesting on almost everything, including Supernatural, Burn Notice, and White Collar. Since this blog is all about those 3 shows, here's a video of his sci fi roles. Sorry that means no Burn Notice or White Collar, but plenty of Mark Sheppard awesomeness.


Screencap by Dollhouse Wiki
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

White Collar - 1.06 - All In - Recap

As Peter and Neal head to the office, Neal complains about how boring mortgage fraud cases are. "We stare at paperwork all day." Yeah, I'd be bored too. FBI headquarters is filled with running agents and Hughes calls Peter in right away. As we've never seen anyone move with the slightest hint of urgency in this office, something big is up. Neal inflates his ego, Lauren is snarky, and the FBI has a missing agent. Ah! The rush makes sense. Lauren exposits that they lost contact with Mark Costa 12 hours previously, but don't know what happened. It's not often the white collar division has this kind of action. Hughes finger summons Neal to Lauren's chagrin and Neal snarks back at her as he goes. Peter tells us that Agent Costa went undercover as a drug trafficker needing money laundered to nail Lao Shen, who heads back to China in 72 hours. Neal asks why they want him, while I wonder why white collar crimes is taking the lead. Hughes mentions Nick Halden, and hey, we get the first use of Neal's frequent alias. Apparently Nick Halden, a multimillionaire gambler, had money laundered through the Canary Islands. Neal asks if Nick Halden gets full immunity. Hughes: "Done. I don't give a damn what you did 5 years ago. I want to find my agent." Neal: "Then what can Nick do to help." Ha! Nicely played Neal.

Hughes wants Neal to contact Lao under the guise of playing pai gow, a Chinese domino game where players bet on two pairs of dominoes against the dealer's pairs. Lao uses certain hands and bets to make business contacts. Neal's scheduled to play in Chinatown tomorrow night. Hughes says it dangerous but Neal knocks down a row of dominoes, saying with a grin, "High stakes. I'm in." But first he needs to learn the game. Enter Mozzie and Tiles of Fire, a truly bad 70's Chinese mobster movie. Mozzie gets highly engrossed in the movie, but Neal's more concerned with how the FBI knew about Nick Halden. Moz: "Let's be honest. Nick was not your best work. He's no Steve Tabernacle." Ok, now I want to hear more about that alias. They puzzle over what Ringed Guy wants from Neal's considerable loot until Moz is distracted with mouthing terrible movie lines. Neal's very disturbed by this so Moz explains the wood pile and the basics (snickers - great reactions from both). Neal shuts off the movie after learning the death tile isn't real and says he needs to "fold above the bank," which signals he's a prospective client. June enters with brownies and who knew, she's a Tiles of Fire fan too. This is the beginning of a beautiful June-Mozzie relationship. Neal: 'There's a sequel?" Moz: "Five" BWAH!!!

At the office, Peter confirms Lao took the bait and Neal plays a prospective investor in the money laundering scheme. Jones is excited they'll be near a good Chinese restaurant. I'd be more excited to get out of the van. The restaurant owners helped the FBI in the past and let them hole up on the second floor. Score! In Chinatown, Peter thanks Mr. Kwan for his help. Kwan is happy to since he wants Lao and his racketeering ways out of his town. Kwan has enough debt without paying Lao too. They all take their shoes off at the entrance, but Peter is hesitant. Why? Because he has the cutest pale blue doggie socks on the planet. Cannot breathe I'm laughing so hard. Peter: "They were a gift from Elizabeth." Neal: "One that keeps on giving." Thanks El, I needed that. Kwan's daughter Bai is a precocious little thief, who cries when Peter takes the surveillance equipment back. Neal to the rescue with a sleight-of-hand magic trick. Peter: "You know, every time you do that I look for my wallet." Neal hands it back to him. Nice!

Neal gets changed for the con…er..sting and reviews layout and surveillance with Peter. Peter asks if it's everything and Neal responds, "Where did Elizabeth buy those socks 'cause Christmas is coming up soon.." Peter cuts him off. Neal mentions the anklet and Peter puts him on a watch tracker instead. Lauren cuts the anklet while Peter gives watch details. Neal jokes but Peter reiterates that Lao is dangerous and they will pull Neal at any sign of trouble. I love when Peter goes big brother on Neal. It gives me warm fuzzies. Neal: "Fine. As long as I don't draw the death tile." I snicker but Peter's not amused. "There's a death tile?" Neal heads to a spotlighted, bright red alley door, makes note of the camera, and punches in an alarm code. Nothing says shady like a spotlight and heavy security. The inside though has more gilt than Versailles. Nick Halden checks in and goes through airport security. Love how he takes off the watch but the tie pin makes it through with no problem.

At Kwan's House of Surveillance, Peter notices a bullet hole in the wall. Lao's men entered his house to make sure Kwan paid. "They fired a bullet 2 inches from my baby's crib while Bai was still sleeping in it." OK, not distracted by why a 4 year old is still in a crib; that sucks. Peter goes all concerned and we get a close up of Bai, the cutest little kid of all, peeking around a corner. Lao must die. Neal, ready to take him down, heads to a vacant pai gow table where he meets the man who refused to sell Gremlins to Billy's dad. Neal: "Don't get them wet. Don't feed them after midnight, right?" The man's as impressed as I am, which is to say not at all. An Asian beauty, gives Neal a drink as a small crowd gathers around Neal. When Neal folds on a winning hand, she questions him. Neal: "There are more important things than winning." Bodyguards whisper and patchy bearded Asian tough steps out of the shadows to take the dealer's spot. Welcome Lao. He and Neal subtext their real business and he suggests they play again. Neal agrees but NYPD raid the place. Peter: "They're going to get Neal killed." Jones calls the police chief while Laos' guard sees the police on camera and pulls a gun on Neal. Lao: "I don't believe in coincidence." I wouldn't either.

The beauty tells Lao they need to go and leaves Neal surrounded by armed cops. Peter wants him to yell FBI, but Neal doesn't give up a cover so easily. He flips and rolls the table for cover to make his escape under a gunfire. Jones: "I don't think he gave himself up." Peter: "Maybe it's not him." Yeah, right. Neal hurries through the kitchen and yells for Peter. "It's him. Alright, if he's not with me in 3 minutes, you mobilize back up and tell NYPD to stay the hell out of our way….And where are my damn shoes." Ha! Gotta love the mix of funny and action in this episode. Neal avoids the cops only to be pinned down by Lao's bodyguards. The beauty stops them and Neal follows her to finish their business. So…trap or business? Not sure. Peter realizes Neal's continuing the sting and I think he earns a bit of Peter's respect. Peter heads back to Kwan's and gives Jones and Lauren 50 things to do. Perhaps prioritize. He calls El about "another all-nighter." Peter: "I married a perceptive woman." El: "I married a predictable man." They agree to meet for lunch. Peter is upset over Neal and El says not to worry because Neal respects him. Peter: "I think you're overselling our bond a little bit." El and I disagree but they did bond rather quickly for cop and con.

Beauty takes Neal to a fabulous apartment and proceeds to seduce him under Lao's orders. Peter: "Only Caffrey." Lauren: "I've already seen this one on Cinemax." Jones enjoys it though. "I haven't." I wish we had more Jones. The beauty tells Neal to relax with a drink, but he's not into being drugged. She drinks first but Neal still declines so she busts his watch. Peter says to stand by, while the beauty pulls a gun on Neal. How many people really believed she was a prostitute? Nah, me neither. Neal: 'I'm really tired of guns being pointed at me tonight." The beauty knows he's Neal Caffrey as he's been on the Interpol watch list for years. Introducing Meilin of Interpol. Nicely played. She called the cops so the FBI wouldn't impede her investigation but now that Neal's caught Lao's eye, she's stuck babysitting. Interpol is after Lao's boss, a much worse player, and she demands Neal let Lao go in return for Kate. Huh? Didn't see that coming! It throws Neal too and he insists on knowing who has Kate. Meilin can help with that and Neal agrees to the drink. This is definitely Neal's biggest temptation so far.

Peter wakes from a 1/2 hour nap to find one sock missing and Bai watching. He spouts off about how unreliable Neal is as you know who walks in. Peter: "He always gets himself into trouble. It's not like I'm worried about him. I just feel responsible. If anything happens to him, I'll have a lot of paperwork to fill out. Paperwork's a hassle. Neal's a hassle." Neal watches on less cocky and more thoughtful than usual. Peter: "But then again, that was a neat card trick huh." Bai waves to Neal, who's happy to be appreciated. Peter: "I knew you were there." Ha! OK, Peter. Neal: "You also know she speaks perfect English?" Bai giggles and pronounces Peter weird. I like that kid. Peter calls Neal a bad influence and yells for his sock. Neal got a ride with the FBI and claims the watch got banged up in the chase. Meilin will contact them with the meeting place. Jones comes in with a new anklet (that was fast) and Lauren says Meilin tipped off the police. Neal plays innocent, but Peter's suspicious. They head to Meilin's work but Neal can't talk to the women without blowing his cover. Peter: "I guess I'll have to show you how it's done." Peter flashes his bag and the women start talking at the same time. Unfortunately for Peter, not in English. Neal: "That's the same guy who caught me, right?" (snickers) Peter heads to Neal and Lauren, and whips out a mini-recorder. "Yeah, that's how it's done. Amazing what someone will say when they don't think they can speak the language, isn't it." Have to admit, Peter got me there. Bravo! "Let's see what they were saying behind the back of the bumbling FBI agent."

At the FBI, a translator is an hour away. Lauren runs the tape and coincidentally, Bai is there waiting for her dad. She says one woman called Peter a bad name. He has Bai translate and as a teacher, I object. Obviously there's more foul language on that tape. Why not get Kwan to translate instead? They find Bai works at the Red Lantern, and Neal tries to move the conversation in another direction. However, Jones finds out in Costa's reports it is a shell company for Lao. Remember Costa? The missing FBI agent? Lauren calls Peter out while Jones finds the address. Meilin's facial scan came back restricted so she dug further - Interpol. As Elizabeth and Peter eat lunch, they discuss whether Neal knows. Peter says Neal's playing him and El says that means Kate. She really is a brilliant study of people. Perhaps she should go into criminal profiling.

At the Red Lantern, Peter demands Neal pick the lock. Neal protests about a warrant which is a red flag to me on both counts. Peter already filed for a warrant and Neal stalls saying he doesn't have his tools. Peter hands him his. Not quite sure what to make of this from either side. Neal's always prepared and I'm don't I like FBI carrying around equipment for breaking and entering. Neal can't stall any longer and unlocks it. Neal: "I think I just saw the Ark of the Covenant back there." Peter: "If my face melts, let me know." Bwah! Love the random Indy reference. Peter finds scuff marks and a refrigerator with a blood stain near it. Not good. Agent Costa won't need his notes back. Peter starts to call the FBI when someone enters. Lao's thugs have come to dispose of the body and Peter has no cell service. (insert "can you hear me now" joke at will) Peter pulls a gun but Neal has another idea; they hide on top of a pallet as Costa's body is transferred to a laundry cart. Peter goes ballistic over Costa's body but Neal reminds him that it's better than being dead too. Peter: "This isn't a game, Neal. I think it's time you and I had a little heart-to-heart." Neal plays innocent and this is so not the time for that. Peter mentions Meilin's Interpol connection.

Neal and Elizabeth sit uncomfortably on the couch as Peter crankily paces his dining room. I'm not sure if El is there for moral support or to keep Peter from shooting Neal. Neal whispers: "I never lied to Peter." El: "You did leave a few things out." Neal needs a mom for moral training. He tries to excuse his actions with concern over Kate's safety and I admit he does puppy dog eyes like few others. El: "Look, my husband really wants to trust you but you keep giving him reasons not to. You're on your own on this one." She gets up and Neal begs her to stay. I would too since Peter is giving his best grizzly impression. Neal, looking like a school kid at the principal's office, breaks the ice and asks, "So what now?" Peter would take him off the case if it weren't for his cover. Neal: "No, I wasn't talking about the case." Peter asks what Interpol promised, guessing that Meilin had news on Kate. Neal confirms and says they want Lao free to get his boss. Peter thinks it's a jurisdiction thing because the Chinese government will give Interpol $500,000 in funding. He hands Neal Costa's file and says he can't trust Meilin. Peter: "We either take down Lao now or our partnership comes to an end." Neal: "We're partners?" Peter: "You tell me." Strong scene here and very well done. One of the best of the season so far.

Neal heads home to find June and Meilin on his balcony. I love June and it is her house, but this is the second time she's barged into his private space. That has to be annoying. June says goodbye to Meilin who politely threatens her. "Now that I know you're such a wonderful host, don't be surprised if I stop by again soon." That's one way to get Neal's protective hackles up. June to Neal: "I'd keep my eye on that one." Ha! She's one smart lady. Neal confronts Meilin about Costa's death and she wants points for bread crumbing them to his body so he could get a proper burial. Lao suspected Costa of working for a competitor but didn't know he was FBI. Neal calls her out on letting a murder free for political clout, but her job is to keep the FBI from monitoring Lao's transactions at their meeting. She doesn't care what happens afterwards. Before she leaves, she tells Neal that she knows who has Kate. I shouldn't feel for Neal here but he is between two bad offers.

In the van before the meeting, Peter gives Neal a second watch and tells him how to deactivate it while they are scanning for bugs. Peter: "Press it again and it turns it back on, and you damn well better turn it back on." Neal agrees and Peter exposits that they will trace Lao's account and put him away for good. Peter tells him good luck and he follows Meilin to the meeting. In the elevator, Neal turns off the watch and she gives Neal a new account number. He's patted down but no bug check this time. Lao and Neal chit chat pleasantries before getting down to business. Neal gives the false account number and Meilin gives Neal a flash drive. However, he also challenges Lao to a game of pai gow, after he palms two dominoes. Lao accepts the challenge and I'm curious how Neal will scheme his way into pleasing everyone while still getting Kate info. He loses some hands and Neal offers to place his watch in the bet. "C'mon Lao. What's life without a little risk?" I see. Very clever Neal. He turns the signal back on before purposely losing. Meilin puts the watch on Lao's wrist. When Neal rejoins them in the van, Peter smiles.

Peter tells Kwan that Lao is going to jail for a long time since he basically confessed via the watch. Kwan thanks them and Neal compliments his dumplings. As Kwan gets Neal more, Neal tells Peter the flash drive was empty and Bai tells Peter to close his eyes. Her cutely impish face beams as she shows Peter his missing sock. Peter: "David Copperfield she ain't." Nope, she's much cuter. I like when Peter interacts with kids. They should do that more often. Lunch ends and it's back to work. Neal calls Peter partner to my amusement and Peter's chagrin, but he's stopped by a phone call. It's Meilin and the biggest shocker of the evening is that the flash drive really was empty. I thought Neal was lying to Peter. She tells him that the man who has Kate is FBI. Neal looks suspiciously at everyone in the office. As Shane Alexander's "Feels Like the End" plays, Neal's brow furrows and suddenly everyone becomes a potential enemy, mastermind of the game where he's the pawn.

I liked this episode more than I remembered. The case was interesting and I liked Meilin. I hope she appears again, since the Interpol connection gave the case more gravity and intrigue. I absolutely adored every scene with Bai and Peter. Kids, or at least this one, throw Peter off his game a bit and I enjoy seeing his flustered side. Besides, she was the catalyst for finally hearing Peter's thoughts about his complicated relationship with Neal. Normally he has these conversations with El, but here he went deeper. Maybe because he didn't think anyone understood what he was saying. This episode might have featured Neal more, but it was Peter's showcase. His tiger pacing in the dining room and his smile at not being betrayed said a lot about the character. I enjoyed Peter saying they were partners and how much the words meant to Neal. Probably the thing that puts this episode squarely in the win column for me though is the ending twist. I didn't expect the FBI in Kate's situation and seeing Neal's paranoid reaction really hit home. Pairing it with "Feels Like the End" was a master stroke. This episode has everything - good characterizations, interesting story, a clever con, and most importantly, a cliff hanger that leaves you confused but dying for more.

Screencaps by Emma-Jane
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Supernatural Renewed for Season Seven

According to a press release from the CW, the following shows are officially renewed for next year:

Vampire Diaries
Gossip Girl
America's Next Top Model and....


Woo hoo! That's season 7 for Supernatural. Yes!!! Thanks for making it official CW.

Press release here

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Supernatural - season 7 - RUMOR No Longer - Misha Collins not season regular for season 7

Update 5/21/11 - Official word broke that Misha Collins will not be a season regular next year on Supernatural. Again, not being a season regular does NOT mean kicked off the show. If fact, Jim Beaver was not a series regular and he appeared in season 7 more often than Collins did. Until we get into season 7, nothing is for sure.

When I first saw the Twitter post that Supernatural may be getting rid of supreme angel Castiel, I knew sparks would fly. Let me reiterate that this is only a rumor at this point. It could be a sail-stirring hoax, it could be a practical joke, or it could be the best PR stunt anyone at the CW ever thought up. Um, no, that's giving them too much credit. Still, no one knows if the following Tweet is true or not.

Supernatural Freak
#spn #supernatural IMPORTANT NEWS!!! Misha Collins has been written off the show! I'm friends with his manager and he told me just now!

What I do know is that even if the rumor is true, it may not mean what people are thinking. Currently, Misha Collins has regular status which means they have to pay him his contracted amount no matter how many episodes he is in. Guest stars get paid strictly by if they are in the actual show. I don't find it strange given the CW budget that they would want to reduce the number of contracted actors they are paying. Quite frankly, the fact that Supernatural would only have two contracted stars would make it look cheaper whether it was in actuality or not. That is appealing when right in the middle of renewal negotiations. Remember that Jim Beaver as Bobby is still a guest star and he was in the show more than Misha was this year, including having an entire episode dedicated to him.

Before people freak out, it may be helpful if we get some confirmed facts because right now, things may signify drastic changes to Castiel's character or it may seem seamless from the viewers standpoint with most changes taking place in the business office. That is if it's even true. Plus, we still have to get the official season 7 renewal before any of this.

Screencap by Supernatural Caps
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Supernatural - 6.19 - Mommy Dearest - Promo with Lenore

Here's a new promo for Friday's Supernatural episode, Mommy Dearest. It includes Lenore, the cow blood drinking vampire from season 2. I said I wasn't going to watch more spoilers but I couldn't resist. Lenore was an awesome character.

Screencap by Screencap Paradise
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Supernatural - 6.18 - Frontierland - Recap

Previously, Samuel Colt made the world's largest Devil's Trap (Does Guinness know about this?) , Dean time traveled to 1973, Eve came from Purgatory and created the herpes worm but she was all talk and no action

In Sunrise, Wyoming on March 5, 1861, standard spaghetti western music plays on a dusty deserted street. Two cowboys with spurs that jingle-jangle standoff while nervous townspeople appear through windows. Apparently 3 people live in Sunrise. The cowboys dramatically draw back their coats in tandem and we flash onto a Sheriff badge. Well howdy Sheriff Dean. He looks intensely as a clock nears noon. Yep, it's an old-fashioned showdown. Guns are drawn but we fade to a map of old Wyoming. Bwah! It's a Bonanza-style title card. As flames burn the middle, a flaming yellow "Supernatural" appears, before the discordant sound of the usual glass breaking. They always get the title sequence for "very special" episodes dead right. Love it!

48 hours earlier and 150 years later (thanks place card), the brothers and Bobby (hereafter called the Winchester clan) search the once busy Campbell compound. I know the Campbells are dead, but why did everyone else leave. It was a well-defended, nicely stocked crazy compound. I would have stayed. However, it works well for the plot and the Winchester clan under Sam's direction find the trap door to maybe the best hunting library on earth. It's a solid concrete bunker with full electricity, making the door cobwebs and Dean's flashlight use incongruous. Pictures of past Campbells decorate the wall. The bonneted woman looks tough! Dean wonders what they're looking for, and Bobby answers, "Anything that will put a run in the Octomom's stockings." Bwah! Pop culture humor already. Always a good sign. They each pick a row, and it looks like Bobby's the scavenger hunt winner when he asks about phoenixes. Dean: "River, Joaquin, or the giant flaming bird?" Ha! Sam laughs with me. Bobby finds that phoenix ashes can burn the mother. Problem? No phoenix. Music of 70's police work montage resumes so Bobby doesn't get the prize.

Dean delights over a book so it's either porn or he found something good. Since he looks at Bobby and Sam and covertly grins, it's the latter. He'd share porn. Dean suddenly wins the scavenger hunt with Samuel Colt's journal, which mentions killing a phoenix on March 5, 1861 in Sunrise, Wyoming. Ah, things make sense. Sam is superstoked about the journal too, but like any good older brother, Dean pulls it away, telling him to get his own. Bobby refocuses them. Alas, it contains no details about the phoenix so Dean suggests they ride Castiel's Time Traveling Mystery Bus again. Except he uses a Star Trek IV reference. Gotta admit, I never saw Dean as a Trekker, so I blame his year in suburbia. Maybe Sid the neighbor guy invited him to a Star Trek marathon. And he calls Sam a nerd? Bobby: "I only watch Deep Space Nine." Bwah! I'm with Dean, "It's like I don't even know you guys anymore." Dean lays out his plan. Bobby: "Time travel. That's a reasonable plan?" Dean calls down Cas with one of his patented irreverent prayers. "Castiel, the fate of the world is in the balance. So come on down here. C'mon Cas, I Dream of Jeannie you’re a** down here pronto. Please." At least this time he said please.

Surprise! It's not Cas. He sent his angel lieutenant Rachel in his stead. She asks how she can help and Dean pulls first attitude, insisting that he wants Castiel. Get a grip Dean. He's not at your beck and call. Dean: "Busy. Well, we've got a line on the Mother of freaking everything.." Rachel cuts him off. "I'm sure your issue is very important.." Snap! I kind of like her. She's like a witchy customer service person whose words say, "I'm here to help" but actually means "You are interrupting my lunch you, insignificant peon. Take your issues elsewhere." Rachel tells them to mind their place and Dean mouths off on their importance and Sam says they're friends. Rachel: "I think you call him when you need something." I agree. Neither Cas nor the Winchesters treat each other like friends. They mostly use each other and there's little gratitude between them. The saving grace is it works both ways. Sam says they get Cas is fighting a war. Rachel: "Clearly you don't or you wouldn't call him every time you stub your toe, you petty, entitled little…." I know people must be irked by Rachel, but she's right. It reminds me of the smack down Bobby gave them in Weekend at Bobby's. While she has less right to deliver it, she isn't any less right in what she's saying.

Cas interrupts Rachel, sending her on her not-so-merry way. Dean snarks about her and I want to slap him because he obviously did not get the point. Cas looks pretty weary these days and explains to Sam and Bobby the brothers only have 24 hours due to partial differential equations. Bobby suggests he "aim lower" and head tilts toward Sam. Bwah! I thought Sam was the smart one in this trio. Basically time travel retrieval gets trickier the farther back you go. Dean returns from Wally's Western World and Sam's protesting face has me cackling. Dean argues Sam will stick out in his clothes but Sam counters that not everyone's as obsessed with the Wild West as Dean. Bobby's stunned Dean can quote Clint Eastwood's monkey movies; I find it sad but funny. Sam to agree to the shirt but I'm surprised. It has hideous gold decals on the shoulders, but that's nothing compared to the full Hollywood western garb Dean's sporting, complete with serape. Cas: "Is it customary to wear a blanket?" Funniest Cas line in ages! Bobby gives them gold because where they're "going they don't take plastic." Dean's so giddy about the west, I can't help but grin along with him. Cas gives them the forehead knock…

…and we're in Sunrise, Wyoming. Sam's digital watch already violates every time travel code ever written. He starts a 24 hour countdown while Bobby does the same thing at his place. Dean suggests they hit the saloon to get info and hot saloon girls. Sam calls him "Sundance" and promptly steps in horse manure. Dean: "Authenticity." Sam and I think "gross". Instead they walk into the hanging of Elias Finch, who swears to kill the three responsible for his death. Something more's going on here. A miscellaneous person in the hanging mosh pit insults Dean's serape and I feel sorry for the man. He was just trying to get into the spirit of things and now he's so embarrassed he takes it off. Sam offers a somewhat sympathetic smirk. Yikes! The outfit underneath makes me hope he keeps the blanket.

They head to the sheriff's where Dean is renamed Marshall Clint Eastwood, complete with badge, and Sam becomes Walker of the Texas Rangers. Good call. High lonesome music twangs in the background before the judge makes fun of Dean's too-clean shirt. I silently make fun of it too because I swear people line dance in that thing. Sam redirects everyone to Samuel Colt but they point Dean and Sam to saloonkeeper Elkins. Let's just say no wild party's going on. One snoring drunk and 2 um, ripe saloon girls are not the stuff of Dean's dreams. "This is not awesome." Aw, poor Dean. He orders a whiskey for himself and a sarsaparilla for Sam of which Sam gets the best deal. Dean: "It's like gasoline." Sam: "Sarsaparilla ain't half bad." Ha! Elkins says Colt was around 4 years ago but is now creating a railroad in the middle of nowhere. Darla, the best whore in Slick Jim's Saloon, hits on Dean. Considering she sports a wicked rash, bad teeth, and screams of STD's, Dean's "don't touch me" reaction makes a lot of sense. Sam sports a "Yikes" look. Dean: "This is so much more germier than I pictured." Ha! He's rescued by the judge who has a date with a less-than-thrilled Darla. "Wow! That was a close one."

A scream erupts from Darla's room and Hanged Finch makes good on his promise. He touches the judge who burns and crumbles to dust. Nice special effects here. Cowboy twang howls as the brothers find a pile of steaming bones. Darla says it was a ghost, but the sheriff thinks Finch wasn't hung properly since ghosts don't leave footprints. Yep, the Winchesters are on grave digging duty. The sheriff needs a posse and Dean is all over that. Another dream come true? The sheriff says they meet at dawn but to get real cowboy clothes first. Ha! At Finch's grave, they don't need a shovel. He burned his way out of the casket. Dean: "You know maybe we're not looking for a flaming bird. Maybe the phoenix is actually walking around in cowboy boots." Whoa! I should have guessed it after the dragon people but it completely shocked me. I love it! Dean tells Sam to get the Colt from Samuel Colt while Dean stays with the posse. "You know me; I'm a posse magnet." Dean's facial expressions crack me up. Sam scolds like a teacher with a naughty kid and Dean looks down but still smirks under his hat. Sam wonders about transportation when Dean hears a horse neighing. They trade gold for a horse and Dean instructs Sam on horseback riding. (The Madsen women: "Is he back to riding a Mustang?" "No! He's stuck with a Pinto!" Me: snickering) Sam tries to mount on the right of the horse and Dean suggests going on the left. Did he really learn that from westerns? Hm. Sam awkwardly rides off; Dean mutters, "That poor horse." Bwah! Great scene. Meanwhile, the sheriff tries to leave town when stopped by Finch. Second verse same as the first, except the sheriff finds that bullets don't hurt Finch.

At the Derelict Warehouse of Secret Meetings, Rachel summons Cas. She's heard rumors of Cas' "dirty little secret" and I think we'll finally get answers on those "regrettable things" he spoke of. But no. Cas did something in the angel war that Rachel doesn't agree with. Rachel: "We put our faith in you and look what you are turning into." What's he turning into, Rachel? Cas claims "no choice" and Rachel swings an angel blade in his ribs. Cas' fighting has improved greatly and he makes short work of Rachel. Black feathers float above the imprint of her blue-black wings. Cas: "I'm sorry." Me too. I want more info. If you shove random angel plots at us at least make us care. Plus, for all the hype, Rachel's only in 2 scenes. We joke about women not lasting long on Supernatural, but that's ridiculous. It's only 21 minutes in. White soul light pours from Cas' wound and he hightails it to Bobby's where he does Enochian finger painting on Bobby's fridge. Not sure that's exactly fridge artwork, Cas. He promptly passes out.

The next morning Dean arrives for the posse and Elkins compliments his new clothes. "I look good." Fangirls all over the world agree with you. Dean thinks he's early for the posse. Elkins: "Or you're the only greenhorn dumb enough to go chasing after a ghost." Ha! I like Elkins. Not so much the continual music, but it enhances the authenticity of western bliss. Dean: "What are you talking about? Sheriff's tough as nails. He'll be here." Judging from the bags he slung on that horse last night, you give him too much credit, Dean. Off screen someone shout that the sheriff's dead (anyone know whose voice that is?). Elkins wipes off the sheriff's badge on top of the bones and pins it on Dean. "Congratulations Sheriff." Dean looks a lot less thrilled than you'd think.

We pan in on a dusty cabin, home to a researching, drinking Samuel Colt. Two men burst in and yes, they're demons. Dumb demons who have obviously not learned of THE Colt. Elkins tries to deter them. "Listen, I've long since hung it up. I'm tired and I'm too damn old for this and I'm sure as hell not looking for any trouble." Ha! Hunters are cranky in every generation. The demons want Colt to open the devil's gate so after another warning, Colt shoots them with the Colt. Sadly, he broke his whiskey bottle in the process. Apparently, hunters are drunks in every generation too.

Flipping back to Sunrise, Victim #3 packs for his sister's. Dean falsettos, "Candy gram for Mongo." Bwah! Blazing Saddles reference. Victim's not the sharpest tool and opens the door. Did candy grams even exist back then? Dean: "Howdy pilgrim." "I ain't no pilgrim." Or a John Wayne fan. Still, it's 46 years before his birth so you're excused. Both pull guns on each other and Dean quips, "Is that any way to uh, greet your new boss?" He overcame his job phobia and plays sheriff to the hilt now. Dean calls himself a one-man wolf pack, which I guess is from The Hangover, an odd choice to quote in a western. Dean recaps the previous 2 deaths for those just joining in and normally I would roll my eyes, but I love the effects so I'm good. Victim #3 wants to run. Dean: "You really think you can outrun him? He's going to kill you. Unless…" What? "Unless we gank him first." Unfortunately, gank is not in the old west lexicon or the dictionary. Dean: "I'm not asking you to throw down with him. I'm asking you to play your part." That's bait.

As Samuel Colt returns from burying demons, Sam pops in - bad timing, Sammy. He gets a shirt full of Holy Water from a cautious Colt. Samuel Colt meet Sam Winchester. Who's next? Sammy Uzi. Sam proves his future status by handing Colt his cell phone. Sam, did you not read your time travel rulebook? No bringing new toys into old worlds. Skynet might take over. Colt is surprisingly accepting of the situation. "Well, when you've done this job as long as I have, a giant from the future with some magic brick doesn't exactly give you the vapors." BWAH! I love Samuel Colt. Sam tells Colt about the phoenix, but he never knew they existed. Hmmm. Odd! Sam shows him his journal which does get a reaction. "I'm either too drunk or not drunk enough." You and me both because the journal looks as shiny new as Dean's former shirt. Shouldn't it be falling apart? Colt is retired; the Winchesters are on their own. Sam says hunters can't retire, but since he already has that argument doesn't works. Sam calls him a hero, but when it doesn't sway him, Sam demands the gun. "What gun?" Sam: "THE gun." "Oh, that gun. I lost it in a game of stud." (snicker) Sam calls him out with logic, but Colt calls the gun a curse and won't give it up. Sam unleashes the unrelenting power of disappointed puppy eyes and demands it.

It's now T-minus 1 hour and Cas looks hung over on Bobby's couch. According to director Guy Norman Bee, a gag with Bobby using jumper cables on Cas was planned here. Instead, Cas spins a story of a Raphael-corrupted Rachel, whom he had to kill. It's possible there's truth in that, but really? You're one shady angel now Cas. I thought Lucifer was the father of lies. Cas used the fridge fingerpaint to protect them from angels and he'll gradually heal. Bobby: "Well, good cuz we've got less than an hour before you pick up the kids at Frontierland." Bwah! It's like Disneyland. Except Cass is too drained to get them. Bobby: 'Well, if you're up on blocks, then call in another halo who can get the job done." Spoken like a true mechanic. Bobby asks what rejuices an angel and shocker, someone else wants to play with his soul. It has more playmates than the Jolie-Pitt family. Bobby is anti-soul deal for good reason, but Cas just wants to touch it. I'm soooo glad this line was directed at Bobby instead of Dean or we would never hear the end of it. Cas: "The human soul, it's pure energy." So 50,000 souls must generate a lot of energy - if you soul-torture all of them. Not liking where my head's going with this one. Plus, Bobby will explode if Cas doesn't do it just right. Let's hope Cas is better at Operation than I am. Bobby: "Well…keep both hands on the wheel." Bobby, you are the greatest Winchester to never have the name.

Back at the OK Corral…er…Sunrise, Wyoming, Sheriff Dean waits impatiently for Sam. It's 11:50 and he has locked Victim #3 in a cell. Dean asks why Finch wants him dead and I agree that hanging wasn't the deal breaker. Finch appears right on time and demands Dean open the cell. Dean says Finch could tear it apart himself and throws a nail at him. It burns his hand. Iron and phoenixes don't mix. Makes sense why he couldn't escape before he was hung. Dean: "Don't worry. Most monsters I meet can't get it up for iron. It's a common monster problem." Finch: "So you're a hunter." He tells us that Victim #3 tried to rape his wife and then shot both her and Finch when he tried to rescue her. She died in his arms. That's it; you're no Victim. You are hereby called Phoenix Kill. I hate sympathizing with the monster. Finch asks if Dean will die for Phoenix Kill. Dean: "Honestly, I couldn't care less about him. He's a d** and a coward, but this ain't about him. I know what you are…so I gotta kill you." Well, that sucks out loud. Finch pulls a gun from a holster on the wall and shoots Phoenix Kill. I cheer. "Wow, I should have seen that coming." Dean jumps out the window and races down the alley. Sam pops up just in time and hands Dean the Colt. I guess not even Samuel Colt can withstand disappointed puppy eyes. Dean: "Hello beautiful." Welcome, substitute Impala.

Back at the House of Trucker Soul Torture, Bobby's ready. "Well, we can't just strand those idjits in Deadwood, can we?...Just don't explode me." Bobby bites down on a belt as a weakened Cas shoves his hand through Bobby's belly. Screaming ensues. I'm buying Bobby a World's Greatest Dad mug. He totally deserves it. And we're back at Hang 'Em High. Dean calls out for Finch in his best guttural sheriff voice. Sam: "What are you doing?" Ha! Poor Sammy. Your brother's living the dream and you're stuck in this nightmare. I always wondered why bad guys didn't shoot as soon as they saw the idiot hero standing in the road. Westerns never made a lick of sense to me. Still, Finch follows the game plan and we're back to the opening scene. Finch: "So this is how you want to die. Fine." The eye close ups are fantastic and shooting commences. Dean's intense face reminds me of when he shot Tom and YED. The phoenix flames out and explodes in ash. There's a Die Hard quote not suitable for family-friendly print. Sam yells for Dean to get the ashes as Cas' eyes shoot out light. Dean drops the Colt and races for the ashes…

…but it's too late. They zap back to Bobby's house and Dean wants to go back. No dice. Both Cas and Bobby are out of juice. Cas: "I never want to do that again." Well, it explains why they don't redo the same plan tomorrow. That's the problem with time travel stories. If you don't succeed the first time, wait awhile, grab a lunch or a nap, and try it again. There's no urgency. Dean asks about Bobby. "I'm still kicking Annie Oakley. Be back good as new in a decade or two." Dean has high guilt face, apologizing for his fun getting in the way of the job. At least, I think that's where it's going, but we're saved by the bell. The W Courier Express delivers a package to Sam they've had forever, yadda yadda. In short, this is either an homage to Back to the Future or the anvil of plot contrivance landed on my head. Since my ears are ringing, I pick the latter. My harping on how much I hate this ending will only kill the buzz of those who have this episode in their top 5 ever, so let's just say this is the biggest cop-out Supernatural has done in a long time. Right up there with Insta-Morning. The package from Samuel Colt includes Sam's phone, a note, and of course, the ashes of a phoenix. (cue heavy eye roll) Dean: "You know what this means." Bobby: "Yeah, I didn't get a soulonoscopy for nothing." Ha! Me: "The writers couldn't come up with a good ending." Dean nods: "Yes, and it means we take the fight to her." The theme of western justice drives us home as Dean puts his cowboy hat back on.

For those whose absolute love for this episode makes it hard to hear criticism, stop reading or skip to the next paragraph. Fair warning. I admit it. I wasn't near as excited for this episode as everyone else was. I'm not a fan of westerns and I didn't fangirl out over cowboy hats and spurs. For me, it's just another in a long line of Winchester costumes. (By the way, I wasn't excited over the priest costumes either.) I was in fact worried about the episode's placement. We are so close to the end of season 6 and still no movement to make Eve evil instead of just saying she is. Right now she's worse than Lucifer as a Big Bad and all he did was whine. This episode did nothing to assuage my Eve fears and that's my main criticism. Although there was reason to go back in time, it still screams "fun episode" we're doing because it's cool. Supernatural is known for these and I love them. Just stop airing them at season's end when there are far more important issues to cover. Call me an impatient fan, but I'm also tired of hints about Castiel but nothing else. Unless it ties back to Eve in the next 4 episodes, and it very well might, this storyline should have wrapped mid-season to allow time to establish a main evil. I love this season. I am thrilled with how it's going, but even I understand the frustration of fans who are tired of too many balls in the air and not enough closure. I trust Sera Gamble, so I trust the payoff will be huge and satisfying, but right now I'm unsettled. It feels like we'll be racing towards a conclusion that doesn't have enough time to develop. As for the episode itself, my biggest problem is the cheesy ending. It didn't even hit cheestastic; it was merely sad and sucked some of my enthusiasm from the episode. It's like the writers couldn't find a satisfactory finale so went the brain dead route, an ending unworthy of a great episode. I also wonder if the season is coming to a "wrong thing for the right reasons" head. Bobby betrayed Dean about RoboSam to let him keep his domestic life. Cas has done who knows what to win the angelic war. Dean and Sam lie to each other constantly because they think they're protecting each other. Now Dean kills a monster, not because it's a bloodthirsty killer, but because they need its ashes to kill Eve. Besides already hammering this theme to death in season 4, the whole thing is troubling and screams of future hypocrisy when they finally confront Cas.

That being said, there is much I loved about this episode. It would be in my top 8 of the season. The humor was dead on. From the one-liners to facial expressions to body language, everything was designed to thrill fans. You could see the glee on Dean's face which was delightfully contagious. Sam's awkwardness with the west and hero worship of Samuel Colt were fun too. Director Norman Guy Bee should be congratulated for bringing an authentic feel to the episode. The sepia tones were a big highlight for me and even that horrendous, headache-inducing spaghetti western music fit perfectly. I loved the staccato shots and quick close-ups that viscerally emphasized time moving. It reminded me of classic films with John Wayne and Gregory Peck. This was a beautifully made episode, perhaps one of the best. I also liked watching Cas finally do something questionable instead of just getting hints. I won't lie; my greatest season 7 hope is that we're truly done with the angel storyline. I want what's ever happening to finish quickly and move on. We took a baby step in that direction tonight. I also loved every scene Bobby was in but nothing new there. He is increasingly being shown as the father the Winchesters never had. He sacrifices himself for them and shows his love through his actions if not his words. In fact, he's practically up for sainthood and that makes me very, very nervous…in a delighted, self-torturing way. No killing kids; no killing Bobby!

Next week: Eve tries her hand at truck stop waitress and makes herself a Mary demon. That ought to be sufficiently angsty for the brothers. Methinks the fun is at an end.

Screencaps by Jillyanne and Supernatural Caps.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

White Collar - 1.05 - The Portrait - Recap

At Grand Central Station, Mozzie curses Kate's bottle clue. "She could have sent us anywhere, so she sends us to a place that leads everywhere." Ha! Mozzie's rightly overwhelmed at the prospect of finding one little clue in all the hubbub. Neal remains confident. That "X" in Bordeaux means something significant. He looks up to find an "X" in the girding above the entrance. Moz: "X marks the spot again?" Neal: "Kate loves the classics." Apparently Kate loves pirates or needs a Clues for Dummies book. Neal climbs up and retrieves a letter. Mozzie grabs it from Neal's hands and reads it out loud: "Dear Neal, Heard you're looking for me. Wish I could explain more but time is not on our side. Know that you're my friend, my only lover. You consume my thoughts. Every day I miss you more, but you need to stop looking. No one can deny what we have, but it's over. Please move on. Kate"

Some people say ouch; I say get real. The letter's designed to keep Neal looking. "You consume my thoughts," using "have" instead of "had." Something's up. Not to mention, it's spacing is all off - cramped in some places, extra space in others. Even the penmanship's odd for an adult. Besides, the "X" was on the bottle; she meant to leave something there for Neal but it could not be this note. He was in prison not looking for her when she left the bottle. Even the witchiest ex-lover doesn't send you on a scavenger hunt to get dumped. It's easier to stick a rejection letter in the bottle itself. In summary - things are not what they seem, but they never are on White Collar.

Neal's as confused as I am. "All this for move on?" Mozzie's the least compassionate friend ever. "Oddly bipolar. I'd rather have some oysters." Now there's the ouch! Neal is still pondering the letter on Monday when Peter stops by. Neal claims his weekend was uneventful and offers Peter coffee. We know Peter loves June's coffee, but a stolen painting can't wait. It's a Haustenberg stolen from a home. "I'd like to meet the person who keeps a Haustenberg over the mantle." Peter likes the coffee he helped himself to. On the way over, Neal learns that "Young Girl with Locket" was the painting stolen. There's no picture but Peter surmises it's of a girl wearing a locket. Neal: "You don’t get enough credit for your deductive skills." Ha! I thought the same thing. Peter says it's worth $2 million and Neal helpfully exposits that his paintings are rare because they were stolen from Hungary in WWII. Peter pointedly stares at Neal who says he didn't steal it. Peter knows but worries about what happens if Neal finds the painting first. Peter needs to pay attention because he almost hits a stopped cab before him. Thankfully the car has sensors to automatically stop the car. Peter: "This is a (product-placed Ford) Taurus. I'm keeping my eyes on you." Neal: "Good, good. The road is important too." I'm with you. Cars that think for us? Great! Now we can be more stupid than ever. Neal figures Peter checked his anklet and Peter admits he tracks Neal every day. I wonder why Neal's surprised at this; it's Peter's job to track him. He asks why Neal was at Grand Central Station and Neal grumps that he stayed within his 2 mile radius to eat oysters. Peter: "I wonder if we've been a little too generous on that." Neal sulks that Peter doesn't trust him. Peter: "What did Reagan say? Trust but verify." Neal: "That was also the motto of the Soviet secret police." Peter: "Get used to it, Comrade." This scene was produced not to establish character or plot but to sell the Taurus as the brakes go off again. While USA noticeably product places cars all the time, this time it noticeably drags down the tempo, making me not want a Taurus.

They arrive at Julianna Laszlo's, a college student who inherited her grandma's name, house, and painting. The $2.6 million painting was not insured, raising all kinds of red flags. She got home early from classes and found the thief. She hit him, he threatened her, and she hit him again. I like the spunk on this girl. As Julianna gets a picture of the painting, her uncle Gary descends the stairs. He skedaddles and Neal and Peter agree it's an inside job. Peter questions Gary while Neal gets the scoop on Julianna. Her grandma raised her after her parents died. The picture is her grandma in front of the painting. Neal says she looks like her grandma and Julianna takes it as a compliment. However, when he asks how Uncle Gary took his mom leaving everything to Julianna, she changes the subject saying Neal doesn't look like an FBI agent. Neal: "I'll take that as a compliment." Julianna says Peter looks like an FBI agent as he rejoins them.

As they leave Peter recaps his interview with Gary, who asked for a lawyer right away. Neal thinks Gary's splitting the money with the robber, but Peter thinks he has debts with shady people. My money's on Peter. Peter starts fussing over what they need to find the thief, but Neal suggests he talk to Gary. Sounds good to me but Peter is ticky. He throws Neal's probation in his face AGAIN. It's getting old. Neal asks about legalities and Peter says it's fine as long as Neal doesn't threaten or lit to Gary. The last one's a problem. Neal basically gets Gary to fill in the blanks. "Do I look like an agent?" Gary asks if "he" sent Neal and they do the non-lying all innuendo dance showing how good a con Neal really was. Gary doesn't want Julianna to get hurt and offers Neal $300, but since it isn't enough, he writes Dorsett a personal check for $10,000. Obviously Gary is new. What loan shark takes a check? Gary's not that bright. Peter says Dorsett is a bad guy and that they need to catch him quickly. Peter is now starring as Captain Obvious. Neal worries about Julianna.

After 2 days van spying, Jones is let out to exposit. Dorsett has the painting and is trying to sell it at galleries. He's not that bright either. His muscle, Joshua, sports a nice bruise where Julianna hit him. Way to take on the bad guy! (Kids, don't try this at home.) Dorsett's into "high-end loan sharking. Although calling him a loan shark is like calling Oedipus a mama's boy. He makes questionable loans with big corporate money. Get behind on your payment, he'll fire bomb your office." Taryn Vandersant, a local art buyer set up a meeting for Neal, her wealthy client, to buy the Haustenberg. Taryn's beautiful, smart, and willing to help out the FBI. I don't trust her. Oh TV procedural, you've made me a cynic. I'd question Pollyanna's motives these days. Taryn and Neal flirt as we establish Dorsett is quite dim. He's selling the painting for $100,000. Peter's more concerned about the sparks between Neal and Taryn and attempts to reinsert control. Peter: "Have you ever met a woman you didn't.." Neal: "Brittany. Brittany Nicole in second grade." Peter stares in disbelief. Neal: "I had a gap in my teeth." Peter just nods. Bwah! Back at Neal's, he studies Kate's letter, now rumpled from endless folding, looking for a secret message. He finally folds it so it says, "Here Friday Noon." We're reminded "Kate loves the classics" again. I think Kate lacks imagination.

Neal and Peter head to a museum where Peter and I are astounded to learn a rectangle of sheets(?)/towels(?) sold for $120,000. I do not get the art world. Peter thinks Haustenberg is "too cartoony".' Neal: "You're a Philistine." Peter points to the laundry art, "Yeah, I'm the crazy one." BWAH!! So with you, Peter. Taryn walks in to get wired. Taryn straps a box to her thigh and a mike to her cleavage. She asks if Neal is tempted by the money, making Neal wary. Peter warned Taryn about Neal's past and tendency to redirect. Neal: "Yes, I just got out of prison. Yes, Peter is the guy who put me there and yes, I'm tempted." Taryn asks if he really escaped for Kate. Neal: "Some people think I'm a romantic." Taryn: "Did she?" Neal: "I'll let you know." Dorsett enters the gallery under full surveillance. Neal inspects the smallish painting, which isn't as cartoony as Peter suggested. Taryn authenticates it while Dorsett questions Neal and Taryn's relationship. She mentions Neal's girlfriend. "Again, monogamy is the great casualty of beauty." Neal: "Not always." There's pointless talk of butterflies and Dorsett speaks about Brigitte, his French girlfriend. When he closes the door, he makes the undercover FBI agents outside. He nods to Joshua and pulls a gun. "Perhaps you can explain why there are people signaling outside." Um, those FBI agents need more training? Jones wants to go in but it's too risky. Neal accuses Dorsett of bringing the FBI down on them, as Dorsett takes the painting and the cash. Peter arrests Neal and Taryn to protect their cover, as she flirts with a handcuffed Neal.

The next day, El and Peter walk to work. The FBI began an administrative inquiry, but he knows all will be okay when he gets the painting and money back. El says at least Neal didn’t take it. Peter: "Yeah, this is progress." He doesn't think Neal was part of the debacle but is confused by Neal's flirtation with Taryn when he's obsessed with Kate. El says it's Neal's nature and she loves Peter for being the opposite. Peter: "What, that I lost all ability to flirt when we got married?" El laughs, "Honey, it was even questionable then." El gets the scoop on Taryn and tells Peter to encourage their flirtation. "I need that like I need a hole in the head." El explains that if Neal falls for Taryn, he might stop hunting for Kate. I think anyone who breaks out of prison and allows himself to get re-caught over a girl won't give her up that easily. They kiss goodbye and head their separate ways.

With the subtlety of neon, Peter mentions Taryn to Neal. He says she's not his type, so Peter points out her virtues and Neal calls him on matchmaking - find a nice girl and settle down. Peter: "It would simplify my life, probably save yours." True, but it would make for lousy TV. They are stopped by the exposition anvil. The Channing Museum curator, who claims the Haustenberg was stolen from them in 1967, waits in the conference room. He and Neal have the art history geek version of a macho rumble over late century European Post-Impressionists. "Caffrey, not familiar with that name." Peter: "It's probably for the best." Ha! The curator authenticated the painting himself when they first got the painting. I question the timeline. The painting was stolen 43 years ago and he looks to be in his 60's. Would a museum have someone in their mid-20's authenticate a painting so valuable? Peter stops the escalating word war to bring up Julianna. The curator doesn't care; he wants the painting back and mentions that receiving stolen goods is a crime. Neal's sympathies lie with Julianna.

Speaking of, Peter and Neal question her in the office. Julianna claims her grandma brought it with her from Hungary after the war. Jones interrupts to call Peter out. Not sure if it's a ruse to get Neal and Julianna alone together or not, but it works. Neal says Julianna doesn't lie well and her grandma stole the painting. No insurance proves it. Neal asks for a good reason to keep the painting out of the Channing. Julianna isn't talking so he asks for a hypothetical story. Julianna: "Hypothetically, a little black dress, a laced bottle of whiskey, and a horny Irish security guard." Grandma knew how to work it. Julianna shows Neal the locket the girl wears in the painting. The girl was grandma. They smile at each other in understanding. Peter joins Neal sans Julianna and they agree Dorsett would lie low. They look for his girlfriend Brigitte, another example of why criminals should stay mute. Neal weeds out connecting flights and Peter weeds women over 50. Neal and Jones stare at his ageism and he protests, "Tell me I'm wrong." Ha! With 7 candidates left, Neal chooses the one staying at Gansevoort Hotel. "That's where I'd stay."

Unfortunately for Neal, stakeouts are less extravagant. Peter calls it old school as Neal does origami. Peter pulls out his deviled ham sandwich and Neal has a physical reaction of disgust. I'm with you, Neal. He changes the station but Peter wants to listen to the game. Neal says he called it, but Peter says it's his car. Usually I like their banter, but it is painful to watch two grown men brat. I dislike Superior Peter and ADHD Neal. Neal wants to go to a nearby café and Peter says he can't afford anything there. Neal asks Peter to spot him $20, but Peter says to use his new Gold card. Neal: "You know about that." Peter: "Keep it. It makes it easier for me to know what you're buying." Peter warns Neal to keep his phone on and "no shenanigans" - love that word. Neal is glad for the reprieve but silently makes fun of Peter's use of shenanigans. (I stick my tongue out at Neal proving I'm 12 too.)

Neal enjoys wine while listening to a pair of French women. He shifts through his many credit cards and approaches them. Thank you for your support, American Express. The women smile and soon wait while Neal heads to Peter, who thinks they are prostitutes. Neal says it's Brigitte and her friend Claire; Peter and he are invited to their hotel suite. Peter thinks it's crazy but Neal reminds him they won't break any laws if Brigitte invites them in. At least they would know if she's the right Brigitte. Peter says resignedly: "Which one's Claire?" Bwah! In the hotel, Neal relaxes more than Peter, who shifts to investigative mode when the girls go in a different room. Brigitte locks the door as they return. Neal wants to go through the bathroom to the master suite but it's illegal. Brigitte and Neal dance and he lifts the door key. Slipping into the bathroom, he tells Peter to keep them occupied. Peter: "I can't keep them occupied. I don't speak French." Not a problem. The women push him onto the couch and start taking off his jacket. It's all uncomfortable and frisky when El calls. He lies that he's at a nightclub, and El's impressed he got into Gansevoort nightlife. He hangs up and makes a break for the bathroom. Meanwhile, Neal ransacks the room, finding the painting under the mirror. He takes it from the frame, noticing the dedication to Julianna on the back. He has a mischievous look on his face. Uh oh. The next morning Dorsett comes back to the hotel. He finds sleeping women and an origami butterfly where the art should be. Nothing like leaving a calling card, Neal.

Walking together, Neal offers to explain last night to Elizabeth but Peter says, "I don't need you to lie to my wife." Neal: "You going to do it yourself?" Ye of little faith. Peter's trying honesty. Neal calls it a bold choice and offers a new story: Neal complained so much Peter let him enter the night club. Peter saw the suspect go in and followed. Neal is way too good at lying. Peter says it's almost the truth and Neal agrees, "It's better than alimony." Jones interrupts with news that Dorsett escaped again with the painting and cash. Ooohh, someone didn’t tell the FBI he has the art. Not good. As the Burkes eat dinner, Peter explains that without the painting and money, Neal goes back to prison. Peter thinks he stole it and then bumbles through an explanation of last night. After 10 years of marriage El already knew he was lying and says to be honest next time. Peter says he told Neal the same thing, but this is about Peter, not blame shifting Neal. El winks: "I know you're a good man." I know Elizabeth is a saint. He pleads the fifth when El asks if she was cute. They are an awesome couple.

At Neal's, a false bottom in a kitchen drawer hides the painting. Dorsett, who tracked the credit card number from last night's drinks, calls to threaten Taryn since Neal used Brigitte. Dorsett agrees to 2 days. Neal has no choice but to get help. Enter Mozzie, who can't believe Neal stole the painting. Neal: "I was going to give it back to Julianna." Moz: "You're like a child. No sense of consequence." Have to agree. Neal points out the inscription and says the curator stole it from Julianna first. "And you're Robin Hood? And did I forget to mention the part where you stole the painting?" Moz rightly calls it a snub to the curator. "You did this for spite." Neal: "I've done things for less." Makes you wonder what. He can't let Taryn get hurt so he reluctantly goes to Peter. "This ought to be good." Neal haltingly admits he stole the art but Peter shushes him when he tries to explain why. Neal's lucky Peter doesn't slap handcuffs on him right there. Neal wants to draw out Dorsett since he doesn't know about the FBI. Peter: "We'll set it up tomorrow. Now get the hell out of my house." He lets Neal hold the painting? Really? El says Neal told him about the theft but Peter knows it's only because they threatened Taryn. El: "It's a start." Peter agrees. At his place, Neal forges the painting while Mozzie watches. "You know you have absolutely no impulse control." I disagree. Neal wouldn't be able to pull off long, detailed cons without some. He just doesn't choose to use it in this case. Moz then critics Neal's brushwork saying a tourist might be fooled but not a curator. Neal counts on it. They age the forgery in the oven at 125 degrees. Thanks White Collar! If I ever need to forge art…yeah, I can't draw so oh well. For the final punch, Neal signs his work.

Heading to the sting, Neal asks about his probation and Peter says they need Dorsett. He wants no complications. Neal checks his status with Peter who calls him comrade but will still verify. I wonder if we'll to see the Taurus' nifty brakes a third time. Guess not. Fabulous! Dorsett joins Neal in person since he doesn't trust Joshua with a $1 million painting. I don't trust Dorsett's art knowledge since he still underestimates its worth. Neal says Dorsett won and he compliments Neal on the game. Neal smirks as Dorsett is arrested, which is nothing compared to when the curator examines the Haustenberg. His pause makes Peter nervous. Of course, Neal is giving Julianna the real painting at the same time. She explains that her grandma was Haustenberg's illegitimate daughter. He willed the painting to her grandma but the museum ignored his wishes. Neal: "It's not theft when rich men do it." So cynical for a con man. Neal exposits that the painting's safe because the curator would have to explain why they kept the art in the first place. The curator flips over the painting as Peter whispers, "Neal, what have you done." The inscription reads, "My dearest Walter, I know what you saw here last time. NC" The curator proclaims it the real thing.

On Friday after noon, Neal waits at Grand Central Station for Kate. Mozzie meets Neal with a black and white cookie. Yum. Neal: "Forbidden romantic meetings are kind of a personal thing, Moz." "Yeah, like I was going to let you come alone. What if the guy with the ring planted that note...You'll be happy I came when a red laser dot suddenly appears on your forehead." Aww, Mozzie cares. Although, I bet the ringed man could kill Neal at any time, not like Neal is inconspicuous. Neal laughs it off and Moz wisely admits Kate might have written it months ago. Good point. She didn't know when Neal would figure it out. Neal's confident she will show even if she's late. The pay phone rings and he races to it. Kate doesn't have much time and background noise clues Neal that she's near. He's overjoyed to see her on a walkway. He wants to join her but she says, "No! No, Neal. He's close." Neal doesn't care where the ringed man is, but Kate stops him by asking where he hid everything. He asks why and Kate exposits that the man wants something he took. Problem is that Neal took a lot of things. Kate isn't who I thought she would be. He risked extended jail time for her, and all she talks about is his hidden stash? Kate says to give the man everything so she can come back. Neal asks who the man is and says he can protect Kate. She disagrees. The only way to help is to give up everything. Kate: "You always told me I had to trust you. Well now, you have to trust me." Sorry, woman - I don't one bit. "I want to come home. Please just tell me where you hid everything." Neal: "No…it's the only leverage I've got." He drops the phone, racing toward her. Moz picks up the phone. Kate: "Mozzie, tell Neal I love him. Tell him it's the only way." She hangs up and disappears before Neal gets there. He screams "Kate" as we fade to credits.

I'm confused now. Neal risked everything to find Kate but won't risk his stash. I understand the leverage bit, but why would he flat out refuse without discussion first? Maybe with all the product placement they ran out of time. I find this episode puzzling. I love the painting thrice stolen story and Neal's interaction with Julianna. In fact, "crime of the week" wise, this is one of the best episodes White Collar has produced. Unfortunately, character play between Peter and Neal was more annoying than fun and writing in advertisements broke the plot flow. I know they need the money but I'm glad they are a bit more subtle in the future episodes. Well most of them. In the end I really like this episode, just not quite as much as its potential.

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