Saturday, December 05, 2009

White Collar, "Free Fall": Who's the man?

"White Collar" aired its "mid-season finale" last night, but because the show is coming back in mid-January, that seems less of a big deal than usual with USA shows.

While it was fun to see Neal act like a criminal again, I'm really hoping that the final scene of the episode was designed to be misleading. Because if it was what it looked like it was, I may be even less interested in the show than I was before.

What did everybody else think?

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought the complete opposite. I HOPE it is what it looks like. Though, I think it is far more likely that it is NOT what it looks like and that will disappoint me. At least then the show would have some spice added to it. Right now, it is just too safe.

Peter said...

It would help if we could give a damn about Kate. We've seen nothing that compels me to understand why Neil pines for her to such a degree. It's a fun little show, but nowhere near the level of Psych or Burn Notice. (In fact, the best minute of White Collar last night was the Private Eyes video for Psych.)

d said...

Is it just me, or does Kate and Elizabeth look a lot like sisters?

I'm hoping it's a misleading finale. Peter would have interviewed Kate when he was initially looking for Neil so I'm not putting any merit into the fact they do know each other.

JanieJones said...

I have had trouble developing affection for the show. However, I would be sorely disappointed if the ending was what it looks like, I'm with you Alan, I hope it was misdirection.
Peter, I don't care about Kate. I need to be given a reason to care. That particular storyline has not been built up yet.
I do look forward to seeing how the storyline runs in January. I hope to find more out about Kate and others.
Also, I enjoyed the Psych promo last night too.
Only Shawn and Gus and co. would do a rendition of "private eyes" Shawn in the mullet is hilarious.

Sean SoCal said...

I think that Burke was behind this whole Kate thing all along, but what I'm not sure of is why. Either he did it to get Neil out of jail and motivate him to start being on the straight and narrow, or he's trying to protect Neil, either from Kate or from himself - like, he's doing it for Neil's own good.

I just don't know, but least we don't have to wait very long to find out.

kimshum said...

Because if it was what it looked like it was, I may be even less interested in the show than I was before.

Agreed. It felt like shoving in a twist for the sake of a twist. A good twist will allow you to go back and see little clues that nudged you in that direction along the way; it should slide into place with a certain surprising inevitability. That last scene was just...out of the blue. And it felt out of character.

I'm with you in hoping it was not what it appeared to be. There are ways to do that, but the fact that Peter was wearing the ring is especially problematic.

I thought it was a really fun episode up until that last scene. Alas. I suppose, at the very least, how they explain this one will prove the writers' skill (or lack thereof).

mac35 said...

I thought this last episode was outstanding. Thus far the show has been fun but fairly lightweight, adding some higher stakes to things should help make it more of a must see show instead of a "doesn't matter if you miss a few" procedural.

There are a lot of different ways they could take the final scene from last night and I doubt it will be the most obvious (that Peter is just a straight up a bad guy). One thing is for sure, anyone who watched last night will almost certainly be tuning in again to see what happens in January so from the show's perspective that's mission accomplished.

Now they just have to make sure they can realistically explain the final scene without pissing the audience off.

Ingrid said...

I agree with Alan and with kimshum. It was so out of the blue that it had "red herring" written all over it. But if it's not misleading and that is the direction they want to take, that would spoil the show for me. What I like about the show is the contrast between the crook and the straight shooter.

TV Obsessed said...

I wonder how the writers will explain the twist. With one short scene, the concept of the whole show is turned on its head. Instead of the crook and the cop, it's now the crook and the crooked cop.

Timothy said...

Maybe Peter knows that Kate isn't who Neil thinks she is. Maybe Kate is trying to con the con, and helped Peter put Neil away the first time, hoping that by doing so she could get her hands on the loot he stashed wherever. When Neil brings up the fact that he's been tracking Kate, and that he talked to her, Peter knows exactly whats going on and goes to have a talk "Leave Neil alone before I make you leave him alone." The ring could be explained by the simple fact of Kate using the pic as proof that she is being held, when in fact it was just some nonchalant photo of her and Peter

Why did they recast the female FBI agent? Wasn't it because they wanted to create some sexual/relationship tension with that character and Neil? Or am I recalling that incorrectly? If that is the reason they recast the role, then it would make sense that the show intent is to not have Neil and Kate get back together, so to speak, but to lead everyone on before the pull Kate out from under us.

MM said...

I'm sure the last scene is misdirection. This is USA where things are pretty light & breezy. A crooked agent is much too dark for that network.

Having said that (hee hee, put that just for you Alan), personally I think it would be interesting for Neal to have the moral superiority.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how fast this show has wasted the potential from the pilot. I'm out till I see a blog from Alan talking about how much it's improved.

Anne said...

Why did they recast the female FBI agent?

Strictly speaking, they didn't recast the role. They're two separate and different female agents. Marsha Thomason got a new job between the pilot and the series, and Natalie Morales was promoted from a tiny arc to a supporting character. But as to why her characterization was so inconsistent/nonexistent, that, I don't know.

bjs said...

I've enjoyed White Collar and definitely did not enjoy the ending.

It felt like a "twist for twist's sake" and by effectively pulling the rug out from under us about who we could trust, left me annoyed -- an annoyance that will only grow until January.

In Burn Notice interviews, Matt Nix said he wanted to do a show with "old-fashioned television values" where you knew pretty much who to trust (among the good guys, that is). I appreciate that.

The thing that killed Alias was this constant manipulation of motives which didn't make sense. I hope the guy who did White Collar wakes up and doesn't do the same thing. He's squandering the good will of a lot of his audience, I fear.

Anonymous said...

I thought the ending was laugh out loud funny. I'm sure some explanation will be given for it, but does Peter only put on his big garish ring when going out and being evil? Even as a red herring it felt a little lazy -- of course the twist is that Peter isn't what he seems, because the show has barely spent any time building up Agent Gallant and Agent Dubdub, the only other regulars on the show.

I wish that rather that create an arc, the show had decided to write sharper stand alone episodes. DeKay, Bomer, and Garson are quite funny together. Why not build on that?

Andrew Gordon said...

Without an arc, we may not have gotten the kind of awesome moments that happened in this episode (pre-the ending twist).

For example: Neil buying a bakery and jumping onto its awning from the judge's office next door.

LP said...

I just finished watching the "fall finale" and still don't know what to think. If Peter really is the bad guy (I don't think that he is), then it makes every interaction between Peter and Neil in the first season... fake.

I can't think the writers would seriously do this.

Then again, the only USA show that did the "big story" that goes from episode to episode and season to season very well is Burn Notice (Monk mostly ignored it).

So maybe they're trying to up the ante on White Collar -- and if they do it by giving Peter the worst heel turn since Hulk Hogan, this show isn't worth watching.

cgeye said...

There's only one explanation that leaves room for a good cliffhanger next season's end: Peter's modeling himself as crooked, and holding that girl apart (like I frigging care whether she lives or dies, since Neil flirts with every skirt as if he never loved her, anyway -- can you tell I'll miss MONK's commitment to loss and grief?) is part of the plan both to protect her, and get Neil on the team.

I assume the Long Con's about a crime boss so high up he has moles everywhere, and Neil *and* Peter have to seem corrupt enough for them to do business with him. Peter has to seem enough of a dick to do that to Neil, and Neil has to believe that enough to convince the moles. Otherwise, they're wasting a hell of a lot of episode time to a weak long arc.

Maura said...

I'm sure some explanation will be given for it, but does Peter only put on his big garish ring when going out and being evil?

Exactly. Does it give him super powers? I'm also confused by what Kate's been telling Neal. She says someone is holding her hostage, but she's running around the city, free as a bird. I mean, I don't expect her to be held in a dungeon, but whoever is threatening her isn't keeping a very good eye on her. Shouldn't he have minions or something to deliver her to his room?

DeKay is who keeps me coming back, and I'll be mighty disappointed if Peter turns out to be the bad guy. I love the dynamic between Peter and Neal. I don't want it to be ruined.

Even with those complaints, I really like this show, and this episode in particular. It's a fun diversion, and I'm looking forward to January (although the return of Burn Notice is what I'm really waiting for).

kitty said...

d asked: Is it just me, or does Kate and Elizabeth look a lot like sisters?

I've been thinking that all along. In fact, at first I thought they might be the same person, so I checked.

I absolutely love this show.

...

amysa said...

This show has been so low key and has required so little thought so far that it only recently occurred to me that Kate might be a bad guy. Sure, it occurred to me that she was probably not above board because...duh. But since I don't care about her, I don't care what kind of danger she could be in. On the other hand, I also haven't put that much thought into whether Peter knew where she was or not. I would find it pretty hard to believe that they'd have some big "you can't trust Peter!" twist and stick with it, but I do think we're going to find that he's known where she was all along and has been trying to keep her away from Neal. I'm sticking with Emmerich as the bad guy, mainly because even though I could believe that Peter would double cross Neal for whatever reason, I don't believe that an agent that good would be under serious investigation. Neal/Peter = good, Emmerich = bad and who know where Kate falls into it all.

gajaitin1@fastmail said...

Wow, I totally disagree! First of all, I started thinking about halfway through the episode, wouldn't it be interesting if Peter actually masterminded the whole Kate thing to manipulate Neil into escaping from prison and coming to work for him?

I'm not sure what the motivation would be, but I don't think Peter's a bad guy. I just don't think he's the total sap that he seems to be.

I agree that Kate is not interesting at all, but I really hope this is not some misleading bit that turns into a nothing. I hope it's significant.

Hatfield said...

If he's bad, I may be out. That would just undermine the whole point of the show up until now, and if it's a red herring, then shame on them for wasting our time.

Color me disgruntled.

skittledog said...
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skittledog said...
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skittledog said...

(Deleted and re-entered for stupid annoying errors - twice, gah! Sorry.)

I'm reserving judgment until the whys of all this are made clear, but the mere possibility that Peter is corrupt and has been fake in every interaction with Neal to date is leaving a sour taste in my mouth. I doubt I'm going to be able to enjoy thinking about this show or rewatching it (which I will confess to a weakness for, if only for Neal/Peter scenes because their chemistry is so good) until I know what the truth is here.

If it really is a face heel turn... which I don't really think it is, but if it is... then the show is pretty much dead to me. And that's a big taint to have hanging over it until we get some answers.

amysa said...

Why can't it be both? Why can't Peter have actually been pulling strings and manipulating situations but *not* have been doing it for "evil"? It seems to me, based on the fact that this show seems to hinge on the chemistry and partnership of the two men, that they'd never hit reset and have them be enemies of one another. Neal may not be happy with whatever it is that Peter is doing with Kate, but I doubt it'll be something that Neal and the audience can't easily understand and eventually accept. I don't think a reset is necessary to explain away what happened in that final scene nor does it really cloud my view of the rest of the series. If anything, it makes me kind of want to watch the episodes again, which I had no intention of doing before.

Whatever the case, Peter's not corrupt. That's just kind of a given. Emmerich's character was introduced to cast doubt leading into the cliffhanger, not offer any proof.

frabjous said...

Where this show has really gotten me interested is in those moments where the two leads are outsmarting each other on the way to solving the case (last week's episode with the Chinatown gamblers was the best in that regard so far). So I'm hoping this is just meant to be Peter playing a long game on the side of the good guys.

I'm not sure what that long game could be, though! I like the idea that the whole purpose was to protect Neal from Kate, but once Neal was out, wouldn't it have been easier for Peter to set it up for Neal to discover Kate's evil for himself?

For what it's worth, show creator Jeff Eastin has posted about the finale a couple of times on Twitter - nothing dispositive, but I'm not going to post anything even vaguely spoilery here. He's at twitter.com/jeffeastin.

chrisp said...

I'm late to this episode, so this comment is probably going to float off into the ether, but just wanted to say that: 1) I felt that they really started to hit their stride with both the banter and overall pacing with this episode, and; 2) the ending is obviously a fake-out.

I think it's pretty significant that when they show Peter from the front, they don't show his hand at all. If he was actually wearing it, there's no reason to do that -- it softens the supposed 'reveal'.

Given that, we're left with two options. Either it's a fake hand on the table next to him that Kate's been using -- which is my guess -- or there's a different guy in the chair next to him. I really doubt the latter, but I suppose it's possible.

Ok, but to lurking again...

Michael G. said...

I thought the episode as a whole was better than most WC episodes, but the ending was fairly dumb. Not only did it feel forced--a twist for twist's sake--but somewhat predictable.

I considered the possibility of Peter being the man holding Kate even before it was revealed the baddie was an FBI agent. Then I tossed it aside as a stupid idea, since doing so would almost certainly ruin Peter and Neal's partnership.

Ricardo said...

"Because if it was what it looked like it was, I may be even less interested in the show than I was before."

Why? It would be even better. How come you like predictable tv?

Jennifer said...

I could buy that it is a setup by Peter to get Neal out of jail, totally. I also kind of suspect that Kate is evil in the first place anyway. Where that's going, I don't know, but I am intrigued.

I just hope they can pull it off while still keeping the buddy cop dynamic, somehow.

Anonymous said...

I taped it and watched it tonight. The resemblance of Kate to Elizabeth is so close one can't really determine. I did stop action to check it out, because my first impression when she entered the room was that it was Elizabeth even though Peter called her Kate.
I thought it might be Peter & Elizabeth role playing the true "evil one" & Kate, for some reason.
But agreed with someone's comment that Neal's obsession with Kate makes no sense considering his attraction to every pretty woman he encounters.

Anonymous said...

Back again, and this time checked out IMDB to see the official studio shots of the two acctresses playing Elizabeth & Kate. There is an amazing resemblance, except a 12 year age difference. So perhaps Kate is somehow related to Elizabeth in the story which would explain Elizabeth's undying sympathy for Neal against her husband's cynacism.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I like the show - the "twist" was interesting but one can't help but think Peter is battling the other FBI team and mis-directing them. We have no idea who to trust at this point just like Neil.

As far as the female FBI agent, it is ruining the show for my wife. This is harsh but she says she is so ugly and miscast against Neil, who can have any hot women he wants, why on earth would they put her in the show? It wasn't for sexual tension thats for sure...

Anonymous said...

The last few episodes have really been testing my suspension of disbelief, Specifically Kate's amount of freedom (which may be a clue to something) and the mid-season twist. I could go on and on with theories about it, but they all are based on three basic ideas: 1. Clues scattered throughout the episodes. 2. They just did it to take the show in a new direction without any deep setup. 3. A misleading ending that will quickly explain itself away in the next episode.

Anonymous said...

i think that kate and elizabeth look exactly like each other.

i agree with peter who said that we have no reason to care about kate. I show no compassion towards her because there has been no evidence that she is in any sort of pain. now on the other hand if peter was protecting neil from kate then i would under stand why there would be no torture or pain on Kate's side,
but still in the next season i would rather hope that there is evidence of kate in pain of some sort. if peter is actually EVILL.

and one last ting what is with peter waring the ring in the last scene!