Still not likely to write about "White Collar" regularly, but I found last night's episode an improvement enough over the last few that I have some thoughts coming up just as soon as I find a tailor in the middle of the night...
"White Collar" has two obvious strengths in the rapport between Tim DeKay and Matthew Bomer and the idea of a lawman working with a con man, but it has two fundamental flaws: 1)The show has yet to give us any reason to care about Kate, other than the fact that Neal cares about her; and 2)White collar crime (or, at least, the way the show has so far depicted white collar crime) isn't all that interesting.
"Bad Judgment" worked around both those flaws while playing up the series' strengths. We got a lot of Neal and Peter working together well - and, at times, working towards the same goal with one party not realizing it was happening - we got a whole lot of Moz moving in Peter's world, and we got a lot of glimpses into how Neal and Mozzie's cons work. At the same time, Kate didn't appear at all (though she was, as usual, talked about a lot), and the mortgage fraud case was treated as a MacGuffin-ish excuse to have Peter and Neal go against the judge and Fowler, and not as something we should care about in and of itself.
I don't know if they can downplay the cases this much every week, particularly with Fowler heading back to Washington for the time being, but this was still a much more satisfying episode than last week's "Hard Sell" or many of the later episodes from the first half of the season. If Jeff Eastin and company can find a way to either make Kate interesting or ditch her for good, we might be cooking with gas eventually.
What did everybody else think?