Tuesday, August 9, 2011

White Collar-"Countdown"

The cast of "White Collar"
Credit: USA

Some thoughts on the midseason finale of White Collar are after the jump.

White Collar has become one of my go-to procedurals for this summer, and this episode was the perfect example of why that is. It was a well constructed midseason finale that had me interested the entire time. That's all I can ask from this type of show. It fulfilled my expectations in the best way possible.

The first thing that comes to mind with any finale is the cliffhanger. I was able to watch a screener of tonight's episode, and keeping that cliffhanger quiet from anyone to whom I talked was challenging. MRS. SUIT IS KIDNAPPED! Sorry, that had to be in all caps because it's not a shocking cliffhanger, but it strangely worked. The camerawork with Peter entering the house, seeing the scene, and then focusing on Neal made the cliffhanger actually have meaning.

That cliffhanger wouldn't have worked as well as it did if the episode hadn't been building towards it with the tension in the Peter and Neal relationship. This half-season has been building to the treasure changing Peter and Neal's relationship. It has essentially been an elaborate con, and that makes entertaining television. This episode was Neal trying to con Peter with a fake painting while Peter was trying to retrieve the real one. It was fun to watch the two of them play with each other's minds. Tim DeKay and Matt Bomer did a fantastic job portraying the tension in their relationship. The best kind of summer TV is a plot that keeps you hooked, and this was an example of that.

Some other thoughts:
  • The aspect of the cliffhanger that has me most interested, is what will happen with Mozzie. The dynamic between Mozzie and Neal is one of my favorite aspects of the show and I'm curious to find out what will become of it. 
  • Speaking of that, the material involving Mozzie and Neal was awesome. The tension in this relationship almost eclipsed the tension with Neal/Peter for all the right reasons.
  • Beau Bridges had a fantastic guest appearance as Peter's old mentor. 
  • Ross McCall did great work in his fourth appearance as the mysterious Matthew Keller.
That's all I have to say on the finale. It was satisfying in every single way possible. I am highly anticipating the show's return in the winter.

What did everyone else think about the finale?

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