White Collar: All About Balls

White Collar S03E15: "Stealing Home"

Now that Neal's up for commutation next week, all his friends and co-workers have found themselves at a crossroads: Testify on his behalf to the advisory panel and get their friend's sentence overturned, or be honest about the fact that he occasionally falls off the wagon when it comes to stealing untold fortunes? It's telling that everyone—especially Peter, recently returned Sara, and newly engaged Diana (congrats, girl!)—all desperately wants to help Neal. Is there anybody on White Collar, or even in the world or universe, who wouldn't want to help Neal? No, there isn't. Okay, maybe certain blind people but that's IT.

Cool sky. Anyway, also finding himself at a crossroads in this episode was Neal himself: Tasked to infiltrate and take down rival world-class art thief Gordon Taylor (who Neal clearly admired and had a bit of a man-crush on), Neal was torn between doing his job and also participating in the heist FOR REAL. The heist itself entailed lifting Babe Ruth's first-ever home run ball directly out of a glass display case in Yankee Stadium. The artifact had a special poignancy for Peter who it turned out used to be a PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER. For two weeks, in the minors, but still.

Here is Neal wearing a tan suit in public like it's no big deal.

Anyway, as Mozzie informed Neal, the only way he could get hired for the job was to pass Gordon's billiards test (?). Apparently Gordon can judge a potential heist partner by the way he molests the felt, so fortunately Neal used to be a nine-year-old pool hustler in St. Louis. This show has the best backstories!

So then in a sequence that has to qualify as the most seductive in recent memory, Neal walked around the table just sinking ball after ball while his prospective boss just looked on like this:

Um. This is strictly a comment on what was happening on screen (and let's keep it that way in the comments, guys), but was this the most erotic thing ever? Anyway, I don't know what this scene was but it was obviously the best. And Gordon agreed because suddenly Neal was part of the gang!

The heist itself was fine, it involved a fake version of the Babe Ruth ball that Mozzie had whipped up, plus a secret note scrawled under the leather that only Peter would recognize (being a former pro player for two weeks and all). After the switch was made, a last-minute tip-off alerted Peter and his crew and the bad guys were taken down... All of them, of course, except for Gordon who'd been mysteriously tipped off by Mozzie and/or Neal, because Gordon's the kind of guy who they might want to work with in the future.

But those kinds of obvious signs of shadiness didn't go unnoticed by Peter (or the team of agents currently trying to prove that Neal once sent coded messages from his prison cell), so it was clear that Peter was suddenly having doubts about testifying in favor of Neal's release. However, like the warmhearted con-man he is, Neal used his skills to find one of Peter's old rookie cards and impress him with it. Similarly, he convinced Sara that he didn't want her to testify, he merely wanted to hang out with her more. Which, Bingo on both ploys! Oh Neal, who can stay mad at you?

What do you guys think will happen in next week's season finale? Me, I'm guessing too many things are counting against Neal at this point and he'll probably personally decline the commutation himself. Wouldn't that be such a Neal thing to do? Also wouldn't it be such a Producers-of-White Collar-who-want-the-show-to-last-much-longer thing to do?

 

Oh, and I don't know why anybody would care about this, but here's an INFINITELY LOOPING .GIF OF MATT BOMER'S FACE:

QUESTIONS:

... What did you think of "Stealing Home"?

... Should Neal go chill at Gordon's Mediterranean villa for a while?

... Do we maybe know a little too much about Peter and Elizabeth's sex lives?

Comments (38)
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does anybody know where i can get that song/beat when neal and taylor were playing pool
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Matt Bomer, let me love you.
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totally mesmerised by the .gif had to force myself to look away and scroll down without looking - also don't know if i was the only one but i felt considering how amazing taylor was supposed to be it was a pretty mediocore plan for heist (yes it worked but still) but all in all was definately a good episode - loved the tan suit and i definately felt something stir down below when he played the game of pool!!
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Who WOULDN'T care about an infinitely looping .gif of Matt Bomer's face is more the question!
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Slash was strong with this one. Who knew pool was this sexy?



1- It was definitely one of the best episodes of this season.

2- I know I would.

3- Never! I may or may not be interested in Peter's sex life. Errrr.
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I swear when God was giving out Sexiness Matt Bomer pushed everyone out of the way and claimed it all
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I liked this episode, it felt like smart people doing things in a smart way, whether they were motivated by stopping crime or causing it. I loved the bit at the end with Kool Moe Dee's "I Go To Burke", that was priceless. The only issue I had with this episode is it felt compressed, like the setup could have started during a previous episode.
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I'm literally gettin hynotized by his face! Thanks for the infinite .gif of Matt Bomer that is a gift lol!
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I was laughing pretty hard during the billiards scene. All the sideways-seductive-shifty-sexy glances they kept throwing at each other after each shot was hilarious. It was almost as if Bomer forgot he plays a straight character, ha.



I liked the episode, and the fact that I'm a baseball fan has very little to do with it... after all, I hate the Yankees.



Maybe it's just me, but I'm kind of getting sick of seeing Neal's swag-walk. It was fun the first few times I saw it, but every time I see it now-a-days, I just keep thinking his body is half jello.
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Yes, Price, I agree with you that the pool game scene was sexy as hell. And, frankly, it wasn't even so because these were too incredibly handsome actors. It was all in the camera work and body language. There was a helluva seduction going on in that scene and I, as a viewer, got just, swept up in it. :D

Your questions:

1) Loved it. Hope Gordon comes back. Bomer and Hal Ozsan had this incredible chemistry on the screen, it was breathtaking.

2) If it means we see more of these two together? Hell yeah!

3) Heheh, i dunno, it think adds colour.
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I could watch that gif all day.

And night.
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Gordon was tipped off by Mozzie's nonverbal anxiety, but still put out feelers about Paris. I think Neal will get the commutation, and Mozzie's tempting him to try out Paris will be a plotline for next season. A successful commutation will also allow the show to use locations outside NYC, and the writers might be looking for some variety for season 4.
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The only reason I'd be opposed to them going outside of NYC is that they may rely on using their green-screen more.



Plenty of shows use em, but every time I see an obvious green-screen in White Collar, I get a sick feeling in my gut. It sucks even more that most of the time they use the green-screen, it's for a scene they could've just done without.
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Agreed. One of the sad side-effects of today's HD picture is that the green screen is more obvious - with differences in camera focus and lighting angle, some scenes that worked in SD are glaringly frankensteined in HD. And White Collar, with its outdoor shooting, is particularly bad at this.
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You really hit a home run with your title selections. And why do people with accents immediately come off much more... attractive? Also, I will add your gif to my digital picture frame (it's next to my bed) ...kidding.
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Price, as a straight male, I gotta say that your infinity loop is the greatest thing on this website ever.

Stealing Home was another great instalment of White Collar, with the writers putting in the perfect case-of-the-week to mesh in with the overarching story, and as usual, acted beautifully by our main cast. I love Mozzie.
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We can never know too much about Tiffani Amber Thiessen *-*
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price I will love you as long as you keep doing white collar recaps anything to see matt bomer gifs of matt bomer's face
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Hey, it's Hal Ozsan! I definitely have to start watching this show now...
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Who else laughed, by the way, when all those gorgeous man walked across the street in slow motion? Way to not draw attention to yourself!
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I laughed at that too. Way to completely stand out, criminals.
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Yep - very discreet... undercover right?
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Don't be silly. We ALL care about the infinity loop :D



Personally, I don't really know why Peter decided not to show Neal the letters and as such that people are getting on to him. I thought he wanted not to because if there was something to be found, perhaps it was better if they found it and not stopped it from coming out. But maybe I did indeed get that scene wrong.
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I know you probably have a bunch of people saying this already, but between pics 4 and 5 you called Neal, Peter.
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Staff
Thanks!
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Ah, no. Peter wasn't having second thoughts about testifying in favor of Neal. He was worried that there might be something in the coded letters that Kramer could use against Neal. He was going to approach him about and then decided not to. It was obvious that he didn't want to worry Neal. You got that whole scene wrong.
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Staff
Nope, sorry. I admit I'm not a genius, but Peter definitely isn't 100% sure that Neal's good to go, and I'm sure finding the truth about those codes were necessary to his assessment. He decided not to ruin the moment, but he's still worried that he can't give Neal a full endorsement.
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Absolutely - commutation would theoretically require that the opinion of experts (Peter & co) is that Neal is unlikely to re-offend...



So come on- no matter how big our shared crush on Neal, he is most likely to get back to being a conman than a security consultant...



Therefore, Peter is rightly doubting that the commutation is the best thing for Neal (as well as for the potential victims he'd con)
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That's a master criminal right there. Sure, join my super secret criminal team dude-I-met-4-minutes-ago on the word of guy- I-hired-4-days-ago. Cause no cop could sink an awesome shot like that. Impossible. At least he was smart enough to use a jammer.
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Yeah, well, but remember in the criminal world is all about the rep. That is why they're always careful to keep Neal's cooperation with the FBI on the downlow. Plus, the pool game wasn't about the skill but the tactics, approach. You can learn a lot about people from tactical games if you know them well enough. There was once this go master, who said he could tell practically everything about the player by studying his moves, even at which point coffee was served.
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Yeh, Mozzie definitely has a rep. Recall all of those criminals that were willing to screw over the guy that shot him? Chances are "the Boss" know his rep and trusted his opinion.



Meanwhile, as apostrofa said, they try to keep Neil's aiding the FBI on the down-low. And Neil is/was a BIG name in the criminal world.



So it was more like "Hey Michael Jordan, you're saying your neighbor is really good at Basketball and would like to join our pick-up game? AWESOME!?!?"
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Precisely! I don't know this first or even second hand, but from everything I read and saw (tv, books, press, whatever), it's all about rep. Are you a good, successful criminal or are you a bad one? Are you reliable or are you a snitch? Sure, there're all kinds of ways to check those things and reading somebody's gameplay is just one of those. But ultimately? It all comes down do the rep you have and the rep of those who are willing to recommend you.
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I enjoyed the episode, immensely. As for the seductive pool playing, it worked for me, but everything Neal Caffrey does works for me. Am I the only one who cheered when Peter put the paper away and decided to just relax for the evening with his friend? The two of them should go play catch on a regular basis - it's good for morale and entertaining to see the two of them bonding.



Oh and Price, you need an editor, this isn't the first of your posts that I've found mistakes in: "Peter walked around the table just sinking ball after ball while his prospective boss just looked on." It was Neal, not Peter, playing pool.
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Staff
Fixed. Cool way to bring it up.
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I liked this episode. Seeing another conman with Neal's moral code and skill was a great insight. Don't we all love a nice conman?
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Staff
Balls.
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All About Balls HAHA! Good one Price.
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Ah, Price. I always have to be careful to read your reviews AFTER I've watched the episode, so your plot-hole-pointing sarcasm doesn't ruin my enjoyment of Neal and his face. But I do so appreciate the good-humored laugh that your words bring about after the fact. I actually quite enjoyed this episode, despite the fact that I could care less about baseball. I'll chalk it up to the talents of Matt Bomer's perfect features.
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