Guest-star Joe Manganiello did not have a nude scene on White Collar this week, let's just get that out of the way up front. But it was nice that he took some time away from his between-seasons-of-True Blood regimen of sit-ups to chill with Matt Bomer for a few days! (Related question: Everyone excited about Magic Mike?)
"Neighborhood Watch" began with a nice at-home scene between Peter and Elizabeth (probably one of TV's best marriages) where Peter introduced the most hilarious plot device ever invented. "Here's this industrial strength cell phone scanner, lemme just flip it on and leave it on the coffee table, okay bye." Within seconds Elizabeth was glued to the thing, listening in on her neighbors' phone conversations and also overhearing what certainly sounded like two robbers planning a big heist.
The only thing better than Elizabeth going all Nancy Drew to personally stop the robbers was how Peter (and Neal) immediately believed her and looked into it. Seriously, that was nice! Usually on TV someone's like, "You're crazy, hush." And then even when the heist didn't end up happening, it wasn't long before her suspicions were confirmed and something was definitely about to go down at a local hotel. In the meantime Elizabeth planned a sting operation on her suspicious new neighbors, a weathered stripper lady and her hunky husband Joe Manganiello. We knew he was a BRILLIANT criminal mastermind because he walked around in broad daylight with a gun tucked into his pants and also left his highly illegal lock pick set in plain sight whenever possible. So without telling Peter why, Elizabeth conspired to get them invited to dinner (while Neal and Mozzie waited outside in the car as backup).
After a guaranteed-suspenseful sequence where Elizabeth pretended to go to the bathroom, snooped around upstairs, and got herself locked in the bedroom only to have Neal talk her through picking the lock, the episode's action shifted to Joe Manganiello's character Ben and Joe Manganiello's character Ben's biceps. Neal decided to go undercover as an ex-con, which was both ironic AND hilariously unconvincing in that his tough-guy disguise was a baseball cap. While undercover, Neal made fast friends with Ben and they both went to the world's most brightly lit strip club where Ben's main co-conspirator worked. After some routine sleuthing involving a stripper's borrowed eyeliner, Neal figured out the time and coordinates of when the big heist was going down.
Because this is White Collar, there weren't any fourth-act twists or anything: Ben and his co-conspirator were definitely thieves and they ended up stealing the safe from a luxury hotel. The wrinkle, however, was that they'd returned to the brightly lit strip club to divvy up the spoils and the FBI needed to intercept them BEFORE the money was divided in order to arrest them for having robbed the hotel. Or something? I don't know how the law works, but anyway, that's when Elizabeth realized the FBI would never make it in time (and she'd already tailed Ben's wife to the strip club), so in the show's main highlight she and Mozzie posed as FBI agents and confronted Ben themselves (Mozzie's last-minute decision to co-opt a stripper's sexy trench coat was just a good example of quick thinking). Unfortunately the duo did not make terribly convincing FBI agents (at all) but their shenanigans definitely stalled the villains long enough for Peter and his team to arrive. Next thing we knew Ben was facing his third strike and Peter was about to have some super hot, sexy trench-coat action with his crafty lady.
Oh, I almost forgot. Just look at this .GIF!
Did you enjoy this episode of White Collar, you guys?