White Collar's Season 4 Finale: The Man in the Mirror

White Collar S04E16: “In the Wind”


When Sam was actually revealed to be James, Neal’s long-lost-possibly-cop-killing-father, I figured things would end one of two ways: with James dead and Neal angsting, or with James going on the run and Neal joining him and angsting. Instead, we got Neal NOT joining him... and angsting. I guess I was partially right—I’m sorry for doubting you, White Collar, but you just really love that will-Neal-stay-or-will-Neal-run storyline and I’m actually delighted that this time around, Neal’s loyalty to Peter and the life he’s built for himself in New York never truly came into question. In fact, Neal is perfectly poised to find himself fighting tooth and nail for that life when White Collar returns for its fifth season later this year as Peter takes the fall for James’ actions and James yet again bails on his son. 

James’ hasty exit comes in the wake of that super touching father-son moment from last week’s episode—you know the one I’m talking about: when Neal’s crazy art skills were praised by his AWOL daddy and the idea of Neal being a brilliant artist in his own right was floated and we all had to grab the tissues because there was TOTALLY JUST SOME DUST IN MY EYE OKAY? And then to follow that up with Neal and James’ conversation about Neal’s blue eyes and how he spent hours in front of a mirror as a kid after his mom told him he got his blue eyes from his father? Why you gotta be so rude, White Collar? What did I ever do to you other than sing your praises and leer at Matt Bomer’s overabundance of physical attractiveness (seriously, bro, you need to learn how to share)?

New boss Amanda Calloway was basically confirmed to be on Evil Senator Pratt’s payroll but Neal, Mozzie, Peter, and James seemed, for once, to be ahead of the game. Sara was headed to London for a swanky new position in her firm, but the promotion felt less like a goodbye for Sara and Neal and more like a, “Sucks about your probation, come see me after you get rid of your ankle bling.” Neal’s life and his small, unconventional family seemed to be coming together and for once, his gaze wasn’t caught somewhere on the horizon plotting a possible escape.


So of course White Collar had to stomp all over it. 

I just never really thought James would be revealed to have ACTUALLY killed his superior thirty years ago. Sure, he occasionally seemed a little overeager to get his hands on his former partner’s evidence box, but eh, the dude had been on the run for decades, of course he’s anxious. Those odd moments also served to build tension and suspense—tension and suspense that I was certain would dissipate once Neal and the gang got their paws on the box and vindicated Daddy. 

For the sake of a possible positive future between James and Neal, I’m glad the important distinction was made that while James DID shoot his supervisor all those years ago, both officers were mired in corruption and it wasn’t the simple, black-and-white matter of a bad guy gunning down a good guy. However, that detail doesn’t change what James did or that he lied to Peter and Neal about it, ALL of it, right down to the extent of his mob ties.

Throughout the hunt for Ellen’s evidence box, the connections between Neal and James were kicked into emphatic overdrive—the eyes, the physical resemblance, the other traits that mark Neal as James’ son—and brought to the surface as positive things just in time for Neal to confirm one of his worst fears: that he is just like his father and his father isn’t someone that anyone should want to emulate. 

However, eye color and jail-time are where their similarities end, as the cliffhanger ending to “In the Wind” showed us. In the past, when push came to shove, Neal Caffrey could be counted on to do the right thing and with each subsequent season, his eagerness to save the day has only grown. When Peter took the fall for James’ murder of corrupt Senator Pratt, the door was wide open for James to come forward and clear Peter’s name, and armed with the evidence from Ellen’s box, to do a little self-improving of his own, but he refused, telling Neal, “In this life, somebody always takes a fall—don’t let it be you.” Years of being on the run have jaded him with regard to trusting anyone other than himself and as a result, he’s incapable of having a real, lasting relationship with anyone, including the son who desperately wants a reason to idolize him. With the opening of Pandora’s evidence box, Neal has every reason to turn away from his roots, both to avoid the pain of past hurts as well as avoid the fears for the future. If Neal had never met Peter, there’s a very good chance that Neal might have become exactly the sort of man James is and if we’re honest, Neal’s faith in justice and family are still shaky enough that if this current situation with Peter paying for James’ crime goes in the worst direction it possibly can, Neal could still become that man, maybe even something worse considering how much we’ve seen him gain and lose over and over again over the last four seasons.

Still, even though the outcome for James and Neal’s story was far from the happily-ever-after ideal, if nothing else, Neal finally learned the truth about his father. What's more, despite all the negativity surrounding that knowledge, now that the mystery surrounding James, and by extension, Neal, has been eliminated, Neal finally has good lighting, quality tools, and a clean canvas with which to create the masterpiece of himself. 

You know, after he angsts for a little while about how much his dad sucks.


What did you think of White Collar’s Season 4 finale? What do you hope to see in Season 5?



NOTES

– Loved James’ confusion over who Sara was. Kate? Alex? Poor Neal.

– Are Neal and Sara over? London certainly complicates things, but theirs was seriously the sweetest and most sincere of fake marriage proposals.

– Do you think James will reconsider leaving Peter to take the fall?

– Where will Season 5 find our dynamic duo when White Collar returns?

Downton Abbey had its #FreeBates hashtag. Should we claim #FreeBurke as ours?

Comments (46)
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I've only seen this show once but I enjoyed it. It was a nice departure from the other grisly shows. The crimes show more cleverness and finesse. I'll definitely try it again.
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when is season 5 starts?
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October 17th
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end it was in the very magnificent, but it was a sad end
i wish we see season 5 soon
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when can we see season 5 ??
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He's In My Bedroom

A few years back, sometimes I got to take “the man of my dreams” home with me—whenever he was for rent—at Blockbuster. Now it’s the age of streaming—putting all sorts of adventures right at my fingertips!

It was one of those ordinary weeknights. Having already seen most of the most entertaining movies on Netflix, I was checking out the TV series. I clicked on a quite clever show called WHITE COLLAR… and fell madly in love. Neal Caffrey is the most adorable scoundrel ever—he makes my heart sing.

In the real world, he’s 35-year-old Matthew Boman. He was born on October 11, 1977, so he’s 40 years younger than I am and besides that, he’s gay.

Anyway, my actually meeting an exciting guy in my age group on some online dating site or at the grocery store is definitely a long shot. The absolutely adorable Neal Caffrey is only a moment away—merely a click brings intriguing stories and happy imaginings dancing across the very smart TV screen on my bedroom wall.
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calloway outta the picture. and peter's going to be fine, Hughes knows people in the NSA for christ's sake.
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The acting of Matt Bomer has been extraordinary. He Has so many nuances. He has become the best of the cast.
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I would like Neal and Sara to spend the season planning their wedding. And all sorts of complications arise. And it all culminates with them about to get married but Kate whom we thought was dead turns up alive.
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I just want that they send Amanda Calloway back to Atlanta, I do not like her
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It was a good finale. I figured Peter was going to go down for something, because that was kind of emphasized the whole season as he was becoming a little more like Neal. But Calloway doesn't have much, a gun yes, residue sure. But that can all be easily explained and put on James.

James' reveal wasn't that big of a deal either. It was kind of expected, this whole falsely accused thing never rang true with me. I think the more severe realization is that he would have rather attacked his son than be a man and take his lumps for what he did. I think that is going to have bigger implications than anything in regards to Neal. Because the knowledge that James doesn't/ didn't really care about Neal is bigger than he just being a corrupt A hole.
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I think they're gonna solve Peter's situation in the first couple episodes of the new season and then resume business as usual like they did when Neal escaped to an island.
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I have a general question...who will be Neal's handler now? Wouldn't it serve Callaway and Pratt's best interest to revoke the terms of his release and have him serve out the remainder of his sentence (they we might have fun prison escape adventure).
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Eh. Whatever. The important thing is that Neal is single again and there can be new girls for Neal to seduce.
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I concur with this assessment.
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The cliffhanger was weak. It had to be Peter, it was his turn. The show is good entertainment though, nothing more nothing less.
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I hope to see nothing from Season 5, season 4 is my last. The charm has worn off, magic happenstances like suddenly finding an item only available in 1 building anywhere in 20-ish floors.. just dumb. The storytelling has hit a rut, I really didn't care much about Neil's father, and the finish was too contrived and not revealing enough to feel like a payoff. No thanks, Neil stole my attention once but I'm wise to his tricks and I'm walking away... (the 'angst' driven review was amusing, though!)
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This show was my favorite but now, it's just too boring. The bad guys are so shallow, hollow and are terrible actors. I loved this show (season 1-2) because it was Peter and Neal, now they barley share screen time. Matts acting is so uniform, the same face Neal displayed during the fake proposing to that stupid chick was the same face he had when he had a fit in his loft after almost shooting Fawlor (sp? bad guy season 2).

Mat Bomer is all about taking off his shirt, his acting is bad, Tim Dekay can act but I think this show is now all about Matt getting undressed.

I knew from the start this was going to happen, Peter is jail, Neal not even giving a damn enough to try and fight his dad to stay. Hey, if someone I loved and cared for was going to jail because of the shit whole in front of me, you bet I would have tried to fight him. But Matt does not have the acting chops to pull it off.

So nope, I'm not watching, buying this show anymore...beside in 6 months when this returns, I'm not even going to care.
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Firstly, I LOVE SARA.

I feel the need to say that since I always see so much Sara hate. I'm on board the Sara train, and I love her to death. So, I really hope this wasn't goodbye. I feel like Sara loves Peter enough, too, that she might stick around to try to help him out. Also, if only Neal had asked her to stay, I feel like she really would have... All he had to do was ask! Silly, Neal.

I think James will have to be dragged in, kicking and screaming, but once he's in there, I think he'll confess. I don't think he's THAT cold hearted to lie. Because, if he doesn't confess, then what evidence do they have? Surely he'll watch his hands. Maybe James's fingerprints will be on the gun, but I dunno. That doesn't prove he fired it, per se.

Hopefully the show will pick up literally seconds after it ended, so that Neal can TACKLE THAT BACKSTABBER DOWN THE STAIRS. Or June can hit him over the head with an umbrella. That's my hope, anyway.

#FreeBurke and #BringSaraHome (courtesy of Castle). There, now we're set for Twitter.
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This show is getting dull and predictable I hope Sarah goes away, Neil should be single and free to have several girlfriends and manipulate them readily. His relationship with Peter is getting too trusting and too close therefore losing the energy that this conflict creates. The father angle is really boring as are the multiple kidnappings.
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Great season finale. I was suspicious of Neal's Dad but didn't really think much about it until that ending confirmed it for me. That slick bastard!! I feel beyond sorry for Peter taking the fall like this. It makes for a horrible ending for him but an intriguing beginning for next season. So glad Caffrey stayed around. At least this time, when his father walked out on him, he knew the EXACT reason. Definitely looking forward to next season.
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I wasn't all surprised that sam/james turned out to be not so innocent. I don't know if it's because I saw the clues leading that way or the fact that I don't like Treat Williams. I hope he's gone for good because I haven't really enjoyed this whole Neal/Daddy story line. Plus he doesn't seem like the type to turn himself in, so there is not point bring him back. I can't wait for the next season. It's going to be interesting.
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anyone noticed that while Burke was running around with Neals ankle thingy, Neal had the freedom to actually go to London to be with Sarah.
I wonder how they are going to get Peter out of jail, may be James will do something nice?
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Good review, pretty much spot-on except that the emotional impact of James' nicey nice to Neal always felt a little like setting up another shoe to drop... and then it did, with a nasty angry outburst at the end directed to Neal.

My frustration was the convoluted nature of the gun swap at the end and letting James escape the building, that whole moment just felt like a head-slapper. Otherwise, a fairly good episode. I mean, the whole thing was super convoluted top to bottom, but at least the rest was convoluted and fun.

I loved the remote control zeppelin gimmick, it wasn't quite realistic but I could almost believe it so I bought it. It was a great visual having a tiny zeppelin leaving the Empire State Building's roof - designed as a zeppelin mooring station.

I doubt Sara and Neal are over, I thought they were over last time and then she popped up again.

I suspect James will be the subject of a manhunt by our heroes for the season premiere and that he won't go willingly but he'll eventually go, perhaps one last emotional flip-flop when the chips are down and Neal thinks he's failed again.
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does Treat Williams have a contract with White Collar for next season?
Good historical point about the Empire State Building's roof as a mooring station--I forgot about it when watching the show and am kicking myself for not putting that together with Neal's Zeppelin.
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MaryAnn: 2 corrections, "live" should be "life" in paragraph 1, and "Nea" should be "Neal" in the next-to-last paragraph.
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Oh snap. Thanks for the heads up!
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Well, as sad as I was that it ended on such a downer... at least this was a season finale. As opposed to whatever that was at the end of "Suits"

"White Collar" ended big, but "Suits" kind of fizzled and then showed the 2 young characters playing grab-a$$
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Suits wasn't bad. It was just ordered incorrectly and they over emphasized things that were expected and underemphasized things that will lead to better and bigger plots in the future.
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Oh Suits, SUCH a disappointing finale. :(

I liked this. I didn't really see it coming and I'm excited to find out where we pick up when the show comes back.
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I liked it but all I can think about is the new series Graceland - they showed the trailer afterwards.
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I could see Mozzie turning up (against his wishes) and saying he saw someone else pull the trigger if only to free Burke and then James saying it was him.
Ah Sarah, love her and Neal as a couple and seeing them on screen together but James's confusion over who she was reminded me how much I want to see Alex again, even if she wouldn't be with Neal.
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Poor Neal? Poor Sara! She was the one who was insulted in some kind of way.
I have a feeling that Neal will take a blame for what James did or he will be hunting him like an animal to get him to confess.
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I also have a slight fear that Neal will try to take the wrap for what James did so that Peter can be released. I hope Neal doesn't do that and instead uses the info from the box and whatever Peter's former boss has or can do
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I feel bad for Peter... it must REALLY be hard being Neal's friend. This season he's had a career setback, been in an orchestrated car crash, and is now suspected of murdering a big wig.

I imagine it will all work out in the end: he's a big part in the show, and it doesn't really work if he's permanently in jail or fired from the FBI. But still, that guy goes through some major crud for his friend.
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I liked a lot about this episode, and I'm really looking forward to the next season. The way they had Sarah and Neal say their goodbyes was rather sweet, and I want to know how they're going to clear Peter's name! I don't want to wait... I hate cliffhangers unless I've come to a show late and can immediately put the next episode on. Bastard James! I'm sure he'll decide to do the right thing. Only, I'm not sure at all actually... Oh what a horrible person! Poor Caffrey!
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I had never questioned James' innocence until this episode...something seemed fishy from the beginning and when James insisted on being the one to take the box instead of Mozzie it sealed the deal. Did NOT see Peter getting arrested, though.....
Have to say I'm glad James is out of the picture, I never liked him or his storyline. I prefer the earlier White Collar seasons which had more of a "National Treasure" feel - hopefully Peter will be released early into next season and WC will return to its roots.
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I thought there was always a little bit of doubt about James but it just got more apparent this episode. We may need James to get Peter released but the show could potentially do it without James. I like the actor (yea Treat) but I prefer Neal to have Peter as a father figure
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I had a love/hate relationship with this episode. On the one hand, I think it was a great twist that Neil's father actually killed his crooked superior all those years ago, and I didn't even see it coming until this episode. However, I thought this episode did a pretty bad job of handling the reveal of this twist. First of all, they had that recording of Calloway talking to Pratt on the phone, where Pratt claims that the evidence in the box implicates James and not him. While this was obviously put there to show us that Calloway wasn't entirely on Pratt's side, and for us to assume that Pratt was telling her a complete lie (and not just a half lie as it turned out to be), what it actually did was make me consider the possibility that some of the evidence in the box implicated James. Now this may have just been me, but the result was that I wasn't nearly surprised at the end when the truth about James was revealed.

Still, that was just a minor scene that didn't really do much to spoil the twist of James actually having committed the murder he was arrested for. However, there was another scene which basically told us that there was evidence in the box that implicated him. I'm referring here to the bit where Neil and James cloned Pratt's card. In order to do this, Neil gave Pratt a proposition, which was that they find the evidence box together, destroy the respective pieces of evidence they wanted destroyed, and they go their separate ways. Now, in order for Senator Pratt (who has the same last name as me btw, so yay I guess) to actually believe that this proposition was genuine (which he appeared to do), he would have to believe that there was actually evidence in that box that James wanted to be destroyed. And since Neil is the one who delivered that proposition, he should have realized that Pratt did think this was the case. So why didn't he realize at that point that there was evidence in that box that implicated his father? And why didn't he realize this when his dad pitched the idea to him that sounded a little like this: "Hey son, I've got a great idea. Let's go to Pratt with a proposal so that I can get close enough to him to clone his card. What should our proposal be? Let's suggest that we find the box together, destroy the pieces of evidence we both want destroyed, and then go our separate ways. Why does he think I want to destroy some of the evidence in that box? I have no idea. Maybe he's crazy. How do I know that he thinks that? Don't ask son, don't ask."

Then the episode went as far as making me think that Pratt was actually innocent in all this (or at least none of the evidence in the box implicated him). I'm referring to the scene where he's in a room full of FBI agents and they're about to find the box of evidence. He tells Calloway that everyone in the room can be a witness that he won't do anything, and it is unlikely that he would have suddenly run for the box or anything like that. Which means that he was fine with her taking the box and having the contents viewed properly, which would suggest that none of the evidence in there implicates him. There is also the scene where Pratt is alone in a room with his minion, James, and the box of evidence. Before he does anything with the box, he tells his minion to get Calloway and her agents back in the room. If he was worried about evidence in that box implicating him, he would have removed it before Calloway and her agents were fetched, not afterward. Now, I know that it was implied that some of that evidence did implicate him, so I am very confused as to why Pratt genuinely seemed to want the evidence to be found legitimately by the FBI. I realize that he may have had some agents in his pocket who were planning on removing select documents in route, but that's still a very risky operation. It would have been much easier for him to remove those documents while he had them to himself.

There's also the whole shenanigans about Peter taking the fall for Pratt's murder that I find just a tad too ridiculous. The situation itself is crazy, for a number of reasons. First of all, agent Calloway left her purse in that room for some reason, even though it had Peter's gun in it. Then James took Peter's gun and shot Pratt. He dropped that gun and picked up ended up with Pratt's gun, which allowed Peter to oddly end up with his own gun. While all this putting down, picking up, and switching around of guns isn't impossible, it is implausible, and the writers only put it there so that Peter could be incidentally framed for Pratt's murder. A murder that he almost certainly shouldn't go down for, since two shots were fired from that gun, spaced at least a couple of minutes apart. The first shot is the one that killed Pratt, and the second one was fired in the opposite direction at the ground. Since the agents got there right as Peter still (stupidly enough) had his gun in his hand and was kneeling over Pratt's body, at least one of them will remember how large the pool of blood was. The sizable pool of blood will suggest that the first shot was the one that killed Pratt, which means that the investigators and the prosecution will have to explain why, after supposedly killing the only man in the room, Peter shot at the floor in the opposite direction. I know that this detail is nitpicky, but it's things like this that can put doubt in a jury's mind.

Also, Neil has the evidence. All of the evidence. Assuming he doesn't do something stupid at the start of the next season (and there's a good chance he will), he'll turn all that evidence into the FBI. Which means that both Pratt and James will be revealed as the dirty cops that they were. So at best there will be obvious motive for James killing Pratt, and Peter being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and at worse Peter will have killed a corrupt official as opposed to a sterling senator. And since some of that evidence implicated Pratt (much as everything about his behavior suggested otherwise), that will also make it seem more like Pratt's murder is somehow his own fault. So if things actually play out the way they would in real life, Peter will go down for self defense/manslaughter at most. Sure he'll lose his job (but knowing this show that'll happen for only a few episodes), but it's not like he's going to death row or anything.

I did say at the beginning of this post that I had a love/hate relationship with this episode. I've said a lot about what I didn't like about it, but there was also a lot that I did like. And that's pretty much every single moment that I haven't mentioned as not liking. Seriously, this was an awesome episode. Everything down to the real/fake proposal at the top of the Empire State Building was beautiful and enjoyable. Plus, the mini-blimp bit was both a brilliant and realistic way to get the evidence out of the building (far more realistic than parachuting out of a tall building in the middle of the city with no one reporting it). Neil had some great moments with pretty much everyone, and it was a nice closing of the book on this season. And as much as I thought Peter being arrested at the end was a badly carried out in the undertaking, I'm still interested to see what will happen to him next season. And while I don't want him to go to jail for murder and never get out, I also hope they don't just shake this off in two episodes and make everything go back to normal.

So yeah. Well done/shame on you White Collar Season 4 Finale. I'm certainly looking forward to the next season, though I would hope that this time around people use their heads more and don't make such terrible and random mistakes. I realize that this will almost certainly still happen, but that won't stop me from having a little hope. The one thing I hope will happen, that I also think will happen, is that Neil will be a free man soon. Because if Peter Burke can actually be arrested for murder on this show, then Neil can actually be set free. And he really has earned it as this point. He's risked his life on a huge amount of occasions for the FBI, and he's been wrongly manipulated by three corrupt government officials, two of which has been proven to be corrupt, one of which having straight up tried to murder him. If he wanted too, he could put together a great legal argument that the terms of his incarceration have been abused by the Justice system on numerous occasions, and that he should at least be given a larger zone in which he is allowed to actually roam around in.
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Let me start by saying I absolutely adore theopratt and I usually just say something like "theopratt said everything I wanted to say but did it much more eloquently then I could).

Maybe I totally misinterpreted this episode but came away with some different opinions--please correct me if I am recalling events on the show wrong or if I am misinterpreting them--I can totally admit when I am wrong (usually, lol).

I thought the taped recording was to prove Calloway was on Pratt's side. That being said, since both characters (I suspect) know what is going on but they don't know they are being recorded then there was no reason for Pratt say anything about evidence against James. Therefore, James is still suspect in his motives/actions. It made me think both Pratt and James have evidence against them in the box. I already thought Pratt was bad (and Calloway) because of the secret nature of their relationship and the way he had Calloway installed as section/division head (whatever title)...he did other shifty things but those are the first that pop into my mind.

I thought Neil wanted to trust his dad but didn't trust him 100% (maybe based on the "proposition" and other actions/comments). I think it was apparent when Mossey did the swap and Neal got home so fast to read it all over. I perceived the episode as Peter, Neal, and Mossey didn't trust anyone 100% except themselves. None of them want Pratt/Calloway or James getting the box 1st.

Pratt is an arrogant sob and had Calloway in his pocket so he had no fear of that FBI team which is led by Calloway. He used the FBI to get the box and he is protected by Calloway. He is a senator (mucho power) and has the head of the local office on his side so he just used the FBI as a tool. I don't know Calloway's motivations but she was obviously on Pratt's side based on her conversations, and the timing of them, with Pratt and with Peter.

My opinion or interpretation of the guns: Pratt seemed like he was going to shoot James or Peter (I thought there was a few seconds when the POV seemed to show the gun shifting to Peter but I may of imagined it; but Pratt needed James to find where the dirigible (or blimp) was going and didn't need law abiding (usually) Peter. I don't know why James switched the guns (is he really that smart to frame Peter) but I do think Peter grabbed the available gun to get James stay put when he saw that he was going to flee. Peter thought to hold him at gunpoint to keep him put long enough to let he know he had his back so not to worry. But James knew that would change if Neal found out the truth from the box and told Peter (wow, James is a fast thinker), that's why James ran (if he stayed with Peter it wouldn't of played out in the long run and he needed to get to the evidence implicating himself. I think Peter was suspicious of James (but not as suspicious as he was of Pratt) but in that scene he was focused more on Pratt being dead and how it was self defense (more suspicious of pratt then james but suspicious of both--the dead and current events seemed more urgent to him then his lesser suspicion of James. I may be partly or completely wrong about this and would be happy to be corrected if wrong.

Peter taking the fall---he was just arrested because he was standing over the body with a gun--and he had been relieved of his duties prior to this so it wasn't something that falls in category "in the line of duty". Once forensics gets involved then his guilt will be questioned and eventually he will be found innocent (hopefully and most likely). There may be some manipulation by Calloway to cover her duplicitous actions and then there may be some help from his "former" boss and his contacts... Plus the evidence that Neal has that shows who is corrupt (hmm, he could forge evidence but probably won't need to), the taped conversation of Calloway and Pratt, forensics and everything else...I don't see it even getting to a trial status--I see Peter going free relatively quickly (a few episodes at most imo).

Neal sees Peter as the father he never had--I think Neal would now do everything to help Peter and would never run from Peter unless it was to save someone's life. I don't think he would leave for money---maybe for love.

I like this lighthearted but fun procedural show (plus Matt Bomer is so gorgeous). I also like how Neal is now "building good" (I just made that up~lol~ to literally mean the opposite of Breaking Bad which is one of my favorite shows).

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Yeah, I see what you're saying and I agree with you for the most part, especially about the gun switch-ups. Most everything about that scene made sense, but the fact that James switched guns in the first place was the improbable bit. That and the fact that the FBI got there at the perfect moment for it to seem like Peter had just killed Pratt made it obvious that the whole thing was orchestrated by a writer. And while hopefully everyone who watches TV knows that everything is written and planned by writers, usually you don't want this to show through all that much. Scenes and character interacts should feel organic and realistic, even if they are constructed so that an intentional conclusion is reached. Even shows like the Walking Dead, which deals with zombies, feel very real, as if the things that are happening onscreen could happen in real life. So while, in the scene where James shot Pratt and Peter took the fall for his murder, I could see each of those individual events happening in real life, the fact that they all fit together so perfectly as to make Peter look like he'd killed Pratt seemed too constructed for me.

I also agree that he'll be exonerated of that murder pretty quickly. First of all there's the forensics, the recording, and the evidence that implicates Pratt and James. But there's also (I completely forgot about this last night) an eyewitness, Pratt's minion, who will be able to place James in that room around the time that the first shot was fired. So not only will it be fairly easy to prove, or at least highly suggest otherwise, that Peter didn't kill Pratt, but there will be a much stronger case for James pulling the trigger.

But while I'm happy that Peter won't actually go to jail for murder, at least not for the rest of his life, it does worry me that we can already point to several ways in which he should be exonerated rather quickly, and that the worst that can happen is that he doesn't get his job back for a while. Because what this means is that the big cliffhanger for the end of this season is essentially inconsequential. Sure, we saw that scene where Elizabeth is getting ready for a dinner that will never happen, and that there might be some tension because of that, but ultimately it won't actually mean anything. This cliff-hanger has nothing like the stakes of last season's ending scene, where Neil and Mozzie were actually going on the run. And while it took only two episodes for them to return and everything to go back to normal, they did actually go to a tropical paradise and some major things happened in order for them to return. But it really doesn't look like Peter will actually be tried for murder or anything like that.

There one point in your comment that I disagree with is the degree to which you said Calloway was working with Pratt. On the recording Calloway says that Peter told her that the evidence didn't implicate James but rather implicated Pratt, something which she says Pratt told her he would say. What I got from this is that Pratt had told Calloway that the evidence box implicated James, and that she was never told that there was evidence on there that would hurt Pratt as well. So while Calloway was feeding Pratt information, and was somewhat in cahoots with him, she just thought she was doing her job. From her point of view a United States senator called her up, told her that he had a line on evidence against a convicted murderer, and that he would set up a job for her so that she could acquire that evidence box, before the convicted murderer and his son, who is currently working for the FBI, could get the evidence and destroy it.

I also got the impression from several interactions between her and Pratt that she was actually being pretty official and by-the-book about this. When Pratt entered the room where they were getting the evidence she told him that he had to leave, and only let him stay in the room because he made a fuss. While it's possible that this whole thing was staged to let him stay in the room, it's more likely that she would have let him stay in the room without a fuss if she were one of his minions. And even if this and other interactions were staged, they looked genuine enough to have not been staged, so it could go either way. Considering how big an actor Emily Procter (Calloway) is, I wouldn't be surprised if she continues to run the white collar unit, since, other than trusting the one senator who's crazy enough to hold a man at gunpoint in the Empire State Building with an FBI as witness, she's done a pretty good job of it so far.

Anyway, that was my take on Calloway. Regardless, I thought you made some good points and I always value your opinions, even when they aren't the same as mine.
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I see what you are saying. I think I am just paranoid/suspicious about Calloway and think even if she didn't know the full extent (if any knowledge) of Pratt's involvement it just seemed strange that she would report directly to a senator rather then the district or state level head of the FBI (her direct superior or someone in the judicial branch of the government rather then the legislative branch).

I think I forgot about innocent until proven guilty and judged her guilty based on questionable (imo) decisions/actions on her part. I assume (correctly or incorrectly) that she has some nefarious motive for her actions (maybe pratt has something on her--blackmail or maybe he promised her a promotion and other perks by pulling some strings or calling in favors (after all it seems like she jumped a number of rings on the ladder to get where she is today). On the other hand maybe she was doing what she truly thought was correct...

now I'm curious if she has a full contract for next season (same for Treat Williams).

I know what you mean about certain scenes/plots/actors that may pull you out of the show ("don't want this to show through all that much").

Was Peter taken in for questioning or did she say he was arrested...I can't remember. I don't see the case going to court unless the writers force us down that path. There are to many variables that contradict Peter as the killer and I hope the show does justice to those "variable" (or loopholes or if being really negative potential plot flaws---"plot flaws" is not my opinion but it will ultimately depend on how the writers resolve this issue. Obviously Peter doesn't go to jail for long and is eventually exonerated otherwise there is no show.

Peter's former boss seems to really want his job back so he may play a big part in bring down Calloway (I don't like her because she is currently anti-Peter and anti-Neal but if she improves then my opinion my change). I can understand her skepticism about Neal but not Peter and then look at their case closure rate---they make their boss look good (usually).

I still think you should be a reviewer for this site;-)
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I liked this episode so much that I decided to give up on the show. I will not watch any more. I think the characters made too many stupid mistakes; the type of thing that the characters would not do. There has been too much of that in previous episodes.
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You liked or disliked this episode?
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I disliked it. The characters made too many mistakes. The writers seem to be getting desperate. The stories are not as creative as they were originally. I am not impressed by most shows when the stories are about the characters as in this episode. Many shows do it and I usually am less impressed. This show is now not as good as it was originally.
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