White Collar

Season 2 Episode 11

Forging Bonds

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jan 25, 2011 on USA

Episode Recap

After finding out Vincent Adler wants the music box, Peter goes over Adler's file. A few years ago, billionaire Adler ran a huge Ponzi scheme and disappeared with a billion dollars. When he finds Neal with Adler in one of the pictures, he visits Neal to confront him about it. Neal admits he knew Adler, but hesitates to go into details. Peter figures Neal would have to admit to a few crimes Peter doesn't know about, so he makes Neal a deal to give him full immunity for everything Neal tells him that night. Neal agrees and shows Peter the fractal Mozzie built using the equation inside the music box. He tells Peter he saw a fractal just like it in Adler's office when he worked for him. He adds they've got to start with Mozzie. Eight years ago, Neal meets Mozzie who is conning people with the help of another grifter using Follow the lady. Neal places a $500 bet and much to Mozzie's and his partner's surprise, Neal finds the right playing card Queen of Hearts. When he is gone with the money, Mozzie turns the playing card and finds out that the back is colored differently and pays a young boy to find out where Neal lives. Soon later, he visits Neal to look for a new partner. Mozzie who has been running street cons since he was a kid in Detroit, wants to leave the street hustle. Neal shows Mozzie a bond forgery who recognizes Neal's talent. He then tells Neal about his plan to run a long con on Vincent Adler. Back in Neal's apartment, Peter reveals these bonds were the first time he came across Neal who asks him to tell about it. Eight years ago, someone throws the bond forgery case file on Peter's desktop. He offers his partner the case who passes. When Peter looks at the forgeries, he calls it quality work and adds the forger has a future. Back in the apartment, Neal wants to know the nickname the Bureau gave him. At first, Peter hesitates to tell him, but Neal refuses to go on with his own story, so Peter gives in and tells Neal it was James Bonds. Neal continues his story about how he met Adler. To run their con, Mozzie and Neal stake out Vincent Adler, trying to find out everything there is to know about Adler. Mozzie found out that Adler takes most of his profits to an account in the Caymans every six months. He wants to reroute the next wire transfer and needs Neal to get the account number and the password. With five months left till the next transfer, Mozzie wants Neal to use a charity dinner to charm Adler. To pay the five grand for a plate at that dinner, Mozzie suggests to cash in a few more of his bonds. Peter interrupts Neal to tell him that was a big mistake. Neal agrees it was a calculated risk, but worth it for the con they wanted to run on Adler. However, cashing the bonds in gave the FBI a first visual on Neal. Back in Neal's story, Neal comes out of the bank where he cashed in his forgeries and shows Mozzie the money. The teller even put a lolly into the bag. Coincidentally, Peter stands near them and talks to the bank manager to warn her about the bond forgeries. Mozzie spots Peter and recognizes him as FBI agent. He makes Neal aware of Peter and wants them to go, but Neal who overheard Peter saying that he is a good forger approaches Peter. Neal pretends to be a worried customer, and Peter tells him they are looking for counterfeit bonds. Neal answers he has some bonds at home and asks how he could tell that they are not real. Peter replies he is sure they are fine, so Neal thanks him for the hard work and gives him the lolly from the bank teller. Soon later, Mozzie tells Neal how dangerous his move was, but Neal disagrees because they found out that they can't cash in more bonds and the name of the FBI agent working the case. They move on to prepare their con on Adler and Neal picks a name he wants to use. He chooses Nicholas Halden when he finds a flyer from Halden legal services. Meanwhile, Mozzie fills wine into an empty bottle that once held $800 worth of wine and gives Neal a suit Mozzie got from his cleaner. Neal attends the dinner party and uses the bottle of wine to introduce himself to Adler. He tries to start a conversation with Adler about his work, but Adler soon tells him to enjoy the party and leaves him. Later, Neal tries another approach by admiring Adler's art collection. He reveals art is his passion, so Adler introduces him to his assistant, Kate Moreau. Kate soon realizes that Neal is trying to cozy up to her boss. He asks for advice and learns that he has to get a seat near Adler. Before the dinner starts, Neal swaps the place cards, and takes the seat next to Adler who realizes at once what happened, but gives Neal time before the salad courses arrives to tell him what he wants. Neal warns Adler about a deal Adler is about to make because someone else is already buying out that company. In return he asks for a place in Adler's team. Back in the present, Neal tells Peter Adler didn't make the deal and the company was bought out, so Neal got to work for Adler. His job was to know everything about the people Adler dealt with and rooting out the enemies. Peter wants to know if Kate and Neal got together back then, but Kate had a boyfriend at that time. When he tried to ask her out, she told him about her plans to move to Chicago with her boyfriend. While Neal works for Adler, he finds out that someone is looking into Adler's acquisitions. It's Alex Hunter. He arranges a meeting with Adler so he can question Alex. He wants to know who asked her to look into his private records and what she was looking for. She tells him she heard rumors about big discoveries he made, and Adler let's her go. Adler writes Neal a bonus check, but Neal invests the money into Adler's company because he didn't know it was a scam. When Neal leaves Adler, Alex is already waiting for him and congratulates him for catching her. He asks what she wants and she asks for a drink. Later, after the two had sex, Alex tells Neal to his face that she recognized him as a fellow grifter and that she was looking for a music box, but Adler doesn't have it. She tells Neal she will send him a flower if she needs his help getting the music box, then she disappears. On the day Kate leaves for Chicago, Neal feels bad and wants to take a sick day, but Mozzie convinces him that every day counts and that they need the password. It knocks on Neal's door and Neal is surprised to see Kate. She tells him it is a big step, but in the wrong direction because Neal is in New York. Back in the present, Peter sums up that Neal had it all at that time. Neal adds he was eating the best food, wearing the best suits and drinking the best wine, but the expiration date of their long con was getting closer.Neal continues his story. With only a few more days left till the transfer takes place and still no password, Mozzie fears that Neal doesn't want to go through with their con anymore. He reminds Neal that none of them, neither Kate nor Adler, know his real name and they care about someone who does not exist. He adds that the FBI is asking around and they got a sketch of Neal. They have to finish the job to move on. Soon later, Adler gives Neal a custom suit which is worth $10,000. Neal hesitates to accept the suit, but Adler tells him to dress as the man he wants to be. He asks him about Kate, and Neal reveals that there are things he hasn't told her about. Adler tells him not to worry about it and adds that the things people try to hide are obvious to the people around. Neal uses the moment to tell Adler about an irregularity in Adler's account in the Caymans, just when he discovers a newspaper on Adler's desk that features his sketch. He asks to look into the account details and while Adler is writing down the password, Neal uses a hat that lies on the desk aswell to cover his sketch. When Adler has left him, Neal takes the newspaper and the hat to meet Kate. He meets Kate in a park, but tells her he can't stay because of a commitment he made. However, she convinces him otherwise. Neal tells Mozzie he didn't get the password. Mozzie realizes Neal's love for Kate is the reason. He announces that love is a temporary madness and that they will get them the next time. Soon later, Neal and Kate learn from a news report that Vincent Adler and hundreds of million of dollars have disappeared. At the FBI, Peter is surprised as anyone else. He meets Clinton Jones who heard about Peter's plan to put together a special white collar task force and asks for a spot. Neal finds out that there is only a dollar left in Adler's account and the password an anagram for "nice try Neal." Kate and Neal are left with no job and no money. Neal promises to get it all back and tells Kate the truth about him. Mozzie, Kate and Neal build a crew and start a new con. Mozzie tries to steal a package with a valuable piece of art from a delivery guy, but Kate and Neal, dressed as cops, catch him. They write the delivery guy a receipt and take the package. Soon later, Neal makes a mistake. He tries to persuade Kate to go to Copenhagen with him, but neglects to add he wants to get the music box with Alex. Kate sees through his lie to leave the range of the FBI for a while and she is mad he tried to con her. Back in the present, Peter figures Neal went without Kate. Neal adds that the job fell apart because it was a three man job, and Laex ended up in a hospital. When he returned, Kate had disappeared and he started big cons to get her attention. After Neal's return from Europe, Peter's special white collar task force try to get him. Peter asks a young agent, Diana, what she would do to catch Neal and she suggests to use his girlfriend. Peter asks why Neal hasn't met with Kate since they found her, and then he figures Neal doesn't know where she is. Mozzie visits Neal in his apartment to tell him about some information that surfaced on the street. It's Kate's location, but he adds that the information comes from a unreliable source and that it feels like a trap. However, Neal is desperate to find Kate and doesn't care. That afternoon, Neal finds Kate in the storage facility like Mozzie said. Neal admits that he lied to her about a lot of things, but never about loving her. She answers she knows and they kiss. She wants to know how he found her, and he tells her that Mozzie heard she was fencing stamps, but she quit dealing stamps. They realize it's a trap, but the police is already coming in. Peter arrests Neal who thanks him for reuniting him with Kate. Back in the present, Neal closes his story because Peter knows the rest of it already. They need to find Adler and they already know what he wants most, the fractal. Meanwhile, Peter has found out that Alex visited Neal that day because she left an origami crane behind. Neal tells Peter Alex thinks it's a fractal antenna and that the shape corresponds to a specific frequency from an emergency beacon. They will just have to build a real antenna, hook it to a radio and it will lead them to something that disappeared in the 1940s and which was worth killing two people for Adler.