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TV Review: White Collar – “All In”

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Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) is very good when it comes to the art of the con, although there's some doubt as to whether he's the best. As his friend Mozzie (Willie Garson) reminds Neal from time to time, some jobs did not work out so well. He even got arrested, twice! The last was Neal's own fault, since he escaped before his prison sentence was complete.

The FBI now needs Neal's help more than ever. An agent named Costa goes missing while trying to uncover a money laundering scheme. Neal understands the operation since he once committed one in the the guise of Nicholas Halden. FBI Director Hughes (James Rebhorn) agrees to give Neal full immunity if he helps. Obviously, the situation is desperate.

Chinatown is the backdrop this week, and it's a perfect setting for the plotline, as it has an air of mystery surrounded by the exotic. I had to smile at the scenes where Peter (Tim DeKay) communicates with a young Asian girl, or tries to. The first effort does not go well. Suffice it to say, Neal must step in as usual. Who knew he had magic in his repertoire? Peter's socks are also a source of amusement.

Diahann Carroll returns as June, Neal's new friend with whom he is staying. She happily supplies Mozzie and Neal with brownies when an attempt is made to learn the art of playing poker using dominoes. Garson's mimic of a cult movie works well. Watching him brings forth hysterical laughter.

Tiffani Theissen gets in some nice scenes as she gets to enlighten Pete as to what makes Neal tick. She also helps Neal understand just how much holding back information can hurt his professional reputation. It's a question of trust. Each has to know the other can be depended on in a crisis. Neal might not carry a gun, but he can talk his way out of a situation if need be.

Kate, Neal's longtime love, figures heavily into a secondary storyline. Somebody wants something Neal evidently still has, and uses Kate as leverage. Who this might be is under wraps for now. The only certaintly appears to be one of gender — it's a male. A pinky ring on his left hand is seen in a picture Neal has and Mozzie once saw ("Pilot").

With the fall finale of this show airing next week, just who this person is might finally be revealed. In the interest of not spoiling viewer fun, I will only mention he possibly might have been seen already. Could it be someone Neal works with? Perhaps. Here's what I am sure of — it isn't Pete. The concept is too fantastical to make any sense (come to think of it, Mozzie doesn't really come to mind, either). Agent Jones is a bit too new, but a surprise could be in store.

Starting in 2010, White Collar will air Tuesday nights at 10pm. I'm not sure why, since the series finale of Monk leaves a time slot open. USA, just move Psych back an hour, and viewers will go through the roof! Shawn Spencer and friends will be seen Wednesdays at 10pm. They'll compete with CSI: NY and Law & Order for viewership. Moving to this hour seems the riskiest of all.

At any rate, tune in December 4 at 10pm for the fall finale of White Collar.

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