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TV Review: White Collar – “Burke’s Seven”

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White Collar is back, with all new episodes to finish out the second season. When we last left Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and the FBI crew, they were attempting to track down Garrett Fowler (Noah Emmerich), the OPR dude who was hardly the outstanding law enforcement type in spite of his federal badge (“Point Blank”). Why? They were under the false impression he was responsible for the death of Kate, Neal’s longtime love. As they got one step closer, Mozzie (Willie Garson) was shot at close range.

Considering the show only has four series regulars in the cast, an obvious conclusion can be made as to Mozzie’s fate. Bomer, Garson, and Tim DeKay, aka FBI Agent Peter Burke, handle the resulting tension well, and make viewers care about the outcome just as much as they do. The false identity “invisible man” scrambled as Mozzie’s name that he gets admitted under is a clever move.

Meanwhile, Peter gets set up for the shooting. The culprit goes by the name Julian Larson (Paul Blackthorne), who is another cog in the chain which set up Kate’s death. There is a connection to Fowler, back when they were in the military. It’s a tenuous one, but neither is the actual mastermind. In order to catch the guy, Peter and Neal have to bring down Larson first.

As the title implies, it takes more than a few people to do this. Sharif Atkins might play a low man on the totem pole, built he brings Agent Clinton Jones to the screen as a vital component. Marsha Thomason takes Agent Diana Barrington to her natural strong self. I have to wonder if viewers will ever get to see Diana’a girlfriend Christy sometime. Granted, this is hardly the most important character, but relationships are a big part of why the show is getting a third season.

Speaking of, Tiffani Amber Thiessen shines this sweet as Elizabeth Burke. The telephone bit is delightful, proving how critical her character is. Let’s just say a slight hitch comes in a takedown which Elizabeth has to step in and help. Even Sara (Hilarie Burton) is impressed.

Yes, the redhead returns this week. The chemistry between Burton and Bomer works, but whether they hook up is not yet out there.

The biggest surprise of all has to do with the final scenes of the episode. While revealing all would be tacky, I will say a flashback episode will arrive next week which should help clear things up. Now, there is something of a disconnect between what DeKay is referring to and what Bomer mentions in the final line. Yes, the music box, assumed to be from Catherine the Great, contains a type of code. No shocker. Using Kate to get to Neal also makes sense. But if Kate died due to her involvement with obtaining said box, I am not sure the same person would have enough clout to get Fowler involved.

Is this man FBI? I doubt it. All anybody FBI connected needed to do was make Neal’s release from prison conditional upon giving up the location of the music box. Kate’s assistance would not be needed. This leaves out a tie to both James Rebhorn, aka Hughes, and the character Joe Morton guest starred as a while back (“Prisoner’s Dilemma”). Arresting Larson is only another piece of the puzzle. Watch for this storyline to be played out up to and including the finale.

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