The FBI is pretty clear on the types of cases it handles. Usually, this implies crimes on a federal level. Should the next door neighbors cover your house in toilet paper, call the local cops. If, on the other hand, a million dollar painting is stolen, by all means alert the FBI. Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) and his two minions, Agent Lauren Cruz (Natalie Morales) and Agent Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins), are keeping an eye on a guy with shady financial dealings when gunshots ring out. All three rush in to find the man dead and his female companion in shock. Peter gets the woman, Pierce (Sarah Carter), to the hospital for a look-over and has Jones locate Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), the felon turned FBI consultant. Neal also just happens to be Peter's partner.
Neal is drawn to Pierce's purse and realizes her ID is a fake. Peter figures out she fired the shots. Whoops! Before they can take action, Jones says she escaped from the hospital. Now they must track her down so somebody else won't get hurt. The trick is understanding where the next target will be.
Enter Dan, a rich kid who has a vast collection of stuff without knowing the true value of his assets. Watching Dan attempt to transform himself into Neal is laugh out loud hysterical! Of course, no copycat would be feasible unless he can master the hat trick — you know, where Neal rolls the hat up on his head in one continuous motion ("Pilot"). Dan even goes so far as to almost completely duplicate himself by posing as Neal on a website. Kind of, anyway. This act helps our favorite felon set up a meeting with the femme fatale herself.
Perhaps some of the best moments are Peter needing a place to stay when his happy home needs some rewiring done. Ordinarily, it wouldn't be a problem except for one thing. The job requires the power to be turned off. Uh-oh! From an unwelcome visitor in Peter's room to Odd Couple moments when the federal agent takes Neal up on an offer to stay with June (Diahann Carroll), the smiles just keep on coming.
Jones and his battering ram comment makes for a nicely snapped retort from Peter. For the record, they are trying to save Neal (again) at the time. Where they end up is only explained by watching, but the message via Morse code is perfect and smart. Peter's words just before the raid are also amusing.
I do, however, have a small nit. Although Neal does not like guns, the scaredy cat routine is getting old. A bit more steel-edged cool, otherwise known as deadly calm, would help.
On the news front, this week introduces viewers to a woman named Alex. Who is she? A female fence, whose job is to handle stolen items. Neal believes she can help with the music box situation. It would be one step closer to finding Kate, Neal's longtime love. Alex locates the item in question, but says she will only reveal the location if Neal stops helping the FBI. Dilemmas, dilemmas….
Due to a dog show planned long before White Collar returned in January, it is going to be two weeks before a new episode airs. Perhaps the writers and producers should start thinking about which former cast mates should guest star next season. All four of the main characters have a tie to something.
Speaking of, what happened to Mozzie (Willie Garson) and Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) this week? They give the show some much needed color and add to the overall quality.