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TV Review: White Collar – “Need to Know”

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Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) might be the world’s best when it comes to cons, but at least he knows when to turn it off for a bit, not that he’s stopped using his charm and savvy to get ahead. He just lets the FBI in on his plans these days. For Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), the agent responsible for keeping an eye on Caffrey, this helps. This is especially true in the latest caper.

Congressman Jennings (David Alan Basche, Lipstick Jungle, The Starter Wife) is being a naughty boy. I know, I know, nothing new. However, one of his aides catches on and decides Jennings should be taken down. How? By creating a position for Neal as a fixer — a consultant whose job it is to take care of problems — and having the FBI look into Jennings from there. Peter first goes to Jennings and announces he will soon make an arrest for the loan scandal the politician was implicated in but never got arrested for due to lack of evidence.

DeKay is a good actor, but one look at him and it’s obvious he is a cop character first and foremost. Tall with the build to match, the imposing presence does not exactly translate to a smooth-talking professional crook. The bad cop persona is perfect.

Even better are the scenes between Peter and Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen). While Thiessen has yet to return to the Burke home (she did have a baby, after all), her character got to call from San Francisco. As for Peter, the websites he surfs while talking are delightfully distracting.

Welcome back this week to Marsha Thomason! While she was seen in only two episodes last season due to schedule conflicts, this time around she seems to be a series regular. She might not be in every episode, but is there in more than a few.

Diana, the character Thomason plays, is an FBI agent with quite a fascinating background as viewers find out this week. She’s the daughter of diplomats, although it’s not revealed for which country. She, more than anyone else, knows what it’s like to lose someone close. Reaching out to Neal after Kate’s passing is a natural move, and the resulting conversation only strengthens their bond.

Peter and Mozzie (Willie Garson) are forced to team up when quick cash is needed to help the scam along. Mozzie goes disguised as a waiter to take the surplus to Neal and Diana. It is pure Garson, which means pure fun.

The story of the music box is set aside more or less this week to focus on who Agent Fowler, the OPR dude who wreaked havoc last season and nearly cost Peter his job, was about to meet. Peter and Diana have a photograph, but not a name.They understand this is a guy with some sort of specialized training. Neal suspects both FBI agents are interested in finding out who’s behind the plane hangar incident (“Out of the Box”), but doesn’t know they have a picture.

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