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TV Review: White Collar – “Out of the Box”

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White Collar is over for the season. Whew! Audience members get to take a break for a bit until the start of season two, rumored to be sometime this summer. Probably not before July, which is when shows who split runs so as not to get lost in the clutter of September to May shows tend to start.

For Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), simply being released from prison has never been enough to curb his work as a convicted felon. Heck, half the methods he and Mozzie (Willie Garson) use to help crack cases are generally shady. This time, though, it's personal. He must retrieve a music box belonging to Catherine the Great, but the reward is getting Kate (Alexandria Daddario), his longtime love, back in his arms for good.

Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), the FBI agent who is his handler-slash-partner, understands Neal's motivations. He also knows arresting Neal will be required. Can he stop Neal from making what just might be the worst mistake of his life?

Of course not. Neal is an adult, capable of deciding for himself. Alex (Gloria Votsis), the fence and old friend, steps in to help. Unfortunately, Fowler (Noah Emmerich), the OPR guy (think IA), needs to get in the game as well. Why? To turn off Neal's tracking anklet.

Emmerich and Bomer share several scenes of screen time this episode. Having them act and react as the two shady characters they portray is a nice bit of dramatic tension. While this is only the third time Emmerich has appeared in an episode, more than likely he will be back.

So will Marsha Thomason, who fans know as Diana. She has now been promoted to series regular. Technically speaking, Diana never left the FBI. She just transferred to the DC bureau. What does this mean for Natalie Morales? I have yet to see anything online which talks about Morales being fired.

Some big questions are going to be the focus of the following season. It all starts with Neal nearly leaving town and something going terribly, terribly wrong. The whatsis needs to be seen. Here's a small hint: it's pretty much a cliffhanger for a certain character. Question is, who's responsible?

For much of the season (at least the second half anyway), it's been implied Fowler is ruthless. Okay, I buy that. It's part of being on a team which investigates law enforcement ethics. There is also an idea he is acting on behalf of another. A certain phone call backs the theory up, but the other party is not seen. This opens up possibilities.

Someone at the FBI? I find this unlikely, only because Neal already has a badge as a consultant. Why use Kate as a plan? They could have left Neal in prison easily enough. Or, make his early release dependent upon revealing the location of the music box. For the record, nobody is interested in the box itself. The treasure is inside. There are secrets which have yet to be unlocked.

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