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TV Review : White Collar – “Point Blank”

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White Collar has gone through only nine episodes this season, but enough gets discovered in the mid-season finale to keep viewers talking until January. In the episode, Neal (Matt Bomer) forms an elaborate hoax so he can finally get some long deserved answers. Alex (Gloria Votsis, CSI:NY) helps in this regard, which sets off a major breach of trust between Neal and Peter (Tim DeKay). There’s even a shocking twist at the end, although the character it happened to doesn’t seem terribly surprised.

Ever since FBI agent Garrett Fowler (Noah Emmerich, The Truman Show) was introduced last season (“Free Fall”), it has been clear that this is a major villain. Of sorts, anyway. Fowler is not unlike Neal Caffrey, the con artist turned FBI consultant. Fowler lost his wife during a bank robbery. Working in the Violent Crimes division gives him the access he needs to figure out who did the dirty deed and the result of that investigation is how Fowler transfers into OPR — the FBI version of Internal Affairs.

I have to commend Emmerich on how well he has played his role on-going role. While he is a strong character, there is also a suggestion of his being a small cog in a long chain of a much bigger issue.

Who is Fowler working for? This is not yet known, but I’m willing to bet it won’t turn out to be Reese Hughes (James Rebhorn). These two men have interacted before, and surely Fowler would recognize Hughes over the phone. Someone who works for the FBI also seems unlikely because having Neal as a consultant could simply make handing over the music box a condition for parole. Of course, Bankcroft (Joe Morton, Eureka) is the boss of Hughes. Could he be the big bad guy? Stay tuned….

Kate Moreau might be dead, but Neal has always wanted answers about what really took place when the plane she got on exploded (“Out of the Box”). The ruse in the most recent episode not only brings Fowler back into the picture, but puts Neal on a path bent for revenge. One answer is let out for viewers to see — the bomb did go off early. Kate just could be working with Fowler’s not so well known boss. Or was, up until boom. She placed a call just before the blast, but it only sounded like Fowler got it. The idea borders on ludicrous to be true. Why call the guy who is trying to get her and her criminal lover out of the way to say Peter  has arrived?

Mozzie (Willie Garson) attempts to decipher the code in the music box this week too, but needs help. The joint effort puts two people in danger, but Neal isn’t one of them. You’ll just have to watch and see.

June (Diahann Carroll) introduces the audience to her pug. Why am I not surprised it’s named Bugsy? How perfect for the show.

In case you missed an episode, USA has full episodes on its website. Hulu also has full episodes as well. The series, with its last seven episodes of the season, will return in the winter.

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